APS Values, Employment Principles and Code of Conduct
The principles of good public administration, embodied in the APS Values and Employment Principles, lie at the heart of the democratic process and the confidence the public has in the way public servants exercise authority when meeting government objectives. Good public administration is a protection not only against inefficiency and poor performance, but also against fraud, corruption, inequity, inability to conduct business confidently and infringement of human rights.
Together, the APS Values and Employment Principles should shape the organisational culture of the APS. They are core components of a positive culture, stewardship, high performance, and leadership—and fostering ‘one APS’.
APS agency heads and employees are required to uphold the APS Values and Employment Principles. Additionally, agency heads are required to promote the APS Values and Employment Principles.
Senior Executive Service (SES) employees are required to uphold the Values and Employment Principles, and promote them by personal example and other appropriate means.
All APS employees are required to comply with the Code of Conduct, including to at all times behave in a way that upholds the APS Values and Employment Principles, and the integrity and good reputation of their agency and the APS. A breach of the Code of Conduct can result in sanctions, ranging from a reprimand to termination of employment.
The Australian Public Service Commissioner is responsible for:
- promoting the APS Values, the APS Employment Principles and the Code of Conduct,
- evaluating the extent to which Agencies incorporate and uphold the APS Values and the APS Employment Principles, and
- evaluating the adequacy of systems and procedures in agencies for ensuring compliance Code of Conduct.
The APS Values are set out in section 10 of the Public Service Act 1999.
The Employment Principles are set out in section 10A.
The Code of Conduct is set out in section 13 of the Public Service Act 1999.
- ARCHIVE: Circular 2008/7: Code of Conduct for Ministerial Staff
- ARCHIVE: Circular 2011/5: Electronic publication for advice to agencies on providing procedural fairness in whistleblower investigations
- Circular 2007/1: Declarations of personal interests: Revised policy guidelines
- Circular 2007/2: The Privacy Act and employee information concerning Code of Conduct matters
- Circular 2007/5: Involvement of public servants in public information and awareness initiatives
- Circular 2008/3: Providing information on Code of Conduct investigation outcomes to complainants
- Circular 2008/4: Requirements relating to the Lobbying Code of Conduct and post separation contact with Government
- Circular 2012/1: Revisions to the Commission's guidance on making public comment and participating online
- Circular 2013/08: APS whistleblowing scheme and public interest disclosures
- Embedding the APS Values: Framework and checklist
- Employment Principles
- In whose interests?: Preventing and managing conflicts of interest in the APS
- Reflect: APS Values and Code of Conduct: Decision-making model
- Reinvigorating the Westminster tradition: Integrity and accountability in relations between the Australian Government and the APS
- Respect: promoting a culture free from harassment and bullying in the APS