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Statement regarding social media guidance from Australian Public Service Commissioner, The Hon John Lloyd

The article in the Australian on 7 August 2017 misrepresents the status of the revised social media guidance.

The documents released today amplify existing guidance on the appropriate use of social media by employees.

The use of social media by employees requires discretion and judgement. For this reason it is important that all employers, including those in the APS, ensure their employees clearly understand the expectations of their behaviour when they use social media.

The APSC consulted extensively with APS agencies and employees in late 2016. This consultation indicated that the policy settings did not need to change, but that current obligations were not well understood by employees. The CPSU encouraged its members to participate, and made a submission.

It is not more restrictive than previous guidance. Rather, it clarifies the parameters around what public servants can and cannot say, and should give greater confidence to APS employees when they are participating online activity. Submissions to the review indicated that aspects of the previous guidance was unclear and ambiguous, and that revised guidance should be simpler and easy to understand.

Making public comment on social media: A guide for employees can be accessed here.

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Aoife Connors
media [at] apsc.gov.au
0436 652 207

Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018