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FRNSW Statement of Business Ethics

About Fire and Rescue NSW

One of the world’s largest urban fire and rescue services, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is the State Government agency responsible for the provision of fire protection, rescue and hazmat services in cities and towns across NSW. We are one of the key agencies that responds to emergency or disaster events throughout NSW.

Our Values and Code of Conduct and Ethics

FRNSW has four values:

  • Respect;
  • Integrity;
  • Service; and
  • Courage

These values, together with the NSW Government sector values of integrity, trust, service and accountability, underpin our employee’s interaction with the community, government, suppliers/stakeholders and other employees.

Our employees are expected to uphold our values and act with the highest level of ethical conduct at all times, in accordance with the FRNSW Code of Conduct and Ethics.

1. Statement of Business Ethics purpose

FRNSW is committed to conducting all of our business affairs legally, ethically and with strict observance of the highest standards. We also expect high standards of ethical behaviour from firms and individuals that do business with us and will look to service providers who share our ethical values.

Our Statement of Business Ethics sets out the expectations of our organisation and details the mutual obligations and expected behaviours for all our commercial partners, suppliers and service providers engaged in our business activities.

Our business dealings will be open (where practicable) and transparent, with decisions based upon merit and made in accordance with FRNSW policies and procedures.

2. Working with FRNSW

FRNSW must use NSW State Government Contracts where they are available to procure goods and services. We also have a Procurement Policy and a Procurement Manual and must conduct our procurement activities in accordance with these documents.

The principle of ‘best value for money’ is the basis for all our business relationships with organisations supplying goods and services. However, best value for money does not automatically mean the lowest price. We are required to balance all relevant factors including initial cost, whole-of-life costs, quality, reliability and timeliness in determining true value for money.

3. Expectations

WHAT FRNSW EXPECTS OF YOU

  • Act with honesty, integrity and transparency
  • Comply with applicable legal obligations, NSW and FRNSW Procurement procedures and guidelines and conditions/ requirements stated in documents supplied by FRNSW
  • Respect the obligation of FRNSW employees, contractors and suppliers to comply with government procurement policies and guidelines;
  • Deliver quality and value for money
  • Disclose and take steps to avoid real, potential or perceived conflicts of interests
  • Prevent the unauthorised release of privileged or commercial-in-confidence information
  • Not offer employees or contractors any financial inducements, gifts, benefits or hospitality (including employment)
  • Ensure that all contractors engaged to perform work are aware of and comply with this document
  • Not engage in collusive or anti-competitive practices
  • Refrain from comments or statements that would lead a reasonable person to believe you are representing FRNSW.
  • Immediately report any unethical behaviour
  • Respond to reasonable requests for advice and information without delay

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT OF FRNSW

  • Act with honesty, integrity and transparency
  • Comply with applicable legislation, FRNSW and government policies / procedures
  • Be accountable and act in the public interest
  • Show fairness in the treatment of individuals or organisations that supply goods or services to FRNSW
  • Disclose and take steps to avoid real, potential or perceived conflicts of interests
  • Ensure that public resources are not wasted, abused, used improperly or extravagantly
  • Encourage fair and open competition while seeking value for money
  • Have open and accountable procurement processes
  • Publish details of new contracts, any significant variations to contracts and details of contract deliverables, where required under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW)
  • Not ask for or accept financial or other benefits from a potential, current or past supplier/business partner for performing official duties
  • Immediately report any unethical behaviour
  • Respond to reasonable requests for advice and information without delay

4. Practical guidance notes

4.1. Incentives, gifts and benefits

You must not offer gifts, benefits, travel or hospitality to FRNSW employees or contractors employed by, or engaged on behalf of, FRNSW. Any form of gift or benefit offered to FRNSW employees to influence the way they do work will be reported immediately under FRNSW policies and procedures.

Under no circumstances should cash, cheques, money orders, gift vouchers and/or alcohol be offered to our employees or contractors. Our employees and contractors are expected to pay for all their own meals. Should you wish to convey your appreciation for our service, we would recommend that you write to the Commissioner of FRNSW.

4.2. Conflicts of interest

All FRNSW staff and third party contractors/suppliers (or relevant party) are required to disclose any real, potential or perceived conflicts of interest. This includes conflicts that can, or could, arise from personal relationships between our employees and staff of commercial partners and suppliers. A “close personal relationship” generally refers to a spouse or partner, dependants and any person living in the same dwelling, but transactions with more distant relatives, friends and companies controlled by those persons could also give rise to a conflict of interest and must be declared and managed appropriately.

4.3. Confidentiality

All FRNSW information should be treated as confidential unless its use and/or disclosure is clearly authorised. If in doubt, ask the FRNSW Officer who organised your contract for advice.

4.4. Intellectual property rights

In business relationships with FRNSW, parties must respect each other's intellectual property rights and formally negotiate any access, licence or use of intellectual property.

4.5. Private employment and post separation employment

Private sector employers should not offer FRNSW staff employment which conflicts with their public duties. Former FRNSW employees who have dealings with FRNSW staff need to ensure that they do not seek, or appear to seek, favourable treatment or access to confidential information.

4.6. Public comment

Non-FRNSW employees must not make any public comment or statement that would lead anyone to believe that they are representing our organisation, or expressing its views or policies whether at public and community meetings, via the media, or when it is reasonable that comments or statements will become known to the public at large.

Our own employees are not permitted to provide public endorsement, on behalf of FRNSW, or on behalf of companies or their products without appropriate authorisation.

5. Breaches of this policy

FRNSW takes breaches of this Statement of Business Ethics by its employees, contractors or third party suppliers very seriously.

5.1. A breach of this policy by FRNSW staff

FRNSW’s commercial partners and suppliers are required to report all information that they become aware of that they honestly believe, on reasonable grounds, shows or tends to show, serious wrongdoing inside or outside FRNSW including by FRNSW employees.

A breach of this policy by 3rd party supplies/contractors

FRNSW staff, including contractors are required to adhere to the requirements of the FRNSW Code of Conduct and Ethics which includes reporting suspected or attempted wrongdoing and fraud internally or being attempted by an external third party.

Demonstrated corrupt or unethical conduct could lead to:

  • termination of services and contracts
  • termination of business relationships and partnerships
  • loss of future work
  • damage to organisational reputation
  • investigation for corruption
  • referral to police for criminal investigation

How to report breaches

Any concerns about a possible breach of FRNSW's Statement of Business Ethics or a possible breach by an FRNSW employee should be reported to the Professional Standards Unit by emailing professionalstandards@fire.nsw.gov.au or telephone number (02) 9265 2826.

Alternatively you are welcome to contact external reporting bodies such as:

6. Further information

For further information on this document, contact Professional Standards on (02) 9265 2826 or professionalstandards@fire.nsw.gov.au.