No secrecy gag: SA’s new code for a social media era


South Australia's new public service commissioner

A culture based on “mature judgment” rather than exhaustive rules is the aim of the new, values-based code of conduct in South Australia’s public sector. Countering public comment concerns earlier in the year, “freedom of speech in the private lives of our employees is still retained”, says commissioner Erma Ranieri.

South Australia has implemented a new code of conduct updated to reflect new patterns of engagement and bring it up to date with a more principles-based approach.

State Commissioner for Public Sector Employment Erma Ranieri said that part of the thinking behind the update, which came into force last week, was to provide some clear guidelines — to outline expectations “not only around what is easy to identify”, such as corruption, “but things like professionalism and how to behave in the workplace.”

The new code, which is issued under the Public Sector Act 2009, builds on the principles outlined in the Act. It sets out the professional standards expected of every employee, aimed at driving cultural change within the sector.

The code replaces the 2010 version and is the result of a year of consultation with stakeholders, including unions representing public servants.

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