What is the legislative and policy framework?

The Public Service Act 1999 and the Public Service Regulations 1999 provide the legislative framework for reviews. Important references are:

  • section 10—the APS Values—impartial, committed to service, accountable, respectful, ethical
  • section 10A—the APS Employment Principles—
    1. The APS is a career-based public service that:
      1. makes fair employment decisions with a fair system of review; and …
      2. makes decisions relating to engagement and promotion that are based on merit; and …
      3. provides flexible, safe and rewarding workplaces where communication, consultation, cooperation and input from employees on matters that affect their workplaces are valued; and
      4. provides workplaces that are free from discrimination, patronage and favouritism; and …
    2. Decisions based on merit.
  • section 13 – the APS Code of Conduct
    1. An APS employee must behave honestly and with integrity in connection with APS employment.
    2. An APS employee must act with care and diligence in connection with APS employment.
    3. An APS employee, when acting in connection with APS employment, must treat everyone with respect and courtesy, and without harassment.
    4. An APS employee, when acting in connection with APS employment, must comply with all applicable Australian laws. For this purpose, Australian law means:
      1. any Act (including this Act), or any instrument made under an Act; or
      2. any law of a State or Territory, including any instrument made under such a law.
    5. An APS employee must comply with any lawful and reasonable direction given by someone in the employee’s Agency who has authority to give the direction.
    6. An APS employee must maintain appropriate confidentiality about dealings that the employee has with any Minister or Minister’s member of staff.
    7. An APS employee must:
      1. take reasonable steps to avoid any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with the employee’s APS employment; and
      2. disclose details of any material personal interest of the employee in connection with the employee’s APS employment.
    8. An APS employee must use Commonwealth resources in a proper manner and for a proper purpose.
    9. An APS employee must not provide false or misleading information in response to a request for information that is made for official purposes in connection with the employee’s APS employment.
    10. An APS employee must not improperly use inside information or the employee’s duties, status, power or authority:
      1. to gain, or seek to gain, a benefit or an advantage for the employee or any other person; or
      2. to cause, or seek to cause, detriment to the employee’s Agency, the Commonwealth or any other person.
    11. An APS employee must at all times behave in a way that upholds:
      1. the APS Values and APS Employment Principles; and
      2. the integrity and good reputation of the employee’s Agency and the APS.
    12. An APS employee on duty overseas must at all times behave in a way that upholds the good reputation of Australia.
    13. An APS employee must comply with any other conduct requirement that is prescribed by the regulations.
  • section 33—Review of actions
    • An APS employee is entitled to review … of an APS action that relates to his or her employment.
    • The policy supporting the review framework is in Regulation 5.1. The policy is to achieve   productive and harmonious working environments with review arrangements that deal with employees' concerns quickly, impartially and fairly and are consistent with approaches to alternative dispute resolution.
    • Part 5  of the Regulations sets out the general framework agencies and the Merit Protection Commissioner must follow when conducting reviews.