Blogs and State Servants

The State Services Commission has a view on blogs in its annual report.

It is not too keen on public servants having anything much to do with them.

The existing principles of the Public Service Code of Conduct still apply in this very modern medium and State servants should still be very careful that they do not bring the Public Service into disrepute through their private activities.

In some online forums, there have been various allegations, or personal slurs, made against senior public servants. As for other media, just because an allegation has been made it should not be assumed that it has a solid foundation. It would be regrettable if this new medium gave unjustified currency to baseless accusations. On occasion the entries in some weblogs have amounted to political personal attacks on public servants. It has long been accepted that such attacks ought not to occur in Parliament, or in other forums, because public servants adopt a self-restraining convention of avoiding public response and cannot defend themselves. The web is no different.

The public, and State servants, can be assured that, as State Services Commissioner, I will have a role in investigating any potential online breaches of the Public Service Code of Conduct that are brought to my attention.”</blockquote>

It looks as though, from the way this is worded, the commission is warning against public servants responding on blogs when senior public servants are attacked on blogs.


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