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Public Service Commissioner's Directions - Australian Public ...

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Public Service Commissioner's Directions - Australian Public ...Publ

    Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999

    as amended

    made under subsection 11 (1), subsection 15 (4) and section 36 of the Public Service Act 1999

    This compilation was prepared on 7 July 2010

    taking into account amendments up to the Public Service Commissioner’s Amendment

    Directions 2010 (No. 2)

    Prepared by the Australian Public Service Commission, Canberra.

    Contents

    Page

    Contents

    Chapter 1 Preliminary 5

    1.1 Name of Directions [see Note 1] 5

    1.2 Commencement [see Note 1] 5

    1.3 Definitions the dictionary 5

    Chapter 2 APS Values 8

    2.1 Purpose of Chapter 2 9

    2.2 The APS is apolitical, performing its functions in an impartial and

    professional manner (Act s 10 (1) (a)) 9

    2.3 The APS is a public service in which employment decisions are based

    on merit (Act s 10 (1) (b)) 9

    2.4 The APS provides a workplace that is free from discrimination and

    recognises and utilises the diversity of the Australian community it

    serves (Act s 10 (1) (c)) 10

    2.5 The APS has the highest ethical standards (Act s 10 (1) (d)) 11

    2.6 The APS is openly accountable for its actions, within the framework of

    Ministerial responsibility to the Government, the Parliament and the

    Australian public (Act s 10 (1) (e)) 12

    2.7 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 (Act s 10 (1) (f)) 12

    2.8 The APS delivers services fairly, effectively, impartially and

    courteously to the Australian public and is sensitive to the diversity of

    the Australian public (Act s 10 (1) (g)) 13

    2.9 The APS has leadership of the highest quality (Act s 10 (1) (h)) 14

    2.10 The APS establishes workplace relations that value communication,

    consultation, co-operation and input from employees on matters that

    affect their workplace (Act s 10 (1) (i)) 14

    2.11 The APS provides a fair, flexible, safe and rewarding workplace

    (Act s 10 (1) (j)) 15

    2.12 The APS focuses on achieving results and managing performance

    (Act s 10 (1) (k)) 15

    2.13 The APS promotes equity in employment (Act s 10 (1) (l)) 16

    2.14 The APS provides a reasonable opportunity to all eligible members of

    the community to apply for APS employment (Act s 10 (1) (m)) 17

    2.15 The APS is a career-based service to enhance the effectiveness and

    cohesion of Australia’s democratic system of government

    (Act s 10 (1) (n)) 17

    2.16 The APS provides a fair system of review of decisions taken in respect

    of APS employees (Act s 10 (1) (o)) 18

    Chapter 3 Diversity in employment 20

    3.1 Purpose of Chapter 3 20

    3.2 Exercise of employer powers generally 20

    3.3 Measures for workplace diversity programs 20

    3.4 Copy of workplace diversity program to be given to Commissioner 21

    3.5 Evaluation and assessment of effectiveness and outcomes of

    workplace diversity program 21

     Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 2

    Contents

    Page

    3.6 Review of workplace diversity program 21

    Chapter 4 Merit in employment 22

    4.1 Purpose of Chapter 4 22

    4.2 Engagement of ongoing APS employees 23

    4.2A Engagement of non-ongoing APS employee as ongoing employee in

    exceptional circumstances 25

    4.3 Engagement of APS employees for a specified term or for the duration

    of a specified task 25

    4.3A Engagement and placement of person unable to participate in

    competitive selection process 26

    4.3B Engagement of non-ongoing APS employee unable to participate in

    competitive selection process as ongoing employee 26

    4.4 Redundancy benefit 27

    4.4A Restrictions on engagement of redundancy benefit recipients as APS

    employees or locally engaged employees 27

    4.5 Extension of engagement of APS employee engaged for a specified

    term 28

    4.6 What is a promotion 29

    4.6A Promotion of ongoing APS employees 29

    4.6B Promotion on completion of an appointment to a statutory office 31

    4.7 Temporary assignment of duties to APS employees 31

    Chapter 5 Basic requirements for procedures for

    determining breaches of the Code of Conduct 33

    5.1 Purpose of Chapter 5 33

    5.2 Information to be given to employee before determination is made 33

    5.3 Determination process to be informal 33

    5.4 Person making determination to be independent and unbiased 33

    5.5 Record of determination 33

    5.6 Appropriate procedures if basis of APS employee’s engagement in an

    Agency changes or employee moves to a different Agency 34

    Chapter 6 Senior Executive Service employment 35

    6.1 SES employment matters general 35

    6.2 Minimum requirements in relation to decisions made about SES

    employees 35

    6.3 Minimum requirements promotion and engagement 35

    6.4 Minimum requirements mobility 36

    6.5 Minimum requirements redeployment 36

    6.6 Minimum requirements involuntary assignment at lower

    classification 37

    6.6A Minimum requirements assignment from specialist SES

    classification to corresponding non-specialist SES classification 38

    6.6B Minimum requirements assignment from non-SES classification to

    SES classification 38

    6.7 Minimum requirements retirement 39

    6.8 Minimum requirements termination of employment 39

     Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 3

    Contents

    Page Chapter 7 Delegation 40 7.1A Delegation by the Commissioner 40 7.1 Delegation by Agency Head 40 Schedule 1 Circumstances in which Chapter 4 does not apply 42 Schedule 2 Persons included as APS employees 43 Dictionary 45 Notes to the Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 47

     Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 4

    Preliminary Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Preliminary

1.1 Name of Directions [see Note 1]

     These Directions are the Public Service Commissioner’s

    Directions 1999.

    1.2 Commencement [see Note 1]

     These Directions commence on the commencement of the

    Public Service Act 1999.

    1.3 Definitions the dictionary

     (1) The dictionary at the end of these Directions defines certain

    words and expressions.

     (2) The dictionary includes certain words and expressions relevant

    to these Directions that are defined in the Public Service

    Act 1999.

    Note These definitions are indicated by an asterisk (*), and are included

    for information only to assist readers of these Directions. Minor changes

    from the Act definitions are indicated by square brackets ([ ]).

    Main objects of the Act

    Section 3 of the Act provides that the main objects of the Act

    are:

    (a) to establish an apolitical public service that is efficient

    and effective in serving the Government, the Parliament

    and the Australian public; and

    (b) to provide a legal framework for the effective and fair

    employment, management and leadership of APS

    employees; and

    (c) to define the powers, functions and responsibilities of

    Agency Heads, the Public Service Commissioner and the

    Merit Protection Commissioner; and

    (d) to establish rights and obligations of APS employees.

     Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 5

    Preliminary Chapter 1

Outline of these Directions

    Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of these Directions make provision about the APS Values. Subsection 10 (1) of the Act sets out the APS Values. The Chapters are:

    ; Chapter 2 APS Values

    ; Chapter 3 Diversity in employment

    ; Chapter 4 Merit in employment.

    Chapter 5 makes provision about the basic procedural requirements that must be complied with by the procedures established by an Agency Head for determining whether an APS employee has breached the Code of Conduct.

    Chapter 6 makes provision about SES employment.

Background to these Directions

    Under subsection 11 (1) of the Act, the Commissioner must issue directions in writing in relation to each of the APS Values for the purpose of:

    (a) ensuring that the APS incorporates and upholds the APS

    Values; and

    (b) determining where necessary the scope or application of

    the APS Values.

    The APS Values have effect subject to any restrictions in the directions.

    Under paragraph 41 (1) (a) of the Act, the Commissioner must evaluate the extent to which Agencies incorporate and uphold the APS Values.

    Under subsection 15 (4) of the Act, the Commissioner must issue directions in writing in relation to the procedures to be established by an Agency Head for determining whether an APS employee has breached the Code of Conduct.

     Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 6

    Preliminary Chapter 1

    Under section 36 of the Act, the Commissioner must issue directions in writing about employment matters relating to SES employees, including engagement, promotion, redeployment, mobility and termination.

    These Directions are generally in the form of directions to Agency Heads because, under the Act, Agency Heads must uphold and promote the APS Values (Act, s 12), and Agency Heads are given employment powers on behalf of the Commonwealth (Act, Part 4).

    Agency Heads and APS employees must comply with the Commissioner’s Directions (Act, s 42).

     Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 7

    APS Values Chapter 2

    Chapter 2 APS Values

Information about the APS Values

    The APS Values are set out in subsection 10 (1) of the Act. The Act requires Agency Heads to uphold and promote the APS Values (Act, s 12), and requires APS employees to behave at all times in a way that upholds the APS Values (Act, subs 13 (11)).

    The APS Values, and these Directions, describe standards and outcomes that can be supported in the same ways by all Agency Heads and APS employees.

    The Values and Directions also relate to specific tasks, including:

    ; making employment decisions

    ; providing advice

    ; managing workplace relations

    ; administering a performance management system.

    In these cases, it is likely that the APS Values will have to be upheld in different ways in different Agencies, and in ways that reflect the different levels of involvement that people have in the tasks. However, it is still possible for people who are not directly engaged on a task to uphold the Values to which the task relates.

    These Directions have been prepared in the expectation that they will be read and applied in this spirit. As a minimum, it is expected that all Agency Heads and APS employees will: ; support the work of people who may be directly engaged

    on a task contemplated by the Values; and

    ; participate in the results of the task in the way intended by

    the people engaged in it.

     Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 8

    APS Values Chapter 2

2.1 Purpose of Chapter 2

     The purpose of this Chapter is:

     (a) to ensure that Agency Heads and APS employees understand their

    responsibilities in relation to the APS Values; and

     (b) to set out the minimum requirements that an Agency Head must meet

    in upholding and promoting the APS Values and the minimum

    requirements that an APS employee must meet in upholding the APS

    Values.

    2.2 The APS is apolitical, performing its functions in an impartial

    and professional manner (Act s 10 (1) (a))

     (1) In upholding and promoting the APS Value mentioned in paragraph

    10 (1) (a) of the Act, an Agency Head must put in place measures in the

    Agency directed at ensuring that:

     (a) management and staffing decisions in the Agency are made on a basis

    that is independent from the political party system, political bias and

    political influence; and

     (b) the same high standard of policy advice and implementation, and the

    same high quality professional support, is provided to the elected

    Government, irrespective of which political party is in power and

    irrespective of the Agency Head’s political beliefs.

     (2) In upholding the APS Value mentioned in paragraph 10 (1) (a) of the Act,

    an APS employee must, taking into account the employee’s duties and

    responsibilities in the Agency, help to ensure that:

     (a) management and staffing decisions in the Agency are made on a basis

    that is independent from the political party system, political bias and

    political influence; and

     (b) the same high standard of policy advice and implementation, and the

    same high quality professional support, is provided to the elected

    Government, irrespective of which political party is in power and

    irrespective of the employee’s political beliefs.

    2.3 The APS is a public service in which employment decisions are

    based on merit (Act s 10 (1) (b))

     (1) In upholding and promoting the APS Value mentioned in paragraph

    10 (1) (b) of the Act, an Agency Head must put in place measures in the

    Agency directed at ensuring that:

     (a) for an employment decision relating to the engagement or promotion of

    a person in the Agency:

     (i) the aim and purpose of the selection process is determined in

    advance and information about the process is readily available to

    applicants; and

     (ii) the selection process is transparent and applied fairly in relation

    to each eligible applicant; and

     (iii) the matters mentioned in subsection 10 (2) of the Act are taken

    into account; and

     Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 9

    APS Values Chapter 2

     (b) for any other employment decision in the Agency the decision is

    made on the basis of an assessment of a person’s work-related qualities

    and the work-related qualities required for efficient and effective

    organisational performance.

    Note In addition to the requirements set out in subcl (1), an Agency Head must also

    comply with the requirements set out in Ch 3 (which relates to diversity in employment),

    Ch 4 (which relates to merit in employment) and Ch 6 (which relates to SES employment).

     (2) In upholding the APS Value mentioned in paragraph 10 (1) (b) of the Act,

    an APS employee must, taking into account the employee’s duties and

    responsibilities in the Agency, help to ensure that:

     (a) for an employment decision relating to the engagement or promotion of

    a person in the Agency:

     (i) the aim and purpose of the selection process is determined in

    advance and information about the process is readily available to

    applicants; and

     (ii) the selection process is transparent and applied fairly in relation

    to each eligible applicant; and

     (iii) the matters mentioned in subsection 10 (2) of the Act are taken

    into account; and

     (b) for any other employment decision in the Agency the decision is

    made on the basis of an assessment of a person’s work-related qualities

    and the work-related qualities required for efficient and effective

    organisational performance.

    Note In addition to the requirements set out in subcl (2), an APS employee must also

    comply with the requirements set out in Ch 3 (which relates to diversity in employment),

    Ch 4 (which relates to merit in employment) and Ch 6 (which relates to SES employment). 2.4 The APS provides a workplace that is free from discrimination

    and recognises and utilises the diversity of the Australian

    community it serves (Act s 10 (1) (c))

     (1) In upholding and promoting the APS Value mentioned in paragraph

    10 (1) (c) of the Act, an Agency Head must put in place measures in the

    Agency directed at ensuring that:

     (a) all Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws are complied with; and

     (b) engagement decisions in the Agency are made taking into account the

    diversity of the Australian community, the organisational and business

    goals of the Agency and the skills required to perform the relevant

    duties; and

     (c) the diverse backgrounds of APS employees are effectively utilised,

    taking into account the organisational and business goals of the Agency

    and the skills required to perform the relevant duties; and

     (d) APS employees are helped to balance their work, family and other

    caring responsibilities effectively.

     (2) In upholding the APS Value mentioned in paragraph 10 (1) (c) of the Act,

    an APS employee must, taking into account the employee’s duties and

    responsibilities in the Agency, help to ensure that:

     (a) all Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws are complied with; and

     Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 10

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