The National General Assembly of the Hungarian Government Officials Board (MKK) adopted the Code of Conduct for Government Officials on 21 June 2013. In preparation for the introduction of the Code of Conduct 2044 government officials took part in qualified further training courses implemented under the auspices of the National University of Public Service (NKE). During the national roadshow held between 2 and 18 July 2013, NKE instructors and invited ministerial experts gave presentations on the reformed system of professional conduct and ethical standards of government officials in 23 venues.

The Ministry of Public Administration and Justice drafted a Green Paper in April 2013 which incorporates ethical standards to be observed by state organs, and which will function as a recommendation and guideline. The Hungarian Government Officials Board approved many of the recommendations included in the Green Paper but it also made numerous significant and forward-looking amendments, and developed the system of ethical procedure.

The Code of Conduct for Government Officials enshrines principles and standards which have been already observed in the public service sector, including fairness, conscientiousness, professionalism, impartiality, efficiency and transparency. In the light of these values, the code establishes many sub-rules also, for instance that it is the duty of government officials to preserve their impartiality, to refrain from activities which are incompatible with the work of government officials, to refuse gifts and to use public resources in a responsible manner.

The chairs and members of Territorial Ethics Committees, which conduct first-instance ethical procedures, were elected until 28 June 2013. Ethics Committees will adjudge cases of ethical misconduct breaching the Code of Conduct for Government Officials, but more serious infringements will naturally remain in the scope of disciplinary and criminal proceedings. The sub-rules aim to provide guidance for government officials even in complicated matters and to facilitate adherence to the enshrined principles and values in practice, in combination with the ethical procedure.

Government officials could choose from two different training forms to become familiar with the provisions of the Code of Conduct. First, 23 presentations were given on Professional Conduct Basics in various venues across the country, organised by the National University of Public Service in cooperation with the Hungarian Government Officials Board and the Office of Public Administration and Justice. Altogether 2044 government officials took part in the 6-hour (full-day) qualified further training courses. From mid-August the NKE will continue these courses in the form of e-learning so that even more government officials can learn about the new system. By participating at the courses government officials can meet their annual further training obligation as well.

With the contribution of the NKE, the MKK and the President of the National Ethics Committee, 2-day training courses will be held for members of the national and territorial ethics boards at the end of August.
Training courses on professional conduct aim to adequately prepare government officials for the coming into force of the Code of Conduct for Government Officials in 01 September 2013.

The above courses are funded from the SROP 2.2.5. “Human resource manage-ment in the central public administration” project. The trainings on professional conduct take place under the professional leadership of Dr Norbert Kis, Deputy Rector for Further Trainings and International Affairs of NKE.