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APS Values and Code of Conduct in practice: A guide to official conduct for APS employees and agency heads

Note that this page is under review. It has not yet been updated to reflect changes to the Public Service Act 1999 and Public Service Regulations 1999, or contained in the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2013, that came into effect on 1 July 2013. Agencies may continue to use the guidance for reference, but should be aware that it may not reflect current legislative requirements.

Public servants exercise authority on behalf of the Australian Government and manage significant financial resources on its behalf. Their actions directly affect the lives of the public and the confidence that the public has in Government. The Australian public, quite rightly, demands high standards of behaviour and ethical conduct from the people entrusted with this responsibility.

Behaving ethically is critical in the public sector. This guide assists APS employees to understand the practical application of the APS ethics framework—the Values and Code of Conduct—in both common and unusual circumstances. It also provides advice for agency heads in establishing policies and procedures that promote the APS Values and ensure compliance with the Code.

The guide does not and cannot answer every question about official conduct and ethics. The principles identified will point to an answer in many cases, as will the more detailed discussion of many issues.

The Ethics Advisory Service is available to help APS employees in making sound ethical choices. More information about the Service can be found at the Ethics Advisory web page.

 

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