Step 5B what to consider when making the decision and reaching the right outcome?

Having collected the information and evidence, considered the context and the review applicant's concerns, you have to decide:

  • the facts in dispute—for example, was an employee's performance at an acceptable standard
  • what was the appropriate outcome or decision in this case.

An agency is able to conduct a review in any way they see fit.

An agency may decide to empower the reviewer to make a different decision to the one made by the manager on the basis of the reviewer's judgement about what was the appropriate or preferable outcome.

Alternatively an agency may confine itself to a consideration of whether the original action/decision was fair and reasonable even if the decision was not one that the reviewer would have made.

All the circumstances of the case are relevant to making a review decision. A reviewer does not need to restrict their review to whether the decision was procedurally fair or it complied with agency policy. A reviewer may consider:

  • the circumstances of the applicant, including their employment history and personal circumstances.
    Ask yourself, 'if I were in this person's position how would I like my employer to treat me?'
  • the applicant's operating environment including operational pressures and management expectations
  • agency interests, including its values framework, its people management framework and its broader objective
  • good people management practice.1

1 The Australian Public Service Commission has better practice publications on a range of topics including recruitment, managing performance, behaviour and attendance. These are available at