• Procedures for determining breaches of the APS Code of Conduct and the Imposition of Sanction

    I, Brad Chapman, Deputy Commissioner, ATO People, establish these procedures under subsection 15(3) of the Public Service Act 1999 (the Act).

    These procedures are effective as of 3 October 2017 and replace all previous procedures.

    Brad Chapman_signature

    Brad Chapman
    Deputy Commissioner
    ATO People

    Date: 3 October 2017

    Application

    1. These procedures apply in determining:
      • whether an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) employee or former ATO employee who was employed in the in the ATO at the time of the suspected misconduct, has breached the APS Code of Conduct (the Code) in section 13 of the Act ; and
      • the sanction (if any) to be imposed on an ATO employee who has been found to have breached the Code.
    2. In these procedures, a reference to a breach of the Code by a person includes a reference to a person engaging in conduct set out in subsection 15(2A) of the Act in connection with their engagement as an APS employee.
    3. Not all suspected breaches of the Code need to be dealt with by way of a process which results in a determination. In particular circumstances, another way of dealing with a suspected breach of the Code may be more appropriate.

    Availability of procedures

    1. These procedures are publicly available on the ATO’s Website.

    Person (s) making a breach determination and imposing any sanction to be independent and unbiased

    1. Reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that the person making a breach decision and the person making a sanction decision must be, and must appear to be, independent and unbiased.

    The determination process

    1. The process for determining whether an APS employee has breached the Code must be carried out with as little formality and as much expedition as a proper consideration of the matter allows.
    2. A determination may not be made in relation to a suspected breach of the Code by a person unless reasonable steps have been taken to:
      • inform the person of:
        • the details of the suspected breach of the Code, including any subsequent variation of those details; and
        • the sanctions that may be imposed on them under subsection 15 (1) of the Act; and
      • give the person a reasonable opportunity to make a statement in relation to the suspected breach.

    Sanction

    1. If a determination is made that an ATO employee has breached the Code, a sanction may not be imposed unless reasonable steps have been taken to:
      • inform the employee of:
        • the determination that has been made; and
        • the sanction or sanctions that are under consideration; and
        • the factors that are under consideration in determining any sanction to be imposed; and
      • give the employee a reasonable opportunity to make a statement in relation to the sanctions under consideration.

    Record of determination and sanction

    1. If a determination is made in relation to a suspected breach of the Code a written record must be made of:
      • the suspected breach; and
      • the determination; and
      • any sanctions imposed as a result of a determination ,and
      • any statement of reasons provided to the person (if a statement of reasons was given to the person).

    Note: The Archives Act 1983 and the Privacy Act 1988 apply to a record made under this section.

      Last modified: 12 Oct 2017QC 53486