Public Service Gazette requirements
What is the Gazette?
The Public Service Gazette (the Gazette) contains notices required to be published under sections 25 and 40 of the Australian Public Service Commissioner's Directions 2022 (the Directions). Notices include vacancies and certain employment decisions, such as promotions.
As well as vacancies in the Australian Public Service (APS), the Gazette may contain vacancies in the Australian Parliamentary Service and in non-APS Australian Government agencies.
The Gazette is part of the APSjobs website which allows job seekers to search for vacancies and other notices. APSjobs is also the electronic lodgement system for agencies to place notices in the Gazette.
What vacancies need to be notified in the Gazette?
Job vacancies which may result in:
- the engagement or promotion of an ongoing employee;
- the engagement of a non-ongoing employee for an initial period of more than 18 months;
must be notified in the Gazette. An agency should notify a vacancy in the Gazette if there is any possibility that it may be filled in either of the above ways.
Does the vacancy need to be open to all members of the community?
Generally, APS jobs are open to all eligible members of the community.
An Agency Head may decide, for cost or operational efficiency reasons, that a vacancy should be filled by a person who is already an APS employee. In this case, the vacancy may be notified as open to APS employees only. However, this does not apply to vacancies at the SES, APS1 and training level classifications, which must be open to all eligible members of the community.
Where an Agency Head decides a vacancy is only available to APS employees, there are some groups of people who are still eligible to apply. These include staff in the Parliamentary Service and non-ongoing APS employees employed at the time of the Gazette notification.
There are two other circumstances when an Agency Head can restrict access to an employment opportunity. A vacancy may be identified as open only to:
where this is consistent with Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation.
Closing date for vacancies
A Gazette job vacancy must have a closing date for applications of at least 7 days after the job is notified, unless an Agency Head is satisfied there are special circumstances and approves a shorter period. In making this decision, the Agency Head must have regard to their obligations to uphold merit, which includes that eligible members of the community are given a reasonable opportunity to apply for APS jobs.
An agency can supplement a Gazette notice with external advertising in order to attract more applicants or to target applicants with particular skills or formal qualifications. For example, this may be on the agency's website, on other websites or in other media. Supplementary advertising must take place within 4 weeks before or 4 weeks after the Gazette notification.
An agency cannot use any other form of advertising after this period without placing a new notification in the Gazette.
What employment decisions need to be notified in the Gazette?
Section 40 of the Directions sets out the employment decisions which must be notified in the Gazette. They include the:
- promotion of an ongoing employee
- promotion of an ongoing employee following a Promotion Review Committee decision
- engagement of an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee as an ongoing APS employee at a higher classification than the person's current classification as a Parliamentary Service employee
- engagement, promotion or assignment of duties of a person made in accordance with an Independent Selection Advisory Committee recommendation
- termination of employment of an ongoing employee on grounds of misconduct under section 29(3)(g) of the Public Service Act 1999.
The employment decision must be notified in the Gazette within 3 months after the decision is made, unless the Australian Public Service Commissioner agrees to a different arrangement.
If the employment decision is made on the basis that the person is required to satisfy an eligibility requirement (such as a security or character clearance) the 3 month period for gazettal commences at the time the eligibility requirement is met.
An employee’s name must be included in the Gazette notification except where:
- an Agency Head decides that a person's name should not be included in the Gazette notification because of the person’s work-related or personal circumstances. If the notification relates to a promotion that is subject to review, the agency must notify all parties who are eligible to seek review, as well as the Merit Protection Commissioner; or
- where employment is terminated under section 29 (3) of the PS Act on the grounds of misconduct, the Agency Head may decide that including the name is not necessary to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the APS.
Under subsection 40(6) of the Directions, where a notification does not include the name, the Agency Head must advise the APS Commissioner of the employee’s name as soon as reasonably practicable after the notification is published.
Cancellation of decision
Where an employment decision is cancelled after it has appeared in the Gazette, the cancellation decision must then be notified in the Gazette — within 3 months after the cancellation decision is made.
The approval of a scheme for non-ongoing APS employees to gain skills and experience under regulation 3.3 of the Public Service Regulations 1999 must be notified in the Gazette.