The horizontal movement of personnel between the public and private sectors, known as the "revolving door" phenomenon, has supported labour market dynamism and the development of skills and competencies. However, it has also raised the risk of post-public employment conflict-of-interest situations. These may result in the misuse of commercially sensitive information or privileged access, for example, when ex-officials lobby their former government institutions. Moving from career-based to position-based public service particularly intensifies these risks.
There is increased concern about movement of personnel between the public and the private sectors, in particular in times of economic crisis and downsizing. Increased mobility between the two sectors has supported labour-market dynamism in OECD countries. When officials leave public office – either permanently or temporarily – to work in the private or non-profit sectors, however, concerns of impropriety (such as the misuse of "insider information" and position) can put trust in the public service at risk.
Post-public employment: practices and concerns
This chapter provides the context for post-public employment and explains the nature and implications of major types of post-employment problems. It also defines important terms used throughout this book and sets out the scope and structure of developing principles and good practice framework.
Post-public employment problem areas
This chapter reviews major types of post-public employment offences. It begins by examining a problem area that arises before the official actually leaves government: seeking future employment outside the public service. Problem areas involving public officials after they have left office include: conducting post-employment lobbying back to government institutions; switching sides in the same process; or using insider information. The chapter reviews the problem resulting from the re-employment or re-engagement of former officials by public organisations, for example, to do the same tasks they performed in the private or non-profit sectors.
Principles for managing post-public employment problems
This chapter presents a set of principles for preventing and managing the post-public employment problems reviewed in the previous chapter. This chapter outlines comprehensive guidelines and alternative solutions that policy makers can consider as they work to prevent and manage post-public employment conflict of interest and to counter probable offences.
Implementing the Post-Public Employment Principles: A good practice framework
This chapter introduces the Post-Public Employment Good Practice Framework and discusses its key pillars, through which the Post-Public Employment Principles can be implemented. The framework also includes elements of good practice. These concrete examples from various jurisdictions provide policy makers and managers with alternative options and benchmarks. Reviewed good practices include the selection of implementation mechanisms, the coverage of risk areas and enforcement of sanctions.
The case of Norway
This chapter highlights the concerns about post-public employment addressed by the Norwegian Parliament in the late 1990s and puts them into context. It summarises the key steps taken in the development of guidelines for the Norwegian public service and politicians, as well as their key features and mechanisms for implementation. Finally, emerging lessons learned from the application of the two guidelines are highlighted.
Annex 5.A1. Post-Employment Guidelines for Politicians
As a point of departure, please note that it is important that there be movement of personnel between the public and private sectors and that there should be no unnecessary impediments put in the way of such movement. It is assumed that very few situations will arise that might call for the use of instruments such as temporary restrictions. It will nonetheless be particularly important to take advantage of such options when special circumstances merit their use.
Annex 5.A2. Post Employment Guidelines for the Public Service
As a point of departure, it must be underlined that it is important to have a flow of personnel between the public and private sectors and that there should be no unnecessary impediments put into place. It is assumed that a clause on temporary disqualification and/or abstinence from involvement in certain cases should only be incorporated into employment contracts in certain cases. Accordingly, there will be very few situations in which it will be necessary to take advantage of the instruments at hand such as temporary disqualification or abstinence from involvement in cases in connection with the transition to a new position outside the public service. It will nonetheless be particularly important to have such instruments available in cases in which special circumstances merit their use.
Annex 5.A3. Ethical Guidelines for the Public Service
High ethical standards for the provision of services and the exercise of authority are a prerequisite if the citizenry is to trust the public service. The goal of these general ethical guidelines is to ensure that all State employees are aware of this. The ethical guidelines are to be of a general nature, rather than providing detailed rules. They are intended to be general guidelines that call for reflection on the part of the individual employee. The provisions included in them are not always exact, but rather specify legal standards.
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