Integrity in public administration
Public authorities must behave appropriately in their dealings with private citizens, businesses and other public authorities. Office holders, elected representatives and public servants must behave professionally and ethically. They must not commit fraud, accept bribes, or leak confidential information. This is the reason for rules of conduct, and it is why these persons have to swear an oath or make an affirmation.
The oath or affirmation
Public servants, elected representatives and members of public executive bodies must comply with rules of conduct. By swearing the oath or making the affirmation, a public servant promises to comply with these rules.
The Basic Integrity Standards Checklist
To ensure that public servants do their work ethically, statutory standards have been augmented by the Basic Integrity Standards Checklist, to which all public authorities must adhere. The Checklist outlines all the steps that a public authority must take in order to implement measures for ethical behaviour. Political office holders and elected representatives must comply with rules of conduct. Ministers and state secretaries may not perform any paid or unpaid outside activities.
A person who exposes misconduct in a business or other organisation is called a 'whistleblower'. Since 1 January 2010, whistleblowers who work for central government and the police have received assistance in reporting misconduct under the Reporting of Suspected Abuses (Civil Service and Police) Decree.