APS Values and Code of Conduct are a set of principles and standards that govern the behavior of employees in the Australian Public Service (APS). The APS Values and Code of Conduct are designed to ensure that public servants act with integrity, impartiality, accountability, and professionalism. They guide the actions and decisions of public servants to ensure that they uphold the trust of the Australian public and the government.
The APS Values and Code of Conduct are set out in the Public Service Act 1999 and the Australian Public Service Commissioners Directions 2016. These documents outline the key principles and standards that all APS employees must adhere to. The APS Values are a set of seven principles that guide the behavior of APS employees. These include:
Impartiality: APS employees must act impartially and without bias in the performance of their duties.
Commitment to service: APS employees must be committed to providing the highest quality service to the Australian public.
Respect: APS employees must treat everyone with respect and courtesy, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Integrity: APS employees must act with integrity and honesty in their work and personal lives.
Accountability: APS employees must be accountable for their actions and decisions and must comply with all relevant laws and policies.
Openness: APS employees must be open and transparent in their work and must be willing to engage with the Australian public.
Ethical behavior: APS employees must act in accordance with the APS Values and Code of Conduct and must always behave in an ethical manner.
The APS Code of Conduct outlines the specific behaviors and actions that are expected of APS employees. The Code of Conduct includes 13 standards of behavior that all APS employees must adhere to. These standards cover a range of topics, including:
- Conflict of interest: APS employees must avoid any conflicts of interest that may compromise their impartiality or the integrity of the APS.
- Misuse of public resources: APS employees must use public resources appropriately and only for authorized purposes.
- Compliance with laws and policies: APS employees must comply with all relevant laws and policies, both within the APS and more broadly.
- Professionalism: APS employees must act with professionalism and in accordance with the APS Values and Code of Conduct.
- Respectful workplace: APS employees must behave in a respectful and non-discriminatory manner towards their colleagues and members of the public.
- Privacy and confidentiality: APS employees must respect the privacy and confidentiality of personal information and official business.
- Disclosure of information: APS employees must disclose information to the public when it is required by law or policy.
- Reporting wrongdoing: APS employees must report any suspected wrongdoing to their supervisor or a designated authority.
- Political neutrality: APS employees must remain politically neutral in the performance of their duties.
- Duty of care: APS employees must exercise reasonable care and diligence in the performance of their duties.
- Use of social media: APS employees must use social media responsibly and in accordance with the APS Values and Code of Conduct.
- Gifts and benefits: APS employees must not accept gifts or benefits that may influence their impartiality or integrity.
- Post-employment: APS employees must not misuse their position for personal gain or disclose confidential information after leaving their position.
In practice, the APS Values and Code of Conduct are used to guide the behavior of public servants in a range of contexts. They are often used in selection criteria for APS positions, where candidates are assessed against their ability to uphold the APS Values and Code of Conduct. For example, a selection criterion may require a candidate to demonstrate their commitment to providing high-quality service to the Australian public or their ability to act impartially and without bias.