Code of conduct

The Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service establishes the ethical standards of conduct and behaviour expected of public service staff when working with each other, with other agencies and when serving members of the community.

We are committed to building, maintaining and ensuring continuous improvement in functioning and integrity within the department.

We encourage members of the public to report any suspected wrongdoing by an employee of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG).


Misconduct by departmental staff is inappropriate or improper behaviour when acting in an official capacity, or inappropriate behaviour when acting in in a private capacity that reflects seriously and adversely on the Queensland Public Service.

How to report misconduct

To report any suspected misconduct or breaches of the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service, please complete the online complaints form and the matter will be referred to the appropriate business unit.

Corrupt conduct

There are 2 types of corrupt conduct under the Crime and Corruption Act 2001. They can apply to the actions of public officers or any other person.

To be either type of corrupt conduct, the action must be either a criminal offence or serious enough to warrant dismissal of public officers.

Criminal offences or especially serious activities

The first type involves conduct that affects, or could affect, a public officer so that the performance of their functions or the exercise of their powers either:

  • is not honest or impartial
  • knowingly or recklessly breaches public trust
  • involves the misuse of agency-related information or material.

This type of corrupt conduct could include:

  • fraud and theft
  • extortion
  • unauthorised release of information
  • obtaining or offering a secret commission
  • nepotism.

Conduct diminishing trust in government

The second type involves specific types of conduct by any person that impair, or could impair, public confidence in public administration.

This could include:

  • collusive tendering
  • fraud relating to
    • an application for a licence, permit or other authority relating to public health or safety
    • the environment
    • the state's natural, cultural, mining or energy resources
  • dishonestly obtaining public funds or state assets
  • evading a state tax, levy or duty or fraudulently causing a loss of state revenue
  • fraudulently obtaining or retaining an appointment.

Reporting corrupt conduct

We report suspected corrupt conduct to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC). Visit their website for more information about corrupt conduct.

If you suspect corrupt conduct by an officer of DJAG, you should report it to either:

If you suspect corrupt conduct by a public officer of another agency, of by a member of the public, you should report it to the CCC.

Public interest disclosers (whistleblowers)

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 supports the disclosure of specific types of information about wrongdoing in the public sector. It provides protection for those who speak up.

DJAG also has a policy on public interest disclosures (PIDs). This policy and the Act outline what types of disclosures are PIDs.

Any public interest disclosures involving DJAG should be reported to ESU, because we coordinate the department’s PID program. The Queensland Ombudsman oversees public interest disclosures.

Ethical Standards Unit

ESU reports directly to the Director-General and operates independently from the rest of the department, free from influence from business areas. The unit is a key integrity assurance measure to promote, encourage and ensure staff employed by the department behave ethically.

We are responsible for advising departmental officers on ethical dilemmas, conflicts of interest, and secondary employment.

We also develop and deliver programs that improve ethical culture and decision making across the department. Key among these programs are:

  • a 3-hour face-to-face workplace ethics workshop for all staff
  • an additional 2-hour workshop for managers and supervisors
  • an online workplace ethics refresher.

We also receive and assess allegations of misconduct and corrupt conduct—and, where appropriate, manage the investigations and submission of reports. We advise decision makers on serious workplace conduct and disciplinary issues.

We liaise with the:

  • Crime and Corruption Commission about alleged corrupt conduct
  • Queensland Police Service about alleged criminal conduct
  • Queensland Ombudsman about public interest disclosures
  • Public Service Commission regarding conduct and performance.

We also have responsibility for:

  • The DJAG Workplace Policy (which augments the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service)
  • Other Employment Policy (relating to second jobs)
  • Conflicts of Interest Policy
  • Public Interest Disclosure Policy.

We are committed to acting in accordance with the Human Rights Act 2019, including acting and making decisions in a way compatible with human rights, and giving proper consideration to human rights in making decisions. Read more information about human rights.

Contact ESU


Phone: (07) 3738 9823