Description: Deputy Minister General (Retired) Walter Natynczyk shares his best advice for dealing with ethical issues in the public service.
Date: March 17, 2016
Resolution: 1080p (241.0 Mb)
The advice I would give to an executive, a leader, a manager with regard to an ethical issue, I would say to be true to your values. I think that every leader needs to be guided by a set of values through their lives. It's not only at work but it's at home, how they conduct themselves. For me, the Canadian Forces values is something I've lived to for a long time and it applies almost directly to the public service values. And for me, it was the idea of service before self, what is good for my organization and my responsibility to the organization before my own needs. It's the idea of integrity, living the truth, speaking the truth, knowing that no one's going to be looking over my shoulder whether I'm here at home, across the country or around the world, but to live the truth. The next will be loyalty, it's loyalty for those who work for me, it's loyalty to my peers, it's loyalty to those who I serve and in the government we serve all Canadians through the government of Canada and so to be loyal to them all. And finally it's a big one, it is courage, courage that brings honour to country, to have the courage to do what is right and to speak the truth and to be loyal. All of it's hard, but you need to have a code that allows you to maintain the credibility and the support of everyone around you. I think it's really important to be transparent. I think it's really important to, from the outset, understand the problems that you're facing and how those values apply to your predicament, to the situation. Being very transparent with those around you, being very transparent to those who you work for and where applicable, to those who work for you. I think that again is really important, you can't always have the situation as you did when you were growing up to have a parent looking over your shoulder but the fact is that you have all of those around you who expect you to do the right thing and that's why it can't be about you, it's got to be about the good of the organization. If people come to government and want to have a role and responsibility with government, they should know that these are the values that Canada expects of its employees and that if they come to the organization, they abide by those values.