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

Important notice

Note that the current version of this publication is now available.

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.

Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018