Review of employment actions
The three main categories of reviews conducted by the Merit Protection Commissioner under section 33 of the PS Act and Part 5 of the Regulations are:
- reviews of breaches of the APS Code of Conduct
- reviews of other employment actions
- reviews of promotion decisions.
Table M2 provides information on the number of applications for review (other than promotion review) received and reviews completed in 2015–16.
|Cases||Primary reviews—Code of Conduct||Primary reviews—other||Secondary reviews||Complaints/reviews by former employees||Total|
Notes: There is a variation in the number of cases on hand at the end of 2014–15 and at the start of 2015–16 as one case was reassessed and was handled as two cases.
Primary reviews are reviews conducted by the Merit Protection Commissioner (MPC) without first being reviewed by the agency head. Secondary reviews are conducted by the MPC following a review conducted by the agency head or after the agency head decides the matter is not reviewable but the MPC considers it is.
|On hand at start of year||15||0||19||0||34||52|
|Received during the period||72||18||103||5||198||161|
|Lapsed or withdrawn||14||1||4||0||19||19|
|Total finalised during period||59||15||107||4||185||180|
|On hand at end of year||28||3||15||1||47||33|
Table M3 provides information on the timeliness with which this function was performed. The table compares results for 2015–16 with those for 2014–15. The target timeframe for completion of primary and secondary reviews is 14 weeks from receipt of application.
|Average time to complete reviews (weeks)||Completed within target timeframes
|Average time to complete reviews (weeks)||Completed within target timeframes (%)|
|Primary reviews—Code of Conduct||15.16||82.98||13.04||88.57|
Table M4 details the number of reviews by agency.
|Agency||Primary reviews—Code of Conduct||Primary reviews—other||Secondary reviews||Complaints by former employees||Total|
|Department of Human Services||14||0||12||0||26|
|Department of Defence||2||0||12||0||14|
|Department of Immigration and Border Protection||7||0||3||0||10|
|Australian Taxation Office||1||0||4||0||5|
|Bureau of Meteorology||3||0||1||0||4|
|Fair Work Ombudsman||2||0||1||0||3|
|Eleven other agencies (one review each)||4||1||6||0||11|
Table M5 shows the main subject matter and the secondary subject matters for all secondary cases reviewed in 2015–16. The data in Table M5 is not directly comparable with the data in tables M2–M4 as one review may involve more than one subject matter.
|Subject matter||Secondary subject matter||Number|
|Conditions of employment||Allowances/other payments||3|
|Hours of work||3|
|Duties||Assignment of duties||1|
|Access to information||2|
|Performance management||Salary advancement||2|
|Training and development||1|
|Workplace environment and arrangements||Management practices||2|
|Training and development||1|
|Harassment||Bullying and harassment||1|
Table M6 shows the subject matters for all Code of Conduct cases reviewed in 2015–16. The data in Table M6 is not directly comparable with the data in Tables M2–M4 as one review may involve more than one kind of subject matter.
|Subject matter identified||Number|
|Bullying and harassment||6|
|Conflict of interest||3|
|Failure to follow a direction||6|
|Inappropriate use of email/internet||4|
|Lack of respect and courtesy||9|
|Inappropriate use of social media||1|
|Misuse of Commonwealth property/assets||1|
|Other (providing false information, illegal drug use, unreasonable directions)||3|
|Unauthorised access of agency databases||8|
|Total number of matters identified in reviews||41|
Review of promotion decisions
The Merit Protection Commissioner establishes promotion review committees to conduct reviews of promotion decisions for jobs at the APS 1 to 6 classifications.
Details of the promotion review caseload for 2015–16 are in Table M7. In this table, 'case' means an application by one or more APS employees for review of a promotion decision or decisions arising from a discrete agency selection exercise.
|Promotion review cases||2014–15||2015–16|
|On hand at start of year||1||23|
|Received during the period||47||176|
|Lapsed or withdrawn||8||53|
|Total finalised during period||25||172|
|On hand at end of year||23||27|
|Target completion time (weeks)||8 or 12||8 or 12|
|Completed within target time (number)||14||104|
|Completed within target time (percentage)||100||96|
Table M8 lists those agencies whose promotions attracted review applications and the number of promotions considered.
|Agency||Promotion reviews finalised||Total applications received||'Active' applications received||'Protective' applications received||Promotion decisions considered||Promotion decisions varied|
Notes: An APS employee may make an application for review of one or more promotion decisions. Not all applications are considered by a promotion review committee. Some applications are withdrawn, are held to be invalid or, in the case of 'protective' applications, do not proceed to review.
Unsuccessful candidates for a promotion may lodge an 'active' application seeking review of a promotion decision.
Employees who have been promoted and whose promotion may be subject to review may lodge a 'protective' application against the promotion of other successful candidates.
|Department of Human Services||57||271||146||125||197||12|
|Australian Taxation Office||20||332||85||247||411||10|
|Department of Immigration and Border Protection||15||181||26||155||205||1|
|Five other agencies (with two reviews)||10||23||13||10||47||0|
|Six other agencies (with one review)||6||50||8||42||60||0|
Independent selection advisory committees
ISACs are established by the Merit Protection Commissioner at an agency head's request on a fee-for-service basis under Part 4 of the Regulations. Table M9 sets out information on ISAC activity for 2015–16 compared to that for 2014–15.
|On hand at start of year||0||2|
|Received during the period||2||10|
|Total finalised during the period||0||6|
|On hand at end of year||2||6|