Code of Conduct and Ethics for Contractors and Consultants

4 May 2018

Performance of work for Destination NSW implies a unique obligation to the public interest and requires that we demonstrate standards of professional behaviour and ethics that will maintain public trust. Destination NSW’s work involves access to confidential and/or sensitive information. The following Code of Conduct has been developed to assist you to understand our expectations and requirements:

1.Personal and professional behaviour

You must always:

  • be honest, reasonable, fair and sensitive in your dealings with members of the public and staff;
  • give accurate and impartial advice to the Government and implement its programs conscientiously;
  • follow relevant legislative, industrial and administrative requirements;
  • adhere to the Equal Employment Opportunity principles and the Ethnic Affairs Priorities Statement; and
  • adhere to Destination NSW values as set out in this code.

2.Conflicts of interest

You must ensure that your interests, or those of people close to you, do not conflict with the proper performance of your responsibilities while you are engaged by Destination NSW. A conflict of interest would exist when any one or more of these circumstances arise while you are contracted to Destination NSW:

  • you have a financial interest in a matter Destination NSW deals with, or you have friends or relatives with such an interest that you are aware of. For example, owning shares in a company where you are responsible for determining the payment of a grant or subsidy;
  • you have a personal, philosophical, religious, moral or political belief or attitude that could influence, or be seen to influence, the impartiality of the advice you give;
  • you accept secondary employment that may, or may appear to, compromise your integrity and that of Destination NSW; or
  • you are a member of an external Board of an organisation which is seeking a grant from Destination NSW or is an entrant in an industry awards program Destination NSW is sponsoring or judging.

It is your responsibility to avoid conflicts that could compromise the impartial performance of your role, and to disclose potential, actual or perceived conflicts of interest to Destination NSW.

3. Official and confidential information

During your work you could have access to commercially confidential and/or sensitive information which could relate to clients, the NSW Government, or Destination NSW’s employees. You must ensure the integrity and security of information and documents for which you are responsible.

Some simple rules apply:

  • you must not use confidential information for any unofficial purpose outside Destination NSW;
  • you must use confidential or official information only in a manner that is consistent with your obligation to act impartially;
  • you must exercise caution and sound judgment in discussing sensitive information with other Destination NSW employees. It should normally be confined to those who require access to that information in order to do their jobs, or those who can by reason of their experience, provide useful assistance;
  • you must not use information gained in your professional capacity for personal gain;
  • you may disclose information that is normally available to members of the public or if you are satisfied the request is legitimate and you have appropriate authority to release it;
  • you must not improperly collect, use or disclose the personal information of individuals, be they clients or Destination NSW’s employees;
  • information gained in the course of your work must not be used to cause harm or detriment to Destination NSW or any person or body;
  • Destination NSW’s documents, including Cabinet and other in-confidence documents, emails and electronic information, must be properly and safely secured at all times;
  • you must ensure that you document all your activities into Destination NSW’s official record-keeping systems;
  • you must not remove official information from Destination NSW’s premises unless required for work purposes; and
  • you must treat email as carefully as hard copy information.

Misuse of official information or documents includes:

  • speculation in shares, commodities, or property on the basis of confidential information about the affairs of a business or of proposed Government actions;
  • seeking to take advantage of another person, for personal reasons, on the basis of information held in official records;
  • disclosing sensitive information to members of the public, clients, lobby groups, other public servants or other Government organisations without proper authority; and
  • providing or trading confidential information for use by private investigators, banks and credit agencies.

It is your responsibility to maintain Destination NSW’s reputation for integrity and credibility with managing official and confidential information. These requirements apply to any information you obtain during the course of your engagement and continue after you leave Destination NSW.

4. Intellectual property

Intellectual property includes rights relating to scientific discoveries, industrial designs, trademarks, service marks, commercial names and designations, inventions and activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields.

Unless your contract of engagement specifies otherwise, Destination NSW has engaged you on the basis that the intellectual property created by you in the course of your work vests in Destination NSW. You must not sell, transfer or give away intellectual property created during or in connection with the course of your engagement with Destination NSW.

5. Use of official facilities and equipment

You are expected to be efficient and economical in your use and management of public resources (including your own work time). You should be scrupulous in your use of Destination NSW’s property and services.

Destination NSW’s communication devices, including the Internet, are not to be used to browse or download illegal, inappropriate or offensive material. Your use of Destination NSW’s Internet and e-mail must be appropriate, lawful, efficient, proper and ethical.

Further information regarding the use of Destination NSW’s communication devices, including use of the Internet and e-mail, can be found under the policy outlining Protocol for Acceptable Use of Communication Devices and Systems in the Corporate Handbook on Destination NSW‘s Intranet. You are required to comply with this policy at all times if you access Destination NSW’s communication devices.

6. Public comment

Public comment includes public speaking engagements, comments on radio and television or to a journalist, views expressed in letters to newspapers or in books, journals and notices where it might be expected that the publication or circulation of the comment will spread to the community at large. Comments made in email messages may also be interpreted as public comment.

The official spokespersons for Destination NSW are the Premier of NSW, the Treasurer and the portfolio Minister. In some circumstances the Chief Executive Officer speaks on behalf of Destination NSW. You must not initiate contact with the media at any time, unless instructed to by Destination NSW.

You must direct any media enquiries to the designated Media Manager at Destination NSW. You must not attempt to respond to the enquiry (even if “off the record”), under any circumstances.

Outside your work for Destination NSW, you have a right to comment publicly on political and social issues, provided you make it clear you are not making an official comment on behalf of Destination NSW or the NSW Public Service and that you are only commenting as a private citizen.

7. Alcohol and drugs

You must not conduct business on behalf of Destination NSW if you are under the influence of any drug or substance that is likely to adversely affect your ability to do your work or may pose a risk to yourself or staff or members of the public.

8. Breaches of the Code

You should be aware that Destination NSW may take action for breaches of this Code. Action may include termination of the engagement/contract and in serious cases the matter may be referred to the Police or other appropriate authorities.