Sessional Order (541) - Code of Conduct for Members (adopted 8 May 2007, V&P p.36. Amended 20 June 2007, V&P p.154-5)
That this House adopt, for the purposes of section 9 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988, the following code of conduct:
The Members of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council have reached agreement on a Code of Conduct which is to apply to all Members of Parliament.
Members of Parliament recognise that they are in a unique position of being responsible to the electorate. The electorate has the right to dismiss them from office at regular elections.
Members of Parliament acknowledge their responsibility to maintain the public trust placed in them by performing their duties with honesty and integrity, respecting the law and the institution of Parliament, and using their influence to advance the common good of the people of New South Wales.
Members of Parliament acknowledge that their principal responsibility in serving as Members is to the people of New South Wales.
1 Disclosure of conflict of interest
(a) Members of Parliament must take all reasonable steps to declare any conflict of interest between their private financial interests and decisions in which they participate in the execution of their office.
(b) This may be done through declaring their interests on the Register of Disclosures of the relevant House or through declaring their interest when speaking on the matter in the House or a Committee, or in any other public and appropriate manner.
(c) A conflict of interest does not exist where the member is only affected as a member of the public or a member of a broad class.
(a) A Member must not knowingly or improperly promote any matter, vote on any bill or resolution or ask any question in the Parliament or its Committees in return for any remuneration, fee, payment, reward or beneift in kind, of a private nature, which the Member has received, is receiving or expects to receive.
(b) A Member must not knowingly or improperly promote any matter, vote on any bill or resolution or ask any question in the Parliament or its Committees in return for any remuneration, fee, payment, reward or benefit in kind, of a private nature, which any of the following persons has received, is receiving or expects to receive:
(i) A member of the Member's family;
(ii) A business associate of the Member; or
(iii) Any other person or entity from whom the Member expects to receive a financial benefit.
(c) A breach of the prohibition on bribery constitutes a substantial breach of this Code of Conduct.
(a) Members must declare all gifts and benefits received in connection with their official duties, in accordance with the requirements for the disclosure of pecuniary interests.
(b) Members must not accept gifts that may pose a conflict of interest or which might give the appearance of an attempt to improperly influence the Member in the exercise of his or her duties.
(c) Members may accept political contributions in accordance with part 6 of the Election Funding Act 1981.
4 Use of public resources
Members must apply the public resources to which they are granted access according to any guidelines or rules about the use of those resources.
5 Use of confidential information
Members must not knowingly and improperly use official information which is not in the public domain, or information obtained in confidence in the course of their parliamentary duties, for the private benefit of themselves or others.
6 Duties as a Member of Parliament
It is recognised that some members are non-aligned and others belong to political parties. Organised parties are a fundamental part of the democratic process and participation in their activities is within the legitimate activities of Members of Parliament.
7 Secondary employment or engagements
Members must take all reasonable steps to disclose at the start of a parliamentary debate:
(a) the identity of any person by whom they are employed or engaged or by whom they were employed or engaged in the last two years (but not if it was before the Member was sworn in as a Member);
(b) the identity of any client of any such person or any former client who benefited from a Member’s services within the previous two years (but not if it was before the Member was sworn in as a Member); and
(c) the nature of the interest held by the person, client or former client in the parliamentary debate.
This obligation only applies if the Member is aware, or ought to be aware, that the person, client or former client may have an interest in the parliamentary debate which goes beyond the general interest of the public.
This disclosure obligation does not apply if a Member simply votes on a matter; it will only apply when he or she participates in a debate. If the Member has already disclosed the information in the Member’s entry in the pecuniary interest register, he or she is not required to make a further disclosure during the parliamentary debate.
This resolution has continuing effect unless and until amended or rescinded by resolution of the House.
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