The State of public service

The Centre for Policy Development (CDP) has released two reports on the realities of public staffing and the perceptions communities have on services public servants are providing them.
Between 1991 and 1999, the Keating and Howard Governments reduced staff levels across Australian Public Service (APS) agencies by almost one third.
Since the low point of 1999, staff numbers have gradually returned to 1991 levels.
In the first of a series of publications, CPD’s public service program has today released our Staffing the Public Service Report: How many public servants is enough?
The report examines staffing levels and trends during the last 10-20 years and the political rhetoric that has accompanied and (at times) justified these trends.

CDP’s analysis highlights a growing proportion of senior level positions, widening gender disparities and a significant under-representation of people with disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
Women represent more than 80 percent of part-time APS employees and are over-represented in non-ongoing positions.
Senator Kim Carr recently asserted that public servants “of the highest calibre” are necessary to achieve “ambitious goals for a richer, fairer and greener Australia”.
Do the 160,000 Australians employed in the 133 agencies that comprise the Australian Public Service meet this standard?
CPD research reveals polarised views of the public service.
While citizens express confidence in public services and a preference for a well-funded public sector, some politicians and other public service commentators paint a much less positive picture and advocate ‘axing’ services.
CPD’s public service researchers have examined twenty years of attitudinal surveys and political commentary.
The details of public perception can be found in the report State of the Australian Public Service: An Alternative Report.
Read the October/November issue of Government News as we breakdown the information for you.


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