All departmental staff involved in the assessment of AASP applications will observe the highest standards of probity, with all applications assessed in a manner that is fair, transparent, confidential, and of the highest professional standard.
There are a number of key requirements to promote probity:
- Fairness and impartiality
- Applicants are to be treated equally and must have the same opportunity to access information and advice.
- Consistency and transparency of process
- Applicants are to be evaluated in a systematic manner against explicit, predetermined assessment criteria.
- Security and confidentiality
- The processes adopted for receiving and managing applicant information must ensure that security and confidentiality of intellectual property and proprietary information is maintained.
- Identification and resolution of potential conflicts of interest
- Any person involved in the application process is to declare and address any actual or perceived conflict of interest prior to providing advice or conducting an assessment.
The above requirements are intended to achieve an equitable, justifiable and sound process according equal opportunity for all applicants. This process will be applied with common sense and flexibility, so the task of assessing proposals is fair and equitable whilst achieving program outcomes.
Information must be provided to applicants in a fair, equitable and consistent manner. No applicant should receive or be perceived to have received an undue advantage in respect to the assessment process.
Probity related to the application and assessment process is the responsibility of all departmental staff involved in informing applicants or assessing applications and it is their duty to ensure the process is open and fair.
As per the Australian Public Service (APS) values and code of conduct in practice, departmental staff are required to, among other things:
- behave honestly and with integrity in the course of their employment in the APS
- disclose, and take reasonable steps to avoid, any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with their employment in the APS
- not make improper use of inside information or the employee’s duties, status, power or authority in order to gain, or seek to gain, a benefit or advantage for the employee or for any other person
- at all times behave in a way that upholds the APS values and the integrity and good reputation of the APS.
Independent probity advice
The AAD will make use of an independent probity advisor as it sees fit.