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We are striving for service excellence across the Public Service and would like Compliments to recognise employees who are doing an excellent job. Please tell us when public servants are doing an excellent good job through our “Contact Us” page. Details of the excellent service received, the name of the person and government agency involved, and date would be greatly appreciated.



All Heads of Departments and employees of the Public Sector (Public Service, Island Government and Crown Agencies) must comply with the Public Service Code of Conduct and Values. The Public Service Code of Conduct is legislated in the Public Service Act 2009.


Complaints regarding poor service delivery or public administration should be reported to the Office of the Public Service Commissioner

Complaints regarding the conduct of Leaders of the Public Service or Crown entities should be reported to the Office of the Public Service Commissioner

Complaints regarding the conduct of Public Sector employees should be reported to the respective Head of Ministry, Department or Agency, the employee works at.


Public Service Code of Conduct

  • Behave with integrity and honesty

  • Exercise care and diligence

  • Be professional, courteous, and treat everyone with respect and without coercion or harassment

  • Comply with all applicable laws and policies relating to their employment

  • Comply with all lawful and reasonable instructions

  • Take reasonable steps to disclose and avoid any real or apparent conflicts of interest in connection with their employment

  • Ensure the proper and prudent use of government resources

  • Use official information only for official purposes

  • Not improperly use their status of authority to seek or obtain a benefit for themselves or any other person or body

  • At all times act and behave in a manner that upholds and promotes the integrity, values, and good reputation of the Cook Islands Public Service


Comply with any other conduct requirements as may be prescribed by regulations 

Misconduct is defined as unacceptable behavior, action, or inaction not of the level of serious misconduct in breach of this policy, or which negatively impacts on other employees or the Agency.

Examples of misconduct include but are not limited to the following actions:

  • Non-compliance with Public Sector policies, code of conduct and values

  • Failure to perform employment related tasks to specified standards

  • Failure to report to work without notification to the respective manager or supervisor

  • Failure to consistently report to work at the specified start time or after any break

  • Failure to complete the stipulated hours of work required for the position

  • Use of obscene or threatening language in the workplace

  • Harassing behaviour of a sexual, racial or discriminatory nature

  • Unprofessional behaviour in the workplace and publicly which brings the reputation of the department into disrepute

  • Engaging in activities that undermine the confidence of members of the public in the neutrality of the public sector

  • Personal attacks on the character of other employees, employers, members of parliament, other government stakeholders and members of the general public – in an official capacity

  • Publicly criticising government policies in an official capacity

  • Misuse of public-funded resources and assets such as offices and school halls, equipment and supplies (phones), communication (emails) and motor vehicles

  • Soliciting or accepting gifts, rewards or benefits in an official capacity which might actually or apparently compromise the integrity of the employee, department or the public sector

  • Smoking in restricted areas and/or failing to abide with the agency’s no-smoking policy

Serious Misconduct

Serious misconduct involves serious wrongdoing whereby the actions of an individual are unlawful and/or of such significance as to make the continuation of the employment relationship untenable, or undermines the confidence and trust of parties in the employment relationship. Persistent misconduct may be classified as serious misconduct. Serious misconduct may justify instant dismissal of the individual.

Serious misconduct includes but is not limited to the following actions:

  • Serious breaches of legislation, specifically the Public Service Act 2009, Ministry of Finance and Economic Management Act 1995-96, and Public Expenditure and Review Committee and Audit Act 1995-96

  • Serious breaches of Public Sector Policies, Code of Conduct and Values

  • Improper use or unauthorised disclosure of official or confidential information

  • Possession or consumption of illicit drugs on work premises

  • Failure to carry out lawful instructions from one’s employer, manager, or their delegated authority

  • Fraudulent practice which involves any act, or omission, or misrepresentation, that knowingly or recklessly misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party to obtain a financial or other benefit, or to avoid an obligation as determined by an investigation

  • Corrupt practice which involves offering, giving, receiving or soliciting, directly or indirectly, anything of value to improperly influence the actions of another party as determined by an investigation

  • Coercive practice which involves impairing or harming or threatening to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or the property of the party to improperly influence their actions

  • Collusive practice to achieve an improper purpose, including improperly influencing the actions of another party

  • Intentional or reckless acts or omissions that lead to theft, waste or improper use of public sector assets

  • Undeclared conflict of interest which leads to improper influence over a party’s performance of official duties and responsibilities, contractual obligations, or compliance with applicable laws and regulations

  • Obstructive practices which involve deliberately destroying, falsifying, altering, or concealing evidence material in an agency investigation; making false statements to materially impede an agency investigation; threatening, harassing, or intimidating any party to prevent it from disclosing its knowledge of matters relevant to an investigation, or from pursuing the investigation; or materially impeding the agency’s contractual right to audit or access information

  • Retaliation, detrimental act (direct or indirect), discrimination against, disadvantage or punishment of whistle blowers or witnesses during the course of employment, because of their actions or cooperation with an agency’s investigation

  • Employers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that appropriate and sufficient protection is provided for: whistle blowers, witnesses or complainants who make disclosures under this policy.

  • Employers shall ensure the complainant, is not disadvantaged or threatened.



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