Integrity chief breaches Code of Conduct, John Lloyd exits in disgrace

The CPSU says the conclusions of a Code of Conduct inquiry have confirmed our view that John Lloyd was never a fit person to hold the position of Australian Public Service Commissioner.

The Merit Protection Commissioner has reportedly found Mr Lloyd breached the APS Code of Conduct by providing material to his former employer, right-wing think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs, and failing to uphold public service values and the good reputation of his agency.

Information already available on the public record has shown that:

  • Mr Lloyd used APSC resources to develop detailed research attacking public servants' working conditions and personally sent it to the IPA
  • The IPA rebadged the APSC research, much of it word for word, using it to attack CPSU members and the union itself during the Commonwealth bargaining dispute
  • The IPA replied to Mr Lloyd saying the research was “very handy”
  • Mr Lloyd denied attacks on workplace conditions at the Senate Inquiry into Commonwealth Bargaining, while the IPA appeared at the inquiry using Mr Lloyd’s research.
  • During the inquiry Mr Lloyd was questioned about worker conditions by Senator James Paterson, an ex IPA Deputy Director whose name appears as author of the rebadged IPA report. Mr Lloyd has never acknowledged his role in providing the IPA material used by Government Senators in their dissenting report
  • The APSC also sent the IPA detailed information on agreement ballots, which they used to attack the CPSU and our members
  • Mr Lloyd emailed the IPA about CPSU media statements on bargaining, writing “More fan mail from your favourite union” and asking whether he had taken the title of “IPA pinup boy”

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “John Lloyd is retiring in disgrace and he deserves nothing less. His job was to uphold and enforce integrity across the APS, telling 150,000 workers what they can and can’t do, yet he couldn’t even uphold the Code of Conduct himself. The hypocrisy is astounding.”

“Mr Lloyd policed extreme standards for workers on $70,000 a year, telling them they can’t even ‘like’ a Facebook post without getting in trouble, while cashing $700,000 himself as he misused his position to pursue his own extreme ideological ends, after his handpicked appointment by the Government.”

“Mr Lloyd failed to do his job and debased the office of Commissioner by using APSC resources to feed detailed research to the IPA so it could attack public services and workers’ rights, including in a Senate Inquiry. Then Minister Michaelia Cash had nothing to say on this most serious matter, other than her repeated attacks on workers and the CPSU over this period. Mr Lloyd ensured the IPA was provided with detailed information on agreement ballots and otherwise acted as an advocate for a right-wing think tank rather than advocating for the public service and its workforce.”

“John Lloyd fought tooth and nail to hinder this inquiry and keep it secret, knowing his conduct would never be endorsed or cleared by an independent examination of his actions. He further confirmed his double standards around accountability and integrity by appearing to fast-track his retirement in the hope the Merit Protection Commissioner’s inquiry would lapse. The fact this inquiry’s been finalised is a huge win for public service integrity.”

“Mr Lloyd has done enormous damage to the APS and the people who work so hard to provide quality policy advice and public services, so it is only right that this bookends his time as Commissioner. The end of his toxic tenure provides an opportunity for the Turnbull Government to change direction and repair the considerable damage he has caused, which has hurt workers and the community’s faith in Government. We hope incoming APS Commissioner Peter Woolcott is able to quickly rebuild confidence in the office, but that will require the now Minister Kelly O’Dwyer and the Prime Minister to change direction.”