Code of Ethical Standards - Stirling Council

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Code of Ethical Standards - Stirling Council

CODE OF

ETHICAL

STANDARDS


This leaflet provides a supplementary overview of

the Code of Ethical Standards and should be read in

conjunction with the full Code. Please familiarise yourself

with the details in the full Code as this will increase

your awareness of the standards of conduct which are

expected from you and the impact this has on how you

carry out your duties on behalf of the Council.

Why has the Council introduced

the Code of Ethical Standards

The public expect a high standard of conduct from all local

government employees. The Ethical Standards in Public Life

etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 was one of the earliest pieces of

legislation passed by the newly formed Scottish Parliament.

It introduced a new legal duty of promoting high standards

in public life which of course impacts on all public bodies.

As such councils have a legal duty to introduce codes of

conduct stating the principles and rules of conduct for the

behaviour of its councillors and officers in the performance of

their respective duties. The elected members already have a

National Code of Conduct which governs how they conduct

their duties and now employees of Stirling Council have a

similar code which provides guidance on how employees

should conduct themselves during the course of their work.

What does the Code entail

The Code sets out the minimum standards of conduct

expected from employees and incorporates “The Principles of

Public Life” identified by the Nolan Committee on Standards

in Public Life. These are: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity,

Accountability and Stewardship, Openness, Honesty,

Leadership, and Respect.

Personal Conduct

Employees should be aware that their behaviour during

working hours and in some cases outwith working hours will

reflect upon the Council. Employees should therefore reflect a

positive image of the Council and ensure that their behaviour

does not bring the name of Stirling Council into disrepute. > 1


Dress Code

The Council requires employees to adopt reasonable dress

standards related to the type of work being undertaken.

Managers will give guidance on what is required for particular

types of work.

Relationships with Elected Members, the Public

and Partner Organisations

Elected Members

Employees of the Council have a legal, and in some cases

a managerial responsibility to the Council and not to any

individual Councillor or party Groups. The role of the

employee is to provide advice and carry out those duties

which have been delegated/allocated to them in line with the

Council’s Standing Orders and Scheme of Delegation.

The Public and Service Users

Employees should always behave with integrity and in a

professional manner when in contact with members of the

public, service users, clients or citizens. This includes being

clear, open and honest and treating each member of the public

fairly and consistently.

Partner Organisations

The Council is committed to community planning as a

foundation for partnership working with partner organisations

in the public, private, community and voluntary sectors.

It is necessary for employees to adhere to the Council’s

governance regime and the authority under which employees

operate in terms of delegated powers in taking or contributing

to decisions when representing the Council on Partner or Joint

Bodies.

Confidentiality

Every employee has a general duty to respect the

confidentiality of information that comes into their possession

in the course of their work.

> 2


Political Neutrality

Local Government employees should carry out their duties

and serve the Council and all Elected Members in a politically

neutral way and regardless of their personal political outlook.

Conflict of Interest

Private Interests - Employees must not allow any private

interest to influence their decisions at work and must not use

their positions to further their own interests or the interests

of others who do not have a right to benefit under Council

policies.

Contracts - Employees completing any procurement process

must ensure full compliance to EU Public Procurement

Directives, to Stirling Council’s Contract Standing Orders and

to Best Value legislation.

Membership of Private Clubs/Organisations or Work with

Voluntary Groups - Membership of a private club/organisation

or work with a voluntary group which might result in a conflict

of interest in relation to any aspect of employment must be

declared.

Disclosure of Information

The Council’s policy on disclosure of information is based on

the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and

the Freedom of Information ( Scotland) Act 2002 which details

the rights of members of the public to attend Council meetings

and to inspect documents and papers, respectively.

Contact with the Media

All employees should contact the Council’s Press Office

regarding any contact with the media to ensure that

communication is handled in an appropriate manner.

> 3


Confidential Procedure for Reporting Concerns

at Work (“Whistleblowing”)

If employees become aware of any wrongdoing, malpractice

or improper behaviour within the Council, the matter should

be raised in accordance with the Council’s Public Interest

Disclosure (Whistleblowing) Policy.

Rights as a Citizen

Expression of Personal Views - Employees are entitled to

express views about the Council. However, this does not

include making use of any information gained through working

for the Council. Employees in their work capacity, should

not criticise any aspect of the Council’s activities through

the media, at a public meeting or in any written or verbal

communication with members of the public.

Access to their Councillor - Employees can raise with their

Councillor any complaint which they have about the services

of the Council. However, if the complaint concerns any aspect

of their work with the Council, this should be pursued through

their line manager.

Gifts, Hospitality and Services

As a general rule, employees should not accept gifts,

gratuities or hospitality from any service user, customer,

supplier or business organisation other than a token item.

Employees should always mention any which are accepted to

the line manager and register these with the Head of Service.

The Gifts and Hospitality procedure contained in Appendix

1 of the Code of Ethical Standards should be followed in all

circumstances.

What happens if employees breach the Code of

Ethical Standards enforced

> 4

Breaches of the Code may be dealt with through the Council’s

disciplinary procedures which may lead to disciplinary action

being taken, up to and including dismissal.


Who can I speak to if I require

further information or clarity

about the Code of Ethical

Standards

You may contact your line

manager who will explain how

this Code impacts particular

aspects of your job, or you can

contact your HR Adviser for

further guidance.


Printed by Stirling Design & Print. Tel: 01786 449899. 5807

CODE OF ETHICAL STANDARDS

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