Integrity and professional standards

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We hold a trusted place at the border and in the community. Staff access secure environments, and have the ability to make decisions that affect a person's safety, rights and freedoms, and Australian trade and commerce. We exercise considerable discretion and significant powers, such as the power to grant a visa or citizenship, search passengers and cargo, and to detain and remove non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa.

Our border management activities, including visa and citizenship decision making, are a significant target for criminal groups who have strong financial motives to infiltrate border protection agencies across the globe. Today the risk has extended to highly organised criminal networks attempting to groom, bribe and/or blackmail officials to influence the granting of visas, the importation of illicit drugs and to find out more about how the Government detects fraud, and controls the movement of people and goods in the border continuum.

Integrity is a long-held and well established concept for the public sector. Corruption in our Department would greatly undermine government and public confidence in us, as well as the confidence of our partners. The community and Government trust us to exercise our powers reasonably, lawfully, impartially and professionally.

Professional standards framework

We have in place a professional standards framework to promote the high standards of professional and conduct expected of our workforce. This framework has its basis in legislation (including the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act) with guiding principles that apply across the Australian Public Service (e.g. the ICARE Values and APS Code of Conduct). We have also developed our own set of behaviours that underpin a high performance and professional organisational culture.


Legislation includes the PS Act 1999, the Public Governance and Performance Accountability Act 2013 ( PGPA Act), the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 (LEIC Act) and the Australian Border Force Act 2015 (ABF Act).

Integrity framework

Contained within the professional standards framework, the integrity framework includes measures designed to protect our workforce from the criminal influence and to mitigate the potential for corruption risk.  The measures in our integrity framework include:

Determination and directions made by the Secretary

The Secretary has issued a Determination that together with the Australian Border Force Act 2015 defines who the integrity framework applies to. The Secretary has also issued Directions that define the application of our integrity measures not only for our staff but those providing a service for or on behalf of the Department.