All NSW public servants, and in particular those who work directly with the public like Housing or DoCS workers, are governed by a beautifully written document titled Code of Ethical Conduct.
It is 29 pages long the core principles are Integrity, Trust, Service and Accountability.
[Okay, stop laughing now]
You can just tell that it took a back room team a year to write it and then an additional year to have it peer reviewed and then many more months to get the legal language correct. All this so that it can sit in the public servant's bottom drawer and be ignored.
And what happens if they breach it?
Well, they get investigated. Not by an independent team or an outside body - they get to investigate themselves. I wonder how often they find themselves guilty?
So next time you are heading down to the Housing office, print out the list below and score when they comply with the code. Offer the staff member a report card or better still - offer to send their report card to their Team Leader.
• Consider people equally without prejudice or favour
• Act professionally with honesty, consistency and impartiality
• Take responsibility for situations, showing leadership and courage
• Place public interest over personal interest.
• Appreciate difference and welcome learning from others
• Build relationships based on mutual respect
• Uphold the law, institutions of government and democratic principles
• Communicate intentions clearly and invite teamwork and collaboration
• Provide apolitical and non-partisan advice.
• Provide services fairly with a focus on client needs
• Be flexible, innovative and reliable in service delivery
• Engage with the not-for-profit and business sectors to develop and implement service solutions
• Focus on quality while maximising service delivery.
• Recruit and promote staff on merit
• Take responsibility for decisions and actions
• Provide transparency to enable public scrutiny
• Observe standards for safety
• Be fiscally responsible and focus on efficient, effective and prudent use of resources.