29 October 2012
The State Services Commissioner last week updated guidance for Crown Entities – including Crown Entity companies – on the preparation of Statements of Intent “and any associated expectations”.
The guidance links to related resources. Hearteningly, in revising the guidance, the Commissioner has not removed references to any resource materials published over the last ten years which explain the integrity expectations on agencies. The pedigree is untarnished. Standards established under the former Public Service code of conduct and subsumed into the Standards of Integrity and Conduct for the State Services, continue as the underpinning “associated expectations”. All guidance about those standards appears to have undiminished authority.
The guidance on acceptance of gifts and hospitality at the bottom of the list below was issued in 2002.
The guidance on Implementing the Code of Conduct, which has probably now fallen well below the radar in most agencies outlines policies and procedures required of agencies, including giving effect to the” 6 trust elements”.
The Summary of Findings from the 2010 integrity survey reminds agencies of the need to familiarise staff with processes for reporting serious wrong doing, and the statutory duty – again, probably unrecognised in most agencies – to publish and periodically republish their Protected Disclosures policy.
The guidance of paramount importance relates to political neutrality. Although explained in various ways in the documents in the following list, the underpinning principle to “keep politics out the job and the job out of politics” is unchanging.
The listed resources are:
- Principles for interaction with social media
- Disclosure of Chief Executive Expenses
- Negotiations between political parties to form a government: guidelines on support from the State sector
- State Servants, Political Parties, and Elections: Guidance for the 2011 Election Period
- 2011 Election Guidance Released for the State Services
- Understanding the code of conduct – Guidance for State servants
- New Zealand State Services Integrity and Conduct Survey 2010 – Summary of Findings
- Political Neutrality Guidance
- Questions and answers about the Code of Conduct
- Code of conduct for the State Services
- Organisations covered by the State Services Commissioner’s Standards of Integrity and Conduct
- New Zealand State Services Integrity and Conduct Survey 2007 – Summary of Findings
- Officials and Select Committees – Guidelines
- Implementing the Code of Conduct – Resources for Organisations
- Launch of State Services Commissioner’s Code of Conduct
- Integrity and Conduct – Setting Standards for Crown Entities
- Guidance on acceptance of gifts, benefits and gratuities
Ironically, one of the linked resources is the list of agencies subject to the code of conduct. This should include Schedule 1 of the State Sector Act, listing the departments in the Public Service. The link however brings up a schedule that omits the Ministry of Business Innovation and Enterprise, and the Minstry of Primary Industries. www.ssc.govt.nz/code-organisations