Statement of Business Ethics

General Principles

Wakool Shire Council expects all it’s representatives, staff and Councillors to behave ethically and conform to it’s adopted Code of Conduct.  Similarly, it expects the business parties to maintain similar standards in dealings with the Council.

All our dealings will be underwritten by the principles of Value for Money, Impartiality and Fairness.

 

Value for Money 

Best value for money does not automatically mean the lowest price.  Council will consider important factors such as initial cost, whole of life costs, quality, reliability and timeliness in determining true value for money. 

Impartiality 

We will be objective, even handed and reasonable in our business dealings and expect similar responses from the business parties involved in those deliberations. 

Fairness 

We will be fair, open and transparent in all our dealings that are undertaken, unless there are commercial in confidence arrangements in place.  Being fair does not mean pleasing everyone, but is a commitment to ensuring an open and unbiased approach to conducting business. 

Council Expectations

The Council expects staff to: 

  • Abide by the law and adhere to Council policies and processes
  • Provide fairness to all who quote or tender on Council contracts
  • Be accountable for their actions
  • Be cognisant of Council’s obligations regarding public access to Council information
  • Act in the public interest
  • Promote fair and open competition
  • Protect and respect confidentiality
  • Meet and exceed public interest accountability standards
  • Avoid conflicts of interest (real or perceived)
  • Have proper documentation to provide an audit trail for procurement activities
  • Never solicit or accept gifts, remuneration or benefit from suppliers for doing your job

The Council asks the business sector to: 

  • Provide accurate advice and information
  • Respect conditions set out in documentation
  • Respect the obligation required of Council staff
  • Abstain from collusive practices
  • Respect confidentiality and privileged information
  • Assist the Council in preventing unethical practices in business relationships
  • Refrain from offering inducements to Councillors or staff which may give the impression of an unfair advantage

Why Comply

It is difficult to fully define ethical behaviour, but it is important for all suppliers to comply with this statement as unethical conduct will lead to loss of business opportunities and more serious actions if it is found that there is corrupt conduct.  A simple test is to ask yourself if you would be happy for your dealings to be publicized by the media. Disciplinary action and loss of opportunity could apply to Councillors and staff that fail to adhere to the Statement. 

Things to Consider 

Gifts & Meals 

Only token gifts and benefits can be accepted by Councillors or staff and it is important that there is no expectation of obligation by the gesture.  Staff are required to record the gift in the Council Gift Register. Meals and other hospitality provided by business interests are discouraged as part of the business dealings.  Council officials are expected to pay for these costs. 

Conflict of Interest 

Potential conflicts of interest are required to be disclosed by Council officials.  Similarly, business interests have the same obligations. 

Confidentiality  

The confidentiality requirements imposed upon Council officials by the Local Government Act 1993 shall be respected and observed. 

Travel and Accommodation 

Wakool Shire meets all business travel and accommodation costs for Council officials.  Any variation would need to be agreed to by the Council or General Manager, not the affected individual.  Public liability and insurance issues would need to be considered. 

Intellectual Property 

Council officials shall respect other’s intellectual property rights.  Proper processes shall occur in the access, license or use of intellectual property. 

Secondary Employment 

All staff are required to have the General Manager approve any secondary employment.  Approval will not be provided if a real or perceived conflict of interest exists. 

Contracted Employees 

All contracted and sub-contracted employees are expected to comply with this statement and should be made aware of it.