Meaning of honesty, integrity, care, and diligence prescribed in APS Code-of-Conduct

Trav S made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Public Service Commission

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear APSC,

The APS Code of Conduct states APS employees must behave honestly and with integrity; act with care and diligence; treat everyone with respect and courtesy, and without harassment. Can I ask for the meaning of the following words:


Please accept this as an FOI request if you are unable to provide the information via administrative access arrangements. Thank you for your time.

Yours faithfully, Trav S

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

Dear Trav S,

We are writing to you to acknowledge receipt of your request for information.

If you have any questions regarding your request, please feel free to reply via return email.


FOI Officer
Legal Services

Australian Public Service Commission
Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

t: 02 6202 3500 w:

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FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

10 Attachments


Dear Trav S


Your request


Thank you for your request to the Australian Public Service Commission
(Commission) Freedom of Information (FOI) team, in which you have asked
for the meaning of the words:


·       Honesty;

·       Integrity;

·       Care;

·       Diligence;

·       Respect; and

·       Harassment.


Administrative access release


It is open to the Commission to consider administrative access as an
option to release information outside the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act) procedures. To address your request we have decided it is
appropriate to provide you access to the information enclosed in this
correspondence on an administrative basis.




The words honesty, integrity, care, diligence, respect and harassment are
used in the APS Code of Conduct and APS Values. The APS Code of Conduct is
set out in section 13 of the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act) and the APS
Values are set out in section 10 of the PS Act (see PS Act enclosed).


Part 2, sections 11 to 17 of the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s
Directions 2016 (Directions) determine the scope and application of the
APS Values (see Directions enclosed).


Taking into account the purpose and object of the legislation, the
ordinary meaning of the words is used. 


The Commission has also prepared materials to assist understand the
meaning of the words in practice, and the APS Code of Conduct and APS
Values more generally. This material includes:


·       Handling Misconduct: A human resource manager’s guide (Appendix 5
in particular provides guidance on terms used in the Code of Conduct);

·       APS Values and Code of Conduct in practice document (enclosed);

·       APS Values and Code of Conduct bookmark (enclosed); and

·       APS Values poster (enclosed).


Additionally, this material can be found on the Commission’s webpage here:


·       Handling Misconduct [1]Appendix 5

·       [2]APS Values | Australian Public Service Commission
(; and

·       [3]Code of Conduct | Australian Public Service Commission


Ethics Advisory Service


If you require further assistance, the Ethics Advisory Service is
available to all Australian Public Service (APS) employees, including
agency heads and SES staff. If you fall into one of these categories you
may wish to contact the Commission’s Ethics Advisory Service:


Enquiries: Monday – Friday from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm AEST
Phone: 02 6202 3737
Email: [4][email address]


Next steps


Due to the information we have provided you in this correspondence, we
recommend you withdraw your request under the FOI Act with the Commission.


Unless we hear back from you by close of business Monday, 23 August 2021,
we will treat your FOI request with the Commission as withdrawn.




FOI Officer

Legal Services


Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601


t: 02 6202 3500  w: [5]        

[6]three hexagons[7]twitter icon [8]facebook





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delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.


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Dear FOI,
Thank you for your email.
Please withdraw our FOI request - the documents provided under the administrative access arrangements are a great help. Thanks again!
Yours sincerely,
Trav S