To support the Australian Public Service (APS) to best undertake its role in the Westminster tradition, the Independent Review of the APS (Thodey Review) recommended that five core guiding principles be distilled and set out in the Public Service Act 1999. The APS principles proposed and defined by the Thodey Review are reproduced below.
Providing policies, regulations and services for the Government of the day, while maintaining the trust of successive governments. Understanding and operating within the current political context, but in a politically neutral, unbiased way.
Looking ahead to the medium and long term to identify and meet current and future challenges and take future opportunities, with the interests of all Australians in mind. Protecting the institution of the APS. Providing a repository of wisdom and experience, including maintaining the capability to serve successive governments, ensuring continuity of public service, sustaining core expertise to tackle multifaceted policy issues, being self-critical, building and sustaining genuine partnerships and remaining steadfast to the public interest.
Engaging and partnering with stakeholders, and informing the public about how and why decisions are made. Releasing data and insights, reducing barriers to access, and improving accessibility, accountability and transparency. Ensuring that this does not preclude confidentiality, but enables a balance to be struck.
Adhering to a high moral standard, including acting in line with the APS Values and Code of Conduct. Maintaining high standards of ethical behaviour, including honesty, truthfulness and accuracy, in all interactions with the Government, stakeholders and the community, and across the APS.
Ensuring that all decisions, particularly relating to procurement, provision of services and employment, are ethical and accountable. Ensuring that decision-making processes take into account all relevant aspects, including evidence, equity, legality, value for money, outcomes, and outputs.