New Code of Ethical Conduct - FACS - Public Service Association

New Code of Ethical Conduct – FACS

Sign first, talk later… FACS fail to consult over
Code of Ethical Conduct

FACS Bulletin: Code of Conduct February 2014 (PDF Version)

The Department of Family and Community Services is asking staff to sign up to a new Code of Ethical Conduct (CoEC) without properly explaining it to staff or consulting with the PSA.

Members have contacted the PSA to express their concern and we’ve notified the Department of a dispute.

Members are particularly concerned about the section in the new CoEC dealing with social media and e-learning.

The PSA has reviewed the CoEC and we’re worried it may infringe on our members right to participate in union campaigns (as per cl.64 of the Crown Employees Conditions of Employment Award 2009) or exercise their freedom of political expression in their private life.

We’re also concerned about the Department directing staff to undertake on-line training and sign a document that they may not fully understand. We think the Department should make face to face training available – through Learning and Development Units – at the nomination of the staff member.

We’ve notified the Department of a dispute and we’re advising members not to complete the e-learning module or sign up to the CoEC until proper consultation has occurred, and our concerns are addressed.


The Code of Ethical Conduct represents only one of a number of recent examples of apparent failures to consult over employment policies that have a direct impact on the way our members do their jobs.

These include:

  • Code of Ethical Conduct
  • Social Media
  • Information Security
  • Delegations Training

The Award requires the Department to consult on “matters of mutual interest and concern” including proposed changes to employment practices and policy.

We have raised this issue with the Department and have requested an urgent meeting. Pending this, we’re advising members not to undertake the e-learning modules attached to these policies. We’re encouraging members to contact us if they would like to discuss this advice further – 9220 0900.

For more information visit or contact Thane Pearce (PSA Industrial Officer) ( or your PSA Regional Office on 9220 0900.

Authorised by Anne Gardiner, General Secretary, Public Service Association of NSW, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000

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