As public servants we are entrusted by both government and the community to deliver services in a competent and ethical manner. Integrity, both as a personal quality and signature behaviour under the ACT Public Service Code of Conduct, must remain foremost in all our activities.
The Education Directorate (EDU) Fraud and Corruption, Prevention and Response Plan (305 kb) outlines the responsibilities of employees and detail the directorates' position when dealing with suspected fraud and corruption. It provides the initial guidance for employees when considering issues of this kind. The plan is a requirement of the ACT Integrity Policy.
Senior Executive Responsible for Business Integrity Risk (SERBIR)
The Education Directorate (EDU) has a designated executive with responsibility for receiving and investigating allegations of fraud and corruption. This role is known as the SERBIR.
Ms Kristen Foster, Executive Branch Manager, Governance and Community Liaison, is the Senior Executive Responsible for Business Integrity Risk (SERBIR) for the directorate and can be contacted regarding any fraud and corruption related matter by making a submission through EDUSERBIR@act.gov.au
Resources for ethical decision-making
The Australian Public Service (APS) Commission website contains a range of multimedia resources to assist employees in dealing with ethical dilemmas. A link to these resources is provided below. Although these videos relate to service in the APS they showcase ethical dilemmas applicable to government, including the ACT Public Service. Relevant ACT Public Service policies and procedures should be applied when viewing the resources.
Resources of the APS website demonstrate examples of:
- Avoiding conflicts of interest
- Making comments as a private citizen
- Protecting personal information
- Disclosure of information and procedural fairness
APS Commission multimedia resources are available from: https://www.apsc.gov.au/multimedia-resources
Public Interest Disclosures
Sometimes matters are so serious that they sit outside the normal complaint or feedback system. When these are identified or disclosed, it becomes apparent that these matters fall within a category called a ‘Public Interest Disclosure” or PID. This is a process within government to deal with matters of a serious nature, which it is in the interest of the public to resolve.
The PID ACT identifies what is and what is not a PID. A PID is not a mechanism for solving a personal grievance.
A PID includes activity by an ACT public sector employee or entity that:
- is illegal;
- is a substantial misuse or waste of public money or resources;
- is misconduct;
- is maladministration that adversely affects a person’s interest in a substantial or specific way;
- presents a substantial and specific danger to the health or safety of the public; or
- presents a substantial and specific danger to the environment.
Disclosures of this kind require specialised treatment due to their seriousness. Likewise, a person disclosing information of this sort is entitled to specific rights and protection for making a public interest disclosure.
The Public Interest Disclosure Statement (203kb) shows EDU’s commitment to ensure that all disclosures made in the public interest are investigated thoroughly, that appropriate action is taken to address any issues identified, and that the person making the disclosure is protected from any retribution. The full Public Interest Disclosure Guidelines (2017) can be found here.
Conflict of Interest
Conflict of interest guidelines are being developed to assist staff with dealing with any actual, perceived or potential conflict(s) of interest - operating in accordance with the ACTPS Integrity Policy, the ACTPS Code of Conduct, the Public Service Management Act 1994, the Public Service Management Standards 2016 and relevant Enterprise Agreements. Conflict of Interest management requirements apply to all EDU employees (including contractors and consultants engaged to represent EDU).
For more information about fraud prevention and reporting, please contact the Senior Executive Responsible for Business Integrity Risk by emailing EDUSERBIR@act.gov.au