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Merit protection and review

Office of the Merit Protection Commissioner

The Merit Protection Commissioner is an independent statutory office holder appointed by the Governor-General in Council on the advice of the Public Service Minister.

The Commissioner provides assurance, in certain key areas of the Australian Public Service (APS) employment framework, that the APS Values are being applied effectively by agencies, their agency heads and staff. These key areas are:

  • merit based employment decisions
  • ethical standards
  • a fair system of review of employment decisions and actions.

The services provided by the Merit Protection Commissioner are delivered by staff of the Australian Public Service Commission.

Find out more about the role of the Merit Protection Commissioner.

Merit live updates

Merit live updates is our RSS feed letting you know the latest merit-based news from the Commission. It includes weekly updates of the latest notifications of reviews.

Go to Merit live updates.

Legislative framework

The office of Merit Protection Commissioner is established under section 49 of the Public Service Act 1999.

The Commissioner’s functions are detailed in section 50 of the Act and Part 7 of the Public Service Regulations 1999 (the Regulations). Two key functions are:

  • to conduct independent reviews of employment actions, including promotion decisions, under section 33 of the Act
  • to receive and inquire into whistleblower reports made under section 16 of the Act.

The Commissioner also has the power to perform functions for other government and non government bodies consistent with his or her functions under the Act.

Information on services provided by the Merit Protection Commissioner

Promotion reviews

If you have applied for a promotion to a particular job(s) but have been unsuccessful, you may apply to have the decision reviewed. Alternatively candidates who expect other candidates to seek a review of their promotion are able to lodge ‘protective’ applications for review.

Find out more about promotion reviews.

Notification of reviews

Notifications of reviews are now included in Merit live updates. A RSS subscription service is also available.

Reviews of actions

Section 33 of the Public Service Act establishes a review of actions scheme and allows non-Senior Executive Service employees to seek review where they have a complaint about an action or decision relating to their employment.

Find out more about reviews of actions.

Review of breaches of the Code of Conduct

If, after an investigation by their agency, an employee is found to have breached the Code of Conduct, a sanction, ranging from a reprimand to termination of employment, may be imposed.

Find out more about reviews of breaches of the Code of Conduct.

Independent selection advisory committees (ISAC)

An ISAC is an independent committee that makes recommendations to agencies about the suitability of candidates in staff recruitment exercises.

Find out more about ISACs

Case summaries

A series of case summaries is now available from the website. They illustrate how the Merit Protection Commissioner has previously reviewed cases

Publications

Find publications about merit and merit protection and review.

Forms and applications

The following forms are available from our forms page:

  • Application for review by a Promotion Review Committee forms
  • Register of APS employees for independent selection advisory committees
  • Application for review by a Promotion Review Committee forms
  • Register of APS employees for independent selection advisory committees

 

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