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Governance, management and accountability

The Office of the Merit Protection Commissioner, established under section 49 of the Public Service Act, is an independent office located within the Australian Public Service Commission.  Ms Annwyn Godwin was reappointed as Merit Protection Commissioner by the Governor-General in January 2013 for a second five-year term.

The Commissioner’s functions are set out in sections 50 and 50A of the Act and Parts 2, 4, 5 and 7 of the Regulations. This report and further information about the Merit Protection Commissioner’s role and services are available at www.meritprotectioncommission.gov.au.

The respective responsibilities of the Merit Protection Commissioner and the Australian Public Service Commissioner (the Commissioner) are established in the Public Service Act. The two roles are complementary, particularly in relation to maintaining confidence in public administration.

The Commissioner is responsible for upholding high standards of integrity and conduct in the APS. The Merit Protection Commissioner provides an important assurance role for the APS by ensuring consistent standards of decision-making and people management practices across the APS.

Corporate governance

The Commissioner, as the head of the Commission, is responsible for its corporate governance.

During 2016–17, the Merit Protection Commissioner had managerial responsibility for the work of the Commission employees made available to work in the Office of the Merit Protection Commissioner. In 2016–17, the Merit Protection Commissioner was an observer of the Commission’s Executive—a senior management group chaired by the Commissioner.

Organisational structure

The staff who support the work of the Merit Protection Commissioner are made available by the Australian Public Service Commissioner in accordance with section 49 of the Public Service Act. The Merit Protection Commissioner and the Commissioner have a memorandum of understanding for the provision of staff. The current memorandum of understanding took effect in June 2015.

The Merit Protection Commissioner’s review and fee-related service activities are performed in the Commission’s Sydney office. The Merit Review Policy team is based in Canberra. During 2016–17, the Merit Protection Commissioner was supported by four delegates (with two job-sharing the Principal Adviser role), a business manager, a policy officer, four review advisers, a review manager and three administrative staff, two of whom are also job-sharing.

Information Publication Scheme

Information about the Merit Protection Commissioner is included in the Commission’s plan, which is available at www.apsc.gov.au/freedom-of-information/ips.