Conduct & integrity

Principles of Official Conduct

The Public Sector Principles, part 2 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (the Act), outline the principles of public administration and management, human resource management and conduct.

In particular, section 9 of the Act states:

The principles of conduct that are to be observed by all public sector bodies and employees are that they —

(a) are to comply with the provisions of —

(i) this Act and any other Act governing their conduct; and

(ii) the Commissioner’s instructions, public sector standards and codes of ethics; and

(iii) any code of conduct applicable to the public sector body or employee concerned;


(b) are to act with integrity in the performance of official duties and are to be scrupulous in the use of official information, equipment and facilities; and

(c) are to exercise proper courtesy, consideration and sensitivity in their dealings with members of the public and employees.

The Public Sector Commissioner's functions in relation to official conduct are set out in sections 9, 21 and 22D of the Act. These functions include:

  • establishing public sector standards and ethical codes
  • assisting agencies to comply with those standards and codes
  • monitoring compliance with those standards and codes
  • reporting to Parliament annually on compliance.

Page last updated 3 April 2018