This resolution provides for a code of conduct for Members of the Legislative Assembly.
Resolution agreed by the Assembly
25 August 2005 (amended 16 August 2006, 24 October 2013, 3 August 2017)
The Members of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory acknowledge that, in a parliamentary democracy they cannot command, but must constantly strive to earn and maintain, the respect and support of those who have elected them to their positions of honour and privilege as Members.
In committing to this Code of Conduct, Members undertake, to the community and to one another, that they shall not act in a manner inconsistent with their duties and obligations as Members and that the following principles shall guide their conduct as Members in all matters:
(1) Members should at all times act with integrity, honesty and diligence.
(2) Members should act only in the interests of, and with respect for, the people of the Australian Capital Territory and in conformity with all laws applicable in the Territory.
(3) Members should uphold the separation of powers and the rule of law
(4) Members should always act in the public interest, make decisions and choices on merit, and not seek to gain financial or other benefit for themselves, their family or friends.
(5) Members should be reasonably accessible to the people of the electorate they have been elected to serve, and should represent their interests conscientiously.
(6) Members should be transparent in, and accountable for, their decisions and actions and should submit themselves to appropriate scrutiny.
(7) Members should make only proper use of those public resources to which they have access and should do so in a manner designed to make effective and efficient use of those resources.
(8) Members should respect the dignity and privacy of individuals, and not disclose confidential information to which they have official access other than with consent or as required by law.
(9) Members should observe proper standards of parliamentary conduct, and observe respect for differences and fairness in their political dealings.
(10) Members should promote and support these principles by leadership and example, in order to maintain and support public trust and confidence in the integrity of the Assembly and the conduct by its Members of public business.
Consistent with the above principles, Members further undertake that they should:
(11) Treat all citizens of the Australian Capital Territory with courtesy, and respect the diversity of their backgrounds, experiences and views.
(12) Actively seek to avoid or prevent any conflict of interest, or the perception of such a conflict, arising between their duties as a Member and their personal affairs and interests, take all reasonable steps to resolve any such conflict or perception of a conflict that does arise, and:
(a) comply with section 15 of the Australian Capital Territory (Self‑Government) Act 1988 (Cwth);
(b) declare their pecuniary interests and ensure that their declaration is kept up to date pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly ‘Declaration of Private Interests of Members’ agreed to on 7 April 1992 (as amended or replaced from time to time); and
(c) disclose in a manner appropriate to the circumstances any other financial or non-financial interest that they may hold, or which they may be reasonably perceived to hold (other than as a member of the public or of a broad class of persons) which a reasonable observer, informed of that interest, might perceive as giving rise to a conflict of interest with the performance of the Member’s duty as a Member.
(13) ensure that outside occupational or other pursuits do not unreasonably impact on their duties as a Member.
(14) Not solicit to undertake, or undertake, any activity as a Member in return for the provision, promise or expectation of any improper benefit to the Member or to another person.
(15) Take care to consider the rights and reputations of others before making use of their unique protection of parliamentary privilege consistent with the resolution of the Assembly ‘Exercise of freedom of speech’ agreed to on 4 May 1995 (as amended or replaced from time to time).
(16) Not use information received by them as a Member that is not in the public domain in breach of any obligation of confidence applicable to their receipt of that information unless required by law, or improperly for the private benefit of themselves or another person.
(17) In their capacity as an employer on behalf of the Territory under the Legislative Assembly (Members’ Staff) Act 1989:
(a) familiarise themselves and comply with the terms and conditions on which their personal staff are engaged and with all applicable policies and practices (including those related to occupational health and safety, discrimination, harassment and bullying, equal employment opportunity and use of information technology);
(b) not employ a family member as defined in that Act;
(c) direct their personal staff to be mindful of the Member’s commitment to this Code of Conduct, and to assist the Member to comply with this Code of Conduct; and
(d) direct their personal staff to comply with any code of conduct applicable to those staff from time to time.
(18) In all their dealings with staff of the Assembly and members of the ACT Public Service:
(a) extend professional courtesy and respect; and
(b) recognise the unique position of impartiality and the obligations of Public Service officials.
(19) Only make a complaint about the compliance of another Member with this Code of Conduct where they believe there are reasonable grounds to suspect non-compliance and not make any such complaint that is frivolous or vexatious or only for political advantage.
(20) Cooperate fully with any official inquiry that may be commenced in connection with their compliance with this Code of Conduct, or that of another Member.
(21) Within the first six months after an election for the Assembly, the Assembly shall reaffirm its commitment to the principles, obligations and aspirations of the code. Where a new member is elected to fill a vacancy the new member shall, before he or she makes an inaugural speech, affirm that he or she will abide by the code.