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Managing integrity risks in the workplace

Welcome to the Managing Integrity Risks in the Workplace toolkit.

It is widely acknowledged that the Australian Public Service (APS) has a sound record on integrity. We have largely avoided the well-publicised cases of misconduct, unlawful conduct and corruption that have emerged in other jurisdictions. However, we have not been completely free of wrongdoing by employees. We cannot afford to be complacent.

The toolkit has been designed to help APS managers identify and deal with integrity risks in their workplaces, and provide some guidance about steps that they can take to help their agency maintain high levels of integrity.

Threats to integrity arise in a broad range of ways. Some are criminal, but most are not. They can come from mistakes, from poor judgement, or from not understanding what it means to be a professional public servant. They can arise from something as simple as a bad recruitment decision.

The toolkit complements existing guidance from the Attorney-General's Department, including Managing the Insider Threat to Your Business.

It contains:

  • information sheets with background information, good practice advice, examples and links to further information
  • case studies providing real-life examples of integrity breaches in public sector agencies
  • other tools and resources including useful tips, checklists and templates.

The Australian Public Service Commission's Ethics Advisory Service is available to assist managers and employees deal with ethical issues in the workplace and can be contacted on phone 02 6202 3737 or email to ethics [at] apsc.gov.au.

In this chapter

The business case
Taking steps

In this chapter

What risk factors should I look out for?
Provision of false or misleading information prior to employment
Dealing with historical Code of Conduct matters
Dealing with prior criminal history
Mitigating the recruitment risks
Pre-employment screening

In this chapter

Bringing people into your workplace
Changed personal circumstances
Organisational change
Ongoing suitability assessment
Conflicts of interest
High risk roles
Threats from organised crime
Out of hours conduct
Privacy and trust

In this chapter

What are the risks?
Mitigating the risks

In this chapter

Information privacy
Sharing risk information within agencies
Sharing risk information between agencies


In this chapter

Common integrity risks
Motivating factors
Red flags


In this chapter

Encouraging employees to report risks
Reporting suspected misconduct
Public interest disclosures
What happens to a report of suspected misconduct?
Suspected misconduct of employees in other agencies


In this chapter

Case studies

Last reviewed: 
30 May 2018