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Part 5 - Code of Conduct for Employees

This Code of Conduct includes confidential reporting procedure (whistle-blowing) for employees other than for staff in educational establishments (for whom a separate code exists).

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  1. The Council believes that, subject to the content of paragraphs 54 to 60 below, information should normally be disclosed unless it is in the public interest not to do so. Staff must comply with Data Protection, Freedom of Information and Environmental Information legislation and the associated council policies, procedures and authorisation process. In terms of information for elected members (“County Councillors”), the legal requirements are set out in the Rules on Access to information, set out in the Constitution. If in doubt, seek advice from your manager.
  2. Many employees obtain information which has not been made public and / or is confidential. Employees may also have access to personal information about other employees or clients. This information must only be disclosed to a third party where there is a legal responsibility to provide it, or where the employee or client provides a written authority for the information to be provided.
  3. The restrictions apply equally to information which an employee may obtain from their employment about a contractor, debtor or creditor of the Council.
  4. No employee, unless specifically authorised by their Director to do so, may communicate to the public or press any information about the discussions or decisions of the County Council or any of its committees or bodies following the exclusion of the public and press, with the exception of information which is required to be published by law. All media interaction must be managed through the Communication Team.
  5. As a general rule employees must not enter into any public correspondence or debate on a matter related to their official duties, or in respect of which they hold official information, unless this is done with the consent of their Chief Officer. Further guidance on related matters is contained in the Social Media Policy and Expression of Employee Views documents (both of which are in the Employment Handbook on Staffnet) to which employees should also refer.
  6. Similar considerations exist covering the position of employees invited to participate in press interviews, radio or television programmes, etc., where the subject relates directly or indirectly to their work for the Council. Employees invited to take part in such programmes should discuss the position with their Director and the Communication Team before replying to the invitation.
  7. Employees must adhere to the Council’s published rules and requirements relating to personal and/or sensitive information, as covered by current Data Protection legislation. In particular, information must not be disclosed to unauthorised people or organisations.
  8. Employees must not use any information obtained in the course of their employment for personal gain or benefit, nor should they pass it on to others who might use it in such a way.
  9. Employees must make themselves aware of and comply with published Information Management and Security policies, procedures and standards relating to the protection of information and secure use of ICT systems which are published on Staffnet or the Council’s website. A serious breach of the rules is likely to lead to disciplinary action.
Page updated: 09/10/2020 Page updated by: Gloucestershire County Council

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