The legislative and policy framework for reviews
Information about the legislative and policy framework in practice - reviews in general
The Public Service Act 1999 provides the legislative framework for reviews. The policy requires employee concerns be resolved quickly, impartially, fairly and consistent with alternative dispute resolution methods.
Reviews provide assurance on the quality and fairness of an agency's employment decision making. They help build trust.
Review trends and 'hotspots' are a free source of strategic insight.
Organisations that deal with issues professionally and promptly don't create grievance cultures. These organisations create professional, responsive cultures based on respect.
Dealing with misunderstandings promptly means issues can't fester to influence future perceptions of actions.
Complaints provide valuable feedback about the quality of the working environment and employment decision-making. They provide multiple and ongoing 'moments of truth' on how corporate and policy statements are put into effect.
Reviews, when complemented by formal audits and inquiries, provide insights on ethical behaviours in agencies and the APS.
Information about the legislative and policy framework in practice - merit
The Public Service Act 1999 provides the legislative framework for merit. The Act stipulates 5 criteria for determining merit in selection exercises.
There are lots of myths about merit in APS selection exercises. It isn't about committees or reports…
The merit principle reinforces quality, open and transparent selection decision making.
Yes, the decisions must be consistent with administrative law.
Merit is important in the APS as we must operate without patronage, nepotism or favoritism to sustain public confidence and trust.
Merit has been a fundamental to the APS since the Public Service Act 1902. It has evolved from its early British roots to be embedded as an important Employment Principle in the Public Service Act 1999.
Recent observers have highlighted agency practices which entrench traditions and culture rather than exploring merit-based best practice and new opportunities.
Merit-based selection is just one aspect of the wider human capital framework within the APS. Open, transparent, merit-based assessments are important to all areas of APS decision-making.
It is important to recognise that merit selection should not be at the cost, by default, of condoning poor decision-making. The APS must work towards simplifying the structure or process of merit while striving towards the ideal of 'absolute' merit.
In assessing work-related qualities required, agencies can legitimately take into account such considerations as relevant personal qualities that are reflected in the selection criteria.