The CPSU welcomes reasonable reforms in Customs to eliminate corruption however the recently announced integrity measures are being introduced at the expense of your workplace rights.
While details of the new measures aren’t confirmed, here is what is known so far.
Appeal rights removed
The proposed new measures mean that an officer can be sacked if the CEO
“loses confidence” in that person, who in turn has no right of appeal. While
removing the right of appeal won’t increase anyone’s integrity, it will create
doubts about the integrity of the termination process.
Sting operations introduced
Customs is proposing random “sting operations” to test Officers. The CPSU
believes that enticing someone to commit a crime may actually encourage criminal
behaviour. Indeed, numerous government agencies including the Australian Public
Service Commission, the Attorney-General’s Department, the NSW Police Force and
the Commonwealth Ombudsman are not supportive of random integrity testing.
Random drug and alcohol testing
The CPSU does not condone the use of drugs or alcohol in the workplace as
they pose serious health and safety issues. The CPSU believes that transparency and
fairness needs to be the fundamental component of any testing regime.
Mandatory misconduct and corruption reporting
The CPSU supports corruption reporting and has campaigned strongly for the
protection for whistleblowers. The new measures seek instead to penalise
officers for not reporting issues, including misconduct. Without a reasonable
definition of what constitutes misconduct and without transparency and fairness
built in, mandatory reporting is a risky approach for everyone involved.
Where to now?
The proposed measures will have serious consequences for all staff. Due
process and natural justice are fundamental to a process aimed at strengthening
integrity. Customs officers deserve to be treated fairly.
The CPSU is working to ensure these basic principles are not discarded. While
recent discussions between the CPSU, the Government and Customs were
encouraging, much more needs to be done to protect workers.
Let’s work together CPSU members and delegates are taking on the Department
but it’s important that management know that the majority of staff are onside
and working together.
Do you have concerns?
If you have questions or comments about this matter please talk to your CPSU
delegate. You can also send feedback to