Integrity in the APS
The principles of good public administration, embodied in the APS Values and Employment Principles, lie at the heart of the democratic process and the confidence the public has in the way public servants exercise authority when meeting government objectives. Good public administration is a protection not only against inefficiency and poor performance, but also against fraud, corruption, inequity, inability to conduct business confidently and infringement of human rights.
Together, the APS Values and Employment Principles shape the organisational culture of the APS. They are core components of a positive culture, stewardship, high performance, and leadership—and fostering 'one APS'.
APS agency heads and employees are required to uphold the APS Values and Employment Principles. Additionally, agency heads are required to promote the APS Values and Employment Principles.
Senior Executive Service (SES) employees are required to uphold the Values and Employment Principles, and promote them by personal example and other appropriate means.
All APS employees are required to comply with the Code of Conduct, including to at all times behave in a way that upholds the APS Values and Employment Principles, and the integrity and good reputation of their agency and the APS. A breach of the Code of Conduct can result in sanctions, ranging from a reprimand to termination of employment.
The Australian Public Service Commissioner is responsible for:
- promoting the APS Values, the APS Employment Principles and the Code of Conduct,
- evaluating the extent to which Agencies incorporate and uphold the APS Values and the APS Employment Principles, and
- evaluating the adequacy of systems and procedures in agencies for ensuring compliance with the Code of Conduct
The Ethics Advisory Service is available to all APS employees seeking advice on ethical issues in the workplace.
The APS Values articulate the parliament's expectations of public servants in terms of performance and standards of behaviour. The principles of good public administration are embodied in the APS Values.
APS Employment Principles
The Employment Principles are set out in section 10A of the Public Service Act 1999.
Read more about the Employment Principles.
The APS Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct is set out in section 13 of the Public Service Act 1999.
Ethics Advisory Service
The Ethics Advisory Service is available to all Australian Public Service (APS) employees, including agency heads and SES staff, who wish to discuss and seek advice on ethical issues that occur in the workplace and make sound decisions around these issues.
Contacting the Ethics Advisory Service
Enquiries: Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 5.00 pm AEST
Phone: 02 6202 3737
Email: ethics [at] apsc.gov.au .
If you would like us to contact you please call us or email us with your contact details.