Business Ethics and Principles

Burwood Council is committed to ethical business practices and we expect the people we deal with to have the same ethical behaviour.

The Statement of Business Ethics(PDF, 413KB) has been developed to assist those dealing with Burwood Council to be aware of and understand the ethical standards that the community expects from all Council Officials (Councillors and Council Officers) and those that enter into a business relationship with Council.

The Statement defines the principles of conduct that are expected of both parties in order to ensure the integrity and professionalism of both organisations is enhanced and is also a statement of Council’s Values and systems of accountability.

Gifts and Benefits – Acceptance of Gifts or Benefits Associated with Procurement is Prohibited

Both Councillors and Council Officers are prohibited from accepting gifts, benefits, inducement or loyalty programs from contractors, consultants and suppliers. It is inappropriate to offer any inducement, hospitality, loyalty programs and or gifts/benefits to Councillors and Council Officers.

Companies, who provide any discounts on goods or services, must ensure that they are clearly identified on quotations and/or invoices.

Council requests that you inform your staff not to offer any gifts, benefits, inducements or loyalty programs to Councillors or Council Officers

Conflicts or potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed by Councillors and Council Officers and our suppliers of goods and services where relevant to ensure their actions withstand public scrutiny.

Conflicts of interest exist when it is likely that a Councillor or Council Officer may be influenced, or perceived to be influenced, by a personal interest in carrying out their public duty.

There are two types of Conflict of Interest, namely Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary.

A pecuniary interest is an interest that a person has in a matter where there is a reasonable likelihood or expectation of appreciable financial gain or loss to the person.

Non-pecuniary interests do not have a financial component. They may arise from personal or family relationships or involvement in sporting, social or cultural activities. They include a tendency toward favour or prejudice resulting from friendship, animosity, or other personal involvement with another person or group.

Any conflict between your interest and those of Council must be reported to and resolved to the satisfaction of the Council. When considering whether or not you have a conflict of interest, it is always important to think about how others would view your situation.

Burwood Council has adopted a Conflict of Interest Policy for managing conflict of interest

Council will not ask for, entertain or enter into any sponsorship or similar arrangement that is not open and transparent or if such sponsorship creates a perception that it could be part of an attempt to improperly influence any organisational decision-making process.

Burwood Council has adopted a Sponsorship Policy which establishes principles for sponsorship agreements between Burwood Council and other parties and includes guidelines for seeking sponsorship and for acting as a sponsor.

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) and Regulation requires Councils to publish on their websites, and provide copies to the public, of a range of open access information, including a register of government contracts.

Under the GIPA Act, all government information is to be released unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. This public interest test is premised on a bias in favour of disclosing government information. One of the factors that Council can take into consideration against disclosure of a document(s) is where there the document(s) affects the business interests of agencies and other persons (including where disclosure would diminish the competitive commercial value of any information or prejudice any person’s legitimate business, commercial, professional or financial interests).

You must abide by the privacy legislation governing the collection, holding, use, correction, disclosure or transfer of personal information obtained through your dealings with the Council.

No one should access, use or remove from Council premises any Council information or personal information, unless they need it for their work with the Council and have authorisation to use or disclose the information.

You must keep confidential any and all information, data or material of a technical or business nature or relating in any way to the operations, organisation, business, products, services, customers and personnel of the Council.

Intellectual property rights will not be assumed and must be negotiated at the engagement stage. You may be asked to sign a Deed of Assignment of Copyright and Moral Rights Consent for any reports, documents, artwork and the like to Council

Providers of goods and services should ensure that communication is clear and direct to minimise the risk of perception of inappropriate influence on the business relationship.

Communication should where necessary and practical, be in writing.

Council Officers are required to obtain written approval from the General Manager to enter into any secondary employment. Secondary employment will not be approved if it has the potential to create a real or perceived conflict of interest between a Council Officer’s public role and their private interest.

Burwood Council has adopted Secondary Employment Guidelines which establishes the framework for identifying conflicts of interest that may arise from employees engaging in employment or business outside Council, the mechanisms for notifying, prohibiting and reviewing these matters, and the appeals process to be used if an employee wishes a prohibition to be reviewed.

The Council's resources should only be used for Council purposes and in the public interest. Councillors, Council Officers, suppliers, contractors and consultants doing business with Council are expected to be efficient, economical and ethical in their use and management of Council resources, including staff time.

If you are concerned about any conduct that could involve fraud, corrupt conduct, maladministration or serious and substantial waste of public funds, please contact Burwood Council’s Internal Ombudsman on 9911 9993.

Please be aware that if you do approach Council’s Internal Ombudsman with such a report, it is a requirement of ICAC that he/she must inform the General Manager immediately.

It should also be noted that once the General Manager is made aware of a possible breach as described above, that he/she reports this directly to the ICAC.

External reporting can also be made to:

Public Officials (Councillors and Council Officers) reporting corrupt conduct, maladministration or waste can be protected by the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994. This Act protects public officials who are disclosing corrupt conduct from reprisal or detrimental action and ensures disclosures are properly investigated. Council’s Internal Reporting Policy provides information on when and how to make a disclosure.