The following section reports on performance of the fee-related services we provided in 2017–18.
Inquiries into breaches of the Code of Conduct
Under section 50A of the Public Service Act the Merit Protection Commissioner may inquire into and determine, on a fee-for-service basis, whether an APS employee or a former employee has breached the Code of Conduct when a request is made by the agency head. The inquiry must have the written agreement of the employee or former employee.
Table M8 in the appendix sets out the Code of Conduct caseload for 2017–18.
One case was on hand at 1 July 2017 and four more were received during the year. One case was withdrawn because the employee did not consent to the inquiry. In three of the four cases that were finalised it was determined that the employee had breached the Code of Conduct. The matters referred to the Merit Protection Commissioner involved complex workplace disputes. The behaviours investigated related to rudeness to managers, false allegations about colleagues, misuse of agency resources and failure to comply with professional standards in the performance of duties. There were no cases on hand at 30 June 2018.
Feedback from agencies on the timeliness and quality of the inquiry work and decision making was positive.
Independent Selection Advisory Committees
The Merit Protection Commissioner may establish, if requested, Independent Selection Advisory Committees (ISACs) to help with agencies’ recruitment processes. ISACs are independent three-member committees that undertake a staff selection exercise on behalf of an agency and make recommendations about the relative suitability of candidates for jobs at the APS 1 to 6 classifications.
Agency demand for ISACs was maintained in 2017–18. The recruitment exercises were smaller, as indicated by the number of candidates being considered, which decreased by 72%. Three agencies used ISACs. The 16 ISACs finalised in 2017–18 considered 732 candidates and recommended 156 candidates for engagement, transfer or promotion—an average of 39 candidates and eight recommendations per ISAC compared with an average of 190 candidates and 17 recommendations in 2016–17. The largest recruitment exercise was 107 candidates for APS 3 positions in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Table M9 in the appendix provides information on ISAC activity for 2017–18 relative to 2016–17.
Other fee-for-service work
In accordance with Regulation 7.4, the Merit Protection Commissioner is able to provide other fee-for-service activities, such as staff selection services and investigating grievances, to non APS-agencies. No work was carried out under Regulation 7.4 during 2017–18.