Former APS boss to head investigation into robodebt breaches

Former public service chief Stephen Sedgwick will head an investigation overseen by the APSC to  see if any public servants who have had adverse findings made against them by the Robodebt Royal Commision breached the APS code of conduct.

Stephen Sedgwick

Mr Sedgwick is a former senior Commonwealth public servant and was APS Commissioner between 2009 and 2014.

A taskforce led by DPM&C, the Attorney General’s Department and the APSC is also being set up to prepare the government’s response to Commission Catherine Holmes’ report.

The report, which made a raft of recommendations including referring some of the key figures involved in the scheme for prosecution, was handed down last week.

The names of those referred were contained in a sealed chapter of the report and have not yet been revealed, however a number of senior public servants, including the then head of DHS Kathryn Campbell and others, were criticised in other publicly available parts of the report.

In a joint message to APS staff on Monday, DP&C Secretary Glyn Davis and APS Commissioner Gordon de Brouwer said the Royal Commission’s findings are being taken very seriously, and the government and APSC were committed to working through them “in an open and constructive way”.

“Following the release of the report on Friday, a taskforce led by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Attorney-General’s Department, and the Australian Public Service Commission will be established to support Ministers in preparing the Government’s response,” Professor Davis and Dr de Brouer said.

“Separate to this, the APSC will oversee an independent process to determine if public servants with adverse findings have breached the APS Code of Conduct.”

Mr Sedgwick had been engaged as an independent investigator, they said.

They said they recognised that “the vast majority” of public servants are committed to providing quality advice and dedicated service consistent with APS values.

They also acknowledged the findings may have have had an impact across the service and urged anyone struggling in the wake of it to contact their agency’s employee assistance program or other support services including Lifeline and Beyond Blue.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

One thought on “Former APS boss to head investigation into robodebt breaches

  1. Hopefully Mr Sedgwick holds himself with integrity and rigour. Robodebt has been a stain on the APS and has erroded public trust in the government. The last thing the public needs is to also be let down by the clean up.

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required