The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is required to have a written code of conduct for Board members and employees.1 The Health Act 2007 (the Act) specifies that persons performing functions under the Act ‘shall maintain proper standards of integrity, conduct and concern for the public interest’ and sets out a number of requirements for HIQA in this regard. In addition, HIQA is required to issue its Code of Conduct to Board members, staff and members of Board Committees who are not members of the Board.2 HIQA is also a prescribed body under the Ethics in Public Office Acts (1995 and 2001).
As a State body, HIQA is bound to serve in the interests of the Government, the taxpayer and its other stakeholders and to act prudently, ethically and consistently with its statutory responsibilities. Therefore, the conduct of HIQA’s Board and staff is a necessary element in achieving this obligation.
The requirement for a code of conduct is in recognition of the fact that individual behaviour and practice can be a significant factor in the effectiveness of an organisation, its reputation and the level of confidence and trust the public has in it.