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Overview

Note that this page is under review. It has not yet been updated to reflect changes to the Public Service Act 1999 and Public Service Regulations 1999, or contained in the Australian Public Service Commissioner's Directions 2013, that came into effect on 1 July 2013. Agencies may continue to use the
guidance for reference, but should be aware that it may not reflect current legislative requirements.

Australian Public Service Values1

  • The APS is apolitical, performing its functions in an impartial and professional manner.
  • The APS is a public service in which employment decisions are based on merit.
  • The APS provides a workplace that is free from discrimination and recognises and utilises the diversity of the Australian community it serves.
  • The APS has the highest ethical standards.
  • The APS is openly accountable for its actions, within the framework of ministerial responsibilities to the government, the Parliament and the Australian public.
  • The APS is responsive to the government in providing frank, honest, comprehensive, accurate and timely advice and in implementing the Government's policies and programs.
  • The APS delivers services fairly, effectively, impartially and courteously to the Australian public and is sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public.
  • The APS has leadership of the highest quality.
  • The APS establishes workplace relations that value communication, consultation, cooperation and input from employees on matters that affect their workplace.
  • The APS provides a fair, flexible, safe and rewarding workplace.
  • The APS focuses on achieving results and managing performance.
  • The APS promotes equity in employment.
  • The APS provides a reasonable opportunity to all eligible members of the community to apply for APS employment.
  • The APS is a career-based service to enhance the effectiveness and cohesion of Australia's democratic system of government.
  • The APS provides a fair system of review of decisions taken in respect to APS employees.

Australian Public Service Code of Conduct2

  • An APS employee must behave honestly and with integrity in the course of APS employment.
  • An APS employee must act with care and diligence in the course of APS employment.
  • An APS employee, when acting in the course of APS employment, must treat everyone with respect and courtesy, and without harassment.
  • An APS employee, when acting in the course of APS employment, must comply with all applicable Australian laws.3
  • An APS employee must comply with any lawful and reasonable direction given by someone in the employee's Agency who has authority to give the direction.
  • An APS employee must maintain appropriate confidentiality about dealings that the employee has with any minister or minister's member of staff.
  • An APS employee must disclose, and take reasonable steps to avoid, any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with APS employment.
  • An APS employee must use Commonwealth resources in a proper manner.
  • An APS employee must not provide false or misleading information in response to a request for information that is made for official purposes in connection with the employee's APS employment.
  • An APS employee must not make improper use of:
    • inside information or
    • the employee's duties, status, power or authority
  • in order to gain, or seek to gain, a benefit or advantage for the employee or for any other person.
  • An APS employee must at all times behave in a way that upholds the APS Values and the integrity and good reputation of the APS.
  • An APS employee on duty overseas must at all times behave in a way that upholds the good reputation of Australia.
  • An APS employee must comply with any other conduct requirement that is prescribed by the regulations4.

1 From Section 10(1) of the Public Service Act 1999

2 From Section 13 of the Public Service Act 1999

3 For this purpose, Australian law means:
a) any Act (including this Act), or any instrument made under an Act
b) any law of a state or territory, including any instrument made under such a law.

4 Regulation 2.1 imposes a duty on an APS employee not to disclose certain information without authority (ie information communicated in confidence or where disclosure could be prejudicial to the effective working of government). APS employees should familiarise themselves with the full text of PS
Regulation 2.1.