Headlines: June 7th, 2006

A new Civil Service Code has been published and for the first time it will form part of the terms and conditions for Civil Servants. The code was introduced by the Head of the service Sir Gus O’Donnell at yesterday’s major public service reform conference in London. He said it set out the fundamental account of what was expected of all Civil Servants in the 21st Century.As well as reaffirming historic values, the new Code makes clear that the Civil Service must be outward-facing and meet the needs of the public who fund and use its services. For the first time the Code allows the Independent Civil Service Commissioners to consider a complaint direct from a civil servant and it will form part of the contractual relationship between civil servants and their employers.

The new code has been drawn up following talks between the Government and the Civil Service Commissioners and a consultation process that drew 2,000 responses from civil servants in a range of departments and regions and of various grades.

Sir Gus told the conference, “Our traditional values of integrity, objectivity, impartiality and honesty are our bedrock. 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,”

He said the Civil Service needed to live up to those values but added, “I want all civil servants to reflect some additional qualities in everything we do. These bring the dynamism needed to deliver 21st century public services. So as well as these traditional values, we need pace, pride, passion and professionalism.”

The code has been welcomed by the FDA, which represents senior civil servants. General Secretary Jonathan Baume said at a time when more people were entering the Civil Service from the private and wider public sectors, it was more important than ever to emphasise the values and ethics of an independent and impartial Civil Service.

The new code is available from http://www.civilservice.gov.uk