Thursday, March 24, 2011


I thought it would be pertinent to post the civil service code of conduct on this blog.

Recent events have made me think that some individuals have, unfortunately, forgotten some of the key elements of this code.

Perhaps this will help them review their position when considering their response to Ministers.

Civil Service values

1. The statutory basis for the management of the Civil Service is set out in Part 1 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

2. The Civil Service is an integral and key part of the government of the United Kingdom. It supports the Government of the day in developing and implementing its policies, and in delivering public services. Civil servants are accountable to Ministers . They are in turn accountable to the National Assembly for Wales.

3. As a civil servant, you are appointed on merit on the basis of fair and open competition and are expected to carry out your role with dedication and a commitment to the Civil Service and its core values: integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality. In this Code:

• ‘integrity’ is putting the obligations of public service above your own personal interests;
• ‘honesty’ is being truthful and open;
• ‘objectivity’ is basing your advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence; and
• ‘impartiality’ is acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well Governments of different political persuasions.

4. These core values support good government and ensure the achievement of the highest possible standards in all that the Civil Service does. This in turn helps the Civil Service to gain and retain the respect of Ministers, the National Assembly for Wales, the public and its customers.

5. This Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of you and other civil servants. These are based on the core values which are set out in legislation.

Standards of behaviour


6. You must:

• fulfil your duties and obligations responsibly;

• always act in a way that is professional and that deserves and retains the confidence of all those with whom you have dealings ;

• carry out your fiduciary obligations responsibly (that is make sure public money and other resources are used properly and efficiently);

• deal with the public and their affairs fairly, efficiently, promptly, effectively and sensitively, to the best of your ability;

• keep accurate official records and handle information as openly as possible within the legal framework; and

• comply with the law and uphold the administration of justice.

7. You must not:

• misuse your official position, for example by using information acquired in the course of your official duties to further your private interests or those of others;

• accept gifts or hospitality or receive other benefits from anyone which might reasonably be seen to compromise your personal judgement or integrity; or

• disclose official information without authority. This duty continues to apply after you leave the Civil Service.


8. You must:

• set out the facts and relevant issues truthfully, and correct any errors as soon as possible; and

• use resources only for the authorised public purposes for which they are provided.

9. You must not:

• deceive or knowingly mislead Ministers, Parliament or others; or

• be influenced by improper pressures from others or the prospect of personal gain.


10. You must:

• provide information and advice, including advice to Ministers, on the basis of the evidence, and accurately present the options and facts;

• take decisions on the merits of the case; and

• take due account of expert and professional advice.

11. You must not:

• ignore inconvenient facts or relevant considerations when providing advice or making decisions; or

• frustrate the implementation of policies once decisions are taken by declining to take, or abstaining from, action which flows from those decisions.


12. You must:

• carry out your responsibilities in a way that is fair, just and equitable and reflects the Civil Service commitment to equality and diversity.

13. You must not:

• act in a way that unjustifiably favours or discriminates against particular individuals or interests.

Political Impartiality

14. You must:

• serve the Government, whatever its political persuasion, to the best of your ability in a way which maintains political impartiality and is in line with the requirements of this Code, no matter what your own political beliefs are;

• act in a way which deserves and retains the confidence of Ministers while at the same time ensuring that you will be able to establish the same relationship with those whom you may be required to serve in some future Government; and

• comply with any restrictions that have been laid down on your political activities.

15. You must not:

• act in a way that is determined by party political considerations, or use official resources for party political purposes; or

• allow your personal political views to determine any advice you give or your actions.