Sir Gus O’Donnell, the head of the Civil Service, launched a new Civil Service Code yesterday, which details the standards of behaviour expected from civil servants, and will now form part of their contract of employment.
In a speech to the public service reform conference in London, O’Donnell said that as well as reaffirming historic values, the new Code made clear that the Civil Service must be outward-facing, and meet the needs of the public who fund and use its services.
“Our traditional values of integrity, objectivity, impartiality and honesty are our bedrock,” he said. “They are just as important today as when they were first developed and are essential to everything we do, whether its policy, delivery or corporate services. They need to be expressed clearly in a way which is relevant to all our staff.
“We need to ensure we live up to these values – they bring the dynamism needed to deliver 21st-century public services,” O’Donnell said. “As well as these traditional values, we need pace, pride, passion and professionalism.”
The new Code is the result of work between the government and the Civil Service Commissioners, and a detailed consultation that received moret than 2,000 responses from civil servants across a broad range of grades, departments, disciplines and regions.
Revisions to the Code include:
* For the first time, the Code provides for the Independent Civil Service Commissioners to consider a complaint direct from a civil servant.
* The Code forms part of the terms and conditions for Civil Servants. For the first time, the Code makes clear that it forms part of the contractual relationship between a civil servant and their employer.
The new Civil Service Code is available from www.civilservice.gov.uk