Who the code applies to

This Code applies to and is binding on all Directors of public entities and statutory office holders, as defined in section 4 of the Act, other than the statutory office holders of a special body, or unless excluded by a specific declaration issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner.

Purpose of the Code

This Code of Conduct is based on the Victorian public sector values and sets the standard of behaviour expected of Directors and statutory office holders from the date of their appointment. The behaviours are essential to how Directors and statutory office holders perform their duties and to the relationship they have with their portfolio Minister, departmental and public entity staff, and the community.

The Commission has developed a sample presentation that departments and public entities can adapt to their audience and use to induct new directors. The presentation is available on request at info@vpsc.vic.gov.au.

Changes to the code

This is the third code of conduct the Victorian Public Sector Commission has issued. The other two are the employee and special bodies codes. Each has a similar introduction but this code describes the values in terms of the collective and individual responsibilities of directors. The code also applies to statutory office holders other than statutory office holders of special bodies.

The code now explicitly refers to the duties of boards and chairpersons in addition to the duties of directors (sections 79 – 82, 85 and 89 of the Public Administration Act 2004).

The code recognises the strengthened relationship between departments and public entities following amendment of the Act. It says the board should provide sufficient information for the department to advise the Minister on the public entity’s activities (clause 2.1).

The code provides practical guidance to directors. Some of the material previously in the guidance notes has been included in the code. Additional guidance has been added to some sections including how to manage conflicts of interest and duty (clauses 2.5 and 3.12).

The code