Post-separation conduct

Post-separation conduct relates to the period when you have left your employment in the Queensland public sector and commenced a position with another employer.

There are circumstances in which the employment of former public servants could potentially compromise good governance and decision-making in the Queensland public sector. In certain situations, post-separation interactions can give rise to the perception of inappropriate influence.

The primary separation risks during this period are the misuse of confidential information and preferential treatment for private interests. For example:

  • trying to influence an agency’s decision-making because of your prior employment and relationships with staff (preferential treatment for private interests)
  • providing confidential or sensitive Queensland government information to your new employer (misuse of confidential information)
  • providing other information that that would give your new employer an advantage in dealing with agencies and/or a competitive advantage in the market generally (misuse of confidential information).

These risks, if not addressed, have the potential to adversely affect public confidence in the integrity and reputation of government, as well as your own professional reputation.

Continuing Queensland public sector employees are likewise bound by the Code of Conduct to ensure their interactions with former employees adhere to the code and protect the public interest.

What can you do to reduce the risk?

Accept responsibility

You are personally responsible for your conduct as both a former Queensland public sector employee and a representative of your new organisation. You should not use confidential information or connections gained in the course of your public sector employment for personal gain in your new role.

However, it is important to note that post-separation restrictions are not intended to either:

  • hinder the progress or achievement of government business, or
  • prevent former employees from using their skills, expertise and general knowledge of the workings of government in subsequent employment opportunities.

Respect confidentiality

Confidentiality obligations relating to your work do not end when you leave the Queensland public sector. You need to continue to respect the confidentiality of official information when you leave government employment.

Employees of public sector agencies must not disclose confidential information or documents obtained during their public sector employment, or use confidential information for private benefit.

No entitlement to information or influence

It is important to remember that once you leave the Queensland public sector, you have no greater entitlement to public sector advice, access or information than any other member of the public. Nor are you in any special position to influence an agency’s decision-making because of your prior employment and relationships with employees.

You should:

  • not contact former colleagues on a personal level requesting documents or information
  • not retain remote access to the computer network after separation
  • ensure that any identification cards, agency equipment and official documents are returned.

Read more about lobbying and business meetings.

Further advice

Employees can seek advice about these matters from their manager or local HR team.

Public sector agency HR and IR practitioners may seek advice about these matters from the PSC advisory service.

Chief executives, senior executives and senior officers may contact the Queensland Integrity Commissioner for written advice about conflict of interest matters. However they are encouraged to first seek advice from their agency.