Ethics Management Framework roles and responsibilities

Last updated: January 10, 2022

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There are ethics roles and responsibilities for:


Employees

Employees are the backbone of the BC Public Service because they deliver government programs and services to the citizens of BC. When it comes to ethics in the workplace, employees are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of conduct that maintain public trust and confidence. This means employees:

  • Must remain impartial in the conduct of their duties
  • Disclose and resolve conflicts of interest in which they find themselves in
  • Maintain appropriate workplace behaviour
  • Avoid engaging in discriminatory conduct or comment
  • Check with their supervisor or manager when they are uncertain about the expectations under the Standards of Conduct

Supervisors

Supervisors are one of the first to welcome employees into the workplace and they support their team’s development, well-being and performance. When it comes to ethics in the workplace, supervisors have an opportunity to set their employees up for success. This means supervisors:

  • Set the tone by modelling ethical behaviour and high standards of honesty and integrity
  • Provide comprehensive orientation to new employees related to the Standards of Conduct
  • Advise staff on standards of conduct issues, including in regard to assessing and addressing possible conflicts of interest
  • Respond to reports of bullying, breaches of the Standards of Conduct, and wrongdoing, or refer them to the next level of excluded manager not involved in the matter
  • Contribute to a work environment that is free of discrimination

Senior Leaders

BC Public Service leaders play an important part of an ethical workplace. When it comes to ethics in the workplace, leaders have an opportunity to inspire others not only to do the right thing but also to consider the kind of people they want to be. This means senior leaders:

  • Set the tone by modelling ethical behaviour and promoting an ethical culture in the BC Public Service
  • Ask “what is the right thing to do” when they make decisions
  • Discuss organizational ethics and values with employees
  • Define success not just by results but also by the way they are obtained
  • Set an example of how to do things the right way in terms of ethics

Corporate Ethics Program

Within the BC Public Service Agency, the mandate of the Corporate Ethics Program is to further enhance and strengthen ethics management in the BC Public Service and increase transparency and accountability across government. Work to achieve the program’s mandate falls into four responsibility areas:

  • Governance
  • Centre of excellence
  • Evaluation and reporting
  • Awareness, education and outreach

Corporate Ethics Governance Council

The Deputy Ministers representing three central agencies (BC Public Service Agency, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Citizens’ Services) comprise the Corporate Ethics Governance Council.

The Council has an overarching mandate for ethics and compliance management in the BC Public Service. It is responsible for the coordination, management, and oversight of the integrated ethics management framework to ensure that government is meeting its core HR policy objective that “all public service employees will exhibit the highest standards of conduct."


Corporate Ethics Lead

The corporate ethics lead was appointed by the Deputy Ministers’ Council to ensure a consistent and coordinated approach to ethics management across the public service. The corporate ethics lead for the BC Public Service is the Deputy Minister, BC Public Service Agency.