General duties of officials

All Commonwealth entities have officials, including employees, officers or members of an entity. These officials are employed under a broad range of employment frameworks including administrative personnel, uniformed service personnel, federal police, customs officers, park rangers, postal workers, camera operators or scientists. Some are chief executives, or members of boards; others are in administrative or support roles. All officials have a set of general duties that they must meet, as individuals, under the PGPA Act.

Section 25 to 29 of the PGPA Act set out the general duties that apply to the officials of all Commonwealth entities, particularly in their management and use of public resources.

This guidance details the five general duties of all officials under the PGPA Act.

They are:

  • a duty of care and diligence
  • a duty to act honestly, in good faith and for a proper purpose
  • a duty in relation to use of position
  • a duty in relation to use of information
  • a duty to disclose interests.

This guide explains each of these five general duties and how they apply to officials. The information in this document may be supplemented with other guidance or requirements issued by an accountable authority in relation to their officials.

Related guidance:

Contact information: The contact for this topic is governancepolicy@finance.gov.au.

Last updated: 15 November 2016