Live the ICARE Values

The Big Question for this course is why you need to live the ICARE Values at the DTA. This course will teach you what the ICARE values are, why they are important and how they apply to you.

What are Values and why do they matter?

What are values?

What are Values?

  1. Values are principles that shape our thoughts, judgements and behaviours. Values help us determine right or wrong, moral or immoral. Values shape what we do in certain situations, and how others see us.
  2. Values are not rules. For example: no feat on the train seat is a rule, but being respectful is a value.
  3. When similar values are shared by many people, those values determine the basis for an overall culture. At the DTA, we have many values, but the ICARE values set the standard for the way we serve the public. These have evolved into a set of shared professional values and expectations across Government.

Click on any word that is an example of a value in the image below:

What are the ICARE values?

The ICARE Values

Our ICARE Values

The Australian public expects high standards of behaviour and ethics from us. We need to meet these expectations because we manage public money, we exercise authority and our actions affect people's lives.

The ICARE Values set the standards for how we act in serving the public. The values are: Impartial; Committed to Service; Accountable; Respectful; Ethical.

These values make it easier for us to say ICARE...and mean it. Below you will see brief outlines of each value.

Impartial

Impartiality is important because government needs our advice. The best advice is apolitical, frank, honest, timely and based on best evidence.

You can still be involved in politics, however:

  1. You shouldn't seem to speak for the government or the DTA.
  2. You shouldn't use public resources for politics 
  3.  You should avoid conflicts of interest.

Committed to Service

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

Test: Our APS values conform to the mnemonic ICARE, but what does it stand for?

I stands for  C stands for  A stands for  R stands for  E stands for  

Why are the ICARE values important?

What do you think is the single biggest non-fixed cost to an agency?

Does ICARE really apply to me?

Impartial advice in the APS.

Impartial advice in the APS should be frank, honest, timely and based on the best available evidence.

Keep this in mind when deciding whether the following fictional scenarios reflect impartial advice. 

  • You are working on a project at the DTA and there is a major issue with the project. The DTA executives are meeting the Minister today. You are sending up a report ahead of that meeting. You should omit the issue to ensure the meeting goes well.
  • After the election, the new Government wants people to vote using MYGOV. You discover a security flaw which allows multiple voting. Your team is reluctant to tell the Government as this was an election promise. Your team should still tell the government.
  • The DTA is about to release the Digital 2050 Report after two years of research. The report recommends virtual licences. The report has come to you for final editing. You prefer a physical licence as your phone has a short battery life. You assume other people must think this too. You should remove the recommendation from the report so people don't have to change.
  • You just noticed a bug in the code for the DTA's partnership for a new Agricultural Payments System. You want to tell the team but they have already had a bad day with their latest brief being sent back unsigned. You haven't been able to reach them by slack, maybe this is a sign that you should wait for the perfect opportunity to let them know. You need to let them know via another method.
  • None of the above are correct
  • all of the above are correct

To be Committed to Service

We:

  1. collaborate to get the best results for the community and Government.
  2. encourage innovative thought and solutions.
  3. stay open to good ideas.
  4. think beyond traditional boundaries.
  5. challenge the "business as usual" approach.

We are:

  1.  professional,
  2.  objective, 
  3. innovative 
  4. efficient


We need to:

  1. contribute to a culture of achievement.
  2. Support a unified APS, 
  3. focus on serving Government and the community.
  4. manage risk
  5.  be responsive to ministers
  6. take account of constraints by understanding:

A) policies.

B) issues and options.

C) objectives and environment.

Mark each question that demonstrates commitment to service

  • The Government promised at the last election to create an application making it easier for people to know if they will be travelling to a mobile blackspot. You see that people can get this information already by visiting a tourism shopfront and use your judgement to redesign the application point out these shopfronts instead.
  • The DTA is collaborating with the Department of Administrative Affairs on a new red tape reduction service. You feel like the DAA is not a very productive partner and is getting in the way. Just before circulation you add a recommendation that the DAA be made responsible for the costs of the entire program.
  • You realise that the traditional approach to hosting informational services carries high risks. Working with partner agencies, you help develop a new solution that meets community and government needs. Your consultations reveal that while most stakeholders are happy a small number of stakeholders are unhappy that the new system is bad for their interests. You receive advice from these stakeholders that the Business as usual approach is better.

To be Accountable

We:

  1. Make decisions  with appropriate consideration. 
  2. Make decisions that comply with policy and law.
  3. Keep records of why a decision is made. 
  4. Think carefully about what we do, challenging assumptions and logic.
  5. Show care in reaching a decision. 

We are:

  1. Open to scrutiny and transparent in decision-making. 
  2. Accountable for our actions and decisions through statutory and administrative reporting systems.
  3. Aware that our decisions can be reviewed by a Ombudsman, court, Privacy Commissioner or the Australian Human Rights Commission.

We need to:

  1. Explain decisions to the people affected by them.
  2. Assess the quality of our decisions and improve decision-making standards.
  3. Be open and accountable to the Australian community, the law and the framework of ministerial responsibility.
  4. The Administrative Decisions Act 1977  means we need to provide reasons for our decisions.

Which one is being accountable?

  • User Research at the DTA shows that our proposed authentication solution has raised concerns regarding data use and privacy. Your team has put significant effort into designing something which mitigates these risks and you worry that privacy advocates are overzealous. You decide that the best way forward is to do more design work to meet these issues and in the meantime freeze all user research and consultations so that you can focus on getting the job done. Once the system is fully operational then people will be able to give feedback.
  • You are an assessor on the Nation Building Authority's new information service for grant applications. To ensure you remain impartial and don't influence the outcome, you only give feedback at the final assessment stage. Once the assessment is complete you let the NBA know they did not pass and you can't tell them which standards they didn't pass as this would give away the answers. You make sure to publish the report immediately to avoid any costly and inefficient appeals.
  • You are supporting an ICT procurement at the DTA. You ensure the correct panels and processes are being used, however you don't document anything incase there is a challenge to the procurement and people blame the DTA.
  • all of the above.
  • none of the above.

To be Respectful

What is showing respect?

  • Put your answer option here
  • Put your answer option here

To be Ethical

What does ethical mean in practice?

  • Put your answer option here
  • Put your answer option here