Can bias in a selection process be considered an abuse of authority?

Yes. Members of boards assessing candidates in appointment processes have a duty to conduct their assessments fairly. Bias, including a reasonable apprehension of bias, can constitute an abuse of authority in assessment and appointment decisions made under the PSEA.

The test is whether a reasonably informed bystander could reasonably perceive bias on the part of one or more members of the assessment board. You would need prove that you were treated or assessed differently from other candidates in the assessment process, or that there was a reasonable apprehension of bias. Actions, comments and events that occurred before or during the appointment process could create a reasonable apprehension of bias.