Public service bosses have decided that federal employees need to be more closely monitored when it comes to their web browsing activities. The increased scrutiny of their behaviour doesn’t stop there – they will also have their behaviour and attendance put under the microscope.
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A key element of the reasoning behind the increased scrutiny is that looming public sector legal reforms will allow senior management to share workers' personal information across agencies for use in misconduct investigations and hiring decisions – this is sanctioned under a suite of changes to the Public Service Act that will give the government more powers in employee management from July 1.
Under the new rules, an agency head may use personal information where the use is “necessary or relevant” to the exercise of the agency head's power as an employer. This represents a considerable widening in the scope of the already existing rules.