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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Secretary’s introduction

While building strong and resilient communities and regions and ensuring the responsible and sustainable use of our State’s resources, we have a responsibility to achieve value for money for the people of NSW. This includes ensuring that all our business relationships are honest, ethical, fair and consistent.

 

While working with us, our commercial partners share the same responsibilities. Compliance with our Statement of Business Ethics is a condition of doing business with us. By observing the requirements outlined below, you will be supporting our values and demonstrate that you understand our business and service to NSW.

 

Our vision and values

As stewards of the physical and cultural treasures of New South Wales (NSW), we create great places and experiences for all, plan for a changing and thriving NSW, inspire strong and resilient communities and regions, and ensure the responsible and sustainable use of our State’s resources.

 

We are committed to our values of Integrity, Trust, Service and Accountability, and we demonstrate this through:

  • Using public resources effectively and efficiently.
  • Dealing fairly, honestly and ethically with all individuals and organisations.
  • Avoiding any conflicts of interest (whether real or perceived).

 

What you can expect of us

We strive to deliver outcomes for the NSW public in the most responsible way. We ensure that our policies, procedures and practices are in line with best practice and the highest standards of ethical conduct. Our staff work in the interest of the NSW public and comply with the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 and our Code of Ethics and Conduct.

 

When doing business with you, we will:

  • Treat all potential suppliers impartially and fairly, giving equal access to information and opportunities to submit bids.
  • Maintain transparency in all procurement activities and decisions through a clear and complete audit trail that allows for performance reviews.
  • Purchase energy-efficient equipment, products containing recycled materials and environmentally friendly products if they are available and it is practical and financially responsible to do so.
  • Use local businesses and locally made products, where possible.
  • Not call tenders or request quotes unless the Department has a firm intention to proceed to contract.
  • Not disclose confidential or proprietary information of commercial partners unless required to do so by law.

 

What we expect of you

The NSW public to expect us to spend public money in the most efficient, effective and ethical way, and they hold us accountable if we don’t. As our commercial business partners (including contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers), you are working with us to deliver our outcomes, and we expect that you will uphold our values and operate to the same standard that is expected of us.

 

What does this look like in practice?

  • Comply with our procurement policies and procedures as well as the NSW Government Procurement Policy Framework (2015).
  • Provide accurate and reliable advice and information when required.
  • Declare conflicts of interest as soon as you become aware of any potential, actual or perceived conflict.
  • Act ethically, fairly and honestly in all dealings with us.
  • Take all reasonable measures to prevent the disclosure of confidential information related to us or the NSW Government.
  • Refrain from any form of collusive practice, including offering our employees gratuities, inducements or incentives.
  • Refrain from discussing our business or information in the media without first coordinating media contact with us.
  • Assist us to prevent unethical practices in our business relationships by reporting any misconduct related to our work, for example corruption, fraud, maladministration, serious and substantial waste, or breaches of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).
  • Provide us with access to information and records which may be required to effectively conduct audit and investigation activities or for the purpose of reporting to Parliament.
  • Manage business risks, including those associated with fraud and corruption, to our satisfaction.
  • Ensure due diligence and transparency in respect of your business and supply chains to identify any risks of modern slavery taking place and provide the Department, on request, with information or evidence regarding the steps you have taken to assess and manage those risks, to enable the Department to comply with our requirements in respect of ensuring that goods and services procured are not the product of modern slavery (as defined in the Modern Slavery Act 2018) and reporting on the steps the Department has taken.

 

Communication and cooperation

In line with NSW Government procurement frameworks, policies, and codes of practice, we and commercial business partners will maintain business relationships based on open and effective communication, respect and trust, and adopt a non-adversarial approach to dispute resolution.

 

Consequences for not complying

Not complying with our ethical requirements when doing business with us may indicate corrupt or unethical conduct, which could lead to:

 

Lobbying

A lobbyist is any party whose business includes representing the interests of others to a NSW Government official. If you are or might be a lobbyist, consult our Lobbyists contact web page prior to that communication with us.

 

The Lobbying of Government Officials Act 2011 defines all of our employees and contractors as `Government officials’ with specific obligations, to only deal with lobbyists who are on the NSW Electoral Commission register of lobbyists.

 

Incentives, gifts, benefits

You must not offer any incentive or attempt to improperly influence our staff in relation to any aspect of their work as a public official.

 

You must not give gifts to our employees, pay or offer to pay for any form of entertainment for our employees, including, but not limited to:

  • Cash and cash equivalents such as gift vouchers
  • Tickets to sporting or social events
  • Shareholdings
  • Social meals
  • Travel expenses to attend local or interstate meetings or conferences
  • Accommodation expenses.

 

We expect our staff to decline gifts, and financial and non-financial benefits offered during the course of their work, in line with our Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality policy.

 

Symbolic and modest expressions of appreciation, such as contributing to a conference, assisting a community group, and an employee’s attendance at an event as a guest may be allowed where a clear underlying business purpose exists, it is in the normal course of the Department’s business, relates to our work, and has a public benefit.

 

We will formally report and record all offers, acceptance, and non-acceptance of gifts, benefits, hospitality or inducements. Every guest invitation to our employees must be provided in writing so it can be recorded in our Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Register.

 

If you would like to convey your appreciation for our work or an employee’s efforts, consider providing your feedback through the Contact Us website page.

 

Sponsorships

We will not ask for, entertain, or enter into any sponsorship or similar arrangement that is not open and transparent or where such activity creates a perception that it could be part of an attempt to improperly influence decision-making processes.

 

Use of the Department’s equipment, resources and information

Our equipment, resources and information must only be used for its proper official purpose as stipulated in our Code of Ethics and Conduct. We have a responsibility to manage resources in the public interest and seek the best value for money outcomes. That includes the prevention of over servicing, preventing over ordering and avoiding other wasteful uses of resources.

 

Conflicts of interest

All of our employees and contractors are required to promptly disclose any actual, perceived, or potential conflicts of interest. We extend this requirement to you.

 

Our employees must disclose conflicts of interest as prescribed in our Conflicts of Interest policy which also describes types of conflicts and how to manage them. We expect that our business partners disclose such conflicts with our procurement division throughout their engagement with us.

 

Private employment, consulting and post-separation employment

In accordance with our Secondary Employment and Private Interest policy, all employees must obtain the Secretary’s approval prior to entering into any private/secondary employment arrangement. Our employees must not use their position, government information, or intellectual property while serving Government to secure private employment.

 

Our commercial business partners must not offer our employees secondary private employment which conflicts with their public duties.

 

Former employees who have dealings with the Department must not disclose or seek favourable treatment or access to confidential information.

 

Expectations regarding contractors

All contractors and sub-contractors are expected to comply with our Statement of Business Ethics. Our commercial business partners are responsible for making any of their sub-contractors aware of this statement.

 

Confidentiality and Intellectual property

Confidential information must be treated as such and protected as appropriate. The specific requirements of copyright laws and individual contracts must be adhered to.

 

We have a responsibility to meet our obligations under the following, and we extend this responsibility to all our commercial business partners:

 

We expect all our commercial business partners to respect each other’s intellectual property rights and formally negotiate any access, licence or use of intellectual property.

 

Public comment

Our employees must not provide public endorsement of companies or their products on our behalf, as per our Code of Ethics and Conduct policy. All our commercial business partners must not make any public comment or statement that would lead anyone to believe that they are representing the Department or expressing its views or policies.

 

Public Interest Disclosures

We do not tolerate corrupt conduct, maladministration, serious and substantial waste of public money, and other forms of serious wrongdoing. Our commercial business partners are required to report all information that they become aware of that shows potential or actual serious wrongdoing inside the Department and its related entities, and within our business partners.

 

Individuals and employees or officers of corporations) engaged by us under a contract to provide services to, or on behalf of, the Department are classified as ‘public officials’ under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.  

 

The Act provides protection for public officials from reprisal or detrimental action when disclosing corrupt conduct or other specific wrongdoing in line with requirements of the Act, and ensures that disclosures are appropriately investigated and handled.

 

Contacts

To report misconduct, breaches of this Statement or to get advice, you can contact the following:

 

Internal

Telephone
Executive Director, Governance
1300 305 695

 

Post

Executive Director, Governance
Confidential
Department of Planning and Environment
GPO Box 39, Sydney NSW 2001

 

Online Complaint Reporting
Use our Contact Us website page

 

External

Independent Commision Against Corruption (ICAC)
For matters involving NSW public officials
Telephone: 1800 463 909

 

NSW Ombudsman
For matters of maladministration
Telephone: 02 9286 1000 or 1800 451 524 (outside Sydney metro)

 

Audit Office of NSW
For serious and substantial waste
Telephone: 02 9275 7100
Email: governance@audit.nsw,gov.au

 

NSW Police Force - Crime Stoppers
For criminal matters
Telephone: 1800 333 000 (takes anonymous reports)

Page last updated: 26/08/2019