This statement outlines the integrity and ethical standards expected by City of Cockburn (“City”) employees, officers, suppliers/service providers when doing business. The City takes responsibility for enforcing these ethics internally and expects suppliers/service providers dealing with the City to do likewise.
Ethical behaviour and fair dealing
The City believes that an ethical and professional workplace reduces the risks associated with misconduct. With this principle in mind, the City seeks to set a standard of ethical behaviour where the officers/employees are to act with honesty, integrity, fairness, diligence and a high degree of care in their actions. This does not mean pleasing everyone, but the City strives to be fair by ensuring its processes are appropriate and accountable wherever practicable.
Openness and effective competition
Open and effective competition provides supplier/service providers with fair and equitable access to supply opportunities while maintaining transparency and integrity in our dealings. We will maintain appropriate confidentiality and not disclose propriety information unless legally required to do so. All processes and decisions must be transparent, free from bias and fully documented with honest intentions.
The City is committed to including sustainability in all dealings to minimise environmental, social and economic impacts to the community. We encourage our supplier/service providers to adopt similar behaviours to ensure our dealings are compliant. The City does not condone behaviours that take advantage of the socially disadvantaged in Australia. The City will not purchase products and/or services that are produced under conditions of employment that do not meet international conventions or labour laws.
The City is committed to the philosophy that all accidents are preventable. All work is to be conducted in a safe manner, and operations associated with any work must cease if the safety of our employees, volunteers, supplier/service providers or the public cannot be assured.
Value for money
Value for money allows the City to achieve the best possible outcome in its dealings. The value is not based on price alone, but must consider non-cost factors that limit the City’s risk exposure and enforces the City’s other principles. The effort to achieve this value must be in proportion with the nature of the dealing and the level of associated risk.
All officers/employees of the City should observe the highest standards of ethics and integrity in undertaking procurement. They will act in an honest and professional manner that supports the City’s policies, procedures and legislative requirements. We maintain a robust framework that supports internal and external accountabilities and undertake auditing of our activities to ensure these objectives are met.
What to expect from the City
The City will ensure all of its policies and procedures relating to procurement are consistent with best practice and the highest standards of ethical conduct. Our employees are bound by a Code of Conduct and are accountable for their actions. They are expected to:
- Respect and uphold the laws and system of all forms of Government and carry out official City decisions and policies faithfully and impartially
- Treat members of the public, supplier/service providers, Councillors and fellow employees equitably with proper regard for their rights and to ensure behaviour is not harassing or discriminatory
- Respond to reasonable requests for advice
- Provide purchase order numbers/purchase orders when engaging suppliers
- Maintain and enhance public confidence in the integrity of public administration and advance the common good of the community
- Ensure duty of care obligations are met
- Ensure that public resources are not wasted, abused or used improperly
- Avoid potential or perceived conflicts of interest
- Promote the principle of this statement.
What is expected of suppliers/service providers?
The City requires all suppliers/service providers to adhere to the following principles:
- Perform all services in a diligent manner with the necessary skill and care expected
- Refrain from engaging in any form of collusive practice
- Comply and respect the City’s legislative compliance, policies, procedures and contract conditions
- Not to supply products or services unless directed by contract or an approved financial commitment, eg credit card or purchase order
- Respect the obligation of the City employees to act in accordance with this statement
- Provide accurate and reliable information when required
- Declare potential or perceived conflicts of interest as soon as they become known
- Act ethically, fairly and honestly in all dealings with the City
- Refrain from exerting pressure on your staff to act in ways that contravene reasonable business practises.
The canvassing of Elected Members for support of a quotation or tender is strictly prohibited and will disqualify suppliers/ service providers from further consideration.
Why is compliance important?
By complying with this statement, you will ensure your objectives and interests will be treated in a fair and equitable manner. Non-compliance with the City’s ethical requirements can result in the following consequences: investigation for corruption; possible loss of work; damage to reputation; disqualification of tender or termination of contracts; or matters being referred for criminal investigation.
The City awards business solely on merit, based on the principles in this statement and the guide below. The City or its successors has the right to determine its obligations/rights under a contract if the City is restructured by Law.
Communication should be clear, direct and accountable to minimise the risk of inappropriate influences from business relationships.
Gifts and benefits
Suppliers are encouraged not to provide any benefits to employees of the City. In some instances, gifts and invitations involving hospitality may be acceptable provided the gift/function has a clear business purpose. Details are recorded in a publicly accessible Gift Register.
Sponsorship and related practices
The City will not ask for, or enter into any sponsorship or similar arrangement that is not open and transparent; or if the sponsorship creates a perception of improper influence.
Conflict of interest
A conflict of interest exists when an officer could be influenced, or a reasonable person would perceive that they could be influenced, by a personal interest when carrying out their public duty. All parties are required to disclose any actual or potential conflicts of interest. Conflicts must be resolved in favour of the public interest. When considering whether or not a conflict of interest exists, it is always important to think about how others would view the situation.
Parties are expected to respect each other’s intellectual property rights and formally negotiate any access, license or use of intellectual property. All information gained by the supplier/service provider when dealing with the City should be treated as confidential unless otherwise indicated.
Employees are not permitted to engage in private work with anybody with an interest in a proposed/current contract with the City.
Contractors and sub-contractors
All contracted and sub-contracted employees are expected to comply with this statement.
Please contact the Governance and Risk Management Coordinator on 08 9411 3444 or at [email protected] if you are concerned about a possible breach of this statement, or about any conduct that could involve fraud, corrupt conduct, maladministration, or serious and substantial waste of public funds.
NOTE: The Corruption and Crime Commission Act 2003 and other “whistleblower” protection laws (such as the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003) protect persons disclosing misconduct or corruption related matters form reprisal or detrimental action and ensure disclosures are properly investigated and dealt with.