All Australian Public Servants are supposed to comply at all times with the APS Code of Conduct (Section 13 of the Public Service Act 1999).
Agency Heads are also supposed to comply with the APS Code of Conduct (Section 14 of the Public Service Act 1999).
Breaches of the APS Code of Conduct are covered by Section 15 of the Public Service Act 1999 (see below)
The Public Service Commissioner has the power to investigate alleged contraventions of Agency Heads whilst they are still Australian Public Service employees but has no power once the Agency Head leaves the Australian Public Service (Subsection 41(f) of the Public Service Act 1999).
Most of the provisions of the Public Service Act 1999 are widely ignored by Australian Public Servants and Agency Heads. The Ministers of State routinely turn a blind eye to such contraventions by Australian Public Servants in Agencies within their portfolios.
APS Code of Conduct
(1) An APS employeemust behave honestly and with integrity in the course of APS employment.
(2) An APS employeemust act with care and diligence in the course of APS employment.
(3) An APS employee, when acting in the course of APS employment, must treat everyone with respect and courtesy, and without harassment.
(4) An APS employee, when acting in the course of APS employment, must comply with all applicable Australian laws. For this purpose, Australian law means:
(a) any Act (including this Act), or any instrument made under an Act; or
(b) any law of a State or Territory, including any instrument made under such a law.
(5) An APS employeemust comply with any lawful and reasonable direction given by someone in the employee’s Agencywho has authority to give the direction.
(6) An APS employeemust maintain appropriate confidentiality about dealings that the employee has with any Minister or Minister’s member of staff.
(7) An APS employeemust disclose, and take reasonable steps to avoid, any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with APS employment.
(8) An APS emplyeemust use Commonwealth resources in a proper manner.
(9) AnAPS employeemust 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.
(10) An APS employeemust not make improper use of:
(a) inside information; or
(b) 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.
(11) An APS employeemust at all times behave in a way that upholds the APS Values and the integrity and good reputation of the APS.
(12) An APS employeeon duty overseasmust at all times behave in a way that upholds the good reputation of Australia.
(13) An APS employeemust comply with any other conduct requirement that is prescribed by the regulations.
Breaches of the Code of Conduct (Section 15 of the Public Service Act 1999)
(a) termination of employment;
(b) reduction in classification;
(c) re-assignment of duties;
(d) reduction in salary;
(e) deductions from salary, by way of fine;
(f) a reprimand.
(2) The regulations may prescribe limitations on the power of an Agency Head to impose sanctions under subsection (1).
(a) must comply with basic procedural requirements set out in Commissioner‘s Directions; and
(b) must have due regard to procedural fairness; and
(c) may be different for different categories of APS employees.
(4) The Commissioner must issue directions in writing for the purposes of subsection (3).