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:

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


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