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How can I get information about a job applicant's prior conduct?

APS Values and Code of Conduct in Practice provides advice for managers and employees in the APS about the application of the Code of Conduct and the APS Values.

Section 4.6 of the publication discusses outside employment in more detail.

If you have any questions about this article, please submit them via the form on the 'Integrity: your questions answered' page.

As part of a selection process, agencies will generally ask candidates if they have any history of misconduct. Delegates may be required to take relevant information into consideration when assessing the candidate's suitability for the role.

While you may choose to rely on a candidate's declarations about their prior conduct, you can also confirm that information with the candidate's agency.

Public Service Regulation 9.2 allows agencies to disclose information where that is necessary for, or relevant to, the exercise of an employer power, including making selection decisions.

Other circumstances where Regulation 9.2 could be used to obtain relevant employee information include, for example:

  • obtaining security clearances
  • performance management processes
  • Code of Conduct processes.

The Australian Public Service Commission has published revised guidance on the use and disclosure of employee information.

Information obtained under Regulation 9.2 can include personal and sensitive information, and should be managed properly.

If you intend to obtain information from another agency, it's a good idea to explain this to the employee and get their consent if you can. This will give the employee the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have about the use or disclosure of the information obtained.

If they don't give their consent, you can still ask their agency for the information if it is likely to be available under Regulation 9.2.