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.

Code of Conduct for Integrity in the Central Public Administration 2016

The Code of Conduct for Integrity gives civil servants a reference for how to deal with integrity. This framework is the minimum standard that applies across the Central Public Administration. In addition each ministry  and their implementing agencies can draw up an organisation-specific code. This code also provides general points of reference for how we deal with integrity within the Central Public Administration, which values and basic principles we jointly adopt within the Central Public Administration, and which roles employees, confidential advisers, supervisors and top management play in this regard. The code is intended to be a living instrument, which will be updated as and when needed.


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.