Strengthening integrity

An updated Ministerial Code of Conduct was introduced on December 1.

An updated Ministerial Code of Conduct was introduced on December 1, to strengthen and extend the standards of ethical behaviour expected of ministers, and how those standards should be upheld.

The update will strengthen the focus on conduct, integrity and probity for ministers and parliamentary secretaries, making regular transparent reporting and training on their obligations mandatory.

Premier Jacinta Allan said it is what Victorians deserve.

“The updated code of conduct will hold ministers and parliamentary secretaries to the highest standards – that’s what all Victorians expect and deserve,” she said.

New reporting obligations require ministers to disclose interests and declare conflicts for publication in the newly established ministerial register of interests.

They must disclose accepted gifts, benefits, and hospitality for publication in the ministerial register of gifts, benefits, and hospitality, and publish quarterly diary summaries containing details of scheduled meetings with stakeholders, external organisations and third-party lobbyists.

Ministers will be prohibited from employing family members as staff or in certain public sector bodies.

The updated code of conduct sets expectations for diversity and inclusion, the use of official information, assets, and electronic communications, as well as compliance with Westminster and caretaker conventions.

The updated code of conduct addresses recommendations made in the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) and the Victorian Ombudsman’s Operation Watts special report, and IBAC’s Operation Daintree special report.