Code of Conduct
The Integrity in Public Life Act contains a Code of Conduct, the purpose of which is to regulate the behaviour of all Persons in Public Life and those who exercise public functions to ensure the proper and efficient performance of their duties. The Code of Conduct promotes ethical standards and establishes guidelines and boundaries to assist public officials in administering the public resources fairly and with transparency.
Public officials are required to treat all persons fairly and impartially and no undue or preferential treatment is to be given to any group or individual. The critical outcome of this behaviour is that any member of the public, who accesses a Government service, must receive the same treatment regardless of his/her race, colour, class, age, sex, perceived social standing or political affiliation.
The Integrity in Public Life Act establishes a Code of Conduct that clarifies the standards of behaviour that are expected of Persons in Public Life and those Exercising Public Functions. In the making of personal and ethical decisions such persons are required to:
• Be fair and impartial in exercising public duty;
• Afford no undue preferential treatment to any group or individual;
• Arrange their private interests, whether pecuniary (resources in the form of or relating to money) or otherwise, in such a manner as to maintain public confidence and trust in their integrity.
A Person in Public Life cannot accept a fee or gift that is connected with the performance of the duties of his office save and except where a gift or personal benefit is received as a matter of the protocol or social obligations that normally accompany the responsibilities of office.
There is NO value limit on gifts received as a matter of the protocol or social obligations.
However, where such gifts or personal benefits to a Person in Public Life exceed $5,000 in value or the gifts or personal benefits from one source in any 12 month period exceed $5,000 in value, the Act requires that such persons must file a statement with their annual declaration indicating the nature of the gift or benefit and the circumstances under which it was given or accepted.
A Conflict of Interest arises if a Person in Public Life or any person exercising a public function in the execution of his office, makes or participates in the making of a decision where he ought reasonably to have known that by so acting there exists an opportunity to either directly or indirectly further his/her private interests or that of a member of his family or of any other person.
Where there is a possible or perceived conflict of interest on some matter, Persons in Public Life must disclose their interest and recuse themselves from the decision-making process. The principles, values, standards and rules of behaviour that guide the decisions, procedures and systems of Persons in Public Life mandate the following:
• Perform functions and administer public resources in an effective and efficient manner.
• Not use office for the improper advancement of one’s family’s personal or financial interest or the interest of any other person.
• Not engage in any transaction that is incompatible with one’s office, function and duty.
• Not use public property or services for activities not related to official work.
• Not, either directly or indirectly, use one’s office for private gain.
• Not use public funds in disregard of the Financial Orders or other regulations applicable to such funds.
• Not accept a fee, gift or personal benefit that is connected directly or indirectly with the performance of one’s duties.
• Not use information gained in the execution of one’s office and which is not available to the general public to further private interests (insider information).
• Not use one’s office to influence a decision made by another person or public body to further private interests (influence).
• Keep all matters that are confidential in nature, CONFIDENTIAL, even after separation from the service (confidentiality).
• Disclose one’s interest and disqualify oneself from any decision-making process where there is a possible or perceived conflict of interest.