Go to top of page

Appendix 7 - Initial consideration of suspected misconduct checklist

Receiving a report of, or dealing with an incident of, suspected misconduct

□  Is the report of suspected misconduct covered by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act)? If so, has the matter been referred to an authorised officer for appropriate action?

  • The agency should take appropriate measures to ensure that its employees comply with the PID Act, including the requirement for supervisors to refer disclosures to the agency's authorised officer in who has responsibility for assessing how the disclosure is to be managed.

□  If not a PID, has the matter been referred to the appropriate person in the agency who has responsibility for assessing how the suspected misconduct is to be managed?

□  Have appropriate measures been taken to treat the information confidential?

□  Have appropriate measures been taken to protect the employee reporting the suspected misconduct from reprisal?

□  If required, has action been taken to protect the safety and wellbeing of employees and clients, and to protect the security of evidence that may be required in the investigation process?

□  If the suspected misconduct is serious, has the matter been referred to the appropriate authorities, for example, the police or internal fraud investigation area?

□  If appropriate, has re-assignment of duties or suspension of the employee suspected of misconduct been considered?

□  Have appropriate records been made of action taken, conversations and meetings?

□  Has management of the impact in the workplace of the reported behaviour, and, if appropriate, the investigation and the outcome of the investigation been considered?

□  If the suspected misconduct became the subject of public comment, has appropriate action been taken to respond to that public comment or other action been taken, for example, to protect the reputation of the agency or the Australian Public Service (APS)?

Considering a report of suspected misconduct

□  If the suspected misconduct was disclosed under the PID scheme, has the disclosure been actioned in accordance with the PID Act requirements?

  • The PID investigation could be a preliminary assessment of whether the suspected misconduct should be subject to a Code of Conduct investigation in accordance with the agency's s15(3) procedures. See Appendix 3 Interaction between the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct and the Public Interest Disclosure Act of this guide for further information.

□  Where the suspected misconduct raises concerns that relate both to effective performance and a potential breach of the Code, has the APS Commissioner's guidance on this matter been considered as required by clause 4.2 of the Australian Public Service Commissioner's Directions 2013? The guidance is in Relationship between misconduct and performance management processes in Part II, Section 5 of this guide.

□  Where the suspected misconduct does not relate to serious misconduct, have alternative methods of addressing the behaviour been considered?

  • For example, warning the employee that continuation of inappropriate behaviour may result in further action such as a misconduct investigation, giving a direction about appropriate behaviour, monitoring or closely supervising the employee, counselling, mediation, or learning and development.

□  To enable consistency of approach in the agency, have agency behavioural standards or agency guidance material on handling misconduct been considered?

□  If a former employee is suspected of misconduct, in deciding whether to investigate the matter have the following matters been considered

  • availability of and access to evidence
  • what public interest there is in investigating the matter
  • the implications for maintaining proper standards of APS conduct and public confidence in the integrity and reputation of the agency or the APS if the matter is not investigated?

□  If the matter is to be investigated under the agency s15(3) procedures, has a decision-maker been appointed, or otherwise authorised, in accordance with those procedures?