This document is part of the Commissioner’s Circulars resource.

Circular Number 2022-25
Issue date: 11 April 2022
Application: All Victorian Public Service employees
Resources:

Guide for employees during election periods

Manager’s guide for employees involved in elections

Enquiries: Integrity and Advisory branch
Victorian Public Sector Commission
integrity@vpsc.vic.gov.au

Key points

  1. It is critical that the Victorian public sector maintains the confidence of the Government, members of Parliament and the wider community. This requirement is brought into sharper focus in the period leading up to and during local, state and federal election campaigns.
  2. With state and federal elections scheduled to take place in 2022, public sector employees should familiarise themselves with their obligations to maintain an apolitical public sector consistent with the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees (the Code of Conduct).
  3. To assist public sector employees, the VPSC has developed guidance for employees during election periods to:
    1. remind employees of their obligations under the code of conduct
    2. provide advice on how to manage any potential conflicts of interest arising out of involvement in political activities
    3. advice on requirements and limitations for standing for election.
  4. The VPSC has also developed the manager’s guide for employees involved in elections, which assists managers to understand what they must do to inform their employees of their public sector employment obligations if they choose to involve themselves in election activities.

Background

  1. A federal election is to be held 21 May 2022, followed by a state election that is scheduled for 26 November 2022.
  2. While the code of conduct applies at all times, election periods can represent a heightened risk for employees. This includes the potential for employees to inadvertently breach their obligations under the code due to the possible intersection of professional responsibilities and private beliefs and activities.
  3. Public sector employees need to be mindful of their obligations under the code of conduct to ensure they remain impartial, apolitical and professional and if necessary put in place appropriate arrangements to manage any conflicts of interest.
  4. Employees who are considering standing for elections also need to be aware of the different requirements and the potential impact on their employment in the Victorian public sector.

Scope

  1. All Victorian public sector employees are advised to review the guide for employees during election periods.
  2. Public sector employees with managerial responsibilities are advised to review the manager’s guide for employees involved in elections to familiarise themselves with their responsibilities.

Date of application

11 April 2022