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Public sector employees do work that is meaningful, valued, and a source of great pride to us all. We are privileged to serve the Victorian community and that requires us to be professional in all we do. The public sector values, codes of conduct, employment principles and employment standards set out our professional obligations and are the foundations of our workplace culture.
As stewards of the public sector, the Victorian Secretaries’ Board members are committed to nurturing a culture of integrity. Whether you’re in your first week of work in the Victorian public sector or a long-standing senior leader, we must all demonstrate integrity in our daily work.
Acting with integrity is about being honest and open in our work, calling out improper conduct, striving to earn and sustain public trust and complying with legislated obligations and integrity policies. It means making decisions based on the public sector values, even if that means making a difficult choice.
By demonstrating integrity in our daily work and behaviour, we can inspire others to do the same and serve the best interests of the Victorian community.
Supporting a robust culture of integrity
The Victorian Secretaries’ Board is committed to modelling the public sector values as the foundation of an integrity culture. When we consistently follow our integrity obligations, we build a culture where acting with integrity is the norm and people feel safe to speak up if something doesn’t feel right.
Every public sector employee has a role to play in building and embedding an integrity culture. The core requirements include managing and following proper processes for:
- conflicts of interest
- gifts, benefits and hospitality
- official information
- the use of public resources
- open, transparent and merit-based employment.
To build a culture of integrity, the Victorian Secretaries’ Board members will:
- support all staff to feel confident in their understanding of public sector integrity obligations by increasing integrity training opportunities
- foster open and transparent communication to ensure staff have avenues to raise concerns and discuss integrity issues at all levels of our organisation
- support a ‘safe to speak up’ culture, by ensuring that all our organisations have an anonymous integrity reporting avenue for staff and by acting on integrity concerns
- consistently apply merit-based employment processes
- embed integrity expectations in performance development plans for all staff and mandate training in ethical decision-making for executives.
Strengthening behaviour and attitudes takes sustained effort and measurement. The Victorian Secretaries’ Board will continue to evaluate our success, including through monitoring and acting on the People Matter Survey results.
Providing full, frank, fearless and impartial advice
Public servants perform an essential function to inform government decision-making by fully and impartially providing frank and fearless advice. Public sector employees hold vital knowledge whether it be about delivering frontline services, advising on complex policy problems or meeting Victoria’s planning and infrastructure needs. Some of you provide this advice to your managers and others directly to ministers.
The public relies on us to provide timely and impartial advice so that government can make the best decisions, based on evidence
Victorian Secretaries’ Board, along with our executive leadership teams will:
- have conversations with you about what it means to provide full and frank advice
- welcome your advice, particularly when it’s difficult advice to give
- encourage you to raise significant issues with your managers or executives, to ensure that government receives timely and high-quality advice
- support all public sector employees to feel confident in how to provide advice by developing and implementing a model protocol for engaging with ministerial offices.
Victorian public sector employees are overwhelmingly motivated to serve the community. You work hard every day to be respectful and to deliver the highest quality work.
Victorian Secretaries’ Board members want to acknowledge and thank the dedicated public sector employees who continue to demonstrate the highest standards of integrity in your everyday work.
Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet
Secretary, Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions
Jenny Atta PSM
Secretary, Department of Education
John Bradley PSM
Secretary, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
Jo de Morton
Secretary, Department of Government Services
Kate Houghton PSM
Secretary, Department of Justice and Community Safety
David Martine PSM
Secretary, Department of Treasury and Finance
Secretary, Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
Victorian Public Sector Commissioner
Shane Patton APM
Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police
Professor Euan Wallace AM
Secretary, Department of Health
Secretary, Department of Transport and Planning