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PUBLIC SERVICE REGULATIONS 1999 - REG 6.1A

Australian Public Service Commissioner's functions--inquiries into alleged breaches of Code of Conduct by statutory office holders (Act s 41(2)(p))

Australian Public Service Commissioner's function

             (1)  For paragraph 41(2)(p) of the Act, a function of the Australian Public Service Commissioner is to inquire into an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct by a statutory office holder.

Australian Public Service Commissioner's discretions

             (2)  The Australian Public Service Commissioner may:

                     (a)  decline to conduct an inquiry; or

                     (b)  discontinue an inquiry under subregulation (1).

             (3)  In deciding whether to decline to conduct, or to discontinue, an inquiry, the Australian Public Service Commissioner must have regard to the following:

                     (a)  whether the subject matter of the inquiry is addressed in another law relating to the statutory office holder;

                     (b)  whether the statutory office holder is bound by rules that require behavioural standards similar to those required by the Code of Conduct;

Example: An Act may include provisions for dealing with a conflict of interest relating to a statutory office holder.

                     (c)  any existing reporting and inquiry mechanisms that apply to the statutory office holder;

                     (d)  whether sufficient detail about the allegation has been provided;

                     (e)  whether the allegation refers to specific decisions or actions by the statutory office holder;

                      (f)  whether the allegation is vexatious, frivolous, misconceived, or lacking in substance.

             (4)  If the Australian Public Service Commissioner inquires into an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct, the Australian Public Service Commissioner may:

                     (a)  determine whether a breach of the Code of Conduct has occurred; and

                     (b)  make recommendations.

             (5)  A determination or recommendation mentioned in subregulation (4) forms part of the results of the inquiry.

             (6)  The Australian Public Service Commissioner must tell the statutory holder the results of an inquiry.

             (7)  The Australian Public Service Commissioner must tell the Secretary the relevant portfolio department, or other relevant Agency Head, of the results of an inquiry unless the Australian Public Service Commissioner is satisfied that it would be inappropriate to do so.

Example:    It would be inappropriate to do so if the Agency Head is personally involved in the matter.

             (8)  If the Australian Public Service Commissioner is satisfied that the results of the inquiry are sufficiently serious, the Australian Public Service Commissioner must tell the Agency Minister or, if applicable, the Presiding Officers the results of the inquiry.

             (9)  If the Australian Public Service Commissioner:

                     (a)  has not told the Agency Minister or the Presiding Officers the results of the inquiry in accordance with subregulation (8); and

                     (b)  is not satisfied with the statutory office holder's response to the Australian Public Service Commissioner;

the Australian Public Service Commissioner may tell the Agency Minister or, if applicable, the Presiding Officers the results of the inquiry and give an explanation of why the Australian Public Service Commissioner is not satisfied with the statutory office holder's response.



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