On this page, you will find

  • The seven core public sector values
  • Why the values are important
  • Who the values apply to

Who is this page for?

  • Board members
  • Employees
  • Executives
  • Human resources
  • Managers

The Public Administration Act 2004 establishes values to guide conduct and performance in the Victorian Public Sector.

The values and the Code of Conduct based on the values provide the foundation of the integrity and accountability framework for all public sector employees.

Values define what is important to an organisation and how things will be done. In the Victorian public sector, they underpin an employee’s interaction with the government, community, suppliers and other employees.

The seven core Public Sector Values

public sector values
Section 7 of the Public Administration Act 2004 outlines the values and how they can be demonstrated:


Public officials should demonstrate responsiveness by

  • providing frank, impartial and timely advice to the Government
  • providing high quality services to the Victorian community
  • identifying and promoting best practice

Section 7(1)(a) Public Administration Act 2004


Public officials should demonstrate integrity by:

  • being honest, open and transparent in their dealings
  • using powers responsibly
  • reporting improper conduct
  • avoiding any real or apparent conflicts of interest
  • striving to earn and sustain public trust of a high level

Section 7(1)(b) Public Administration Act 2004


Public officials should demonstrate impartiality by

  • making decisions and providing advice on merit and without bias, caprice, favouritism or self interest
  • acting fairly by objectively considering all relevant facts and fair criteria
  • implementing Government policies and programs equitably

Section 7(1)(c) Public Administration Act 2004


Public officials should demonstrate accountability by

  • working to clear objectives in a transparent manner
  • accepting responsibility for their decisions and actions
  • seeking to achieve best use of resources
  • submitting themselves to appropriate scrutiny

Section 7(1)(d) Public Administration Act 2004


Public officials should demonstrate respect for colleagues, other public officials and members of the Victorian community by

  • treating them fairly and objectively
  • ensuring freedom from discrimination, harassment and bullying; and
  • using their views to improve outcomes on an ongoing basis

Section 7(1)(e) Public Administration Act 2004


Public officials should demonstrate leadership by actively implementing, promoting and supporting these values.
Section 7(1)(f) Public Administration Act 2004

Human Rights

Public officials should respect and promote the human rights set out in the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities by

  • making decisions and providing advice consistent with human rights
  • actively implementing, promoting and supporting human rights

Sections 7(1)(g) and 8(ca) Public Administration Act 2004

Why the values are important

The public sector values underpin the behaviours that the government and community rightly expect of all public sector employees. When public sector employees consistently act in accordance with the public sector values, it strengthens the capacity of public sector organisations to operate effectively and achieve their objectives.

Conversely, a failure to adhere to these values lessens the confidence of the Government, the Parliament, and the Victorian community in the public sector.

Who the values apply to

The values apply to every public sector employee. All public sector employees must adhere to the requirements of the Code of Conduct that applies to them.

Public sector employees of special bodies are exempt from some aspects of the values of responsiveness and impartiality and are bound by the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees of Special Bodies.

Public sector body heads, such as departmental secretaries and chief executive officers, have a responsibility to promote the values to all public officials they employ.

Further reading

About VPSC