12 Public service principles

(1)

In order to achieve the purpose in section 11, the public service principles are:

Politically neutral

(a)

to act in a politically neutral manner; and

Free and frank advice

(b)

when giving advice to Ministers, to do so in a free and frank manner; and

Merit-based appointments

(c)

to make merit-based appointments (unless an exception applies under this Act); and

Open government

(d)

to foster a culture of open government; and

Stewardship

(e)

to proactively promote stewardship of the public service, including of—

(i)

its long-term capability and its people; and

(ii)

its institutional knowledge and information; and

(iii)

its systems and processes; and

(iv)

its assets; and

(v)

the legislation administered by agencies.

(2)

Public service chief executives are responsible for—

(a)

upholding the public service principles when carrying out their responsibilities and functions; and

(b)

ensuring that the agencies they lead or carry out some functions within also do so.

(3)

Interdepartmental executive boards are responsible for upholding the public service principles when carrying out their responsibilities and functions.

(4)

The boards of interdepartmental ventures are responsible for—

(a)

upholding the public service principles when carrying out their responsibilities and functions; and

(b)

ensuring that the interdepartmental ventures they lead also do so.

(5)

A chief executive, an interdepartmental executive board, and a board of an interdepartmental venture are responsible only to the Commissioner for carrying out the responsibility to uphold the public service principles under subsections (2) to (4).

(6)

Boards of Crown agents are responsible for ensuring that the entities they govern uphold the public service principles when carrying out their functions.

(7)

The responsibility of a board of a Crown agent under subsection (6) is a collective duty of the board under the Crown Entities Act 2004 that is owed only to the responsible Minister in accordance with section 58 of that Act.