Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

Policy – Code of Ethical Conduct

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PURPOSE / AIM / OBJECTIVE

 

All CTST staff 1 must be aware of and observe the relevant sections of the Code. The Code does not seek to identify common or statutory law requirements, and reference must be made to the Community Transport Services Tasmania Inc., policies and procedures, and other sources for such guidance. Specific procedures for ethical conduct are documented in CTST Policies and Procedures (for example financial management, human resources and equal opportunity). Staff using these policies should understand the requirements and apply them in their relevant day-to-day activities.

The Code expresses, in broad terms, the requirements for staff to adhere to ethical standards without limiting their resourcefulness and independent thinking in the management of the CTST.

This document is in three parts:

Attached to the Code are:

  

DEFINITIONS

Staff – all Directors, staff, volunteers, contractors and sub-contractors

 

POLICY BODY

The Code

Ethical standards Notes
We respect the laws of the land.
We conduct ourselves with integrity: we are fair, honest and impartial in our dealings, and we treat others with dignity and respect. We give members of CTST community the care and courtesy that we would wish to receive.

 

Note 1
We are aware of possible conflicts of interest: we avoid conflicts of interest when they are avoidable, and we declare conflicts of interest when they are unavoidable. We use CTST’s funds, equipment, buildings, information and other resources with care and responsibility and in the best interests of CTST.

 

Note 2
We endeavour to further the interests of CTST, its staff, consumers and associates: we are attentive to the interests of the broader community.

 

Note 3

 

We are aware of obligations to maintain confidentiality of information: we do not use this information for personal gain, nor to the detriment of CTST or its stakeholders.

 

Note 4

 

We exercise due skill, care and diligence in performing our duties and acknowledge our responsibility to maintain currency of our knowledge, skills and technical competencies.

 

Note 5
We are fair and honest in our relationship with suppliers and purchasers of CTST’s goods and services: we avoid both the appearance and reality of being influenced by any party, or of being prejudiced or biased in our dealings with third parties and stakeholders.

We do not actively solicit any gifts, benefits or hospitality; nor do we accept gifts or benefits (including hospitality and entertainment) which could in any way compromise or be seen by the wider community to influence us in our official capacity. We declare any material benefit of gifts or gratuities that occur in the normal course of business.

Note 6
We represent CTST in the performance of our tasks and avoid all conduct which detracts from CTST’s reputation. Note  7

 

Application of the Code

It is important to recognise that in applying this Code, the personal characteristics of honesty, sincerity, impartiality and trustworthiness are key guiding attributes.

The effectiveness of CTST’s policies relies on all staff taking responsibility for their own behaviour and being committed to the standards inherent in this document. Staff are expected to be familiar with CTST policies and procedures relevant to this Code. Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to seek legal advice to guide the decision making processes where conflicts of interest or potential conflicts occur. Seeking such advice should follow CTST’s normal procedures.

Situations may arise in the conduct of financial activities where influence is attempted in order to achieve a particular outcome. Influence may be in the form of seeking to unfairly achieve an outcome by tactics such as inducement (gratuities/gifts/hospitality or other favours) or threats, including harassment. Should such situations be encountered, or should there be any doubt in regard to any situation, staff should draw such incidents to the attention of their relevant manager so that appropriate action is taken.

Other circumstances may arise where a staff member may have private and/or pecuniary interests which may lead to an actual or potential conflict of interest in the financial management of CTST activities. The staff member should avoid entering or being personally involved in financial decision-making in a situation in which there is a conflict of interest, recognising also the need for disclosure of any interest or apparent interest to the relevant manager as mentioned beforehand.

All CTST staff will receive a copy of this Code, and will exercise any power by virtue of their appointment or any additional powers delegated to them from time to time in accordance with and by reference to this Code.

Staff are encouraged to comment on and contribute to the further development of this Code by bringing their ideas to the attention of their manager for referral to the CEO.

Consequences of a breach of the Code

Many elements of the Code are aspirational in nature. They have been developed not only to satisfy existing legal requirements, but also to engender behaviour which exceeds the legal minimum. Staff should be familiar with the substance and spirit of the Code and should be aware that breaches may result in sanctions which may include counselling, disciplinary action, and performance review, termination of employment or civil or criminal action, depending on the nature of the breach.

CTST has noted and supports the provisions of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993. If you suspect or are aware of breaches of law involving fraud and corrupt conduct, you are strongly advised to bring the matter to your line supervisor, or if this is not possible to a senior manager or the CEO: Procedures are in place to guard against the unnecessary disclosure of your identity, and to guide the process of investigation and disposal of such matters.

 

Explanatory notes to the Code of Ethics

Note 1

Integrity
Staff should act with honesty, sincerity and integrity in their approach to their work for CTST.

All staff should behave with integrity, honesty and fairness in all business, professional and personal relationships.

Staff should not knowingly or recklessly supply any information which is confidential, or make any statement which they know is misleading, false or deceptive to a colleague, consumers of CTST, or the general public.

While CTST staff must observe the terms and conditions of their employment, staff cannot be required to be complicit in any illegal act. If advised, instructed or encouraged to engage in unlawful activity, they must decline, and report the matter to a line manager.

Note 2

Conflicts of interest
CTST staff should both be and appear to be free of any interest (financial or otherwise) which might be regarded as being in conflict or incompatible with their integrity and objectivity.

Independence is the cornerstone of objectivity. Both external and internal parties have a need for credibility of information and action in relation to CTST activities. CTST management at all substantive levels seeks credibility and accountability in information and in the activities of all of its staff. CTST management must be careful to apply an attitude of professionalism within the bounds of commercial confidentiality, and should remain independent in fact as well as independent in appearance.

Accordingly, CTST staff should recognise and avoid situations which may affect their integrity and objectivity by:

  • Being cautious of undue benefits or preferential treatment received in the course of their

employment. Such benefits may cloud their judgement or objectivity

  • Ensuring CTST facilities or property, information or resources are used in the best interests of the CTST

Community.

  • Guarding against conflicts of interest arising from inappropriate financial involvement and personal

relationships.

Note 3

The interests of CTST and the broader community
CTST comprises a diverse population of individuals with differing roles and functions, ethnic and cultural backgrounds and differential and sometimes complex relationships within CTST community. For such a community to function fairly and effectively, due regard must be given to behaviour which recognises the dignity and privacy of individuals, enhances fair dealing and representation both in action and perception.

The effective functioning of the CTST community depends on the mutual respect required of individuals co-existing within that community and with its broad clientele, together with the pursuit of an environment characterised by co-operation, collegiality, impartiality, equity, and financial responsibility.

Individuals must therefore be accountable for their actions both in a social and financial sense by:

  • Clearly establishing their own personal standards and those of the staff for whom they are responsible

and being aware of how these standards may conflict with tasks they ask others (to do or they themselves are asked) to perform.

This should be in consonance with the strategic intentions of Community Transport Services Tasmania Inc., recognising that CTST has a responsibility both to its stakeholders and the broader community.

Note 4

Confidentiality
CTST staff must protect the confidentiality of information acquired in the course of their work. No staff member should use or disclose any confidential information to a colleague, consumers of CTST or any other party without specific authority or unless such use or disclosure is:

  • In the normal course of business within CTST, or
  • There is a legal or professional duty to disclose the information.

Staff may acquire confidential information in the course of their employment. This may take the form of confidential information about staff, students, CTST business or other information intended to be confidential. It is important that this information should not be disclosed to third parties except when consent has been obtained from CTST or with the consent of the other party, when there is a duty to disclose.

Staff members should discuss the matter fully with their immediate supervisor if they are in doubt as to whether there exists a right or duty to disclose confidential information. If the problem cannot be resolved by this action, they should consult an appropriate higher authority within CTST, and/or CTST’s legal advisors.

CTST staff at all levels should ensure that staff members for whom they are responsible, are aware of the confidential nature of relevant information acquired by them in their work, and should inform them of the need to maintain confidentiality of such information.

Staff members in receipt of confidential information should not use or appear to use such information to gain personal advantage for themselves or for a third party.

Note 5

Technical standards
CTST staff shall carry out their job responsibilities in accordance with relevant contractual arrangements and/or in accordance with the technical and professional standards relevant to that work. In this sense, CTST staff members owe a duty of skill and care to CTST.

Note 6

Fair and honest dealing – objectivity
CTST staff must be fair and must not allow bias or prejudice to influence or override their objectivity in administrative, business or management matters. Staff should maintain an impartial attitude, particularly in terms of the equity of individuals (including colleagues) or groups who may be vulnerable.

Objectivity is an important characteristic of CTST staff. If the work of a staff member is influenced by dishonesty, prejudice, conflict of interest or bias, or involves misuse of a CTST position for personal gain (financial or otherwise), then that staff member cannot meet the test of objectivity.

The ‘reasonable person’ test is appropriate in determining whether a staff member has behaved in an objective manner. In other words, whether a reasonable colleague, knowing all the facts and circumstances, would conclude that the staff member has acted properly and impartially.

Gifts, benefits and hospitality

  • Gifts, benefits or hospitality which are irregular and of nominal value, used for promotional purposes

by the donor and seen as generally accepted commercial practice may be accepted.

  • Gifts, benefits or hospitality which exceed a nominal amount, must be declared to the staff member’s

line manager and must not be accepted if in the view of the line manager the acceptance of the gift or gratuity would compromise objectivity and be seen by the wider community as likely to influence the staff member in their official capacity.

  • Gifts, benefits or hospitality offered as an inducement to place a staff member under an obligation to

purchase goods or services cannot be accepted.

  • Staff must not accept gifts of money other than properly receipted donations to CTST

Note 7

Ethical behaviour
CTST staff should conduct themselves in a manner which is consistent with CTST’s strategic intentions, reputation, and functions for which it was created.  Staff should refrain from any conduct which might bring discredit to CTST.

It is important that colleagues, consumers and the wider community, be satisfied that CTST staff are acting fairly, honestly and in good faith. You should not condone misleading, false or deceptive statements. The character of staff will be judged by their conduct, real or apparent.