Government receives blueprint for APS reform

By Angela Dorizas

A review of the Australian Public Service (APS) has proposed changes to funding and staff arrangements to ensure high-quality outcomes for the public.

The review was conducted by a special advisory group chaired by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet chief Terry Moran

The blueprint made 28 recommendations in nine areas of reform, including a proposed review of the efficiency dividend.

In a recent address to the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) Governing Council meeting, Mr Moran said there was continual need for improvement within the APS.

“We are in fact a very successful organisation,” Mr Moran said. “But this does not mean we can’t be better.”

“We have the opportunity to get ahead of the game and ensure that we are prepared to address the challenges we will come up against the future, those we can already predict and those which have yet to emerge.”

He said the nine proposed reforms seek to deliver better services for citizens; create more open government; enhance policy capability; reinvigorate strategic leadership; introduce a new Australian Public Service Commission; clarify and align employment conditions; strengthen workplace planning and development; ensure agency agility, capability and effectiveness; and improve agency efficiency.

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood welcomed the review as a “positive step towards creating a modern and more cohesive public sector”.

“With over different 100 agreements and 750 different pay points, today’s public service lacks the cohesion and flexibility needed to deliver joined-up Government,” Ms Flood said.

“The report’s emphasis on creating ‘one public service’ is long overdue, but very welcome.”

Ms Flood called on the Government to work closely with employees and unions to remove structural barriers across the public service and move towards “streamlined” pay and conditions.

“We also urge the Government move away from blunt and arbitrary funding measures such as the efficiency dividend and instead use these reforms to find genuine savings,” she said.

Read the full report: Ahead of the Game – Blueprint for Reform of Australian Government Administration [PDF]

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