The intent of this policy is to establish clear rules and guidance for Department employees in responding to offers and the provision of gifts, benefits and hospitality.
Where a school or business unit establishes local requirements with regard to gifts, benefits and hospitality, it needs to be consistent with this policy which prevails.
Senior Executive Officers, Directors of Education, Directors, Principals, Managers and Site Managers are responsible for building a culture and expectation within the work and school community that gifts are not required and should be discouraged in line with public sector guidance.
Employee behaviour should earn and sustain community and government trust and in the context of accepting or making offers of gifts, benefits and hospitality should include:
- not making or accepting offers that influence, or may give the impression to influence any decision unfairly;
- performing duties without favouritism, bias or for personal gain; and
- acting fairly and objectively to maintain public trust by being honest, open and transparent.
This Policy seeks to equip employees to:
- distinguish and appropriately manage modest tokens of appreciation, or hospitality that are a basic courtesy, from inducements, conflicts of interest or non-token offers without a legitimate business benefit;
- identify appropriate boundaries for the provision of gifts, benefits and hospitality in a way that is considered reasonable in terms of community expectations;
- understand that offers of gifts benefits and hospitality can be politely refused and this remains a valid choice regardless of the circumstances surrounding the offer; and
- be confident in using public resources responsibly when making offers of hospitality in the course of their work.
Considering any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest is central to determining how to respond to an offer of a gift, benefit or hospitality and maintaining high levels of integrity in the Department and schools.
Conflicts of interest are an inevitable fact of organisational life and can arise without anyone being at fault. However, where an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest exists, it creates serious risks for the individual, the Department and schools, which need to be identified and managed appropriately.
Guidance on the management of Conflict of Interest can be found in the Department’s Conflicts of Interest Policy.
If an employee becomes aware of suspected staff misconduct or behaviour, access the Staff Conduct and Discipline policy and procedures.
To help guide employee conduct, please refer to Our Code of Conduct and Standards.