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What is the role of the Merit Protection Commissioner?

The Merit Protection Commissioner is an independent statutory office holder with functions aimed at ensuring accountability and integrity in APS employment decision-making.

The Commissioner is supported by staff of the Australian Public Service Commission and has an office in both Sydney and Canberra.

The Commissioner prepares an annual report which is published with the annual report of the Australian Public Service Commissioner.

What does the Merit Protection Commissioner do?

In particular, the Merit Protection Commissioner is responsible for the following:

  • conducting independent reviews of employment actions, including Code of Conduct decisions and promotion reviews
  • providing recruitment services and Code of Conduct inquiry services to APS agencies
  • supporting public sector agencies more broadly with employment-related services on a fee-for-service basis
  • conducting special inquiries.

The Commissioner’s functions are as set out in sections 50 and 50A of the Public Service Act 1999. Further information on the Commissioner’s functions can be found in brochures on the publications page.

Why have a system of review?

An impartial, independent and fair system of review of employment decisions:

  • supports integrity and accountability in public administration
  • encourages positive, respectful and professional working relationships
  • enables agencies to learn from complaints and grievances and continually improve their management of employment disputes and decision-making.

Who is the Merit Protection Commissioner?

The current Merit Protection Commissioner is Ms Linda Waugh whose five year term commenced on 25 June 2018.