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					Letter of transmittal


PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER




The Honourable John Howard MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600




Dear Prime Minister

In accordance with the provisions of section 44 of the Public Service Act 1999 and clause 3.5(2) of the Public
Service Commissioner’s Directions, I present to you the component of my annual report reporting on the state of
the Australian Public Service for the year 2005–06.

The Australian Public Service Commission will be separately publishing supporting documents, the State of the
Service 2005–06 At a Glance, the State of the Service Employee Survey Results 2005–06 and the Australian
Public Service Statistical Bulletin 2005–06.

The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit agreed in 2003 to extend the tabling deadline of the state of
the service component of my annual report to one calendar month after the tabling date for agencies’ annual
reports.

Section 34C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 requires that you lay a copy of the Report before each House of
Parliament within 15 sitting days after the day on which you receive the Report.

Yours sincerely




Lynelle Briggs
30 November 2006
Preface
Section 44 of the Public Service Act 1999 (the Act) provides that the Australian Public Service Commissioner
must provide a report each year to the Prime Minister for presentation to the Parliament. The report must include
a report on the state of the Australian Public Service during the year.

The State of the Service report draws on a range of information sources but its main data sources are two State
of the Service surveys—one of agencies and the other of employees. The agency survey includes all APS
agencies employing at least 20 staff under the Act. All 84 APS agencies, or semi-autonomous parts of agencies,
which were invited to participate in the online agency survey in June 2006 completed the survey. These agencies
are listed at Appendix 1.

To assist with analysis of the agency survey data, and for comparability with previous years’ data, agencies have
again been grouped according to size. Of the 84 responding agencies, 23 were classified as large (>1000 APS
employees), 26 as medium (251–1000 APS employees) and 35 as small (20–250 APS employees). These size
                                                                                                     1
categories are generally consistent with those used by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). Appendix 1
provides information on agencies’ APS employee numbers.

The second State of the Service survey involved a stratified random sample of 6166 APS employees from APS
agencies with at least 100 APS employees. A total of 3954 valid responses were received, representing a
response rate of 64%. The sample size and number of valid responses allows a range of cross-tabulations to be
used with a degree of confidence. In addition, this year’s report also draws on factor analysis to interpret
employee survey data. Portfolio departments and other large agencies are provided with their own individual
agency-specific results for internal management purposes.

While the size groupings for large and medium agencies are the same for the agency and employee surveys, it
should be noted that for the purposes of the employee survey ‘small’ refers to agencies with between 100 and
250 APS employees. Appendix 2 provides information on the employee and agency survey methodologies.

The Commission engaged the services of ORIMA Research to assist with the design, delivery and statistical
outputs of both surveys. When designing the first employee survey the Commission also engaged the services of
the Australian Bureau of Statistics to advise on aspects of survey methodology; this advice continues to be used.
Assistance in the development and pilot testing of the agency survey was provided by our agency contact officers
in a number of agencies including the Australian Taxation Office, the Department of Defence, Comcare, the Child
Support Agency, and Questacon. Assistance with cognitive testing of the employee survey was provided by a
range of individual APS employees from across a range of agencies. The Commission is very grateful for this
input.

The report also draws on the results of the evaluations conducted by the Commission during 2005–06. The main
evaluation was agencies’ approaches to attracting and retaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
As part of this evaluation a census survey of Indigenous employees was conducted— the results of this survey
can be found in the Census Report: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander APS Employees. Appendix 3 provides
information on the methodology used for this evaluation, as well as an evaluation of agency remuneration
strategies.

The report has also relied heavily on published reports from parliamentary committees and ANAO. Input has been
sought from central agencies, particularly the Department of Finance and Administration, the Department of
Employment and Workplace Relations and ANAO, and their assistance is gratefully acknowledged. Contributions
were also appreciated from Comcare, the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts,
the National Archives of Australia, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Australian
Government Information Management Office, and the Department of Families, Community Services and
Indigenous Affairs.

Associated with the State of the Service Report 2005–06 are two other publications—the Australian Public
Service Statistical Bulletin 2005–06 and the State of the Service Employee Survey Results 2005–06. A summary
pamphlet, State of the Service 2005–06 At a Glance, has also been prepared. These publications are available on
the Commission website at: <http://www.apsc.gov.au.>




    1.   ANAO, Staff Reductions in the Australian Public Service, Performance Audit Report No. 49, June 1999,
         <http://www.anao.gov.au>
Chapter 1: Commissioner’s Overview
The introduction of the State of the Service report has been of major benefit to the Australian Public Service
(APS). We have been able to get a much better picture of how we are performing—where are our areas of
strength, what are our key challenges, and where we need to further improve to ensure that the APS delivers
effective outcomes for the Australian Government and the community into the future. In a more decentralised
environment, where the devolution of authority has markedly improved the quality and efficiency of the APS, the
ability to stand back and reflect on our overall performance is vital.

Over time the State of the Service report has become more sophisticated. The introduction of an annual
employee survey, the gradual accumulation of trend data on a range of important issues, and the use of additional
analytical techniques have allowed us to develop a deeper and more accurate picture of the strengths and
weaknesses of the APS.

This year the State of the Service report is structured around three key themes:

   i.     employee engagement, that is the extent to which agencies’ policies and practices encourage
         employees to actively engage with their work and with their organisation
   ii.   organisational effectiveness, including organisational capability, effective governance processes and
         whole of government capability
  iii.   the effectiveness of the APS in working with the community.

There have been major changes in the structure of the APS which have implications for how we address each of
these areas. This year there has been:

        strong growth in both ongoing and non-ongoing employment, with total numbers in the APS growing by
         9.6% to 146,434
        a growth in the proportion of employees with graduate qualifications to 51.9%
        continuing decline in the employment of employees at the APS 1–2 levels, who now make up only4.5%
         of total APS employment
        further feminisation of the APS workforce, with women now making up 56.4% of all APS employment.

This year’s report demonstrates that, overall, the APS is a healthy institution, with generally high levels of
employee engagement. In particular, APS employees have:

        high levels of job satisfaction
        high rates of satisfaction with both their levels of productivity in their current job and the effectiveness of
         their work group
        high rates of satisfaction with their access to flexible working arrangements
        generally high rates of satisfaction with their agency’s commitment to workplace diversity
        high rates of satisfaction with their immediate supervisors.

The report confirms a strong focus on issues of integrity and fairness in the APS. Individual agencies and the
Commission have invested significant effort in promoting and embedding the APS Values and the Code of
Conduct into the culture of the APS, and this investment is clearly paying off .

There has also been a general consolidation of trends towards a more skilled workforce. Over half of employees,
and around two-thirds of new recruits, now have graduate qualifications. Reflecting our need for highly-skilled
employees, the APS is focusing on issues of organisational capability, including leadership development,
workforce planning, and succession management, in a more strategic and systematic way.

One area where APS employees express particularly high levels of satisfaction is in their role as deliverers of
services to the public. Employees are very positive about the impact of their workplace practices on service
delivery and most believe employees in their workplace are committed to providing excellent customer service.
These views seem to be well-placed—a range of key service delivery agencies report high levels of service user
satisfaction.

This year, there are some very positive signs of improvement in areas that have previously been problematic for
the APS. One notable area is performance management. On a range of indicators, performance management
systems now appear to be more firmly embedded and employees report a strong understanding of the connection
between their work, what is expected of them, and the strategy of their organisations. Perceptions of performance
pay are also improving slightly, although there is still some way to go.

Our strengths in these areas enable us to achieve significant outcomes. In the one year, the APS has progressed
counter-terrorism cooperation in South-East Asia and the Pacific, played a central role in developing the Work
Choices legislation which has made major changes to workplace relations in Australia, prepared for the
implementation of Welfare to Work reforms, administered the Community Water Grants Programme which will
save billions of litres of water, and successfully responded to Cyclones Larry and Monica, to name but a few
examples.

The APS is trusted by the Australian Government to produce results. This is reflected both in increases in staff
numbers as the APS is asked to take on a range of new initiatives in the areas of Welfare to Work, support for
families and carers, and initiatives aimed at enhancing Australia’s security and levels of international engagement,
and the fact that a number of Australian Government agencies are being brought within the APS framework.

We have good reason to be proud of our achievements as an apolitical, accountable and responsive APS. I am
pleased to say that public servants are proud to work in the APS, and that their levels of pride are increasing.


Challenges facing the APS
The State of the Service report helps us to identify our areas of strength, but also helps us to identify areas where
we face challenges. These are the areas where all agencies need to be focusing to ensure the ongoing
sustainability of the APS.


1. Developing capability in the senior leadership group

Effective leadership is fundamental to the performance of the APS. It allows us to deal with the complexity, risk
and uncertainty that characterises the modern public sector environment and to deliver high quality outcomes for
the Government and the Australian community. Events of the last few years have shown that public services need
to be adept at, and in a continual state of readiness for, dealing with crisis situations and other challenges,
whether these arise from natural disasters or security and terrorism incidents. We also need to have the skills to
carry forward an increasingly complex and important whole of government agenda. All of this puts a high premium
on effective leadership.

The identification of the SES as an APS leadership cadre, which is clearly and very deliberately reinforced
through the Public Service Act 1999, was further articulated in the recent One APS–One SES statement by the
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Management Advisory Committee. This statement provides a timely reminder of the need for a greater APS-wide
focus on leadership capability.

At the agency level, it is important that all APS agencies have leadership teams that are strong, diverse and
talented. They must be respected, seen as dynamic, and display visible commitment to the APS Values. Put
simply, they must lead by example.

APS leaders must also acknowledge the potential for problems, be open to constructive criticism, and accept
responsibility for remedying problems. They must articulate clearly the direction and goals of the organisation,
recognise relevant changes in the external environment and keep abreast of changing political and community
expectations.

This year’s State of the Service report highlights that there has been an increase in the number of SES
employees with limited experience, both at the SES level and in terms of broader experience outside their current
agency. This situation is likely to increase, given the large numbers of SES who are relatively close to retirement
age.

There are indications that the SES needs to work at improving its capacity in a range of areas, including in the
critical area of the ability to shape strategic thinking. In addition, employee perceptions of their senior leaders are
generally not positive. It is understandable, of course, that employees may be more positive about their immediate
supervisor, with whom they have daily contact, than the senior leadership of their agency which may seem more
remote. Nevertheless, APS agencies need to work harder at ensuring both that they have senior leadership of the
highest quality, and that the interactions of their leadership team with more junior employees in the agency reflect
this quality. This is particularly so given the strong link between employee satisfaction with their senior leaders
and agency culture, and their overall levels of job satisfaction.
There is, of course, a wide variation between agencies in terms of the composition and experience of their SES.
Different agencies will need to take different approaches to developing their SES. For all agencies, however, a
continuing focus on the capability of their leadership group will be critical. SES employees need to invest in
themselves and plan their careers carefully so they are able to contribute to the maximum extent possible. There
needs to be more active engagement of SES Band 1 employees in organisational leadership, direction setting
and feedback arrangements. We cannot afford to have any disempowerment of this group.


2. Supporting and developing Executive level employees—the middle-
management and SES feeder group

The importance of the role of the APS middle-management cadre, our EL employees, should not be
underestimated. EL employees have important strategic, people, financial and risk management responsibilities.
To a large extent they act as the conduit responsible for translating and reinforcing important messages about
organisational direction from the senior leadership to more junior employees on a daily basis. They also play a
key role in terms of their technical skills, whether it be policy development, programme delivery or regulatory
work. Moreover, as the SES feeder group, EL employees are looked to for their future leadership potential.

This year’s State of the Service report suggests that there is room for improvement in the capability of the EL
group. A consistent pattern appears to be emerging that EL employees are relatively weak in the area of strategic
thinking, a critical leadership characteristic in an increasingly complex and fast moving world. This may relate to
more limited experience in policy work in these days of rapid promotion and more comprehensive management
roles. Strategic thinking is a skill that develops with time and experience.

                                                                                         2
Taken in combination with MAC’s report Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce, which found that
declining rates of inter-agency mobility among potential APS leaders risked creating a new generation of middle
and senior managers who lack breadth and depth of experience in management, policy development and whole
of government processes, these results are of serious concern. Trends in mobility have improved somewhat over
the last two years, but this will not of itself resolve this issue. Agencies need to focus increasingly on strategic
thinking as a core capability for their EL employees.

Many agencies also identified skill set gaps for their EL employees in the area of people management. In
contrast, most employees were relatively satisfied with their immediate supervisor. There were, however, some
indications of areas where management skills need to improve, particularly in handling underperformance and
providing informal feedback. Improving capability in this area is critical if agency performance management
systems are to be properly supported.

There are some indications that agencies also need to look at the levels of satisfaction and employee
engagement among the EL group. There was a decline in job satisfaction among EL employees this year albeit
that it is still at the level of the APS average. ELs also have relatively negative perceptions of some aspects of
APS employment, particularly performance pay. In looking at strategies to increase employee engagement more
generally, agencies need to have a particular emphasis on ELs, both in their own right, and because of the
powerful impact that they can have on other employees.

MAC’s Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce places a strong emphasis on investing in identifying and
developing future leaders. This year’s report finds that agencies still tend to rely on more informal mechanisms to
identify potential leaders. Only a quarter of agencies have formal succession management strategies in place,
although most other agencies are developing such strategies. Agencies need to ensure that they are making the
early identification and development of high potential EL employees, who are capable of fulfilling senior
leadership roles in the future, a priority.


3. Positioning the APS as an employer of choice

The workforce challenges that confront the APS are well-documented. Many of the challenges centre round the
demographics of an ageing APS workforce, combined with the changing nature of APS work and the tightening of
the labour market.

This year’s State of the Service report shows clear evidence of emerging skill shortages, particularly in areas of
specialist skills such as IT, accounting, and financial management. This situation is not expected to ease in the
short-to-medium term.

Against this background, it is important that the APS positions itself as an employer of choice to compete for a
diverse and sophisticated workforce under tight labour market conditions. We need to make a concerted effort to
market the APS as an exciting employment opportunity. The nature of our work and the capacity to make a
difference, particularly in strategic policy development and service delivery to the public, make the APS a unique
place to work. Combined with our underpinning values framework, workplace flexibility and widespread access to
development opportunities, this can potentially give the APS a leading edge.

Part of the response for APS agencies seeking to attract, develop and retain high quality employees will be to use
the flexibilities available in our workplace relations arrangements to off er competitive and attractive salary
packages. This will inevitably place ongoing pressure on our underpinning funding arrangements, with a continual
need for the APS to deliver substantial productivity improvements to fund wage increases.

Commitment to workplace diversity and equal employment opportunity is another area of relative strength for the
APS and one that we should promote to potential employees. A wide range of agencies are investing
considerable time and effort in promoting workplace diversity within their workplaces and employees agree that
their agencies take these issues seriously.

The APS has had some major successes. This has been most notable in the area of women’s employment.
Women now make up more than half of the APS workforce and are increasingly represented at all levels in the
APS, including in senior positions. It is also evident in the sustained levels of high satisfaction in work-life balance
reflecting the wide access that APS employees enjoy to a range of flexible working arrangements.

Agencies need to ensure, however, that they market themselves as a potential employer to a wide range of
employees and continue to draw on the full diversity of the workforce. In this regard, some agencies need to look
at how they can be more attractive to men and to younger employees, particularly at junior levels.

The employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people with disability continues to be an area
of challenge for the APS. The wide range of initiatives implemented this year under the APS Employment and
Capability Strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employees has led to some improvements,
particularly at the graduate trainee, EL and SES classifications. However, the overall representation of both
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and employees with disability has declined further this year.

The structural issues underpinning these declines, including a reduction in the number of jobs at the APS 1–2
levels, lower education levels coupled with an increasing reliance on APS employees with graduate qualifications,
and reductions in the representation of service delivery employees, make the task immense. For Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander employment to be put on a more sustainable footing, agencies need to make concerted
efforts to encourage the employment of their Indigenous employees in a more diverse range of roles and take on
more recruits who can be trained on the job. In the case of people with disability, it is important that agencies
follow through on MAC’s recent commitment to eight objectives aimed at supporting the employment of this
group. Success is not assured in either case, but the rewards are considerable when workplaces fully engage
these employees.


4. Achieving excellence in governance

Consistent with the interest in governance in Australia and internationally, there is a growing focus in the APS on
issues of governance. Effective governance processes are essential to the operation of the APS. At a direct level,
they provide the framework within which organisations can operate effectively. They also have an effect on
employee satisfaction, and on the general public’s confidence in our capability and integrity.

                                          3
The implementation of the Uhrig Review is leading to improved governance structures and processes across a
range of Australian Government agencies, and placing lines of accountability between departments, Ministers and
statutory agencies on a much stronger footing. APS agencies have also looked at the implications of the issues
                    4           5
raised in the Palmer and Comrie reports for their own governance structures.

The lessons of Palmer have emphasised the need for integrated systems and processes for finance, human
resources, and information technology aligned to our business needs. In responding to Palmer, the APS needs to
focus on accountability and ensure that responsibility for decision-making is clearly understood.

Most APS agencies do appear to recognise the need to help their employees understand their responsibilities in
terms of governance, and to ensure that they have the capacity to perform their roles. Effective governance,
however, requires more than this. It requires employees to be thoughtful, helpful, critical and active participants in
the governance of their agency. It is incumbent on all agencies to encourage and reward this type of behaviour.

Information management and record keeping are important components of governance at the agency level. This
is an area that continues to be a problematic one for the APS both as a whole and for individual agency
effectiveness. The experience of DIMA demonstrates what can go wrong when record keeping fails, and
reinforces the importance of making record keeping a routine part of business operations within all APS agencies.
MAC’s current project on record keeping should be a useful tool in reinforcing the priority of record keeping to all
employees and encouraging agencies to develop practical, business- oriented, and easy-to-use systems.

Financial arrangements are another critical component of governance. This is an area where we have seen a
range of reforms, including the implementation of an outcomes and outputs framework, the development of
Budget mechanisms for spending scrutiny, and the introduction of whole of government financial reporting on an
accrual basis across the general government sector. These reforms have provided greater flexibility, devolution
and empowerment with clearer accountability for results.

More recently, there has been a strong focus on reducing the burdens imposed by excessive amounts of internal
regulation or red tape on agencies, as well as a greater focus on developing whole of government budgetary
approaches that cross departmental outcome and output frameworks.This creates some tensions in the existing
arrangements for financial reporting that need to be addressed.

At the broader level, there continues to be a lack of detailed guidance as to what effective internal governance
processes should look like. There is a need for further work to deliver a governance model that deals effectively
with the challenges of the modern APS and alerts executive management to potential difficulties before they
develop into systemic problems. In consultation with the Department of Finance and Administration, the
Commission is undertaking work in this area, with a view to providing further good practice guidance to agencies.


5. Building our organisational capacity to address the challenges of the
future

The APS is facing a range of immediate and pressing challenges. It is important, however, that we not let the
need to deal with these issues distract us from reflecting on where we are going, and where we need to go to
build our capacity to deal with the likely challenges of the future.

Efforts around public service reform have slowed somewhat in the last five years, reflecting the need to embed
some of the significant people management and financial reforms of the 1990s. It is now time for the debate
around public service reform, and the capacity of the APS to deal with these reforms, to regain momentum.
Although the future reform agenda is still emerging, and will continue to evolve, some key components are
already apparent.

A renewed focus on working in a whole of government manner has of course been with us for some time, and has
been identified as a critical challenge in a number of State of the Service reports. Embedding whole of
government culture and processes will continue to be an important part of the public service reform agenda, both
nationally and internationally into the future, as the need for such approaches grows.

The APS is learning how to work in this new environment and we are seeing results. Nevertheless, some risks
and pressure points remain, at both the systems level, in ensuring that underpinning financial and ICT frameworks
support collaboration, and in developing the appropriate agency culture and capability. The onus is on all
agencies, and on all APS employees, to make whole of government work effectively.

Whole of government means more than just working collaboratively across the APS. It also means working
effectively across state, territory, and local government boundaries. Making whole of government work effectively
at the cross-jurisdictional level is particularly important in view of the extensive Council of Australian Governments
(COAG) agenda.

As part of this agenda, the APS will need to strengthen its capacity to work with external partners, but this is not
something that is limited to the government sector. The APS is already delivering programmes through and with a
range of non-government bodies and this trend is likely to continue. Such collaborations have greatly improved
the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in some areas, for example, in the delivery of employment
services. The APS needs to be open to new ways of delivering services, to identify where collaborations with
external stakeholders will add the most value, and try to loosen some of our controls and guidelines to facilitate
more flexibility, innovation and effectiveness on the ground.

Another plank of the future reform agenda relates to our relationships with the community more broadly. In
Australia and internationally, governments are looking at ways in which working more directly with the community
can lead to better policy and programme outcomes.
Engaging the community comprehends a range of approaches, from information dissemination and consultation
to active participation. Targeted in the right areas, community engagement has the potential to provide
governments with access to broader perspectives and potential solutions. It can also influence community
behaviour in a way that extends beyond traditional regulatory levers, a requirement for many of the more
intractable problems that face our community, such as public health, crime, education or environmental issues.
This approach has already been used to good effect with the development of Shared Responsibility Agreements
in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

It is likely that such approaches will become more common, and extend to a much broader range of policy issues
in the future. It is important, however, that they be undertaken in a strategic way, at appropriate points in the
policy cycle, and in areas where they have been identified as having the potential to add value.

Working collaboratively in partnership with organisations from outside the APS, and working more directly with the
community, both raise challenges. In particular, with greater external involvement in policy development and
programme delivery, issues of governance will be central to the future public service reform agenda. The APS
needs to develop arrangements that support a truly cooperative approach in cross-jurisdictional and partnership
relationships, and provide for clear understandings around desired outcomes, accountability and risk. It is likely
that in the future there will be a range of different arrangements in place depending on the nature of the issue
being addressed. These could include more traditional forms of public administration, distributed government
where Government works in direct partnership with non-government bodies, and government by market where
the Government uses its power to create a market that serves a public purpose.

There are also implications for APS skill sets. The APS is already struggling to sustain a critical mass of
employees with high-level research and policy skills, and the demand for such skills will only increase. The APS’s
success in implementing these new approaches, however, will depend largely on its capacity to manage a diverse
and complex web of relationships. We will require people who have strong relationship management skills, a
willingness and an ability to listen to the views of others, conflict resolution and negotiation skills, and a focus on
achieving the best outcomes.

Part of this mix will be developing the capacity of our leaders so that they can successfully drive and implement
future reform and ensure the APS has the organisational capacity to deal with the challenges ahead. Leadership
is clearly a current challenge, one that will remain with us into the future. Reviewing current concepts of
leadership and updating them so they have relevance for younger generations of public servants and those who
have come to the APS from other sectors is important. APS leaders also have an important role to play in
fostering the right APS culture for the future—one that facilitates creativity and innovation, where employees are
willing, and supported, to try out new things.

The Government’s capacity to deliver on its policy and programme objectives, and to maintain the confidence of
the community, is dependent on the maintenance of an accountable, responsive and professional public service.
This is a view echoed by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the Centenary of the APS:

The quality of any government is dependent, in large part, upon the quality of advice it receives. To believe
otherwise—that a responsible and successful government can be sustained in the long term without the support
                                                                   6
of a dynamic and dedicated bureaucracy—defies logic and history.

The APS is an important national institution, a fundamental part of the Australian democratic process, contributing
to the health and well-being of the nation. Public servants should be proud of the work they do, but it comes with
responsibility. It is incumbent on every public servant to think about their job; about how they contribute to the
strategic direction of their agencies and to the APS as a whole; and how they can do things better.

The APS has to focus on developing an institutional culture that is self-reflective—where we are capable of
constructive self-criticism, of hearing what our employees have to say, and of leveraging off the creative and
innovative ideas that are generated. These things are critical to a continuing process of organisational renewal.

The days of inflexible top-down public service are over. We need public servants to exercise leadership at all
levels in their agencies, and to take personal responsibility for contributing to quality outcomes for the
Government and for the Australian community.

We need public servants to think about the public service of the future—about our culture and identity, about our
capability, and about how we respond to the challenges ahead. The future will arrive soon enough—but what it
looks like will depend on our actions and decisions in the present.
1.   Management Advisory Committee 2005, Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service: One APS—One
     SES, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
2.   Management Advisory Committee 2005, Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce, Commonwealth of Australia,
     Canberra.
3.   J. Uhrig, Review of the Corporate Governance of Statutory Authorities and Office Holders, June 2003,
     <http://www.finance.gov.au/governance structures/docs/The_Uhrig_Report_July_2003>
4.   M. J. Palmer, Inquiry into the Circumstances of the Immigration Detention of Cornelia Rau: Report, July 2005,
     <http://www.minister.immi.gov.au>
5.   Commonwealth Ombudsman, Inquiry into the Circumstances of the Vivian Alvarez Matter, Report by the
     Commonwealth Ombudsman of an inquiry undertaken by Mr Neil Comrie, September 2005,
     <http://www.ombudsman.gov.au>
6.   Hon. John Howard MP, The Australian Public Service, (Address to the Centenary Conference of the Institute of Public
     Administration, Australia, 19 June 2001), <http://www.pm.gov.au/News/Speeches/2001/speech1163.htm>
Chapter 2: Statistical snapshot
This chapter explores current demographic and structural patterns of Australian public servants covered by the
Public Service Act 1999, as well as changes over time. The past decade has seen considerable change in the
structure of the APS. A period of restructure and reduction in size has been followed by several years of
sustained growth. Several consistent trends have emerged—fewer jobs at lower classification levels, an ageing
workforce and further feminisation of the APS workforce.

The main source of data for the chapter is the APS Employment Database (APSED), which is maintained by the
             1
Commission. ASPED contains information about recruitment, mobility and separations for all ongoing and non-
ongoing employees. Further detail on the size and composition of the APS can be found in the Australian Public
                                      2
Service Statistical Bulletin 2005–06.


Size of the APS
The APS grew strongly during 2005–06, with a total of 146,434 employees at June 2006 compared with133,593
at June 2005, an increase of 9.6%. A significant proportion of this increase was due to Medicare Australia moving
into coverage of the PS Act on 1 October 2005. This machinery of government change covered almost 5000
ongoing Medicare Australia employees, and accounted for nearly a quarter of total ongoing engagements during
the year.

Other agencies affected by machinery of government changes this year were the Australian Sports Anti-Doping
Authority which moved into coverage of the PS Act; employees from the Australian National Training Agency
which moved into coverage in DEST; some employees of the Australian Film Commission which moved into
coverage; the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination which moved from DIMIA to FaCSIA; the Australian
Broadcasting Authority and Australian Communications Authority which merged to form the Australian
Communications and Media Authority; establishment of the Office of the Australian Building and Construction
Commissioner, Australian Fair Pay Commission Secretariat, and Office of Workplace Services (previously part of
DEWR); and establishment of Cancer Australia and the Future Fund Management Agency.

Excluding Medicare Australia, total employee numbers increased by 7448 or 5.6%—the largest increase for many
years. Figure 2.1 shows the change in total employee numbers from 1987 to 2006. The adjusted line takes
account of coverage changes in the APS over the period, by showing the number of employees in those functions
that remained in the APS at June 2006. Adjusted for these coverage changes, the APS is now at its largest since
1996.

Figure 2.1: APS employees, 1987 to 2006
Source: APSED


Ongoing and non-ongoing employees
The growth in overall employee numbers during the past year reflected growth in both ongoing and non-ongoing
employment categories. Ongoing employees grew more in actual numbers, but the proportional growth was
greatest for non-ongoing employment.


Ongoing employees

During 2005–06, ongoing employment rose by 9.1%, from 123,452 at June 2005 to 134,632 at June 2006. This
increase continued a trend that has been evident for the past seven years. The growth was the largest
proportional increase in that period, and considerably higher than the 0.8% growth in 2004–05 and1.7% growth in
2003–04.

The largest increases in ongoing employee numbers were in Centrelink (up by 978 or 4.0%), Defence (921 or
5.2%), DEWR (592 or 20.3%) and Customs (531 or 10.8%). Smaller agencies that increased in size were the
National Water Commission (16 or 66.7%), PM&C (119 or 32.9%), Questacon (16 or 28.1%), and the National
Blood Authority (9 or 28.1%). The largest decreases in ongoing employment were DVA (down by 97 or 4.0%),
BoM (64 or 4.8%), Defence Housing Authority (61 or 10.3%) and Health (54 or 1.4%).

The largest contributor to the total growth was Medicare Australia, which moved into coverage, with 4968 ongoing
employees. Due to its size, this agency’s contribution to changes in the structure of the APS over the year is
significant.

Medicare Australia, for example, has a highly feminised workforce, with 80.3% of its ongoing employees being
female. Partly reflecting the impact of Medicare Australia, increases in ongoing employment for women were
much greater than for men.The number of women rose from 66,872 to 75,114, a rise of12.3%. For men the
number rose from 56,580 to 59,518,an increase of 5.2%.Trends for employment by sex are shown in Figure 2.2.

Figure 2.2: Ongoing employees by sex, 1997 to 2006




Source: APSED


There is wide variation between agencies in the proportional representation of men and women. Further analysis
can be found in Chapter 5.
Non-ongoing employees

Non-ongoing employee numbers grew substantially this year too, from 10,141 at June 2005 to 11,802 at June
2006—an increase of 16.4%.This was the highest proportional growth in non-ongoing employment for many
years. The growth in non-ongoing employment during the past two years has more than compensated for the
large decline in 2003–04.

The growth in non-ongoing employment was greater for men (17.2%) than for women (15.9%), although women
still account for a much higher proportion of non-ongoing employees (62.8% of non-ongoing employees are
women compared with 55.8% of ongoing employees).

Over half of the growth in non-ongoing employment was concentrated in five agencies: Centrelink (up by 258),
Defence (256), ABS (236), DEST (209) and DIMA (207). The only agency to experience a large decrease in non-
ongoing employment was the ATO where non-ongoing numbers fell by 787 or 43.3%.

Figure 2.3 shows how non-ongoing employment as a proportion of total employment has changed over the past
decade. While the proportion has grown in the past two years, it is still lower than it was ten years ago. The
representation rate for women has been consistently higher than that for men over this period. Non-ongoing
employment in Medicare Australia (5.5%) is proportionally lower than in the APS overall. Excluding Medicare
Australia, the proportional increase in non-ongoing employment during 2005–06 would have been even higher.

Figure 2.3: Non-ongoing employees as a proportion of total employees, 1997 to 2006




Source: APSED


As a proportion of total employment, non-ongoing employment has increased to 8.1%, up from 7.6% in June
2005.The proportion of non-ongoing employment among men rose to 6.9% (up from 6.2%) and women to 9.0%
(up from 8.7%).

Non-ongoing employees can be engaged in three different categories: specified term, specified task or for duties
that are irregular or intermittent. At June 2006, the majority (82.9%) were engaged for a specified term, 4.9% for a
specified task, and 12.2% for irregular or intermittent duties. This varies widely between agencies. At June 2006
the following agencies had at least 40% of their non-ongoing employees engaged as irregular or intermittent—
CGC (83.3%), Finance (74.3%), GBRMPA (66.7%), Questacon (55.4%), NAA (49.2%), APSC (46.6%), AAT
(46.5%) and ABCC (42.9%).

Non-ongoing employees have historically been concentrated at lower classification levels—at June 2006, 67.4%
of non-ongoing employees were in the APS 1–4 range, compared with 40.5% of ongoing employees. Well over
half of all APS 1 employees (55.3%) are non-ongoing, as are a quarter of APS 2 employees (25.4%).
As Figure 2.4 shows, the representation of non-ongoing employees at higher classifications is much lower.

Figure 2.4: Proportion of total employees at each classification who are non–ongoing by sex, June 2006




Source: APSED


Nevertheless, over the past five years non-ongoing employment has become less concentrated at the APS 1–4
classifications, falling from 76.8% at June 2000 to 67.4% at June 2006. Over the same period, EL employees, as
a proportion of all non-ongoing employees, rose from 5.6% to 10.5%. The growth in non-ongoing employment has
been much stronger at higher classification levels. For example, at June 2006, 5.6% of APS 5 employees were
non-ongoing, up from 4.4% last year and 3.9% of ELs were non-ongoing, compared with 3.3% last year. For SES
employees, 4.8% were engaged as non-ongoing at June 2006, up from 4.7% last year and 3.9% in 2000.

The reasons for this shift are not clear. It may reflect agencies’ preferences in the way they structure their
employment arrangements, particularly in allowing them more flexibility in the allocation of resources and to deal
with fluctuating budgets and short-term priorities. It may also reflect a tightening labour market, where agencies
are providing more flexible options to employees, including those interested in working on shorter-term projects.
There appears to be a trend for employees who have left the APS, particularly mature-age workers, to return on a
non-ongoing basis. At June 2006, 31.3% of non-ongoing employees were aged 45 and over, up from 30.4% last
year and 24.6% in 2000.These trends will be monitored in future reports. This issue is discussed further in the
section on re-engagement and prior service later in this chapter.

As Figure 2.4 shows, non-ongoing employment is highly feminised, especially at lower classifications. Women
account for at least 60% of non-ongoing employees up to APS 5. Female non-ongoing representation at EL
classifications is similar to female representation among ongoing employees at these levels (42.4% compared
with 42.2%) but is much lower in the SES (17.5% among non-ongoing employees compared with 34.8% among
ongoing employees).

The three largest agencies—Centrelink (1179), Defence (1176) and ATO (1032)—accounted for 28.7% of all non-
ongoing employees. These agencies account for 48.7% of all ongoing employees.

In general, smaller agencies engage a higher proportion of their employees on a non-ongoing basis than do large
agencies. Of the 20 agencies with more than 20% of their employees employed as non-ongoing, all had fewer
than 250 ongoing employees, except for DHA, Aboriginal Hostels Ltd and Comsuper. Those agencies with the
highest proportion of non-ongoing employment were Questacon (68.3%), AIATSIS (55.5%), TSRA (54.2%) and
EOWA (50.0%).


Part-time employees
                                                                                                                3
At June 2006, 11.3% of ongoing employees were working part-time, a very slight increase on the previous year.
The proportion would have fallen to 10.9% if Medicare Australia had not moved into coverage, as this agency has
21.2% of its ongoing employees working part-time. Women are still much more likely to work part-time, with
17.9% working part-time at June 2006 compared with 3.0% of men. The proportion of men working part-time fell
this year, for only the second time in the past decade.
These trends are shown in Figure 2.5.

Figure 2.5: Proportion of ongoing employees working part-time by sex, 1997 to 2006




Source: APSED


Non-ongoing employees are much more likely to work part-time, with 26.0% of non-ongoing women and 17.9% of
non-ongoing men in this category. Overall, 23.0% of non-ongoing employees were working part-time at June
2006.

Centrelink is the largest employer of part-time employees with 4650 or 30.5% of all ongoing part- time employees
in the APS at June 2006. This group accounted for 18.3% of Centrelink’s ongoing workforce—down slightly from
the previous year. Other agencies with large numbers of part-time employees are ATO (2019 or 9.4% of its
                           4
ongoing workforce), DHS (1158 or 21.9%) and Medicare Australia (1080 or 21.2%).


Part-time work by age

Part-time work for women continues to be highest in the 30–44 age group, with 24.6% of ongoing women in this
age group working part-time at June 2006. For men, the proportion in this age group was 3.4%—considerably
lower, but somewhat higher than the proportion for men overall of 3.0%. Older workers (i.e. those aged 45 and
over) are less likely to work part-time, with only 2.9% of men and 13.9% of women in this age group working part-
time at June 2006. Older workers, however, are more likely to work part-time as they get older (as shown in
Figure 2.6).

All three agencies submitted separate responses for the State of the Service agency survey, and are considered
separate agencies for that purpose. Separate employee survey results for CSA and CRS Australia are also
provided where they are significantly different from the APS average on important variables. DHS itself was too
small for employees to be included in the employee survey.

Figure 2.6: Proportion of ongoing employees working part-time by age group and sex, June 2006
Source: APSED


Although still less likely to work part-time than the APS average, the trend towards part-time employment for older
workers continued this year. During the past year, the proportion of ongoing employees aged over 60 who worked
part-time increased from 8.3% to 9.1%; for those in the 55–59 age group the proportion rose from 6.0% to 6.8%.
This trend is encouraging as agencies appear to be using more flexible employment arrangements for older
workers. As mentioned above, this trend is also apparent for mature-age non-ongoing employees.


Classification structures
Table 2.1 compares ongoing employee numbers by classification, at June 2005 and 2006. Numbers rose in all
classification levels, except for APS 1 and APS 2. The drop at these levels continues a very significant long-term
decline. At June 1992 APS 1–2 classifications accounted for 33.4% of all ongoing employees, but by June 2006
this had dropped to 4.5%—the first year in which this group accounted for less than 5% of total ongoing
employment in the APS.

The strongest growth in proportional representation this year was in the Graduate APS classification which grew
by 26.8%, and APS 3 which increased by 25.6% (compared to overall growth of 9.1%). Growth for this latter
group was, in part, due to Medicare Australia coming into coverage as this agency has a very high proportion of
its employees at APS 3 (59.0% compared with the APS average of 16.2%). Trainees also grew strongly, up by
19.2% on the previous year. The number of ongoing Graduate APS employees engaged during 2005–06 was
990, up from 815 the previous year. Engagement of trainees increased from 405 to 633 during the same period.
Further analysis on engagements can be found later in this chapter.

As a proportion of total ongoing employment, the SES rose from 1.6% to 1.7%.


Table 2.1: Ongoing employees by classification, 2005 and 2006

                                                    2005                                   2006
                                          Number                  %              Number                  %
APS 1                               1050                   0.9             1029                   0.8
APS 2                               5245                   4.2             4999                   3.7
APS 3                               17363                  14.1            21800                  16.2
APS 4                               26665                  21.6            26748                  19.9
Table 2.1: Ongoing employees by classification, 2005 and 2006

                                                   2005                                  2006
                                          Number                 %              Number                 %
APS 5                               16826                 13.6            18720                 13.9
APS 6                               25219                 20.4            26744                 19.9
EL 1                                18281                 14.8            20408                 15.2
EL 2                                9629                  7.8             10506                 7.8
SES                                 2028                  1.6             2253                  1.7
Trainee                             375                   0.3             447                   0.3
Graduate APS                        771                   0.6             978                   0.7
Total                               123452                100.0           134632                100.0

Source: APSED


Women by classification

Women’s representation continued to increase at all classification levels this year. The move of Medicare
Australia into coverage supported the strong growth in women’s representation at APS 3 level (up from 60.9% at
June 2005 to 65.5% at June 2006).

Women’s representation at higher levels also continued to rise during 2005–06. At June 2006, women comprised
34.8% of the SES (an increase from 33.2% in 2005) and 42.2% of EL employees (up from 40.2% in 2005). In
particular, there was also a substantial increase at SES Band 3 level (up from 19.8% to 24.3%).

Women still outnumber men at all classification levels up to and including APS 6, with the proportion of women
falling at higher classification levels. Figure 2.7 shows the proportion of men and women at selected
classifications at June 2006.

Figure 2.7: Ongoing employees by classification and sex, June 2006




Source: APSED
As discussed above, the increase in female representation at EL and SES classifications continues at a faster
pace than at lower classifications. In Figure 2.8, each number is weighted using the total number of ongoing
                                      5
employees at June 1997 as a base. The growth of women in the EL and SES classifications has substantially
outstripped their growth in representation in other classifications. Women’s representation at the APS 1–2 level
has declined substantially.

Trends in women’s employment by classification are discussed in detail in Chapter 5.

Figure 2.8: Change in the number of women at selected classifications, weighted and indexed, 1997 to
2006




Source: APSED


Mobility within the APS
Mobility between agencies has varied over the past ten years, with a period of decline followed by recent growth
(see Figure 2.9). The transfer rate has been higher than the promotion rate for most years, and the overall
                                                                                        6
variation in mobility has been due more to fluctuations in transfers than in promotions. During 2005–06, the
promotion rate between agencies was 0.9% and the transfer rate was 1.8%, compared with 0.7% and 1.3%
                                                      7
respectively in the previous year. Overall, promotions rose from 13,070 to 14,604—a rise of 11.7%. Promotions
between agencies rose at a higher rate than promotions within agencies, rising from 6.4% of all promotions in
2004–05 to 7.9% in 2005–06.

Figure 2.9: Ongoing employees—promotion and transfer rates between agencies, 1996–97 to 2005–06
Source: APSED


Over the past decade, mobility between agencies has been higher for women than for men. During 2005–06, the
overall mobility rate (including both promotions and transfers) was 3.0% for women, and 2.4% for men.

Mobility rates are highest for SES employees, followed by EL employees. During 2005–06, mobility increased for
all classification groups except for APS 1–2s—the increase was greatest for SES employees.

                                                                8
The MAC report, Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce, noted concerns about a declining interagency
mobility rate. The recent rise in mobility, particularly at the EL and SES levels, is pleasing and may well be a
response to mobility being highlighted; however, the growth will need to be sustained for some years before it
could be said that the decline has reversed.


Educational qualifications
The APS workforce is increasingly becoming a graduate workforce. The employee survey continues to confirm
this trend. Employees at all levels are increasingly likely to have such qualifications, regardless of whether they
entered the APS through a specific graduate programme or through general recruitment. Results from the
employee survey show that around 47% of APS employees have a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification. Data
for APSED, while incomplete, shows a similar proportion with 51.9% of ongoing employees at June 2006 having
                                                              9
graduate qualifications, an increase from 50.9% last year. Educational qualifications for newly engaged APS
employees are discussed further below.


Age profile
The median age at June 2006 was 42 years (44 years for men, and 40 years for women) and was unchanged
from the previous year. The largest age group is the 45–54 age group, followed by the 30–34 age group. Over
10% of employees are now aged 55 or over.

Last year’s decline in employment of young people has reversed slightly this year.The number of employees aged
under 25 rose both in actual number (from 4987 to 5973) and in proportional terms (from 4.0% to 4.4%) during
2005–06. This follows two years of decline for this age group. The proportional growth is particularly pleasing
considering the strong growth in the size of the overall APS. In the 20–24 age group, the increase during 2005–06
compensates for the decline the previous year. For the under 20 years age group the number of employees,
albeit small, is larger than it has been for most of the past decade. During 2005–06, the number rose from 145 to
255, an increase of 75.9%.

There was also substantial growth in mature workers, with the 55 and over age group increasing by 15.4% over
the year.This age group now accounts for 10.6% of total ongoing employment, up from 10.1% in 2005. Table 2.2
shows the proportion of employees in ten year age groups, at June 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003 and 2006. Over this
period, the median age of ongoing employees overall has risen one year every three years. The largest increase
has been in the 45–54 age group, which has increased its share by eight percentage points and, for the first time,
outnumbers the 35–44 age group. The 55 and over age group has also grown substantially, particularly in the
past few years, and has increased its representation by over five percentage points over this period.


Table 2.2: Ongoing employees—proportion by age, 1994 to 2006

                               1994 %            1997 %            2000 %            2003 %            2006 %
Under 25                  8.4               5.4               4.2               5.0               4.4
25-34                     30.9              28.3              26.1              26.0              24.8
35-44                     33.0              34.0              33.5              31.4              30.0
45-54                     22.1              26.6              29.6              29.3              30.1
55 and over               5.6               5.7               6.6               8.3               10.6
median age                38                39                40                41                42

Source: APSED

In general, the APS has an older age profile than the Australian labour force, with a much lower proportion of
young people and more in the 35–54 age group—60.1% of ongoing APS employees were aged 35–54 compared
with only 45.1% of the labour force. The APS also has a lower proportion aged 55 or over—10.6% compared with
14.2% for the labour force.

Employees in the 45 and over age group, who will be eligible for retirement in the next 10 years, account for
40.8% of ongoing employees. This group’s representation has risen steadily over time, up from 40.4% last year
and 32.3% in 1997. For EL and SES employees the proportions are even higher: 48.3% of ELs and 71.1% of SES
are aged 45 or over (up from 45.1% and 69.5% in 1997).

The ageing of the cohort at more senior classifications over the past 10 years is particularly evident: for example,
at June 2006 17.7% of SES and 10.9% of ELs were aged 55 and over compared with 13.0% of SES and 6.4% of
ELs in 1997.

Agencies’ age profiles vary widely.This reflects, in part, the nature of an agency’s functions and classification
structures. Those agencies with a relatively high proportion of employees aged over 45 years may face more
critical and different workforce planning, knowledge management and leadership capability development issues
than those with a younger age profile. Figure 2.10 shows comparative age profiles for ongoing employees in
selected agencies at June 2006. The graph includes all agencies with more than 1500 ongoing employees, as
well as some others with particularly young or old age profiles: for example, Finance (11.0%), ANAO (10.8%),
Treasury (9.2%) and DEWR (8.9%) all have a proportion of their workforce aged under 25 that is at least twice the
APS average of 4.4%. Similarly, some agencies have a much older age profile, with a higher proportion of
employees aged 45 and over. Agencies in this group include AEC (65.9%), Royal Australian Mint (61.9%), CGC
(60.0%), DVA (57.1%), BoM (56.3%), National Library (52.8%) and the Federal Court (52.0%).

Figure 2.10: Ongoing employees in selected agencies by age group, June 2006
Source: APSED
 Length of service
The median length of service in the APS for ongoing employees at June 2006 was 7.5 years, down from 9.0 years
in 2005. This drop reflects the strong growth in engagements during 2005–06, both in Medicare Australia moving
               10
into coverage and engagements to other agencies. Figure 2.11 shows the profile of length of service over the
past 10 years. The number of employees with fewer than five years service has risen steadily over this period,
reflecting the growth in engagements, especially since 2000. As a proportion of all ongoing employees, those with
fewer than five years service has risen from 23.0% in 1997 to 34.5% this year. In the past five years there have
been 68,948 ongoing engagements, compared with 45,458 in the five years before that.

A substantial proportion of those engaged this year had worked previously in the APS. Further details can be
found in the ‘Prior service’ section below.

Figure 2.11: Ongoing employees—length of service, 1997 to 2006




Source: APSED


Location
Over one third (35.0%) of ongoing APS employees are located in Canberra. This is a slight increase over the
previous year (34.9%). The rise would have been larger (to 35.6%) if not for the inclusion of Medicare Australia,
which has a high proportion of employees located outside Canberra.

The proportion of employees located in Canberra increases at higher classification levels, for example, 62.2% of
EL employees and 76.0% of SES are in Canberra compared with only 15.2% of APS 1–2s and 14.5% of APS 3–
4s.


 Diversity trends
Workplace diversity makes a major contribution to capability in the APS, as well as being important to equity in
employment. Trends in diversity in terms of sex, race and ethnicity, Indigenous status or having a disability, are
particularly relevant to monitoring employment-related disadvantage. Information on the representation of EEO
groups in the APS comes from individual agencies and is stored on APSED. The provision of EEO data by APS
employees to their agency is voluntary (with the exception of sex). It is important that employees are given the
opportunity to update their personal information, and that agencies then provide that data to the Commission. This
issue is discussed further in Chapter 5.
Women’s representation in the APS continues to grow. At June 2006, women’s representation in the APS was
55.8%, up from 54.2% at June 2005.This increase of 1.6 percentage points was the largest since 1989–90. More
than half of this growth relates to Medicare Australia. However, if Medicare Australia had not moved into
coverage, women’s representation would still have increased to 54.8%— an increase of 0.6 percentage points.

As outlined earlier in this chapter, women’s representation continued to grow at all classification levels,
particularly at EL and SES classifications.

Figure 2.12 shows changes in the proportion of ongoing employees in the equal employment opportunity groups
other than women over the past ten years.

Figure 2.12: Trends in diversity for ongoing employees, 1997 to 2006




Source: APSED


For non-English speaking background (NESB1) employees, there was growth in both actual and proportional
representation over the year to June 2006 (up from 5.4% in 2005 to 5.6% in 2006). However, the decline in
employment for Indigenous Australians and people with disability has continued. The proportion of Indigenous
Australians fell to 2.0%,down from 2.2% the previous year. Representation of people with disability fell more
sharply, from 3.8% in 2005 to 3.4%. Both these groups declined in actual numbers as well as proportionally,
despite strong growth in overall employee numbers. Some of this decline is likely to reflect the change in
coverage of the Public Service Act in 2005–06, but the declines also reflect the systemic change in the nature of
skill requirements in the APS. A detailed analysis of diversity in the APS, including the impact of Medicare
Australia moving into coverage of the Act, can be found in Chapter 5.


Engagements and separations
There were 20,688 engagements and 9,506 separations of ongoing employees during 2005–06. Engagements
rose by 79.4% over the previous year, and separations fell by 9.8% over the same period. However, all
employees of Medicare Australia, which moved into coverage of the PS Act on 1 October 2005, are considered as
engagements which artificially inflates this figure. Figure 2.13 shows ongoing engagements and separations as a
proportion of all ongoing employees for the past 10 years. The dotted line represents the growth in engagements
including Medicare Australia and the solid line represents the growth in engagements excluding Medicare
Australia.

Figure 2.13: Ongoing engagements and separations as a proportion of ongoing employees, 1996–97 to
        12
2005–06
Source: APSED


Given that Medicare Australia accounted for over one-quarter (5471 or 26.4%) of all engagements during the
year, further analysis in this section excludes all engagements to Medicare Australia to avoid distortion of the
trends in engagements during 2005–06. Excluding Medicare Australia, there were 15,217 engagements during
2005–06, an increase of 32.0% over the previous year.

Figure 2.14 compares the age profile of engagements and separations during 2005–06 with the age profile of the
APS overall. As expected, the age profile for engagements is much younger than for the APS overall. For
separations, there are two peaks—in the 25–34 and 50–54 age groups. During 2005–06, 21.0% of those who left
were aged under 30 years. For further analysis of ageing trends, see Chapter 5.

Figure 2.14: Age profile of ongoing engagements and separations, 2005–06




Note: Excludes engagements to Medicare Australia
Source: APSED
Engagements

The sharp rise in engagements this year continues the fluctuating pattern for most of the past decade. However,
even excluding Medicare Australia, the total number of engagements was the highest for almost 20 years.

Figure 2.15: Ongoing engagements by classification, 1996–97 to 2005–06




Note: Excludes engagements to Medicare Australia
Source: APSED


Figure 2.15 shows the proportion of engagements by classification for the past 10 years. The long-term fall in
engagements at APS 1–2 classification levels has continued this year—down from 1350 in 2004–05 to 1170 in
2005–06—after reversing in the previous two financial years. The decline in engagements at these levels was not
large, however the fall in proportional terms was much greater (from 11.7% of all engagements in 2004–05 to
7.7% in 2005–06). This was due to the large increase in overall engagements.

Most ‘base-grade’ recruitment is now at the APS 3–4 levels, or through Graduate and other trainee classifications.
During 2005–06, engagements at APS 3–4 levels rose from 5127 to 7501, an increase of 46.3%. APS 3–4
engagements accounted for almost half of all engagements during 2005–06, more than twice the number of any
other classification level.

The other classification group which grew most in proportional terms was the SES, where engagements rose from
48 in 2004–05 to 73 in 2005–06—an increase of 52.1%.

Trainee and Graduate engagements rose by 33.0% during 2005–06, remaining relatively steady as a proportion
of total engagements. The agencies with the largest increase in Graduate APS recruitment were Defence (up
from 29 in 2004–05 to 125 in 2005–06), DEWR (up from 64 to 120) and ABS (up from 48 to 87). The agency with
the greatest decrease in Graduate APS engagements was the ATO (down from 259 in 2004–05 to 130 in 2005–
06).

Engagements at APS 5–6 levels also increased strongly this year, up by 44.4%. Engagements of ELs actually fell
by 1.2% (from 1349 to 1333). As a proportion of all engagements, ELs fell from 11.7% in 2004–05 to 8.8% in
2005–06.

Although data on educational qualifications is incomplete, it does show that the trend for new recruits to also be
                                                                                   13
graduates has risen from around 27% twenty years ago to over 63% in 2005–06. The quality of data on
educational qualifications, provided by agencies however, continues to be of concern. Agencies have provided
data for only around one-quarter of those engaged during 2005–06.

Women accounted for 59.9% of engagements during 2005–06, up from 58.1% last year.
The number of ongoing engagements rose in all age groups this year. As a proportion of all engagements,
however, all age groups from 35 and above fell. Figure 2.16 shows changes in the age profile of engagements for
the past 10 years. The strongest growth this year was in the under 25 age group, which rose from 21.7% of all
engagements during 2004–05 to 23.1% during 2005–06. Engagements in the 25–34 age group also rose
proportionally, up from 36.2% to 36.6% of all engagements.This is an important development given the ageing of
the APS workforce identified earlier in this chapter, and discussed further in Chapter 5.

There was a slight fall in the proportion of engagements in the 55 and over age group—the first time that this
group has not risen in proportional terms since 1997–98.

The median age of engagements during 2005–06 was 31 years.

Figure 2.16: Ongoing engagements by age group, 1996–97 to 2005–06




Note: Excludes engagements to Medicare Australia
Source: APSED


Mobility between the APS and the wider labour market can be gauged by the proportion of employment
opportunities filled by engagements (i.e. from outside the APS) as a proportion of opportunities filled by
engagements and promotions. Over the past decade, there has been a steady increase in the proportion of
opportunities filled by engagement—from 35.3% in 1996–97 to 51.5% in 2005–06. Excluding ‘base-grade’
recruitment—APS 1 to APS 3, Graduate APS and trainee classifications—the proportion of opportunities filled by
engagement has risen from 19.9% in 1996–97 to 33.6% in 2005–06.

Last year’s report noted that the long-term trend towards filling employment opportunities by engagement had
reversed for some classification levels, particularly APS 6 and EL classifications during 2004–05. This year, the
trend towards engagements is again evident for these and all other classifications except for APS 2, EL 2 and
SES Band 3. Growth in engagements was particularly strong for the APS 4 classification.


Re-engagement and prior service

Of the 15,217 ongoing engagements (excluding Medicare Australia) during 2005–06, 1912 (12.6%) had
previously worked in the APS as ongoing employees. Of these, just over one-quarter (515) were re-engaged by
the same agency in which they had previously worked. The median length of service prior to re-engagement as
ongoing employees was 6.2 years.

Of these ongoing engagements who had previously also worked as ongoing employees, the majority have
returned to either the same level, or one level higher or lower, than the level they were at as ongoing employees.
A total of 4666 people (30.7% of engagements) who were engaged as ongoing employees during 2005–06 had
previously worked as non-ongoing employees in the APS. Of these, 3939 were engaged as ongoing employees.
by the same agency in which they were previously non-ongoing. This group accounted for over one-quarter of all
engagements during 2005–06—non-ongoing employment continues to be a major entry point into the APS. The
median length of service as a non-ongoing employee prior to their ongoing engagement was 1.0 years.

These two totals include 873 people who had both non-ongoing and ongoing previous service.

                                                                                                         14
A total of 9497 (62.4%) of the ongoing engagements during 2005–06 had no prior experience in the APS.

Of the 11,802 non-ongoing employees at 30 June 2006 (including those in Medicare Australia), 2104 (17.8%) had
previously worked in the APS as ongoing employees. In general, the proportion with this prior experience
increased with classification, up to EL 2 level where 46.5% of non-ongoing employees had previously worked as
ongoing employees. For non-ongoing SES employees, the proportion with previous ongoing experience was
39.5%. Previous ongoing experience was also high among older non- ongoing employees, with 55.3% of non-
ongoing employees in the 55–59 age group and 47.2% in the 60 and over age group having previously worked as
ongoing employees. These high levels of prior ongoing experience suggest that some people, especially mature-
aged workers, are returning to the APS on a more flexible basis after retiring or resigning.

As was the case for ongoing engagements, most non-ongoing employees with previous ongoing experience have
returned to either the same level, or one level higher or lower, than the level they were at as ongoing employees.


Separations

There were 9506 separations of ongoing employees during 2005–06, a decrease of 9.8% on the 10,540 the
previous year. The decrease was mainly due to the large number of separations during 2004–05 resulting from
compulsory moves to non-APS agencies. The other separation type that fell this year was retrenchments (down
by 631 or 36.7%). The largest proportional increases in separations were invalidity retirements (up by 24.8%) and
terminations of appointment (up by 23.5%), although these groups are both small, accounting for only 5.9% of all
separations during 2005–06.

Figure 2.17 shows how the main separation types have varied over the past 10 years.

Figure 2.17: Ongoing separations, 1996–97 to 2005–06




Source: APSED


Women accounted for 55.2% of ongoing separations during 2005–06—an increase from 46.4% the previous year.
They were slightly over-represented in resignations (58.0%), and under-represented in age retirements (47.3%).
The agencies with the largest number of separations were Centrelink (2048), Defence (1090) and the ATO
(1049). These three agencies accounted for 44.0% of all separations.

Separations by age group for 2004–05 and 2005–06 are shown in Table 2.3. The proportion of ongoing
employees in each age group at June 2005 is included for comparison.


Table 2.3: Separations of ongoing employees by age group, 2004–05 and 2005–06

                   2004-05             2005-06
                                                          % change                 Ongoing employees
                No.        %       No.       %
                                                      2004-05 to 2005-06             at June 2006 %
Under 20      19        0.2       27      0.3       42.1                         0.2
20-24         608       5.8       541     5.7       -11.0                        4.2
25-29         1585      15.0      1431    15.1      -9.7                         11.1
30-34         1552      14.7      1316    13.8      -15.2                        13.7
35-39         1213      11.5      1085    11.4      -10.6                        14.3
40-44         1191      11.3      949     10.0      -20.3                        15.7
45-49         954       9.1       842     8.9       -11.7                        16.0
50-54         1507      14.3      1391    14.6      -7.7                         14.1
55-59         1135      10.8      1156    12.2      1.9                          7.6
60+           776       7.4       768     8.1       -1.0                         3.0
Total         10540     100.0     9506    100.0     -9.8                         100.0

Source: APSED

Although the number of separations fell in most age groups, the fall was generally smallest in older age groups.
Comparing separations to the age profile of the APS, those employees aged under 30 and those aged 55 or older
separated at a higher rate than their APS representation. The 40–49 age group was particularly under-
represented in separations (see Figure 2.15).

Figure 2.18 shows the proportion of employees in the 50–65 years age range that separated through resignation
or retirement, for the past 10 years. The sharp rise for 54 year-olds since 1996–97 is most likely linked to the
overall reduction in retrenchments since then and to the financial incentives for some members of the
Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS) to resign just before their 55th birthday (the 54/11 effect). The
relative decline in age 54 resignations during 2002–03 and the plateau during 2003–04 may be related to the
lower exit rates from the CSS during some part of that period. The actual number of age 54 resignations has risen
steadily for each of the past three years.

Figure 2.18: Resignation/retirement rate for selected ages, 1996–97 to 2005–06
Source: APSED


Demography of the SES leadership group
The SES constitutes the senior management and leadership group of the APS, and comprised 1.7% of total
                                                                                    15
ongoing APS employment at June 2006, a very slight increase on the previous year. The size of the SES has
fluctuated over the past decade, from a low of 1574 in 1998 to 2253 this year—the largest since the SES was
established in 1984.

Band 1 SES employees make up the largest proportion at 75.6% of all ongoing SES employees. Band 2 comprise
19.5% and Band 3 comprise 4.9%. Proportionally, most of the growth this year was in the Band 3 cohort which
grew by 15 or 15.6% during 2005–06. In actual numbers, the strongest growth was in Band 1 which grew by 174
or 11.4%. The agencies with the largest net increases in Band 1 employees were DIMA (up by 16 or 28.6%),
DEST (15 or 30.6%) and Finance (12 or 27.3%).

The proportion of women in the SES continued to rise this year to 34.8%, up from 33.2% at June 2005; at June
1997 women’s representation was 19.7%. As is the case for the overall APS, women are concentrated at lower
levels in the SES: 81.1% of SES women are at Band 1 compared with 72.6% of men, 15.4% are at Band 2
compared with 21.7% of men, and 3.4% are at Band 3 compared with 5.7% of men. During 2005–06, the
strongest proportional growth for women in the SES was at Band 3, where their representation increased from 19
to 27 people—a rise of 42.1%.

Figure 2.19 shows the changing age profile of the SES over the past 10 years. The shift indicates an ageing of
the SES workforce, consistent with the ageing of the APS overall. This year, the median age of SES remained
steady at 48 years—49 years for men and 47 years for women. Since 1997 the proportion of ongoing SES
employees aged under 45 has fallen slightly from 30.5% to 28.9%. The major change over time has been the
increase in the proportion of SES in the 55–59 age group. This year is the first in which the proportion aged 50–54
is lower than it was 10 years ago. Overall, the trend towards an ageing of the SES appears to have settled
somewhat.

Figure 2.19: Age profile for ongoing SES employees, 1997 and 2006
Source: APSED




The age profile for female SES is somewhat younger than for males: 35.2% of female SES are aged under 45
compared with 25.6% of male SES.

Table 2.4 indicates that over one third of SES Band 1s (37.8%) are aged 50 years or over. For Band 2s, over half
are in that age group (55.4%). Band 3s have an even older age profile with almost three-quarters (73.9%) being
over 50. Currently, 75 SES employees (comprising 3.3% of the SES cohort) are aged 60 and over. This compares
with 74 or 3.6% at June 2005


Table 2.4: Ongoing SES employees by age group, sex and level, June 2006

                     SES 1                SES 2              SES 3             Total
                 M       F   Total   M        F   Total M     F Total No.           %      % who are female
25-29        1       1       2       0    0       0     0    0    0       2       0.1      50.0
30-34        30      21      51      1    1       2     0    0    0       53      2.4      41.5
35-39        106     68      174     10   1       11    0    1    1       186     8.3      37.6
40-44        182     152 334         38   29      67    8    2    10      411     18.2     44.5
45-49        311     187 498         76   40      116   11 7      18      632     28.1     37.0
50-54        267     139 406         89   32      121   32 12 44          571     25.3     32.0
55-59        142     60      202     79   16      95    23 3      26      323     14.3     24.5
60 & over 27         9       36      25   2       27    10 2      12      75      3.3      17.3
Total        1066 637 1703 318 121 439                  84 27 111         2253 100.0 34.8

Source: APSED

Further analysis of the composition of the SES leadership group can be found in Chapter 7. The data in that
chapter excludes inoperative SES as, for that particular analysis, the focus is on capability requirements of the
leadership cadre currently active within agencies, and this chapter focuses on trends in the overall composition of
the APS.


Key chapter findings
The APS grew strongly this year, even allowing for Medicare Australia moving into coverage of the Act. Growth
was evident in both ongoing and non-ongoing employment, and was spread across many agencies. The increase
in employees reflects a range of new initiatives including in the areas of Welfare to Work, providing more support
for families and carers, and further initiatives aimed at improving Australia’s security, and enhancing levels of
international engagement.

There has been a general consolidation of trends towards a more skilled workforce. This is shown, for example,
in:

        continuing falls in recruitment at the APS 1 and 2 classifications
        a focus on the APS 3 and 4 classifications as the major entry point into the APS
        an increase in the proportion of employees with graduate qualifications
        the high proportion of recruits with graduate qualifications
        an increase in engagements at more senior levels.

There are some signs that the trend towards reduced mobility between agencies, highlighted through MAC’s
report on Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce as a concern about the limited breadth of experience in
future leaders, may be beginning to reverse. There have been improved rates of mobility between agencies for
two years; however, this growth will need to be sustained for some years before the concerns identified through
MAC could be said to have been addressed. Continuing high rates of external engagements, including from some
employees returning to APS employment, is also adding to the breadth of experience in the APS.

Excluding Medicare Australia, the ‘typical’ new starter in the APS is a 31 year old with graduate qualifications, at
the APS 3 level and more likely to be a woman than a man.

As in 2005, the ‘typical’ APS employee continues to be a 42 year old with graduate qualifications, at the APS 4
level and is again more likely to be a woman than a man.

The feminisation of the APS, evident for many years, appears to be accelerating, especially at higher
classification levels. The growth in women’s representation this year was exaggerated by the movement of
Medicare Australia into coverage of the Act, but even allowing for this impact, growth in female representation is
still strong. Women are, however, still concentrated at lower classifications, although their representation grew
most strongly at SES Band 3 this year.

The decline in employment of people with disability and Indigenous Australians continued this year. These trends
are symptomatic of structural change in the APS and a short-term turnaround is unlikely. The APS is making
strenuous efforts to improve employment outcomes for these groups. These trends are discussed in more detail
in Chapter 5.

A positive outcome this year was the strong growth in engagements for graduate trainees. The long- term decline
in youth employment continues to be of concern; however, the proportional growth in the under 25 age group this
year is encouraging. This growth needs to be sustained to counter the further ageing of the APS workforce,
reflecting the general ageing of the Australian workforce. At the other end of the spectrum, the continuing trend
towards more flexible employment arrangements for older workers, such as part-time work and shorter-term non-
ongoing projects, appears to be helping agencies do better at retaining mature-age workers.

The challenges for agencies for workforce planning and succession management, especially in the SES
leadership group, remain a priority, particularly for those agencies with a substantial proportion of their workforce
aged 45 or over.

Agencies need to ensure that they market themselves as a potential employer to a wide range of employees and
continue to draw on the full diversity of the workforce. In this regard, some agencies need to look at how they can
be more attractive, particularly at junior levels, to men and to younger employees.
1.    Every effort is made to ensure the integrity of APSED data, but the Commission cannot be held responsible for
      inaccuracies in the data provided by agencies. The Commission undertakes extensive audits of the data, and as a
      result of these audits, some errors in historical data have been corrected. For this reason, caution should be
      exercised when comparing data presented in this report with that from earlier years. Most significantly, previously
      published data on employee numbers may have been revised and therefore, may not be directly comparable. Due to
      different data sources and definitions, there may be variations between the data published here and that published by
      individual agencies.
2.    Conceptual definitions used in workforce analysis are set out in the Introduction and Explanatory Notes to the
      Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin 2005–06.
3.    The increase was from 11.26% to 11.31%; however, when rounded to one decimal place there was no change.
4.    In this report, unlike in previous years, APSED data for DHS includes CSA and CRS which are both legally part of the
      Department.
5.    Weighting eliminates the effects that the change in the overall size of the APS has on representation. The index is
      given a value of 100 at June 1997, and rises and falls proportionally with the particular group’s change in the weighted
      number over time.
6.    Transfer and promotion rates are calculated as the number of movements during a financial year, divided by the
      average of the number of employees at the beginning and end of the period. The terminology of ‘transfer’ and
      ‘promotion’ have been used in this chapter because they are commonly understood by most APS employees. The
      terminology adopted under the Act is ‘movement at level’ for transfers between agencies. Promotion is defined as ‘the
      assignment to the employee of duties at a higher classification than the employee’s current classification (whether or
      not the employee moves to another agency)’. Movements due to machinery of government changes are not included
      in this analysis.
7.    Advancements within a broadband are included with promotions for this analysis.
8.    Management Advisory Committee 2005, Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce, Commonwealth of Australia,
      Canberra.
9.    The method used to calculate the proportion of employees with graduate or tertiary qualifications includes those with
      qualifications at bachelor degree and above. It excludes from the denominator those for whom no data was provided
      by agencies, and those who chose not to provide details for their highest educational qualification.
10.   Length of service for all Medicare Australia employees is taken as their date of movement to the APS unless they had
      prior APS employment.
11.   In the absence of alternative measures, the concept ‘NESB’, representing people from a non-English speaking
      background, is used with APSED. This captures information about first language spoken, place of birth and parents’
      language. NESB1, the measure reported here, includes people born overseas whose first language was not English.
      NESB2 has previously been reported in addition to NESB1 and includes children of migrants, including those who
      were born overseas and arrived in Australia before the age of five and did not speak English as a first language, those
      who were Australian-born but did not speak English as a first language and had at least one NESB1 parent, and
      those who were Australian-born and neither of whose parents spoke English as a first language. Analysis of APSED
      data has found that this group does not have a substantial disadvantage compared to other workers, and it is
      therefore, not reported on here.
12.   All employees of Medicare Australia who moved into coverage of the PS Act on 1 October 2005 are considered as
      engagements to the APS.
13.   The method used to calculate the proportion of employees with graduate or tertiary qualifications includes those with
      qualifications at bachelor degree and above. It excludes from the denominator those for whom no data was provided
      by agencies, and those who chose not to provide details for their highest educational qualification.
14.   As previous service is, in part, linked through an employee’s name, it is possible that a small proportion of these
      people who may have changed their name had some prior experience that is not included here.
15.   The increase was from 1.64% to 1.67%—a rise of only 0.03 percentage points, but when rounded to one decimal
      place the increase is 0.1 decimal points.
Chapter 3: Job satisfaction, communication
and productivity
The main body of this year’s State of the Service report is structured around ‘employee engagement’— a concept
                                                                    1
associated with improved productivity and retention of employees. By focusing on the areas which are
understood to most strongly influence employee engagement—identity and pride, job satisfaction and
communication—our objective is to better understand the critical ‘make or break’ points for employee
engagement, and what APS agencies can do to maximise the engagement of their workforce. It also allows us to
assess the performance of the APS in each of these areas.

Given the relationship identified in the literature between employee engagement and productivity, the chapter also
looks specifically at the key factors that employees believe are important to their productivity.


Employee engagement
‘Employee engagement’ describes the relationship between how employees’ feel about the organisations they
work for and how those feelings contribute to their commitment to the work they do, and to their intention to
remain with the organisation.

The factors which are said to most strongly influence employee engagement can be grouped under the following
          2
headings:

        immediate management
        career development/opportunities
        regular feedback and communication of goals and expectations
        good working relationships
        leadership and the purpose and values of the organisation
        salary and conditions.

For several years the employee survey has been used to capture information about APS employees’levels of job
satisfaction, by asking survey respondents to choose the five factors (from among 15 factors) which contribute
most to their overall job satisfaction. Respondents are also asked to rate their level of satisfaction with the five
factors they nominate.

This year’s report takes a structured approach to ‘unpacking’ the concept of employee engagement. The job
satisfaction factors used in the employee survey (listed in Table 3.1) could be said to equate to the ‘how
employees feel ’ part of employee engagement. Similarly, employees’ responses to the questions about their
identity and pride in their work and in being a public servant are also an indicator of how they feel about the work
they do, and their level of engagement.


APS identity and pride

Levels of pride in the APS are high, and increasing. As in 2005, the majority of respondents to the employee
survey (60%) indicated that they considered themselves to be primarily employees of their agency. Forty per cent
of employees again identified primarily as APS employees. Women, employees from large agencies, SES
employees and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees were more likely than other groups to consider
themselves primarily as APS employees. Employees from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB) were more
likely to see themselves as primarily agency employees.

The large majority of employees (80%) were proud to work in the APS; higher than the proportion ofemployees
who agreed they were proud to work in their current agency (71%). Pride in both the APS and the employee’s
current agency was higher than in 2005 (71% and 65% respectively), a particularly good result. Employees were
more likely to be proud to work in their agency if they worked in small agencies or in the SES. They were more
likely to be proud to work in the APS if they worked outside the ACT. Women were more likely than men to be
proud to work both in their agency and the APS.
Employee engagement factors

This year, the employee survey included a number of questions that particularly related to the concept of
employee engagement. The results for these questions were analysed in a new way using factor analysis to give
an overall summary picture of how the APS is going in the area of employee engagement.

Factor analysis identifies groups of questions (or factors) where responses are highly related, that is, where
                                                                         3
individual employees have tended to answer questions in the same way. Ten groups of questions(or factors)
emerged from the factor analysis. Levels of satisfaction or agreement for each factor are shown at Figure 3.1.

Figure 3.1 Employee satisfaction with factors identified through factor analysis, 2005–06




Source: Employee survey


Overall, the results of the factor analysis indicate a healthy APS, with the majority of employees satisfied against
eight of the 10 factors relevant to employee engagement. The best result was for the group of questions relating
to the understanding of employees’ current role; over 80% of employees were satisfied or agreed with these
questions. The group of questions related to satisfaction with employees’ current job, the effectiveness of their
work group, and the recruitment and retention of employees from diverse backgrounds also scored highly, with
70% or more of employees expressing agreement or satisfaction with the underlying questions.

In the case of the recruitment and retention of employees from diverse backgrounds, employee perceptions are
somewhat at odds with the actual experience of the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
employees and employees with disability over 2005–06, where the representation of both groups is continuing to
fall. These findings are discussed in more detail in Chapter 5.

The lowest results relate to the ‘Merit’ and ‘Senior leaders/culture’ factors, which include questions relevant both
to the effectiveness of senior leaders and agency culture more broadly. These results are discussed in more
detail in Chapter 4 and Chapter 7.
Job satisfaction factors

The strong overall result against the employee engagement factors is consistent with continuing high levels of job
satisfaction for APS employees. Table 3.1 shows the proportion of employee survey respondents in 2004–05 and
2005–06 who nominated each job satisfaction factor among the five most important to them, and the proportion of
those employees who were ‘satisfied’ with that factor.


Table 3.1: Job satisfaction—employees’ most important workplace factors, 2004–05 and
2005–06

  Workplace factor                         2004–05                                    2005–06
                               Employees         Employees who           Employees         Employees who
                                  who              nominated                who              nominated
                               nominated            factor as            nominated            factor as
                                factor as        important who            factor as        important who
                              important to       were satisfied(a)      important to       were satisfied(a)
                                them (%)               (%)                them (%)               (%)
Good working
                            48                   85                    50                  88
relationships
Salary                      42                   49                    43                  58
Flexible working
                            41                   84                    41                  83
arrangements
Good manager                40                   66                    40                  72
Interesting work
                            32                   71                    37                  74
provided
Opportunities to utilise
                         37                      61                    36                  65
my skills
Regular
feedback/recognition        41                   49                    35                  52
for effort
Opportunities to
                            35                   56                    31                  58
develop my skills
Seeing tangible results
                        32                       75                    31                  76
from my work
Opportunities for
                            29                   34                    31                  38
career development
Duties /expectations
                            33                   68                    28                  70
made clear
Appropriate level of
                            24                   76                    27                  74
autonomy in my job
Chance to make a
useful contribution to      24                   73                    25                  73
society
Appropriate workload        20                   34                    25                  41
Chance to be
                            24                   56                    23                  52
creative/innovative

Note: (a) Of the employees who nominated this factor as one of their most important and rated it, the
Table 3.1: Job satisfaction—employees’ most important workplace factors, 2004–05 and
2005–06

  Workplace factor                            2004–05                                   2005–06
                                Employees         Employees who            Employees         Employees who
                                   who              nominated                 who              nominated
                                nominated            factor as             nominated            factor as
                                 factor as        important who             factor as        important who
                               important to       were satisfied(a)       important to       were satisfied(a)
                                 them (%)               (%)                 them (%)               (%)

percentage of employees who were either very satisfied or satisfied with the factor in their current
workplace.

Source: Employee survey

The top five job satisfaction factors this year were good working relationships, salary, flexible working
arrangements, good manager and interesting work provided, in that order. This is the same as in 2004–05, except
for regular feedback/recognition for effort, ranked fourth in 2004–05, which was in seventh place this year and
which has been replaced by interesting work. Satisfaction with the top five factors was generally higher this year
(see Table 3.1).

Satisfaction with good working relationships, the top ranking factor since the employee survey began in 2003, was
similar to last year, as was flexible working arrangements. Satisfaction with salary rose significantly this year.
There was also an increase in the level of satisfaction with good manager this year.

Opportunities for career development and appropriate workload stand out again this year as areas where job
satisfaction is relatively low, despite a significant increase in satisfaction with these factors.

The top ranking job satisfaction factors have remained fairly stable, with only seven factors ranking among the top
                   4
five in four years. It is important to note, however, that even the bottom ranking factor (chance to be
creative/innovative) was selected by almost a quarter of survey respondents. Agencies need to be mindful of the
diverse needs and preferences of their employees and the importance of all the job satisfaction factors.


Overall job satisfaction

The job satisfaction results in the employee survey were used to create a summary index, an indicator of overall
                 5
job satisfaction. The index ranges from zero (the employee was very dissatisfied with all of the factors
nominated) to 10 (the employee was very satisfied with all factors). An index of five equates to an employee
being, on average, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Respondents with a score of six or more on the index are
regarded as being, on average, satisfied.

On the basis of the summary index, the overall level of job satisfaction in the APS this year continues to be high,
                                   6
at 73%, compared to 72% last year.

                                          7
Overall job satisfaction for large agencies ranged from 65% to 87%.Two agencies achieved job satisfaction
levels significantly above the APS average—ABS and DFAT.

The factor analysis, discussed earlier, and outlined in detail in Appendix 4, showed that overall rates of job
satisfaction were correlated with several employee engagement factors. In particular, employees with higher rates
of job satisfaction were also more likely to be satisfied with the ‘Senior leaders/culture’, ‘Immediate supervisor’
and ‘Current job’ factors.

The following sample of comments made in the employee survey, although not necessarily representative,
illustrate a range of employees’ views about what influences their job satisfaction.

I have a lot of satisfaction from my work environment rather than career opportunities such as career
development, work load etc.
I consider appropriate training and time for hand over/take over essential to job satisfaction.

Job satisfaction is all dependent on your current manager.

As a part time employee opportunities for developing career are limited.

I think it is important that staff are given the opportunity to utilise their skills.

Our salary levels are quite low given the level of responsibility, complexity and the savings that we make for the
community.

I love my job & I get a very high level of satisfaction from it but often there seems to be little real opportunity for
career progression.

Though currently working in the corporate support area my job satisfaction comes from believing that I’m working
for a department that is achieving good results for the Australian community, particularly the most disadvantaged.

More training for managers on how to be ‘people managers’ rather than content specialists would help with job
satisfaction.


Job satisfaction and diversity

Rates of job satisfaction are not uniform across the APS. Table 3.2 shows the 2006 job satisfaction summary
index results for different groups among respondents to the employee survey, compared to 2005.


Table 3.2: Job satisfaction—summary index results by group, 2004–05 and 2005–06

                                                          Summary index rating           Summary index rating
                       Group                                       >5                             >5
                                                             in 2004–05 (%)                 in 2005–06 (%)
Indigenous                                              72                              86
Non-English speaking background                         71                              70
People with disability                                  70                              70
Women                                                   73                              76
Men                                                     70                              70
Carers                                                  71                              73
APS 1–6 employees                                       70                              73
EL employees                                            77                              73
SES                                                     87                              90
Mature-aged employees (45 years and
                                                        74                              76
over)
Younger employees (under 45 years)                      70                              71
< 1 year of service                                     75                              78
1–5 years of service                                    70                              71
> 5 years of service                                    73                              74
Ongoing employees                                       71                              73
Non-ongoing employees                                   86                              84
All respondents                                         72                              73
Table 3.2: Job satisfaction—summary index results by group, 2004–05 and 2005–06

                                                     Summary index rating             Summary index rating
                     Group                                    >5                               >5
                                                        in 2004–05 (%)                   in 2005–06 (%)

Source: Employee survey

The proportion of employee survey respondents with a job satisfaction index rating greater than five is lowest for
people with disability and those from a non-English speaking background (although not statistically significant
below the APS average) and highest for SES employees. The groups with job satisfaction levels that were higher
than the average were women, mature-aged employees, non-ongoing employees, Indigenous employees, SES
employees and those with less than one year of service.

Although their level of job satisfaction is the same as the average for all respondents, there has been a drop this
year in the level of job satisfaction for EL employees. The reason for this is not clear, but is of concern given the
critical role EL employees play as managers and supervisors, which, as is discussed in detail in Chapter 7, is, in
turn, a critical ‘make or break’ point for employee engagement. There was also a small drop in the job satisfaction
levels of NESB and non-ongoing employees, but these were not statistically significant.

Job satisfaction levels for employees aged under 45 were slightly below the average. Within this group, however,
the lowest job satisfaction levels were reported for those in the 25–34 years age group, at 68%. Job satisfaction
levels for those aged less than 25 years have, in fact, been equal to, or above the average, for the last three
years. Results against age are consistent with length of service, and suggest that employees are most satisfied
both early on, and once well established in their careers. This is quite understandable. Most people will be excited
in a new job and see many potential opportunities; over time they may experience some frustrations and hard
knocks in the job, and then settle down, having reached their maximum potential performance level and knowing
this is so.

The level of job satisfaction reported for people with disability this year (70%) was similar to the overall APS result
and was about the same as in 2005, which was a significant improvement on results for 2003 and 2004 (58% and
                   8
57% respectively).

The results for Indigenous job satisfaction were very high, having increased significantly this year. However, it
should be noted that the number of Indigenous respondents to the employee survey was small this year, and it is
therefore difficult to draw strong conclusions from these results. Results from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander APS Employees Census Survey, conducted in November 2005, with 1554 respondents, are likely to
                                                                            9
provide a more reliable picture of Indigenous employees’ job satisfaction. On the basis of the summary index
created from the Census Survey job satisfaction results, the overall rate of job satisfaction for Indigenous
employees was 74%.

To gain a better understanding of the job satisfaction factors driving the results for the different EEO groups, the
top five job satisfaction factors were examined separately for each group. In general, there were more similarities
in the factors important to each group than diff erences.


Table 3.3: Job satisfaction—most important workplace factors, by sex, 2004–05 and 2005–06

                                 2004–05                                                        2005–06
                  Women                            Men                           Women                            Men

Rank     Workplace        satisfied      Workplace        satisfied     Workplace        satisfied Workplace              satisfied
          factor            (%)           factor            (%)          factor            (%)      factor                  (%)
        Good working                                                   Good working
1                     85               Salary             43                         88               Salary              52
        relationships                                                  relationships
        Flexible                                                       Flexible                       Good
                                       Good working
2       working      84                              86                working      84                working       87
                                       relationships
        arrangements                                                   arrangements                   relationships
Table 3.3: Job satisfaction—most important workplace factors, by sex, 2004–05 and 2005–06

                                2004–05                                                     2005–06
                 Women                           Men                         Women                           Men

Rank     Workplace       satisfied     Workplace       satisfied     Workplace        satisfied Workplace            satisfied
          factor           (%)          factor           (%)          factor            (%)      factor                (%)
       Regular
                                      Opportunities                                                Opportunities
       feedback/                                                    Good
3                        52           to utilise my 61                                73           to utilise my 62
       recognition                                                  manager
                                      skills                                                       skills
       for effort
                                                                    Regular
       Good                           Good                          feedback/                      Good
4                        70                            60                             54                             71
       manager                        manager                       recognition                    manager
                                                                    for effort
                                      Flexible                                                     Interesting
5      Salary            57           working      84               Salary            64           work              71
                                      arrangements                                                 provided

Source: Employee survey

Table 3.3 shows that, of the top five workplace factors contributing to job satisfaction, men and women have three
factors in common: good working relationships, good manager and salary.

Whereas the most important factors for women in 2006 were the same as in 2005 (in a slightly different order),
interesting work provided has displaced flexible working arrangements for men in 2006. For both groups,
satisfaction levels with the most important factors have increased or remained the same.

Of the workplace factors that men and women have in common, levels of satisfaction with good working
relationships and good manager were similar for men and women, whereas satisfaction with salary was higher for
women than for men, perhaps reflecting different expectations.


Table 3.4: Job satisfaction—most important workplace factors, by diversity groups,
2004–-05 and 2005–06

        2004–05
                  Indigenous                     People with Disability                      NESB

Rank Workplace factor satisfied               Workplace factor        satisfied     Workplace        satisfied
                        (%)                                             (%)          factor            (%)
       Duties/
                                            Good working                           Good working
1      expectations made *                                            80                         82
                                            relationships                          relationships
       clear
       Opportunity for                                                             Opportunity
2      career                   *           Good manager              61           to utilise my     64
       development                                                                 skills
       Regular feedback/
                                            Duties/expectations
3      recognition for          *                                     70           Salary            41
                                            made clear
       effort
       Chance to make a                     Regular
                                                                                   Good
4      useful contribution      *           feedback/recognition *                                   61
                                                                                   manager
       to society                           for effort
Table 3.4: Job satisfaction—most important workplace factors, by diversity groups,
2004–-05 and 2005–06

        2004–05
                   Indigenous                      People with Disability                        NESB

Rank Workplace factor satisfied                 Workplace factor          satisfied     Workplace        satisfied
                        (%)                                                 (%)          factor            (%)
                                                                                      Flexible
        Interesting work                      Flexible working
5                                 *                                       78          working      92
        provided                              arrangements
                                                                                      arrangements

        2005–06
                   Indigenous                      People with Disability                        NESB

Rank Workplace factor satisfied                 Workplace factor          satisfied     Workplace        satisfied
                        (%)                                                 (%)          factor            (%)
        Good working                          Appropriate level of                    Good working
1                                 *                                72                               90
        relationships                         autonomy for my job                     relationships
                                                                                      Flexible
        Duties/expectations                   Opportunity to utilise
2                           *                                        61               working      83
        made clear                            my skills
                                                                                      arrangements
3       Salary                    *           Good manager                52          Salary             50
        Flexible working                      Good working                            Good
4                                 *                                       84                             76
        arrangements                          relationships                           manager
        Seeing tangible                                                               Opportunities
5       results from my           *           Salary                      *           to utilise my 66
        work                                                                          skills

Note: * Satisfaction levels for these factors cannot be reported because of small numbers of
respondents.10

Source: Employee survey

Table 3.4 shows that good working relationships and salary were among the most important factors contributing
to job satisfaction for Indigenous employees, people with disability and for those from a non-English speaking
background. This is not surprising given that these factors are ranked first and second for respondents to the
employee survey overall.

Consistent with the overall results, the level of satisfaction with good working relationships for people with
disability and for those from a non-English speaking background was very high.

Due to small numbers, we are not able to provide the satisfaction levels for the top five workplace factors chosen
by Indigenous respondents and, in two instances, for people with disability. Indigenous respondents do, however,
appear to put more weight on having duties/expectations made clear and seeing tangible results from their work
than other employees.The latter result is consistent with the high weighting given to an additional factor, the
chance to make a useful contribution to Indigenous Australians, included in a similar question asked in the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander APS Employees Census Survey conducted in November 2005. This factor
was the second most commonly selected factor by respondents to the survey, with the other factors in the top five
being drawn from good working relationships, flexible working arrangements, duties/expectations made clear and
opportunities to develop my skills.


Table 3.5: Job satisfaction—most important workplace factors, by age, 2004–05 and 2005–
06
                            2004–05                                                2005–06
          Mature-aged                                           Mature-aged
                                     Employees aged                                        Employees aged
       employees (45 years                                   employees (45 years
                                      under 45 years                                        under 45 years
           and over)                                             and over)

Rank Workplace satisfied Workplace satisfied Workplace satisfied Workplace satisfied
         factor       (%)     factor       (%)     factor       (%)     factor       (%)
     Good                 Good                 Good                 Good
1    working       84     working       86     working       88     working       88
     relationships        relationships        relationships        relationships
       Opportunity                 Flexible
2      to utilise my 63            working       85          Salary          61         Salary           55
       skills                      relationships
       Seeing
                                                             Opportunity                Flexible
       tangible
3                   79             Salary        48          to utilise my 69           working       81
       results from
                                                             skills                     relationships
       my work
                                   Regular
       Good                        feedback/                 Good                       Good
4                     62                       51                            71                          72
       manager                     recognition               manager                    manager
                                   for effort
                                   Opportunity               Flexible                   Opportunity
       Salary*        51           to develop 55             working       87           for career   43
                                   my skills                 relationships              development*
5      Regular
                                                                                        Opportunity
       feedback/
                   45                                                                   to develop       59
       recognition
                                                                                        my skills*
       for effort*

Note: *Two factors ranked equally in fifth place.

Source: Employee survey

Table 3.5 shows that the workplace factors chosen as most important by mature-aged employees and those aged
less than 45 years were very similar this year. Four factors were common to each group: goodworking
relationships, salary, good manager, all of which are ranked the same for both groups, and flexible working
arrangements. The factors that were distinct to each age group, opportunity to utilise my skills for mature-aged
employees, and opportunity for career development and opportunity to developmy skills for those aged under 45
years, seem to reflect the career stage of respondents, with younger employees keen for career development (but
reporting relatively low levels of satisfaction with this factor) and to develop their skills, and older employees
looking to utilise the skills they have developed over time.


Table 3.6: Job satisfaction—most important workplace factors, by classification, 2004–
05 and 2005–06

                                                      2004–05
                      APS                        Executive Level                            SES

Rank       Workplace          satisfied       Workplace         satisfied         Workplace         satisfied
            factor              (%)            factor             (%)              factor             (%)
       Good working                         Good working                     Interesting work
1                             85                                88                                  91
       relationships                        relationships                    provided
2      Flexible working       84            Interesting work 81              Chance to make         85
Table 3.6: Job satisfaction—most important workplace factors, by classification, 2004–
05 and 2005–06

                                                      2004–05
                      APS                        Executive Level                            SES

Rank       Workplace          satisfied       Workplace          satisfied       Workplace           satisfied
            factor              (%)            factor              (%)            factor               (%)
        arrangements                       provided                          a useful
                                                                             contribution to
                                                                             society
        Regular
                                           Seeing tangible
        feedback/                                                            Good working
3                             49           results from my      74                                  91
        recognition for                                                      relationships
                                           work
        effort
                                                                             Seeing tangible
4       Salary                47           Good manager         67           results from my        89
                                                                             work
                                                                             Appropriate level
        Opportunity to
5                             59           Salary               58           of autonomy for        75
        utilise my skills
                                                                             my job

                                                      2005–06
                      APS                        Executive Level                            SES

Rank       Workplace          satisfied       Workplace          satisfied       Workplace           satisfied
            factor              (%)            factor              (%)            factor               (%)
        Good working                       Good working                      Interesting work
1                             88                                87                                  93
        relationships                      relationships                     provided
                                                                             Seeing tangible
        Flexible working                   Interesting work
2                             84                            84               results from my        86
        arrangements                       provided
                                                                             work
                                                                             Appropriate level
3       Salary                59           Good manager         72           of autonomy for        75
                                                                             my job
                                                                             Good working
4       Good manager          71           Salary               53                                  87
                                                                             relationships
        Regular                                                              Chance to make
                                           Seeing tangible
        feedback/                                                            a useful
5                             53           results from my      77                                  90
        recognition for                                                      contribution to
                                           work
        effort                                                               society

Source: Employee survey

Job satisfaction was also examined on the basis of the classification levels of respondents. Table 3.6 shows that,
unlike for other demographic groups discussed above where there was a high degree of commonality between
groups (with between two and four factors in common), only one factor, good working relationships, is common to
all classification groups.

The workplace factors that were most important to APS 1–6 employees this year included two (flexible working
arrangements and regular feedback/recognition for effort) which were among the top five only for them (as was
the case last year). Similarly, there were two workplace factors that were included among the most important
factors only for SES employees. These were chance to make a useful contribution to society and appropriate
level of autonomy. As might be expected, EL employees straddle the areas between APS 1–6 employees and
SES employees, having three factors (including good working relationships) in common with both—salary and
good manager in common with APS 1–6 employees and interesting work provided and seeing tangible results
from my work in common with SES employees.

This pattern, with good working relationships being important at all levels, but APS 1–6 and SES employees
otherwise having distinctly different factors among the workplace factors that are most important to them, has held
over the four years of the employee survey.

These results suggest, not surprisingly, that the factors that most influence job satisfaction are strongly related to
the stage of employees’ careers and classification levels. In terms of employee engagement, it is important that
SES employees, in particular, are conscious that the workplace factors that most influence the large number of
APS 1–6 employees in their organisations are likely to be distinctly different from their own.


Communication
The State of the Service Report 2004–05 identified communication as one of the key factors that influences
employee engagement. This influence operates through:

        the extent to which an employee thinks their opinion counts
        employees’ understanding of the connection between their own work and the organisation’s strategy
        clearly articulated organisational goals.

The importance of effective communication to a healthy organisation was also highlighted in work prepared by the
Commission for the Public Service Commissioners’ Conference, which drew together views across jurisdictions
and from the relevant literature on the early detection of unhealthy symptoms in underperforming agencies.

One indication of a healthy organisation identified was the effective communication of organisational purpose,
strategies and vision to all employees. Conversely, underperforming agencies may suffer from poor
communication of organisational purpose, strategies and vision to all employees, lack a clearly articulated and
understood ‘culture’, and be staffed by employees who have lost sight of the outcomes sought.

This section reports employee survey findings that relate to these aspects of communication. This year’s
employee survey included a range of new questions that focused on aspects of communication specifically
related to the issue of employee engagement. For this reason, analysis of historical trends is not possible for
some aspects of communication discussed below.


Workplace consultation

Results from the employee survey indicate there is some room for improvement in employee perceptions of the
extent to which their opinion counts at work.

Less than half of employees (41%) agreed with the statement ‘My agency involves employees in decisions about
their work. ’Twenty-eight per cent of employees neither agreed nor disagreed and 29% of employees disagreed.

Similarly, just under half (48%) of APS employees were satisfied with the overall say they have in decisions that
impact on their work. This was up slightly from 45% in 2005.

This year there was a decline, from 55% to 48%, in the proportion of employees agreeing with the statement ‘My
input is adequately sought and considered about decisions that directly affect me.’

                                                    11
The Tasmanian, Western Australian and Victorian jurisdictions have also asked a similar question of their
employees. While caution needs to be exercised in making comparisons, the results are summarised in Table 3.7.
Rates of agreement among APS employees that my input is adequately sought and considered about decisions
that directly affect me were lower than in the other jurisdictions. However, the proportion of employees who
disagree was similar. The main difference seems to be among those employees who neither agree nor disagree.
Table 3.7 Level of agreement by employees that input is adequately sought and
considered about decisions that directly affect them, 2005–06

                     Strongly          Neither agree            Strongly             Don’t know/
Jurisdiction       agree/ Agree        nor disagree            disagree/           Does not apply Missing
                        (%)                 (%)               Disagree (%)          /Not sure (%)
Tasmania          61                  17                   23
Western
                  60                  11                   26                     1                      2
Australia
Victoria          55                  20                   25
APS               48                  26                   25

Source: 2006 Employee survey; 2005 jurisdictional input, 2006 jurisdictional input for WA

Analysis of the employee survey results confirmed the importance of satisfaction with communication within an
agency to overall levels of employee engagement. Employees’ satisfaction with the decisions that impact on their
work was related to agreement/satisfaction with a range of employee engagement factors.


Understanding the connection between work and organisational strategy
and objectives

Employees were much more positive about their understanding of the connection between their own work and the
organisation’s strategy, and the extent to which they know what is expected of them at work, than about
workplace consultation.

A high proportion (92%) of employees indicated that they have a clear understanding of how their job contributes
to their work team’s role, a very positive result, reflecting a strong emphasis on this issue in the APS in recent
years. A high proportion (87%) of employees also indicated that they clearly understand what is expected of them
in their job.

Eighty-four per cent of employees indicated that they have a clear understanding of how their work team’s role
contributes to their agency’s strategic directions. Results for this question varied according to Indigenous status,
with only 55% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees agreeing that they have a clear understanding
of how their work team’s role contributes to their agency’s strategic direction. This difference was largely
explained by a much higher neither agree nor disagree response (42%). Relatively small numbers of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander employees were included among respondents to the survey, but given the size of the
difference, the result is still of concern.

Reflecting the overall APS employee survey results against these questions, there was also a high rate of
                                                                                12
employee satisfaction against the composite ‘Understanding current role’ factor. Of the ten employee
engagement factors, employees were most satisfied with this factor (84%). Large agency results ranged from
75% to 92%.

Satisfaction with the ‘Understanding current role’ factor was positively related to results on a range of other
employee engagement factors. The strongest relationships were with the ‘Immediate supervisor’ factor. There
was also a strong positive relationship with satisfaction against the ‘Current job factor’.


Communication at different levels

Arguably, the responsibility for the articulation of organisational goals, and communication more generally, rests
with both the senior leadership and line management of an organisation. With this in mind, this section analyses
employee perceptions relating to the effectiveness of communication at each of these levels.
Immediate supervisor

The employee survey asked respondents to choose the five most important attributes they would like to see in
their immediate supervisor (these results are discussed in detail in Chapter 7).

Although not among the most commonly selected attributes, ‘listens carefully and considers others ’views and
opinions’ was still selected as one of the top five attributes they would like to see in an immediate supervisor by
36% of employees. For those who viewed this attribute as important, satisfaction levels were relatively high.
Nearly two-thirds (62%) of relevant employees were satisfied that their immediate supervisor listens carefully and
considers others’ views and opinions, and only 22% were dissatisfied.

Satisfaction varied by age, with the least satisfied aged 45–54 years and the most satisfied aged over 54 years.
Men and employees located in the ACT were also more likely to be satisfied.

‘Clearly articulates organisational goals’ was selected as a top five attribute for a supervisor by 20% of
employees. Almost two-thirds (65%) of employees who saw this as one of the five most important attributes were
satisfied that their immediate supervisor clearly articulates organisational goals. Employee levels of satisfaction
also varied considerably according to their age. Employees aged less than 25 years were most satisfied and
employees aged 25–34 years were least satisfied.

‘Respectful of diverse points of view’ was selected in the top five attributes they would like to see in an immediate
supervisor by only 10% of employees. However, consistent with the other results reported above, nearly two-
thirds (62%) of employees who saw this attribute as important were satisfied with this aspect of communication.
Employees were less likely to be satisfied if they were from a non–English speaking background or had caring
responsibilities.

Not surprisingly, there appears to be a strong positive relationship between employees’ perceptions of whether
their supervisor is respectful of diverse points of view, and their perceptions in relation to their agency’s
commitment to creating a diverse workforce.

Senior leaders

In general, employees did not report as high a level of satisfaction with communication from their senior leaders
as they did with their immediate supervisor. Only 35% of employees agreed that ‘In my agency, communication
between senior leaders and other employees is effective. ’Thirty per cent neither agreed nor disagreed, 31%
disagreed and 4% were not sure. Similarly, only 35% of employees agreed that senior leaders in their agency
were receptive to new ideas put forward by employees.

Relatively lower results for satisfaction with senior management, especially when compared to immediate
supervisors, are quite often found in attitudinal surveys of employees. They are likely to reflect, at least in part, the
remoteness of junior employees from senior leadership. It may be difficult for some junior employees to make an
informed assessment of senior leaders with whom they have no or relatively little direct contact. Nevertheless,
employee perceptions can still contribute to their general satisfaction with the work. The relatively poor results
feed into relatively poor results for the ‘Senior leaders/culture’ factor, which is discussed in more detail in Chapter
7.

In selecting the five most important attributes they would like to see in senior leaders, employees tended to put a
higher weight on communication issues than they did for immediate supervisors. In particular, ‘communicates
effectively with staff ’ was ranked second to ‘demonstrates honesty and integrity’ as an important attribute,
selected by 57% of employees. However, slightly less than half (47%) of employees who saw this as one of the
five most important attributes were satisfied with the attribute in their agency’s senior leaders, and 29% were
dissatisfied. Women were more satisfied than men.

Employee satisfaction with their senior leaders’ ability to communicate effectively with staff varied considerably
across large agencies, ranging from 23% to 71%. Of the large agencies, the agencies with satisfaction rates
significantly above the APS average were ABS, DEST and DFAT.

‘Listens carefully and considers the views and opinions of staff ’ was selected in the top five most important
attributes they would like to see in senior leaders by 36% of employees. In contrast to employees’ views about
their immediate supervisors’ abilities against this attribute, only around one-third (34%) of relevant employees
were satisfied with this attribute in their agency’s senior leaders and 40% were dissatisfied. Twenty-six per cent
were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
Women were more likely to be satisfied than men. Interestingly, this contrasts with the corresponding figures for
men’s and women’s satisfaction with their immediate supervisor’s demonstrated ability against this attribute,
where men were more satisfied than women.

Employees’ satisfaction with the ‘listens carefully and considers the views and opinions of staff ’ aspect of senior
leaders’ communication also varied considerably across large agencies, ranging from 17% to 52%. Employees in
small agencies were considerably more likely to be satisfied (49%) that their senior leaders listen carefully and
consider the views and opinions of staff than those in medium (30%) and large (34%) agencies. This may reflect
the higher level of access and contact that employees in small agencies are likely to have with their senior
leaders.

The following sample of comments made in the employee survey, although not necessarily representative,
illustrate a range of employees’ views about aspects of communication.

Communication is the key to any good, rewarding and satisfied employee/employer working relationship. Staff
need to be recognised for their skills, achievements and contributions.

Coming up with new initiatives is strongly encouraged and recognised.

Decisions are generally made and implemented with no input or discussion with those most affected.

While there is lots of communication in the agency, it is not targeted. The important aspects of the agencies
operational and corporative linkages are hard to find on both the intranet and internet.

I have an overall say in decisions impacting my work at the section/branch level not at a higher level.

Say in decision making has been improving.


Productivity
Employees continue to report high rates of productivity, with 60% believing that their productivity had increased
over the last 12 months (the same as for last year). This included 23% who felt that their productivity had
increased markedly during the last 12 months and 38% who felt their productivity had increased somewhat.
Twenty-two per cent felt that their productivity had remained the same, compared to 21% last year. Only 4% felt
that their productivity had declined. The remaining 13% indicated that the question was not applicable to them
(e.g. they had changed jobs in the last 12 months).

These results should be viewed with some caution as they are a measure of employees’ perceptions of their
productivity in the last 12 months, and not of actual productivity improvement.

Employees’ views on whether or not their productivity had increased over the last 12 months varied considerably
across large agencies, from 45% to 71%. Of large agencies, Medicare Australia and DFAT had a significantly
greater proportion of employees who felt that their productivity had increased over the last 12 months than the
APS average.

To help identify the drivers behind improved productivity, all relevant employees were asked to select the five
most important factors, from a list of 17 factors, that had helped or would have helped them to increase their
                                                                         13
productivity over the last year. The results are presented in Table 3.8.


Table 3.8 Factors improving employees’ productivity, 2005–06

                                                        Employees that nominated factor as helping
                      Factor
                                                         to increase their productivity (%) 2005–06
Increased knowledge and/or experience in
                                                       53
the job
Working to realistic performance
                                                       43
expectations
Table 3.8 Factors improving employees’ productivity, 2005–06

                                                       Employees that nominated factor as helping
                      Factor
                                                        to increase their productivity (%) 2005–06
Good working relationships with colleagues            42
Clear work plans and timetables                       38
Having a manager who encourages and
                                                      37
manages innovation
Good working relationship with my manager 36
Receiving effective feedback from my
                                                      35
manager
Access to the information, resources and/or
                                                      32
technology I need to perform my job
Access to effective learning and
                                                      23
development
Effective formal and informal communication
                                            22
within my agency
Receiving effective mentoring                         20
Developing effective strategies to deal with
                                                      20
an overall reduction in resources
A change of focus on my work/ life balance
                                                      17
priorities
Understanding how my work contributes to
                                                      14
my agency’s objectives
Access to performance-related pay (e.g.
                                                      14
bonus, advancement)
Developing or recruiting high performing
                                                      11
staff under my management
Good working relationships with other APS
                                                      7
agencies

Source: Employee survey

Not surprisingly, increased knowledge and/or experience in the job stood out as the most important factor aff
ecting productivity.

Consistent with the employee engagement literature, good working relationships with colleagues and managers
also figure prominently. This is noteworthy, given that good working relationships was also the most commonly
selected job satisfaction factor for employees, and a good manager was among the top five job satisfaction
factors.

The role of the manager features strongly as something which can have a positive impact on productivity. In
addition to good working relationship with managers, a number of other factors closely related to the quality of
management including working to realistic performance expectations, clear work plans andtimetables, having a
manager who encourages and manages innovation and receiving effective feedback from my manager, were
rated in the top five factors by a relatively high proportion of employees.

Only 7% of employees viewed good working relationships with other APS agencies as one of their top five factors.
Other productivity improvement factors selected by only a small proportion of employees were developing or
recruiting high performing staff under my management, understanding how my work contributes to my agency’s
objectives and access to performance-related pay. While the proportion of employees who selected access to
performance-related pay is relatively small (14%), it represents a large increase on the 2005 result (4%).

Overall, for 12 of the 16 factors at least 20% of employees viewed them as important to productivity improvement.
This indicates not only that there is a wide range of factors that play a role in increasingindividual productivity, but
that the importance of these factors varies considerably among individual employees.

Analysis of the job satisfaction summary index and the results for employees’ perceptions of their own productivity
shows that there is a relationship between perceptions of increased productivity and higher than average levels of
job satisfaction. Although we need to be careful in drawing conclusions about productivity from these questions,
the results are consistent with the literature, which suggests that how people feel about their job can have a
positive impact on their productivity.

On the other hand, taken as a whole, employee engagement factors identified through factor analysis explain only
a relatively small part of the variance in productivity results. Clearly, productivity is influenced by a broader range
of factors than those related to employee engagement. Strategies that focus on job satisfaction and employee
engagement will be only one element of an overall approach to improving productivity, and other strategies, such
as capability development and improvements in technology will also be important.

The following comments made in the employee survey, although not necessarily representative, illustrate a range
of employees’ views about factors impacting on their productivity.

This job involves meeting deadlines all the time and hence productivity is always at its peak.

I have a significantly increased workload, which forces me to work longer hours, which in turn increases my
productivity.

Due to [temporary] increased funding we now have enough staff to do the job properly. Previously, I had more
work to do than I was able to perform alone. We now have clear division of labour and we are able to complete all
aspects of our work effectively.

The key factor for increasing my productivity is having good people above me who can provide clear direction and
support in determining the point in time and degree to which we should engage in an issue.

General experience and a very good working relationship with my Manager have increased my productivity inthe
last 12 months.

Higher productivity is simply achieved by fewer people working harder (not by choice but by necessity).

My productivity would increase significantly if problems associated with IT were improved.


Key chapter findings
The findings for this chapter provide some positive indicators to suggest that, overall, the APS is a healthy
institution, with high levels of employee engagement.

The results of the employee engagement factor analysis indicate a healthy APS, with the majority of employees
satisfied with eight of the 10 factors relevant to employee engagement.

Job satisfaction in the APS continues to be relatively high. At the same time, a large proportion of survey
respondents reported that they are proud to work in the APS (80%), and in their agencies (71%), a substantial
increase on the figures for 2005.

Good working relationships continues to be ranked first among the workplace factors that are most important to
employees, and achieves the highest satisfaction rating. It is also the only factor to be nominated among the five
most important job satisfaction factors for all demographic groups.

The top five ranking job satisfaction factors have remained fairly stable since the employee survey beganin 2003,
and have included good working relationships, flexible working arrangements, regular feedback/ recognition for
effort, salary, good manager, interesting work provided and opportunities to utilise my skills. These are likely to be
the main factors for APS agencies to focus on in considering the job satisfactionof their employees. However,
even the bottom ranking factor (chance to be creative or innovative) was selected by almost a quarter of survey
respondents. Agencies need to be mindful of the diverse needs and preferences of their employees and the
importance of all the job satisfaction factors.

This year’s job satisfaction results, consistent with previous years’ results, suggest that there is a strong
relationship between classification and both an employee’s level of job satisfaction and the factors that contribute
to them being satisfied. Other than good working relationships which is important at all levels, APS 1–6 and SES
employees rank distinctly different factors among the workplace factors that are most important to them, and this
has held over the four years of the employee survey. APS 1–6 employeescontinue to put greater weight on
management factors such as flexible working arrangements and feedback, and SES employees are more
influenced by factors related to the intrinsic nature of their work.

Very positive results were achieved in relation to employees’ strong understanding of the connection between
their work, what is expected of them, and the strategy of their organisations. This reflects the strong focus that the
APS has placed on aligning the work of employees with the overall business focusof their organisations in recent
years.

Employees were also relatively satisfied with the communication attributes of their immediate supervisors.
Nevertheless, there is room for improvement in relation to workplace consultation, particularly in termsof involving
employees in decisions that impact on them or their work.

Employee perceptions of communication by their senior leaders were lower than their general levels of
satisfaction with their immediate supervisors. This is not unexpected and is consistent with other surveys.
Employees appear to be more likely to have a positive perception of managers and leaders to whom theyhave
close proximity. However, the variation in results between agencies suggests that there is scope for improvement.

The survey results continue to show positive employee perceptions of their own productivity. There is a range of
factors that employees believe play a role in increasing individual productivity and this varies considerably among
individual employees.That said, good working relationships and the role of managersfeature strongly as factors
which can have a positive impact. Notably, both are areas where employees who rate these factors as important
express relatively high levels of satisfaction. Overwhelmingly, however, employees identify increased knowledge
and experience on the job as the most important contributor to productivity improvements.

The survey results suggest there is an association between perceptions of increased productivity and higher than
average levels of job satisfaction. This supports the idea that, by increasing job satisfaction— the foundation of
employee engagement—agencies can achieve improvements in productivity. Nevertheless, it is important to
recognise that employee engagement is only one element contributing to productivity improvement. Strategies to
improve employee engagement need to be part of a comprehensive approach to agency performance.




    1.  The rationale for the structure of this year’s report, including employee engagement, is contained in Chapter 1.
    2.  These groupings are based on a range of sources in the literature including the following: D. Robinson, S. Perryman
        & S. Hayday 2004, The Drivers of Employee Engagement, Institute for Employment Studies, Sussex, UK,
        <http//www.employment-studies.co.uk/>; Corporate Leadership Council 2004, Driving Employee Performance and
        Retention through Engagement: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Employee Engagement Strategies,
        CLC, Washington, DC, <http//www.corporateleadershipcouncil.com>; J. Sasaki & M. Norquist, ‘Grim News for Japan’s
        Managers’, Gallup Management Journal, 14 July 2005, <http://gmj.gallup.com>
    3. Full details of the factor analysis, including details of the methodology and questions used, are set out in Appendix 4.
    4. The top five ranking job satisfaction factors since 2002–03 have been drawn from the following: good working
        relationships, flexible working arrangements, regular feedback/ recognition for effort, salary, good manager,
        interesting work provided and opportunities to utilise my skills.
    5. How summary indexes are created and used is set out in Appendix 2.
    6. The overall level of job satisfaction in 2004–05 was reported as being 71%. However, this has been revised due to the
        further cleaning of the job satisfaction data from the employee survey from 2003 to 2006, to exclude responses that
        did not conform with the directions in the question. This is discussed in further detail in Appendix 2.
    7. Individual results are only available for large agencies (those with more than 1000 employees—see Appendix 1).
    8. Job satisfaction data for this year has been cleaned.
    9. The job satisfaction factors used for the Census Survey were the same as those used in the employee survey,
        although chance to make a useful contribution to Indigenous Australians was also included.
    10. See Appendix 2 for an explanation of the approach taken to reporting results and confidence intervals.
    11. The jurisdictional comparison data from surveys conducted in 2004–05 and 2005–06 was provided to the Commission
        by the State Services Authority, Victoria (People Matter Survey 2005); the Office of the State Service Commissioner,
        Tasmania (State Service Employee Survey 2005); and the Office of the Public Sector Standards Commissioner,
        Western Australia (Climate Survey 2005–06). While the Victorian and Tasmanian surveys covered the jurisdiction, the
    Victorian jurisdictional comparision data was based on web-based responses only. The Western Australian Climate
    Survey involved 14 agencies—each year 10–15 agencies are surveyed with each agency being
    surveyedapproximately once every five years.
12. Full details of the factor analysis, including details of the methodology and questions used, are set out in Appendix 4.
13. Due to a change in the filter for this question, data about the five most important factors cannot be compared between
    2005 and 2006.
Chapter 4: Integrity and fairness
The APS Values, together with the Code of Conduct, provide an ethical framework that underpins relationships
with the Government, relationships with the public, relationships at work and personal behaviour.

The Values allow agencies to develop their own approaches to their individual business and management
environments without centralised prescription. The effectiveness of this approach depends on the successful
integration of the Values and Code of Conduct into an agency’s operations so that they are embodied in daily
decision-making and behaviour.

The Values affect the performance of the APS in a number of ways.

At the most fundamental level, they play an important role in defining key behaviours linked to performance. For
example, they focus on the achievement of results and managing performance, service delivery, effective
workplace practices, and the establishment of appropriate relationships with the Government of the day.

The Values also have a strong focus on issues linked directly to integrity and fairness including ethical standards,
merit and equity in employment, the recognition of diversity and the fair review of decision-making. These Values
underpin the establishment of ethical governance processes within organisations. They influence both employees’
satisfaction with the integrity and fairness of an organisation and the organisation’s public reputation, which affect
its capacity to recruit and retain employees and to achieve its business goals.

Internationally, considerable attention has been devoted to the appropriate expression of codes of conductand
values statements for public servants. For example, the UK Cabinet Office released a new Civil Service Code in
June 2006 aimed at making the code more relevant and accessible to civil servants across all classifications and
             1
work areas. The standards of behaviour highlighted in the Code include integrity, honesty, objectivity, impartiality
and political impartiality. In NZ, the State Services Commissioner has decided to develop a single code of conduct
for state servants, including those working in non-public service departments, to replace the existing code for
                               2
public service departments.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has also placed increased emphasis on
ethics codes and codes of conduct and has established a working group which examines such codes in OECD
countries. Most OECD countries have established written, formal codes of behavioural standards as well as
supplementary codes for specific positions, in particular public office holders and senior civil servants, as well as
professions working in sensitive areas.

In the APS, the Australian Public Service Commissioner has reviewed the effectiveness and relevance of the
Public Service Act 1999 (the Act) to ensure that it meets the future needs of agencies. A range of issues have
been identified where change could be considered, including refining the Values and Code of Conduct, liberalising
non-ongoing arrangements, and clarifying both Commissioners’ roles. The Government does not intend to change
the Act before 2008.

In examining issues of integrity and fairness, this chapter draws on both employee perceptions and agency
practices. The issues discussed include the extent to which the Values and Code are embedded in agencies, the
application of the Code of Conduct, the extent to which fairness and merit are perceived in employment decisions,
and the operation of APS review mechanisms.


Embedding the APS Values and Code of Conduct
The Values are set out in section 10(1) of the Act and the Code of Conduct in section 13. Agency heads must
uphold and promote the Values (section 12) and are bound by the Code (section 14). The Act also places an
obligation on SES employees to promote both the Values and compliance with the Code through personal
example and other means. APS employees are required by law to uphold the Values and are bound by the Code.

This section assesses the embedding of the Values and the Code in three main areas identified by the
Commission as important in successfully integrating the Values into an agency, namely commitment,
management and assurance.
Commitment

Given the statutory responsibility placed on agency heads, they need to continually promote the Values and foster
an effective values-based culture within their agency and across the APS more broadly. This year’s agency and
employee survey results demonstrate a high level of commitment from agencies in fostering a values-based
culture and provide evidence that agencies’ efforts at embedding the Values and the Code are paying off .

Agency heads appear to have paid particular attention to ensuring that their senior leadership group understands
the Values. The large majority (87%) of SES employees had been advised by their agency head during the year
of the importance of acting in accordance with the Values. The proportion of SES employees who reported that
they had been told by their agency head that it was important that they develop in their staff an understanding of
the Values was also very high at 84%.

Commitment to the Values is also expressed through the extent to which agencies invest in promoting the Values
more broadly within their agency.

Over the last four years there has been an increase in the proportion of agencies providing learning and
development activities on the Values and the Code. This has included small increases in the proportion of
agencies conducting sessions on how the Values and the Code should operate in practice (now 64%) and the
increasing use of online training (now 23%). The most widely used method of learning and development in
relation to the Values and the Code, however, is the now almost universal use of awareness raising as part of
induction and orientation (99%). The provision of information on the Internet is also widespread (90%). The use of
promotional material (e.g. pamphlets and bookmarks) remains common (82%), but has declined somewhat,
perhaps reflecting the increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of communication. The size of an agency
influences the type of training involved, with large agencies providing a greater range of activities than medium or
small agencies.

The investment by agencies in learning and development activities related to the Values and the Code appears to
be paying off, with awareness of both the Values and the Code having steadily increased to a very high level. In
2006, 91% of employees reported that they were familiar with the Values compared to 77% in 2003. The
remaining 9% had heard of the Values even if they were not fully familiar with them. The trend in relation to
familiarity with the Code of Conduct is similar, with familiarity increasing from 74% in 2003 to 93% this year.

The increasing level of familiarity with the Values across the APS has meant that there are only small differences
between different groups of employees. SES employees continued to report higher levels of familiarity with the
Values (98%) than APS 1–6 and EL employees, but the familiarity levels of APS 1–6 employees and EL
employees is now very similar (91% and 90% respectively). The range of levels of familiarity across large
agencies is also smaller, with only 21 percentage points separating the highest from the lowest (77%–98%).

Familiarity, of course, does not necessarily mean that employees always understand and apply the Values. In the
course of regular consultations the Commission holds with APS senior executives and HR managers about a
range of issues, it has heard reports that employees have difficulties with the number of values (15) and their
complexity. This indicates that there may be some benefit in streamlining the Values to enable them to be more
easily remembered and better understood, while retaining the fundamental concepts that underpin them.

Employees continue to have a high opinion of the ethical behaviour of their colleagues. In particular, levels of
agreement that colleagues (89%) and immediate managers (87%) act in accordance with the Values have both
increased this year.

There continues to be slightly lower levels of confidence that most senior managers act in accordance with the
Values (73%) although this has continued to increase from 63% in 2003.The majority of employees in each large
agency agreed that most senior managers act in accordance with the Values, with results ranging from 61% to
86%.

The APS compared favourably with state jurisdictions on encouraging ethical behaviour by employees but less
                                                          3
favourably on the example provided by senior managers. Eighty-five per cent of APS employees agreed that
their organisation actively encourages ethical behaviour by all of its employees. This compares to 82% of
employees agreeing in Tasmania, 78% in Western Australia and 70% in Victoria. APS employees were less likely
to agree that senior managers in their organisation led by example in ethical behaviour (55%), than employees in
Tasmania (61%) and Western Australia (65%) but slightly more likely than Victorian employees (47%).
It is difficult to reconcile the different ratings for senior managers against the Values (73%) and ethical behaviour
(55%), although it may be that employees impose their own standards, rather than the suggested standard, when
assessing the ethical behaviour of senior managers.


Management

The incorporation of the Values into an agency’s broad performance management arrangements is one of the
                                                                                     4
critical strategies that supports embedding the Values and has been supported by MAC. Table 4.1 sets out the
measures used by agencies in performance assessments to ensure employees demonstrate and consistently
apply the Values.

The results suggest that major progress has been made in incorporating the Values into agencies’ performance
management arrangements. In particular, 85% of agencies now require that an assessment be made about the
extent to which employees demonstrate and consistently apply some or all of the Values and/or agency-specific
values and behaviours when considering individual performance—a 24 percentage point increase since 2003.


Table 4.1: Measures used by agencies in performance assessments to ensure
employees demonstrate and consistently apply the Values, 2002–03 to 2005–06

                                                       2003–04
                              2002–03                                      2004–05         2005–06
                                                         (% of
                           (% of agencies)                              (% of agencies) (% of agencies)
                                                      agencies)
                                    Being         Being         Being         Being
                           Yes              Yes           Yes           Yes
                                  developed     developed     developed     developed
An assessment of
values/ behaviours
as well as results in      61    15              78     7               77    9               81     8
performance
assessments
Regular multi-source
                     22          16              22     16              27    13              19     12
feedback
Training of all staff
on how values/
behaviours relate to       27    17              36     10              35    18              46     20
effective
performance

Source: Agency survey

This has been accompanied by a strong increase in the number of agencies providing training to all employees on
how values/behaviours relate to effective performance, although this is still only offered by half of all agencies.
The use of regular multi-source feedback has remained fairly constant over the four years, being used by around
one-fifth of agencies.

Most agencies (69%) reported assessing their employees against all the Values—an increase over the results of
the last two years—an additional 12% of agencies reported using only the Values that were most relevant to the
duties being performed. Forty per cent of agencies reported assessing their employees against agency-specific
values and of these only four do not also assess against any or all of the Values. Twenty-three per cent of
agencies used other behaviour indicators to assess employees. Nine agencies (five small, three medium and one
large) did not nominate any values or behavioural indicators.

The high reporting by agencies of the inclusion of values and behaviour in performance assessment was also
reflected in employee views. Around 80% of employees who had received formal individual feedback in the last
12 months reported that some discussion had taken place on behaviour in their performance assessment, similar
to 2005. Thirty-one per cent reported that they had been assessed against agency-specific behaviours, and 49%
were assessed against the Values as a set. A smaller proportion of employees continued to indicate that they had
been assessed against the Values most relevant to the job (21%) or other behavioural indicators (3%).
Assurance

Agency-specific accountability and assurance mechanisms can be used to help sustain compliance with the
Values and the Code. Staff surveys that ask questions directly or indirectly about the Values and consultative
committees are important quality assurance mechanisms that can be used to monitor adherence to the Values
and to improve agency performance. However, they are only one of a range of other mechanisms that could be
used by agencies, including formal internal and external processes of review.

During 2005–06, half of all agencies used, or were developing, staff surveys and consultative committees to
collect information on employees’ confidence that the agency’s culture and practices reflect the Values. Twenty-
nine per cent of agencies used a staff survey and 26% of agencies a consultative committee. Seventeen per cent
of agencies reported that they used other mechanisms, and these included use of workshops, focus groups or
other feedback sources, discussions as part of the collective agreement process, and exit interviews.

The Commission has had discussions with a number of agencies during the year that are including questions
from the State of the Service employee survey in their own staff surveys, so that they can benchmark their
performance against APS-wide results. This is an effective quality assurance mechanism and the Commission
would encourage other agencies to consider this option.


Agency-specific values

In 2006, two-thirds of agencies reported having developed their own agency-specific values, principles or
behaviours—a decrease from 78% of agencies in 2004–05 and the 69% reported in the previous year. A further
4% of agencies were currently developing agency-specific values, principles or behaviours. While the decline is
across the board, the practice is still more concentrated in medium agencies (69%) and large agencies (74%)
than in small agencies (60%).

The majority of agencies’ responses as to why they needed to develop agency-specific values, principles or
behaviours could be grouped into four reasons:

        to complement the Values with values that reflect agency-specific operational and business imperatives
        to reinforce the desired agency culture or to develop a new culture
        to provide unity across the agency when there is a significant number of non-APS staff
        to recognise external or professional standards.

As a general rule, it is the Commission’s strong preference that agencies not have two sets of values. There is a
risk that employees can become confused about the relationship of one set of values to the other, and to the
Code of Conduct. Where agencies identify a need to focus on key business principles or behaviours it is better to
label them in a way that clearly distinguishes them from the Values.

Where agencies choose to develop agency-specific codes or standards of behaviour, these must be consistent
with and reinforce the APS Values and the Code. It is also important that all employees understand that they are
legally required to comply with the Values and the Code. Agency-specific values do not have this status. Agencies
are only able to use the sanctions provided in the Act for proven breaches of the Code of Conduct.

Agencies did not report experiencing difficulties in differentiating between the APS Values and agency-specific
values, with general acknowledgment of the primacy of the Values. Some agencies have made the hierarchy
explicit, but most consider their agency-specific values to be of equal importance to the ethical operation of the
agency and the behaviour of employees. Agencies tend to consider their values as complementary to the Values.

Agency-specific values are usually set out in collective agreements or in corporate plans. The relationship and the
relevance of the agency-specific values and the Values is explained to most employees during the induction
process and in training courses.

It is important that agencies using agency-specific values continue to ensure employees are familiar with both the
Values and agency-specific values where these exist. Generally, this appears to have occurred. The employee
survey shows that working in a large agency with agency-specific values does not appear to have any relationship
to employees’ familiarity with the APS Values.
Operation of the Code of Conduct
Employees need to have confidence that agencies promote the Values and the Code and will take appropriate
action if the behaviour or actions of employees is suspected to have breached the Code. This section looks at
reporting and managing suspected breaches of the Code and reviews of Code decisions.

There was a particularly high number of finalised investigations into the Code in 2005–06. Fifty-two agencies
finalised investigations into the behaviour of 1491 employees suspected of breaching the Code. This result was
largely due to an increase in the number of investigations finalised in Centrelink (835 in 2005–06 compared to 203
in 2004–05) resulting from a strengthened IT system introduced last year to monitor employees accessing client
records inappropriately. In the discussion below, the impact of the Centrelink result on APS-wide figures is
highlighted where appropriate.


Reporting suspected breaches of the Code of Conduct

All employees have a role in alerting agencies to suspected breaches of the Code. Agencies, therefore, have a
strong interest in ensuring that employees are educated in all aspects of the Code, including how they can report
suspected misconduct and the protections against victimisation or discrimination available to them should they do
so.

Agencies have been successful in increasing awareness among their employees of how to report suspected
breaches of the Code. In particular, 74% of employees indicated that they had been made aware by their current
agency that they can report a suspected breach of the Code to an authorised person in their agency compared to
69% of employees last year.

Most employees have also been made aware of their rights to protection if they do report misconduct. Almost four
out of five (79%) of those employees who were made aware had also been made aware that if they report a
suspected breach of the Code to an authorised person they are provided with protection from victimisation and
discrimination, a slight improvement on last year’s results.

This year, there was a slight decrease in the proportion of employees who indicated that they had witnessed a
                                                                                   5
serious breach of the Code (8% in 2006, down from 11% in the previous two years). The employee survey
results continue to raise some concerns about the extent to which employees are prepared to report serious
breaches of the Code. Consistent with previous years, around half of employees who indicated that they had
witnessed a serious breach of the Code reported the suspected breach.

Employees who witnessed a serious breach gave three main reasons for not reporting the suspected breach: the
suspected breach had already been reported or had been reported in the past and nothing had been done about
it; concern about retribution or victimisation that would result from reporting; and concern about the negative effect
reporting would have on their career. To a lesser extent, some employees indicated that they were not aware how
to report a suspected breach and some indicated that the breach had already been reported by someone else
and action was being taken.

Employee comments on these issues included the following (these comments are not necessarily representative).

Previous breaches were reported to senior management and yet there did not seem to be an improvement in the
situation and the inappropriate conduct continued.

Fear for myself and my job. Although we have mechanisms for reporting this behaviour, I am not confident that I
would be able to tough it out if I was further harassed about reporting this.

Fear of report impacting on job prospects.

I was not aware that a complaint could be made.

Methods of reporting

The impact of the increased number of investigations of suspected Code breaches at Centrelink has had a
substantial impact on the means by which suspected breaches of the Code had been brought to agencies’
          6
attention. Reflecting the overwhelming impact of the Centrelink cases on the overall statistics, the most common
means is now through an agency’s compliance or monitoring systems such as audit (accounting for 60% of
investigations compared to 27% in 2004–05).

When Centrelink’s results are removed from the analysis, the result for agencies’ compliance or monitoring
systems is consistent with last year’s at 25%. Conduct identified by work colleagues (24%) and supervisors
and/or managers (23%) also continue to be important ways in which agencies’ are made aware of suspected
breaches of the Code. Complaints from members of the public or stakeholders have declined for the second
consecutive year as a proportion of investigations from 17% in 2003–04 to 9% this year. Consistent with previous
years, 10% of investigations arose from other sources, including notification by another agency and state and
territory police.

Whistleblower reports

The APS whistleblowing scheme is provided for in the Act and the Regulations. Section 16 of the Act states that a
person performing functions in or for an agency must not victimise, or discriminate against, an APS employee
because they have reported a breach or alleged breach of the Code to an authorised person within the agency.
The Regulations require an agency head to establish procedures for dealing with a whistleblower report made to
an authorised person in the agency and to outline how reports are to be handled. They also outline the role of the
Australian Public Service Commissioner and the Merit Protection Commissioner.

One conclusion from the Commission’s evaluation of managing breaches of the Code is that there is widespread
confusion about the current arrangements for whistleblower reports. Reflecting this concern, the current
provisions and their relationship with the Code have been examined as part of the review of the Act. A particular
issue has arisen as to whether the procedures serve their initial intention of allowing employees to report
significant suspected misconduct in the public interest.

The need to examine the effectiveness of whistleblowing procedures is also an issue that has received
international attention. For example, a recent reform in Canada that found its genesis in the ‘AdScam’ scandal is
                                                                 7
the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act 2005 (PSDP Act). The PSDP Act works in tandem with the
Financial Administration Act to ensure that all Canadians reporting government wrong-doing are protected. The
PSDP Act also creates a new agency, the Public Sector Integrity Commission, to receive and investigate
disclosures of wrong-doing.

In the APS context, very few finalised investigations result from reports made under agency whistleblower
procedures. In 2005–06, only 3% of finalised investigations into suspected breaches of the Code were instigated
as a result of a report under the agency whistleblower procedures. The proportion rises to 6% when Centrelink
data is removed, a slight increase on the 4% reported last year.

Only a small number of agencies have not established procedures for dealing with whistleblower reports, as
required by the Regulations. One medium agency reported that it had no procedures in place for dealing with
whistleblower reports made by employees and was not developing such procedures, and a further eight agencies
reported that they were developing procedures. Of the eight agencies developing such procedures in 2004–05,
five continued to report that they were developing procedures in 2005–06).

People authorised to receive reports

In previous evaluation work conducted by the Commission, concern was expressed that there may be an under-
reporting of whistleblower reports because of an inability on the part of agencies and employees to recognise
when a report of an alleged breach of the Code is also a whistleblower report. This may result from a lack of
clarity in the Regulations, and from agencies designating a wide range of authorised persons to receive reports of
suspected misconduct, who may not then treat many of the reports of suspected misconduct as whistleblower
reports.

There is a wide variation in who is authorised to receive whistleblower reports for the purposes of section16(c) of
the Act within agencies (see Table 4.2). However, consistent with last year’s result, only 17% of agencies rely
solely on the agency head and have not authorised any other people to receive reports.

This year, the most commonly nominated authorised people continue to be the head of corporate services (46%)
and the human resources manager (43%). Only nine agencies, however, have authorised all line managers to
receive reports under the agency’s whistleblowing procedures.


Table 4.2: Person(s) authorised to receive whistleblower reports, 2005–06
  Categories of ‘authorised’ persons                   Number of agencies reporting each category
                                                       Small       Medium          Large        All agencies
Head of corporate services                         13          14              12          39
HR manager                                         9           14              13          36
All line managers                                  1           2               6           9
Employees in a specialist conduct unit             0           1               8           9
Agency head only person                            6           7               1           14
All SES                                            11          6               6           23
SES Band 2s and 3s                                 1           3               6           10

Source: Agency survey

The numbers of authorised people tended to increase with agency size. Larger agencies also tended to have
more authorised people outside the ACT.

Whistleblower referrals to the Australian Public Service Commissioner or Merit
Protection Commissioner

In circumstances where it is not appropriate for an agency head to deal with a particular matter, or where the
whistleblower is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation by the agency, an APS employee may refer the
report to the Australian Public Service Commissioner or the Merit Protection Commissioner.


Table 4.3: Whistleblower reports received during 2005–06

                        Carried
                                                      Not                             Under
                       over from Received Withdrawn                                              Finalised
                                                    accepted                       consideration
                        2004–05
Merit Protection
                       0             5             1                2              2                 0
Commissioner
Australian Public
Service                3             17            0                14             2                 4
Commissioner

Source: Merit Protection Commissioner

As Table 4.3 indicates, the Merit Protection Commissioner received five whistleblower reports during 2005–06,
one more than in 2004–05. One report was withdrawn, two were not accepted, and the remaining two were still
being considered at the end of the reporting period. Issues raised included falsifying information, performance
management issues, and bullying and harassment.

The Australian Public Service Commissioner received 17 reports in 2005–06, two fewer than in 2004–05. Nine of
these were from current employees and eight from private citizens.

The Australian Public Service Commissioner considered reports from two employees in relation to the conduct of
agency heads and a report from an employee in relation to the conduct of the Merit Protection Commissioner. In
all three cases, it was considered that there was no evidence to support the allegations of inappropriate behaviour
made by the employees. In the case of the Merit Protection Commissioner, it was the Australian Public Service
Commissioner’s view that the allegations reflected the employee’s disappointment with the outcome of a review
matter.
Twelve of the remaining reports did not meet the criteria for investigation by the Australian Public Service
Commissioner. Advice was provided to the eight private citizens (not covered by the whistleblower reporting
provisions) on the appropriate ways in which their concerns could be addressed, either by referral to the relevant
agency head or to other administrative review bodies, such as the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Four APS
employees were advised that the Regulations require that they should direct their allegations to the relevant
agency head, unless it is inappropriate for the agency head to deal with a particular matter or where the
whistleblower is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation by the agency. The remaining two reports were
on hand at the end of the reporting period.

Matters covered in the reports received ranged from concerns about payments administered by Comcare to
allegations of discrimination and harassment.

An inquiry started in 2004–05 into three reports relating to allegations of harassment was discontinued this year,
as the person against whom the allegations were made had left APS employment.


Managing suspected breaches of the Code of Conduct

The way in which agencies manage investigations of suspected breaches of the Code can have an important
influence on perceptions of integrity and fairness by employees and the public. This section examines data on the
nature of investigations into suspected breaches of the Code by agencies in 2005–06 and how suspected
breaches were managed.

Levels of investigation

There continues to be a large variation amongst agencies, not explained by agency size, in the proportion of
employees subject to investigations into suspected breaches of the Code. In 2005–06, nine large agencies
reported fewer than three investigations for every 1000 employees (AGD, ASIC, BoM, CRS, DEH, DFAT,
DOTARS, FaCSIA and Medicare Australia). Five large agencies reported more than 10 investigations per 1000
employees (Centrelink, CSA, Customs, Finance and DIMA—Centrelink reported more than 30 per 1000
employees).

Of the employees investigated for a suspected breach, 71% were from three agencies (Centrelink, ATO, and
Defence). These agencies are over-represented among investigations, accounting for just under half of all APS
employment.

This year, 76% of employees who were investigated were found to have breached the Code—an increase on the
63% of employees found to have breached the Code in previous years. Some, but not all of the increase this year
can be attributed to investigations in Centrelink. When Centrelink data is removed from this year’s analysis, 69%
of employees investigated were found to have breached the Code.

Nature of reported breaches

Table 4.4 sets out the frequency with which particular elements of the Code were suspected of being breached in
the formal investigations finalised during 2005–06 and the number of agencies that reported having finalised at
least one formal investigation involving a suspected breach of that element of the Code.

There continues to be significant variation in the extent to which employees are investigated for suspected
breaches of different elements of the Code. The element that was suspected of being breached by the highest
number of employees overall was section 13(11) of the Act—‘an APS employee must at all times behave in a way
that upholds the APS Values and the integrity and good reputation of the APS’. Investigations into possible
breaches of section 13(11) were finalised in 14% of small agencies, 38% of medium agencies and 87% of large
agencies. This may in part reflect its use in combination with other elements.

Other elements that were more commonly used related to complying with lawful and reasonable directions,
behaving with honesty and integrity, avoiding conflict of interest, and complying with Australian laws.


Table 4.4: Elements of the Code suspected of being breached in investigations finalised
during 2005–06
                                       No. of employees
                                                            Percentage of    No. of agencies
                                       investigated for a
                                                            cases where a     with finalised
      Element of the Code              suspected breach
                                                             breach was      investigations
                                         of this element
                                                              found (%)         (Number)
                                            (Number)

An APS employee must:
At all times behave in a way that
upholds the APS Values and the
                                       1032                 78              35
integrity and good reputation of
the APS (s.13(11))
comply with any lawful and
reasonable direction given by
someone in the employee’s              981                  84              25
agency who has authority to give
the direction (s.13(5))
behave honestly and with integrity
in the course of APS employment 930                         76              30
(s.13(1))
act with care and diligence in the
course of APS employment               826                  81              25
(s.13(2))
disclose, and take reasonable
steps to avoid, any conflict of
interest (real or apparent) in         777                  80              10
connection with APS employment
(s.13(7))
when acting in the course of APS
employment, comply with all
                                       762                  81              18
applicable Australian laws
(s.13(4))
use Commonwealth resources in
                                       312                  76              35
a proper manner (s.13(8))
when acting in the course of APS
employment, treat everyone with
                                  200                       63              37
respect and courtesy, and without
harassment (s.13(3))
not make improper use of: inside
information, or the employee’s
duties, status, power or authority,
in order to gain, or seek to gain, a   99                   36              13
benefit or advantage for the
employee or for any other person
(s.13(10))
not provide false or misleading
information in response to a
request for information that is
                                       57                   58              10
made for official purposes in
connection with the employee’s
APS employment (s.13(9))
Table 4.4: Elements of the Code suspected of being breached in investigations finalised
during 2005–06

                                           No. of employees
                                                                     Percentage of            No. of agencies
                                           investigated for a
                                                                     cases where a             with finalised
       Element of the Code                 suspected breach
                                                                      breach was              investigations
                                             of this element
                                                                       found (%)                 (Number)
                                                (Number)
maintain appropriate
confidentiality about dealings that
the employee has with any                 22                        41                    2
Minister or Minister’s member of
staff (s.13(6))
not disclose certain information
without authority (s.13(13) and           3                         67                    3
Regulation 2.1)8
while on duty overseas, at all
times behave in a way that
                                          3                         67                    3
upholds the good reputation of
Australia (s.13(12))

Note: Agencies were asked for data on employees that were the subject of formal investigations, and
were specifically asked not to include data on initial investigations that did not proceed to formal
misconduct procedures. However, it is possible that some agencies may have provided information on
elements of the Code that were suspected of being breached in both formal and informal investigations.

Source: Agency survey

In 2005–06, there was an increase in the average number of elements of the Code suspected to have been
breached, investigated per employee. This year, the 1491 employees involved in finalised investigations were
investigated against a total of 6004 suspected breaches of elements of the Code (some of these breaches are
likely to involve the same action which has breached more than one element of the Code). This represents an
average of four elements of the Code suspected of having been breached by each employee investigated, an
increase from 2.5 elements in 2004–05 and 1.8 in 2003–04. This increase was due to investigations in Centrelink,
and when this data was removed from the analysis, the average number of elements per employee investigated
dropped substantially to 2.2 elements per employee.

Table 4.5 shows improper access to personal information and conflict of interest were the two most common
subjects of misconduct investigations. Investigations in Centrelink accounted for over 90% of investigations that
related to these two types of misconduct. When Centrelink’s results are removed, the most common type of
misconduct investigated, as in 2004–05, was improper use of the Internet and/or email (244 employees
investigated in 28 agencies).

The action taken by Centrelink to address the improper use of customer records, both through the development of
a strengthened IT system and by taking action against employees found to have behaved improperly,
demonstrates the importance that the APS places on protecting the personal information it holds. It also
demonstrates that employees who do the wrong thing will be caught and sanctioned appropriately. The Australian
Public Service Commissioner released a statement on the breaches of the Privacy Act 1988 and the Public
Service Act 1999 on 30 August 2006. In the statement she stressed that all agencies need to ensure they have
the necessary educative and compliance mechanisms in place to ensure their privacy and confidentiality
obligations are met.


Table 4.5: Number of employees by types of misconduct in investigations finalised
during 2005–06
                                       No. of employees
                                                                 Percentage of            No. of agencies
                                        investigated for
                                                                 cases where a             with finalised
         Type of misconduct               this type of
                                                                  breach was              investigations
                                          misconduct
                                                                   found (%)                 (Number)
                                          (Number) (1)
Improper access to personal
                                      792                       82                    10
information (e.g. browsing)
Conflict of interest                  755                       80                    9
Improper use of Internet/email        283                       78                    29
Inappropriate behaviour of
employees (other than
harassment or bullying) during
                                      133                       70                    33
working hours (e.g. treating
clients or stakeholders
disrespectfully)
Harassment and/or bullying            72                        53                    27
Improper use of resources
other than Internet/email (e.g.       52                        75                    13
vehicles)
Unauthorised disclosure of
                                      41                        20                    12
information (e.g. leaks)
Fraud other than theft (e.g.
                                      40                        80                    13
identity fraud)
Improper use of position status
(e.g. abuse of power,           28                              50                    10
exceeding delegations)
Private behaviour of employees
(e.g. at social functions outside 21                            57                    12
working hours)
Theft                                 20                        60                    11
Misuse of drugs or alcohol            9                         78                    6

(1)
      An individual employee may be counted against more than one type of misconduct.

Note: Agencies were asked for data on employees who were the subject of formal investigations, and
were specifically asked not to include data on initial investigations that did not proceed to formal
misconduct procedures. However, it is possible that some agencies may have provided information on
elements of the Code that were suspected of being breached in both formal and informal investigations.

Source: Agency survey

Consistent with last year’s findings, Table 4.5 suggests that misconduct in areas where the investigation of the
suspected breach relies more on physical evidence (e.g. computer records or actions identified through routine
audit practices) than on opinion or observation is more likely to result in a finding that the Code has been
breached. The Commission’s previous evaluation work suggests that another factor influencing the likelihood of a
finding that the Code was breached is the different practices in agencies as to the amount of evidence required
before commencing an investigation. Some agencies delay commencing a formal investigation until a preliminary
investigation has been conducted, whereas other agencies routinely commence formal investigations as soon as
they are notified of a suspected breach.
Outcomes of finalised investigations

Table 4.6 shows the outcomes of investigations into suspected breaches of the Code finalised by agencies in
2005–06.


Table 4.6: Outcomes of finalised investigations into suspected breaches of the Code,
2005–06

                                                        No. of employees               No. of agencies that
                     Outcome
                                                            affected(1)               reported the outcome
Reprimand                                             419                         34
Deduction from salary by way of a fine                344                         21
No breach found                                       220                         23
Reduction in salary                                   197                         13
Employee counselled                                   173                         22
Investigation discontinued because of
                                                      169                         17
resignation of employee under investigation
Termination of employment                             92                          19
Breach found but no sanction imposed                  57                          6
Reduction in classification                           52                          16
Reassignment of duties                                23                          8
Other                                                 17                          10

(1)
      An employee may be counted against more than one outcome.

Note: Agencies were asked for data on employees who were the subject of formal investigations, and
were specifically asked not to include data on initial investigations that did not proceed to formal
misconduct procedures. However, it is possible that some agencies may have provided information on
elements of the Code that were suspected of being breached in both formal and informal investigations.

Source: Agency survey

In 169 cases (11%), the formal investigation into a suspected breach of the Code was discontinued when the
employee under investigation resigned from the APS (proportionally this is the case, even when the Centrelink
data is removed). There has been no change to the resignation rate in such circumstances since 2003–04.

The most common sanction applied to employees continues to be a reprimand, followed by a deduction of salary
by way of a fine. The use of high impact sanctions—termination of employment, reduction in classification and
reduction in salary—is relatively less common, although a reduction in salary is by far the most commonly used
high impact sanction.

The employment of 92 employees from 19 agencies was terminated as a consequence of misconduct
investigations finalised during 2005–06. Centrelink accounted for 42% of terminations, with Defence and ATO
accounting for a further 24% of terminations. Reductions in classification occurred in 16 agencies, with half (48%)
of the reductions reported in Centrelink, and a further 21% in Defence and CSA. Thirteen agencies reduced the
salary of 197 employees—Centrelink accounted for 79% of the salary reductions.

Previous State of the Service reports have noted variation between large agencies in the extent of their use of
high impact sanctions. This variation continued in 2005–06. The total number of sanctions imposed by 22 of the
                   9
23 large agencies ranged from 2 to 948 (when Centrelink results are removed, the range is consistent with
previous results). High impact sanctions accounted for 19% of sanctions imposed. The imposition of high impact
sanctions varied between 0% and 100% of total sanctions imposed amongst the 22 large agencies—one agency
had only two sanctions imposed but these were both high impact. High impact sanctions were not used in five
large agencies and were greater than 30% of total sanctions in four of the 22 agencies.

Assurance mechanisms

It is important for agencies to be confident that they have proper processes in place for handling suspected
breaches of the Code. The integrity of these processes is a fundamental part of effective governance, and is
directly related to levels of employee satisfaction and engagement, and public confidence.

There was a relatively low use of staff surveys, consultative committees, or other mechanisms to collect
information on employees’ confidence that agency investigations into suspected breaches of the Code of Conduct
were conducted fairly and objectively. Only 18% of agencies reported that they used at least one mechanism—
with consultative mechanisms more common (8%) than staff surveys (5%). Five agencies reported using other
mechanisms including seeking feedback from employees in the context of revising administrative circulars, and
seeking feedback from employees subject to investigation. ATO had the most comprehensive approach with
monthly quality assurance and technical quality reviews using external reviewers.

These results suggest that there is scope for agencies to make a more concerted effort to consider how best they
can assure themselves that employees have confidence in their handling of misconduct.


Reviews related to Code of Conduct matters

The Regulations provide non-SES employees with a review right in relation to a determination that they breached
the Code and/or the sanction imposed for a breach (other than termination decisions). An application for such a
review is lodged directly with the Merit Protection Commissioner.


Table 4.7: Reviews related to Code breaches or sanctions, 2001–02 to 2005–06

                                                            2001–      2002–       2003–      2004–      2005–
                                                             02         03          04         05         06
Number received                                            43(a)      43          58         41         42
Percentage of finalised cases where the original
                                                 64%                  34%         43%        46%        77%
decision was confirmed

Note: (a) This figure now excludes a matter dealt with under the Public Employment (Consequential and
Transitional) Amendment Act 1999.

Source: Merit Protection Commissioner

In 2005–06, the Merit Protection Commissioner received 42 applications for review compared to 41 in 2004–05
(see Table 4.7). This represents a review rate of around 4% of finalised investigations where employees were
found to have breached the Code.

During 2005–06, the Merit Protection Commissioner made a formal recommendation to an agency head in 30
cases. In 23 (77%) of these, the Merit Protection Commissioner recommended the decision be confirmed. In the
remaining seven cases the Merit Protection Commissioner recommended that the agency head vary the decision.
Only three reviews included a recommendation to vary the sanction imposed. No systemic issues were identified
through these reviews.

The data indicates that the proportion of cases in which original decisions are set aside can vary greatly from year
to year. This reflects both the small number of reviews and the diverse nature of the diff erent cases.


Disclosure of information

Last year’s report noted developments concerning Public Service Regulation 2.1—part of the statutory framework
limiting the disclosure of information by APS employees.
In December 2003, the validity of Regulation 2.1 was cast into doubt by the decision in Bennett v The President,
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2003) 204 ALR 119 (the Bennett case). A new Regulation 2.1
was subsequently developed and came into effect on 23 December 2004; however, the Senate disallowed the
new regulation on 16 June 2005.

During the period that the new form of Regulation 2.1 was in force, its validity was challenged in a case before the
ACT Magistrates Court (van Hilst v Scrine [ACT Magistrates Court, 15 December 2005]). In that case, the
Magistrate expressed some concern about the limitations on disclosure applied by the revised form of the
Regulation, particularly as it related to information that was already in the public domain.

Taking account of the van Hilst v Scrine decision, the Government submitted a revised Regulation 2.1 to the
                                                                                                   10
Governor-General, which came into effect on 15 July 2006. This regulation has not been disallowed.


Merit and access to APS employment
One of the key Values of APS employment is engagement and promotion on the basis of merit. Fair selection
procedures and the application of merit are critical to ensuring that the APS has employees of the highest quality,
as well as having an influence on the extent to which employees view their agency as demonstrating integrity and
fairness. This section examines employees’ perceptions of recruitment, selection and merit, SES engagements,
and community access to APS employment.


Recruitment, selection and merit

Agency heads are responsible for ensuring that recruitment processes meet the Values of employment decisions
based on merit and reasonable access to employment opportunities by the Australian community. The employee
and agency surveys included questions to assess the effectiveness and perceived fairness of agency recruitment
and selection procedures.

Agency selection processes

Agencies are able to use a range of selection processes for employment decisions. One major decision for
selections at an employee’s existing classification is whether or not to use competitive selection processes that
assess the relative suitability of applicants for the duties of the job. This is because selections for movements at
level or the temporary assignment of higher duties as a minimum only require an assessment of an employee
against the duties of the position.

Despite this flexibility, many agencies still require competitive selection processes for these types of movements.
Sixty-four per cent of all agencies reported that they routinely require the use of competitive selection processes
for non-SES movements at level from another agency—a similar result to 2005 but less than the nearly 75% in
2004. This rate was 56% for movement at level within the agency, a rise of six percentage points since 2005, and
similar to the result in 2004. Small agencies were more likely to have a requirement for competitive selection
processes for both external and internal movements at level (83% and 60% respectively). Large agencies had the
lowest rates (39% and 43% respectively).

There has been a consistent trend since 2004, for around three-quarters of agencies to report they had a routine
requirement for competitive selection processes for long-term temporary assignment of higher duties. In 2006,
medium agencies were more likely to have such a requirement than small agencies or large agencies—a result
which reverses the relative position of small and medium agencies in 2005.


Employees’ perceptions of recruitment and selection

Employees’ views on the fairness and effectiveness of recruitment and selection processes within their agency
showed some room for improvement.

A little over half of APS employees (54%) agreed that the recruitment and selection processes in their agency
were fair—one-quarter of employees disagreed. This result is influenced by a number of factors, with employees
in the ACT, SES and EL employees, employees in small agencies, employees from non-English speaking
backgrounds and non-ongoing employees more likely to consider recruitment and selection processes fair.
Employees who had applied for a job and been successful (65%) were more likely to consider recruitment and
selection processes to be fair compared to those employees who were unsuccessful (37%).

The range of agreement for large agencies was 32% to 82%. The level of agreement that recruitment and
selection was fair was significantly above the APS average in seven agencies (ABS, BoM, CRS, DAFF, DFAT,
DOTARS and Finance).

Perceptions of fairness are strongly related to employees’ views on the integrity of their supervisors or managers.
Employees who agree that their immediate manager acts in accordance with the Values are more likely to agree
that recruitment and selection processes are fair (58%) than those who disagreed (27%). The confidence that
processes are fair is also higher if employees agree that the most senior managers in their agency act in
accordance with the Values.

Employees were also asked a similar, but slightly different question, in relation to their perceptions of the fairness
of recruitment and promotion decisions, to allow comparisons with some State jurisdictions. Forty-one per cent of
employees agreed that recruitment and promotion decisions in their agency were fair, lower than the 54% of
employees who considered recruitment and selection decisions in their agency to be fair. This difference may
reflect different perceptions of merit in the promotion process.

APS results were slightly lower than results in the Tasmanian, Victorian and Western Australian jurisdictions,
                                                                                                     11
where 46%, 45% and 44% of employees agreed that recruitment and promotion decisions were fair.


Table 4.8: Employees’ perceptions of recruitment and selection processes, 2006

   Recruitment and selection processes in                    Agree         Neither agree nor           Disagree
                your agency                                   (%)            disagree (%)                 (%)
…enable the agency to attract the best
                                                            42          23                           30
candidates
…encourage good candidates to apply                         50          25                           20
…allow for selection based on potential, and not
                                                 37                     27                           30
limited to direct experience
…allow processes to be completed in a timely
                                                            35          22                           38
manner
…are completed in a timely manner                           29          23                           43
…are too demanding of candidates                            23          33                           38
…are difficult for candidates outside the APS to
                                                 37                     29                           28
understand

Source: Employee survey

Table 4.8 shows employees’ perceptions of a number of aspects of the recruitment and selection process. The
results against these questions are relatively poor. Half of employees agreed that recruitment and selection
processes in their agency encourage good candidates to apply and only a minority thought the processes are too
demanding of candidates. However, less than half thought they attract the best candidates, allow for selection
based on potential, or allowed for processes to be completed in a timely manner. Only 29% of employees thought
that recruitment and selection was in fact completed in a timely manner.

Although showing that there is room for improvement, the relatively high ‘neither agree nor disagree’ response for
each statement, ranging from around one-fifth to one-third of employees, makes these views somewhat difficult to
interpret. Many employees not directly involved may find it difficult to comment on the effectiveness of recruitment
processes.

Employees were more likely to agree that recruitment and selection procedures were completed in a timely
manner and that processes allowed for this if they came from small agencies or were non-ongoing employees.
SES employees had significantly higher rates of agreement that processes allowed for timely completion and
were more likely to believe that they were completed in a timely manner.
The timeliness of APS selection processes is determined largely by agency procedures. The APS recruitment
framework provides agencies with considerable flexibility and does not prescribe a lengthy or complex process.
Some agencies choose to include specific practices and procedures which may mean a slightly longer process.

Using the standard approach for recruitment, it is possible to complete a selection process in three to four weeks.
The bulk of this time is needed for advertising the position to allow for a reasonable opportunity for people to
apply, but shortlisting, interviewing and obtaining referee comments can be done in less than a week. If selections
are taking much longer than four weeks, agencies need to determine the factors contributing to the delay (e.g. is
there insufficient planning by managers or are there unnecessary internal processes to be followed?).

Some employees who chose to comment on recruitment and selection processes reflected concern over
timeliness and changing methods of selection (these comments are not necessarily representative of all
employees).

My department closely follows the public service guidelines for merit selection, however, we often lose high level
applicants, because the merit selection process takes such a long time that the good applicants have been
offered another position elsewhere by the time we get round to notifying them.

The use of generic criteria and recruitment agencies has left many staff feeling that they are being overlooked for
promotion in areas where they have strong on-the-job skills and knowledge, because the generic criteria/
recruitment agencies are looking at a higher, broader level.

Employees’ perceptions of merit

As well as asking about the overall fairness of recruitment and selection processes, the employee survey also
asked about perceptions of the application of merit (as defined in the Act) in different types of processes. As this
is the third year in a row these questions have been asked, it is possible to determine some trends.

Table 4.9 indicates that employees remain most confident that merit is routinely applied in engagement and
promotion decisions involving a competitive selection process. Employees continued to be less likely to agree that
their agency routinely applies merit to other employment decisions resulting from competitive selection processes
(i.e. movements at level from within and from outside the agency, and temporary assignment of higher duties).
Employees were even less likely to have agreed that merit is routinely applied in these types of employment
decisions if a competitive selection process was not involved. Higher proportions also reported not knowing if
merit is routinely applied in these types of decisions.


Table 4.9: Employees’ perceptions of merit about various types of employment decisions,
2003–04 to 2005–06
My agency routinely applies merit (as defined in the Act) in the following types of
employment decisions

                                       Neither agree nor
                Agree (%)                                             Disagree (%)              Don’t know (%)
                                         disagree (%)
          2003– 2004– 2005– 2003– 2004– 2005– 2003– 2004 2005– 2003– 2004– 2005–
           04    05    06    04    05    06    04   –05   06    04    05    06

Engagement and promotion resulting
from a
       59          53       54       18       19        19       18       21      18       4        7        10
CSP*

Movement at level from another agency
from a
       42          37       38       27       27        26       12       13      13       19       23       23
CSP
without
        26         23       21       33       29        31       15       16      15       27       32       33
a CSP

Movement at level within my agency
Table 4.9: Employees’ perceptions of merit about various types of employment decisions,
2003–04 to 2005–06
My agency routinely applies merit (as defined in the Act) in the following types of
employment decisions

                                       Neither agree nor
                Agree (%)                                            Disagree (%)              Don’t know (%)
                                         disagree (%)
          2003– 2004– 2005– 2003– 2004– 2005– 2003– 2004 2005– 2003– 2004– 2005–
           04    05    06    04    05    06    04   –05   06    04    05    06
from a
       44          38       42       26       28       25       21       23      19       10       12       14
CSP
without
        33         30       29       30       28       28       21       24      20       15       18       23
a CSP

Temporary assignment of ‘higher duties’
from a
       42          37       39       23       24       23       27       28      25       8        11       13
CSP
without
        35         34       33       28       26       25       25       24      22       12       16       20
a CSP

Note: * CSP—competitive selection process to assess the relative suitability of applicants for the duties of
a job.

Source: Employee survey

Table 4.9 also shows that employee perceptions of whether merit was applied in most employment decisions
have either stabilised or improved following the decline reported in 2004–05. Improvements in employees’
perceptions of merit are statistically significant for internal movements resulting from a competitive process and
for the temporary assignment of higher duties following a competitive selection process. For both internal
movements and temporary assignments of higher duties without a competitive selection process, there was a
decline in the proportion of employees disagreeing that merit was routinely applied, but the fall was offset by an
increase in the proportion of employees who reported that they did not know.

Over the last three years, employees in large agencies were usually less likely to agree that merit is routinely
applied across all decision types involving a competitive selection exercise than were employees in medium and
small agencies. Small and medium agencies were more likely to report ‘neither agree nor disagree’ than
‘disagree’—the two responses were similar for employees in large agencies.

The data examined in the remainder of this section relates to employees’ perceptions of merit regarding
engagement and promotions resulting from a competitive selection process.

Perceptions of merit continue to vary amongst employees in large agencies. In 2006, 40% to 68% of employees
in large agencies agreed that merit is routinely applied in their agency for engagement and promotion decisions.
Five large agencies had agreement rates that were statistically significantly higher than the APS average—ABS,
BoM, DEST, FaCSIA and DFAT.

Employees in large agencies were less likely to agree that merit was applied in engagement and promotion than
employees in small or medium agencies, as were those employees working outside the ACT compared to those
working in the ACT. An employee’s classification was particularly significant, with APS 1–6 employees least likely
to agree that merit was routinely applied for engagements and promotions (49%) compared to EL (67%) and SES
(93%) employees. This has been a consistent trend over the last three years.

Consistent with the employee engagement literature, levels of job satisfaction and perceptions of merit were
related. Employees with higher levels of job satisfaction were much more likely to agree that merit was routinely
                                                                                                         12
applied in engagement and promotion (80%) than were those with lower levels of job satisfaction (20%).
Employees who agreed that their immediate manager acts in accordance with the Values were also more likely to
agree that merit was applied than those who disagreed. Confidence that merit is applied was higher if employees
agreed that the most senior managers in the agency act in accordance with the Values in their everyday work,
and if they rated their immediate supervisor high on exhibits personal drive and integrity.

Employees who applied for, and were successful in obtaining, a new position in the last 12 months, were more
likely to agree that merit was routinely applied (69%) than employees who applied and were unsuccessful (41%).
Unsuccessful applicants were nearly three times as likely to consider that merit was not routinely applied as were
successful applicants (32% compared to 11%).

Factor analysis identified a composite ‘Merit’ factor made up of merit-related questions where responses were
               13
highly related. Consistent with the responses to individual questions described above, the overall rate of
satisfaction on the ‘Merit’ factor was 43%. The only other employee engagement factor identified with a lower
level of agreement was the ‘Senior leaders/culture’ factor at 38%.

Satisfaction with merit was linked with a number of issues relevant to employee engagement. In particular,
employees were more likely to agree with the ‘Merit’ factor if they were satisfied with their overall say in decisions
impacting on their work, with their access to learning and development, and with increasing levels of job
satisfaction.

Merit training and consultative processes

Most agencies had provided training to employees on merit and its application in employment decisions. Three-
quarters of agencies provided at least one type of training to employees (60% of small agencies, 85% of medium
agencies and 87% of large agencies).


Table 4.10: Merit training provided by relevant agencies, 2005–06

                                                               APS         Small         Medium           Large
                    Merit Training
                                                               (%)          (%)            (%)             (%)
Compulsory training for selection panel
                                                            16          10            14                25
members
Optional training for selection panel members               52          57            45                55
Included as part of induction training                      22          19            18                30
Training for delegates and decision makers                  24          24            18                30
General policies on the Intranet                            83          62            91                95
Other                                                       37          14            50                45

Source: Agency survey

Table 4.10 shows the type of training provided by relevant agencies. The most common measure was placing
general policies on the Intranet, with medium and large agencies more likely to do this—for 19% of the agencies
which reported training, this was the only one of the listed measures provided. Although a minority of agencies
provided training as part of the induction process, agencies were more likely to direct training towards employees
directly involved in conducting selection processes. For agencies reporting an other response, mechanisms used
included use of advisers, both independent or from within the HR area, targeted training for some specific
employees, and use of guidelines, newsletters or specific briefings.

Despite the range of activity reported by agencies, less than one-third (31%) of employees reported having
participated in any training with an emphasis on merit—with 11% of all employees undertaking that training within
the last 12 months. The targeted nature of most training provided by agencies may, in part, explain the
discrepancy between employee and agency results.

Employees in medium agencies were more likely to report merit training than employees in small agencies. The
higher the classification, the more likely it is that employees reported any training—two thirds of SES employees
report some training compared to half of EL employees and one-quarter of APS 1–6 employees.
Participation in training that has included some emphasis on merit appears to influence employees’ perceptions of
the recruitment and selection process. Employees who reported some training were:

        more likely to agree that their recruitment and selection procedures are fair
        less likely to report that selection procedures are too demanding
        more likely to agree that their agency applies merit in competitive selection processes but less likely to
         agree it was applied in internal and external movements at level with non-competitive selection
         processes
        more likely to disagree that selections are completed in a timely manner.

During 2005–06, a substantial proportion of agencies had used staff surveys, consultative committees, or other
mechanisms to collect information on employees’ confidence that the agency ensures that merit is routinely
applied in employment decisions. Twenty-nine per cent of agencies reported using staff surveys and 31% of
agencies reported using consultative committees—11% of agencies reported using both. Nine agencies recorded
other methods which included previous or future surveys, feedback from employees, focus groups, exit
interviews, an ethics hotline and consultation as part of collective agreement negotiations. A further four agencies
with no existing methods reported developing either surveys or consultative committees. However, among large
agencies, there was no relationship between the use of such mechanisms and greater satisfaction about whether
merit is routinely applied.


SES engagements

The SES represents the senior leadership and management group of APS employees. Selection of people for
SES duties is based on the same principles that apply to all APS selection decisions including merit and equity
considerations. To ensure that a high level of transparency in the selection procedures is followed in each case,
there are some additional requirements which agency heads must satisfy before an engagement or promotion to
SES duties can be finalised. These include a requirement that each selection committee must include a
representative of the Australian Public Service Commissioner, whose certification that the selection process and
procedures used were fair and merit-based must be endorsed by the Australian Public Service Commissioner
before any promotion or engagement can be finalised. In 2005–06, over 250 such SES promotion or engagement
processes were considered and endorsed by the Australian Public Service Commissioner.

One recent change to SES recruitment procedures is the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s requirement
that her representative be substantively at a higher level than the duties being filled and from a different portfolio.
Any variation from those requirements will only be agreed to in exceptional circumstances. It is also the Australian
Public Service Commissioner’s firm view that in general all members of SES selection committees should be at a
substantively higher level than the duties being filled .


Community access to APS employment opportunities

Under the Values, agencies are required to provide reasonable community access to employment opportunities.
Since the open access policy was introduced in 1998, the Commission has undertaken a small annual survey of
the selection outcomes of non-SES ongoing employment opportunities notified in a February Gazette to provide a
snapshot of access trends. This study was undertaken again in 2006, using the Gazette of 23 February 2006.

The proportion of ongoing employment opportunities notified in the Gazette of 23 February 2006 as being open to
the public is again over the 99% mark recorded in surveys prior to the 2003–04 survey (when it fell slightly to
98%). This year saw a large increase in the total number of employment opportunities notified in the February
Gazette, with 1000 notified ongoing opportunities, representing the highest ever number of opportunities recorded
in this series. The reasons behind the variability from year to year are likely to reflect particular staffing needs of
agencies at any particular point in time.

Information was provided by agencies on subsequent selection action in relation to the 1000 employment
                                                         14
opportunities that arose from the 351 Gazette notices. By early August, 9% of selection exercises had not
resulted in a selection. Just under half of these selection exercises had ceased for a variety of reasons including
that the selected applicant had declined the offer, there had been a reorganisation within an agency, that no
suitable applicant was identified or because of the implementation of a machinery of government change. This is
a slight decrease in the number of non-finalised exercises over the previous year.

Of the finalised opportunities that were open to eligible members of the community, 52% were filled on an ongoing
basis by applicants external to the APS, exceeding the previous high of 51% in 2003 and well in excess of the
average of 35% over the nine years of the survey. A key factor in the result was the number of APS 3 and 4
engagements in Centrelink (87% of the 171 finalised opportunities in Centrelink were engagements at the APS 3
and 4 classification levels and overall 92% of the finalised opportunities were engagements).

Given that the study consists of only one Gazette a year, it is difficult to be definitive on overall trends. However,
in general the data obtained indicates that agencies are providing reasonable community access to APS
employment opportunities.


Use of Clause 4.2A of the Commissioner’s Directions—engagement in
exceptional circumstances

Clause 4.2A of the Commissioner’s Directions permits the Commissioner to authorise an agency head to engage
a non-ongoing employee as an ongoing employee without the need for further advertising ormerit competition in
exceptional cases. In the explanatory statement to the amending Commissioner’s Direction, the Commissioner
undertook to report annually on the use of this authority.

In 2005–06, the Commissioner exercised this power twice, authorising, on two separate occasions, the
engagement of a non-ongoing employee as an ongoing employee in NOPSA.

In making her decisions, the Commissioner had regard to the following factors:

        the written request by the agency head outlining the suitability of the non-ongoing employee
        evidence of compliance with the Values of merit and reasonable access in the original engagement as a
         non-ongoing employee
        the existence of exceptional circumstances that justified the ongoing engagement.


Review of employment actions
One of the Values relevant to integrity and fairness is that the APS provides a fair system of review of actions
taken in respect of APS employees. The Act, the Regulations and the Commissioner’s Directions establish a
review of action framework for the APS. The intent of the framework is to encourage the resolution of employee
concerns in the workplace, including through the use of alternative dispute resolution methods where appropriate.

Under the Regulations, non-SES employees may seek review of certain actions or decisions that relate to their
employment. Subject to some exceptions, the Regulations provide for a primary review by the relevant agency of
actions affecting the employee. The Regulations also provide that for cases where employees’ concerns are not
resolved, employees can apply to the Merit Protection Commissioner for review of the agency action that affected
them. As discussed earlier in this chapter, reviews of actions relating to alleged breaches of the Code are dealt
with directly by the Merit Protection Commissioner.

This section reports the results of the agency survey of the procedures used in agencies for internal reviews,
review applications finalised during the year, and the promotion reviews conducted by Promotion Review
Committees (PRCs).


Agencies’ internal reviews in 2005–06

Forty per cent of agencies reported having had at least one application for primary review, that is, an application
for review of employment actions lodged directly with agencies during the year—this is a fall from 49% last year.

Agencies that had at least one application for review lodged in 2005–06 were asked about whether they had a
range of measures and processes in place for handling employee applications for the review of employment
actions. Responses to this question for the last four years are set out in Figure 4.1.

The most common measures, used by almost all agencies, continue to be reviewing applications within the
corporate services structure and/or by designated review officers, and identifying review officers after receipt of
requests for review. Sixty-eight per cent of relevant agencies had in place alternative dispute resolution as a first
step following lodgement of a review application.

Given that there will be some variation in the agencies where an application for review has been lodged each
year, it is difficult to be definitive about any trends in the use of the individual measures. However, the overall
trend seems to be to an increased use of all measures.
Figure 4.1: Relevant agency measures for review of employment actions, 2002–03 to 2005–06




Note: Only agencies that had received at least one application for review during the reporting period have been included.

Source: Agency survey


Agencies also reported on the number of applications for primary review of employment actions (other than
decisions about breaches of the Code and matters that went to a PRC) that were finalised during 2005–06.
Overall, 38% of agencies reported having finalised at least one application for primary review of an employment
action—a fall from 43% in 2004–05. A total of 283 primary review applications were finalised during the year
across the APS (compared to 358 in 2004–05). Fifty-six of the 283 finalised applications were lodged prior to
2005–06.

In 2005–06, 41% of applications (115) were upheld (i.e. the original decision was varied or overturned), compared
to 34% in 2004–05. Twelve per cent (35) of the 283 finalised applications became the subject of external review
by the Merit Protection Commissioner. This compared to 15% in 2004–05.

Three large agencies (ATO, Centrelink and Defence) accounted for 65% of all applications for primary reviews of
actions finalised in the APS during the past year. The highest number of primary applications finalised in one
agency was 99 (ATO).

Unlike last year, the rate of finalised applications per thousand employees in 2005–06 did not vary widely among
large agencies, with the range varying from no applications in five agencies (AGD, DEWR, DFAT, Finance, and
DITR) to 4.4 per thousand employees.

In those agencies reporting applications finalised in 2005–06, just over half (53%) of agencies reported that any of
the applications for primary review had related to procedural issues concerning selection exercises. Forty-seven
per cent of agencies reported that any of the applications had related to performance feedback or assessment,
44% that they had had any applications related to access to leave or other conditions of employment, 41%
discrimination, bullying or harassment and 24% inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. Agencies were not
asked whether applications had dealt with more than one issue.

Table 4.11 shows the training or information provided by agencies to line managers and other employees to
ensure that they were aware of the principal features of the processes of internal review and/or to allow them to
effectively manage such reviews.
Table 4.11: Information or training provided by agencies to line managers on internal
review processes, 2006

                                           Agencies                Agencies                 Agencies not
     Training/information               providing this          developing this             providing this
           provided                       training or             training or                 training or
                                       information (%)          information(%)             information(%)
General information provided in
certified/ collective agreements
                                 92                         1                         7
and/ or AWAs/ individual
agreements
Guidelines/ policies available
                                      93                    5                         2
online
Dissemination of policy through
                                46                          6                         48
line management structure
Information disseminated
through network of contact            29                    2                         69
officers
Training for staff                    19                    5                         76
Training for managers                 20                    11                        69
Training for designated review
                                      24                    5                         71
officers
Training provided on alternative
                                 16                         7                         77
dispute resolution options

Source: Agency survey

Most agencies rely on online policies or guidance (93%) or information in collective or individual agreements
(92%) to make employees aware of the principal features of their internal review processes. Nearly half (46%) of
agencies use the management structure to disseminate information. However, more proactive techniques such as
training for staff and managers were used by only a minority of agencies.

The extent of measures used is influenced by agency size. All agencies used at least one of these measures but
large agencies were more likely to use, or be developing, four or more measures (65%) than medium agencies
(46%) or small agencies (37%).

Employee confidence

Employees’ degree of confidence in the processes that their organisation used to resolve employee grievances
continues to be relatively low. Less than half of employees (41%) agreed that they had confidence in their agency
procedures, with 23% disagreeing. Nevertheless, there has been a rise in confidence from 34% in 2004–05.This
year’s result is comparable with data from three state jurisdictions—Western Australia (41%), Victoria (41%) and
                   15
Tasmania (42%).

Only a minority of agencies used staff surveys or consultative committees to collect information during2005–06 on
employees’ confidence that the agency’s system of primary review provided fair and objective outcomes. Twelve
per cent of agencies made use of a staff survey while slightly more made use of a consultative committee (17%).
Four agencies reported using any other methods—such as asking employees at the end of the review period,
conducting an independent review of contract arrangements or exit interviews and providing an ethics hotline.
There appears to be potential for agencies to make greater use of such measures.
Review of promotion decisions

The ability of APS employees to apply to the Merit Protection Commissioner for the review of promotion decisions
up to the APS 6 classification is one of the assurance mechanisms that protect merit as the basis for the
promotion of employees. Promotion decisions at these classifications can be reviewed on the ground of merit.
The Merit Protection Commissioner appoints an independent three-person PRC to consider such applications. A
decision by a PRC is binding on the agency head.

Table 4.12 details the total number of promotion decisions considered by PRCs, and the number and proportion
of promotion decisions that have been varied during the past six years. A case is defined as an application by one
or more APS employees for a review by a PRC of a decision or decisions arising from a discrete agency selection
exercise.

This year’s data records 783 applications for review in relation to 105 cases, leading to 889 promotion decisions
being reviewed. Bulk recruitment exercises in DIMA and ATO that resulted in high numbers of promotions to
reviewable classifications contributed significantly to the number of applications for review lodged and the number
of promotion decisions reviewed during the reporting period.


Table 4.12: Promotion decisions reviewed and varied, 2000–01 to 2005–06

                                               2000–       2001–       2002–       2003–       2004–       2005–
                                                01          02          03          04          05          06
Number of promotion decisions
                                              717         277         1071        404         840         889
reviewed
Number of decisions varied                    26          15          30          24          42          48
Proportion of decisions varied (%)            3.6         5.4         2.8         5.9         5           5.4

Source: Agency survey

The number of PRCs has fluctuated over recent financial years. This appears to some extent to be a reflection of
volatility in recruitment patterns, for example the increase in 2005–06 is consistent with an increase of about 13%
in the number of reviewable promotions and engagements gazetted in 2005–06 compared with that in 2004–05.


Key chapter findings
In general, the findings in this chapter confirm a strong focus on issues of integrity and fairness in the APS. Both
individual agencies and the Commission have invested significant effort in promoting and embedding the Values
and the Code into the culture of the APS. There have been great improvements since 2002–03 with almost all
APS employees now being familiar with the Values and the Code.

Familiarity, of course, does not necessarily mean that employees always understand and apply the Values. The
relatively high rates of findings of Code breaches this year in relation to browsing and privacy indicate that there is
a small minority of APS employees who do not fully understand the Values or the Code or think they won’t be
caught out.

The increase in the number of finalised investigations into breaches of the Code is attributable to a large increase
in one agency. This increase should not be seen as a negative result but as an example of the misconduct
processes in agencies working as they are designed to do. Improving systems so that they are better able to
detect suspected breaches of the Code and to then take action, as appropriate, reinforces both employees’ and
the public’s confidence in the integrity of the APS and individual agencies.

With the increasing usage of information technology and wider access to ICT systems in the APS, agencies will
need to focus on how best to ensure these systems are used appropriately. Centrelink’s strengthening of IT
systems has proven to be an effective monitoring tool. Monitoring systems, however, are only part of the solution.
All agencies need to ensure they have both the necessary educative and compliance mechanisms in place to
ensure their privacy and confidentiality obligations are met. This is critical for public confidence in the public
service.
The fact that three-quarters of employees specifically report that they have been made aware of how to report
misconduct is a very positive result for the APS. However, there is still scope to improve employees’ awareness of
reporting mechanisms, and their confidence in making reports when misconduct is observed. The increases in the
perception of merit reported this year are also welcome, but it is clear that employees’ satisfaction with the
application of merit continues to be lower than their satisfaction with a range of other factors relevant to employee
engagement.

The APS results are similar to results across a range of other jurisdictions. It may be that satisfaction with merit,
like satisfaction with performance pay, has a tendency to be lower than satisfaction with some other workplace
factors because assessments of merit necessitate some degree of subjectivity and are taken very personally by
some employees who perceive them as assessments of their own self-worth. The fact that employees are more
likely to be dissatisfied with merit where they have been unsuccessful in a recent selection provides some support
for this hypothesis. Employees also appear to be more likely to provide a neutral response, rather than an actively
satisfied or dissatisfied response, on some aspects of merit, suggesting that this is an area where some
employees do not feel they have enough information to make a judgment.

Nevertheless, training in merit does appear to be positively related to employees’ perception of merit, at least
where competitive selection processes are used. Although the majority of agencies reported providing some
training in merit in 2005–06, only a relatively small proportion of employees reported receiving training. There is
potential for agencies to review their selection processes and provide a broader range of training on merit to
employees, including to those not directly involved in selection processes at present. Agencies would also benefit
from a more systematic use of assurance mechanisms such as staff surveys to monitor performance on this
issue.

The process of primary review of employment actions remains an important part of the assurance processes used
across the APS to ensure the application of integrity and fairness. The increasing use of alternative dispute
resolution methods by agencies to resolve requests for review of actions is a positive outcome, which should
assist in the better management of these processes within agencies. However, the fact that less than half of
employees agreed that they had confidence in their agency procedures for resolving grievances, although
consistent with results in other jurisdictions, indicates that some agencies may need to devote more attention to
such issues. In particular, there is potential for more targeted training on the handling of employee grievances,
particularly for managers.

The work done by agencies on embedding the Values, promoting and enforcing the Code, and ensuring the
application of merit in employment decisions is important in both how employees and the wider community view
the APS and how agencies meet their business and performance goals.

Reports from a number of agencies on the difficulty of remembering and understanding all aspects of the Values
suggest that there is potential for streamlining. However, the concept of an agreed set of enforceable Values and
Code of Conduct, and the concepts underpinning both the Values and the Code, remain sound. These concepts
are fundamental to our identity as APS employees, and are a large part of what binds us together. Developments
                                                                  16            17
that have affected the reputation of the APS, such as the Palmer and Comrie reports, only reinforce the
importance of a visible and enforceable set of Values that can be clearly comprehended and used by all APS
employees in day-to-day decision-making.




    1.   UK Cabinet Office, Civil Service Code, 2006; <http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/publications/pdf/cs_code.pdf>
    2.   NZ State Services Commission 2005, Integrity and Conduct—Setting Standards for Crown Entities;
         <http://ssc.govt.nz>
    3.   The jurisdictional comparison data from surveys conducted in 2004–05 and 2005–06 was provided to the Commission
         by the State Services Authority, Victoria (People Matter Survey 2005); the Office of the State Service Commissioner,
         Tasmania (State Service Employee Survey 2005); and the Office of the Public Sector Standards Commissioner,
         Western Australia (Climate Survey 2005–06). While the Victorian and Tasmanian surveys covered the jurisdiction, the
         Victorian jurisdictional comparision data was based on web-based responses only. The Western Australian Climate
         Survey only involved 14 agencies—each year 10–15 agencies are surveyed with each agency being surveyed
         approximately once every five years.
    4.   Management Advisory Committee 2001, Performance Management in the Australian Public Service, Commonwealth
         of Australia, Canberra.
    5.   The employee survey gave the following examples of a serious breach: fraud, theft, misusing clients’ personal
         information, sexual harassment, and leaking classified documentation.
    6.   Centrelink introduced a strengthened IT system last year designed to monitor inappropriate accessing of client
         records which resulted in a significant increase in the number of investigations finalised in Centrelink (discussed
         above).
    7.   Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities (Gomery Review) 2005,
         <http://www.gomery.ca/en/index.asp>; Parliamentary Information and Research Service 2006, The Public Servants
      Disclosure Protection Act and Proposed Amendments, <http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/PRBpubs/prb0556-
      e.htm>
8.    The same version of Regulation 2.1 was in place for the reporting period 2005–06. See the discussion of changes to
      Regulation 2.1 in the section ‘Disclosure of Information’ later in this chapter.
9.    ASIC was the only large agency that did not finalise any investigations into suspected breaches of the Code in 2005–
      06.
10.   Further information on Regulation 2.1 can be found in the Commission’s Circular, 2006/03, Amendment to the Public
      Service Regulations 1999, <http://www.apsc.gov.au/circulars/circular063.htm>
11.   The jurisdictional comparison data from surveys conducted in 2004–05 and 2005–06 was provided to the Commission
      by the State Services Authority, Victoria (People Matter Survey 2005); the Office of the State Service Commissioner,
      Tasmania (State Service Employee Survey 2005); and the Office of the Public Sector Standards Commissioner,
      Western Australia (Climate Survey 2005–06). While the Victorian and Tasmanian surveys covered the jurisdiction, the
      Victorian jurisdictional comparision data was based on web-based responses only. The Western Australian Climate
      Survey only involved 14 agencies—each year 10–15 agencies are surveyed with each agency being surveyed
      approximately once every five years.
12.   The higher levels of job satisfaction are scores of six or higher in the job satisfaction index (9–10 are the highest), and
      the lower levels are scores of five or less in the index (0–2 are the lowest). The job satisfaction index is discussed in
      Chapter 3.
13.   See Appendix 4 for more details of the factor analysis.
14.   A Gazette notification may be for a single employment opportunity or for multiple opportunities.
15.   The jurisdictional comparison data from surveys conducted in 2004–05 and 2005–06 was provided to the Commission
      by the State Services Authority, Victoria (People Matter Survey 2005); the Office of the State Service Commissioner,
      Tasmania (State Service Employee Survey 2005); and the Office of the Public Sector Standards Commissioner,
      Western Australia (Climate Survey 2005–06). While the Victorian and Tasmanian surveys covered the jurisdiction, the
      Victorian jurisdictional comparison data was based on web-based responses only. The Western Australian Climate
      Survey only involved 14 agencies—each year 10–15 agencies are surveyed with each agency being surveyed
      approximately once every five years.
16.   M. J. Palmer, Inquiry into the Circumstances of the Immigration Detention of Cornelia Rau: Report, July 2005,
      <http://www.minister.immi.gov.au>
17.   Commonwealth Ombudsman, Inquiry into the Circumstances of the Vivian Alvarez Matter, Report by the
      Commonwealth Ombudsman of an inquiry undertaken by Mr Neil Comrie, September 2005,
      <http://www.ombudsman.gov.au>
Chapter 5: Equity and diversity
Workplace diversity involves recognising the value of individual differences and managing them in the workplace.
It also includes the principle of equal employment opportunity (EEO). Policies based on the principle of workplace
diversity and EEO help to address continued disadvantage experienced by particular groups of people in the
workplace, notably women, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people and people with disability.

Workplace diversity within the APS also ensures that a range of perspectives and ideas are brought to bear on
issues. This has broad benefits, but is particularly important where there is a need for effective consultation with
stakeholders or where service delivery mechanisms need to be established on the ground.

Always strong, the business case for workplace diversity has become increasingly pressing in recent years. The
ageing workforce and the tightening labour market make it imperative that agencies draw on the full breadth and
diversity of the labour market to meet their demands for skilled employees. Research shows that employees’
perceptions of equity, fairness and diversity in the workplace affects their level of engagement with their work and
with their organisation, and in turn their commitment to the work they do and their intention to remain with the
organisation.

The legislative framework for the APS puts a strong emphasis on the importance of diversity and equity in
employment in their own right. In particular, the APS Values state that the APS provides a workplace that is free
from discrimination and recognises and utilises the diversity of the Australian community it serves, and promotes
equity in employment.

The importance of workplace diversity is also recognised internationally. For example, the Civil Service in the UK
has developed a 10 point plan to create a more visible and diverse Senior Civil Service. The plan sees diversity
as a mainstream business issue which needs to be an integral part of day-to-day life. In addition to wanting to
reflect the nation it serves, the Civil Service sees diversity as one way it can improve its capacity to deliver.

This chapter draws on APSED data and on responses to the agency and employee surveys to make an
assessment of how well the APS is utilising diversity within its workplaces. It incorporates, where appropriate,
conclusions, case studies and other material from a number of evaluations carried out by the Commission this
year and from a range of other sources.

The chapter begins by looking at agencies’ commitment to workplace diversity and success in achieving improved
employment outcomes for particular groups of employees. It then looks at a range of broader diversity and equity
issues, including the extent to which the APS allows its employees to balance their work responsibilities with other
responsibilities in their lives, the perceptions of bullying and harassment in APS workplaces, and the provision of
safe workplaces.


Workplace diversity
The Public Service Act 1999 requires that agency heads establish workplace diversity programmes to assist in
giving effect to the APS Values. This year, 81 agencies (96%) indicated that they had a workplace diversity
programme in place. The three agencies without a programme were all small agencies.

Of those agencies with a workplace diversity programme only 56% have a formal framework in place to evaluate
the effectiveness of their programme. Fifty-four per cent of agencies had reviewed their programme in the last two
years and 19% over three years ago, but 26% have never evaluated their programme.

Under the Public Service Commissioner’s Directions, agency heads are required to put in place measures in their
agency aimed at removing employment disadvantage on the basis of gender, being an Aboriginalor Torres Strait
Islander, race or ethnicity, and physical or mental disability. This section assesses how effective agencies have
been in each of these areas and in the area of age diversity.


APSED and the quality of EEO data

Information on the representation of EEO groups in the APS comes from individual agencies and is stored on the
Australian Public Service Employment Database (APSED). The provision of EEO data by APS employees to their
agency is voluntary (with the exception of sex). APSED tends to under-represent the actual number of employees
in these groups.

Of the data supplied to APSED in the snapshots sent by agencies at 30 June 2006, only one-third of employees
had comprehensive EEO data: Indigenous status was provided for 52% of employees, and data on disability was
provided for 48%. Data quality was better for country of birth (64%) and first language spoken (67%).

In practice, the quality of data on APSED is much better than these figures indicate, as historical data is generally
better than that provided by agencies on an annual basis. Once an employee’s data is provided to APSED, it is
stored there permanently unless the employee subsequently chooses not to provide it. If the person moves to
another agency that does not provide this information then the previous data is retained. For the voluntary EEO
items this year, Indigenous status is available for 72.4% of ongoing employees, disability status is available for
68.7% of ongoing employees, and non-English speaking background status is available for 70.7% of ongoing
employees.

There was some improvement in overall data quality this year, however, the quality of employee-provided data
supplied to APSED continues to be poor and there are many agencies still providing no data on the diversity
status of the majority of their employees. As a number of these agencies are among the largest in the APS, this
result is unsatisfactory and improvements need to be made.

There may be a number of reasons why employees may choose not to provide data on their EEO status to their
agency. MAC’s recent report Employment of People with Disability in the APS found that the most significant
reasons for people with disability choosing not to disclose their disability status was concern or fear of stigma or
                                            1
discrimination arising from that disclosure. However, it also found a high incidence of deficiencies in the way in
which personal data was collected, most notably, that participants had disclosed their disability to their manager,
but that information was not necessarily captured in their HR records or APSED data.

Data from the employee survey found that two-thirds of employees with disability believed that they had informed
their agency that they had a disability and only 18% of employees had chosen not to inform their agency. This
question was included in the employee survey as a direct response to the MAC report. Reasons for not informing
were generally consistent with MAC’s report including privacy reasons, and fear that information would not be
kept confidential. Some employees also stated that their disability did not affect their ability to perform their job.

Data on why other groups choose or choose not to self report was not collected through the employee survey this
year. However, the 2004 employee survey found that only 9% of Indigenous Australians, 11% of people with
disability and 9% of employees from non-English speaking backgrounds had chosen not to inform their agency of
their EEO status.

Agencies report that the use of mechanisms to collect EEO data from new employees is widespread. Almost
three-quarters of agencies request new employees complete and return a paper form and a minority use an
online form or provide both paper and online forms as an option. Agencies, however, are less likely to update
employee records, with 31% indicating they have never conducted an agency review of disability. The continuing
high levels of ‘no data’ suggest that agencies need to review the effectiveness of their data collection for new
employees, and implement more rigorous processes to update data. The Commission is working with agencies to
improve the quality of EEO data provided to APSED.

Employees for whom no data is available are included in the population for calculating percentages. Therefore,
the percentages provided on representation of EEO groups in the APS are likely to under-estimate the actual
proportions in agency and APS populations. All APSED data in this chapter, and also for the diversity analysis in
Chapter 2, only covers ongoing employees. This is due to the poor quality of diversity data provided by agencies
for non-ongoing employees, which is even lower than that for ongoing employees.


Trends in representation of EEO groups

Outcomes for women in the APS continued to improve in 2005–06, as did to a lesser extent the representation of
people from non-English speaking backgrounds. There were continuing falls, however, in the representation of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people with disability.

                                                                                                    2
At June 2006, women accounted for 55.8% of ongoing employees, up from 54.2% at June 2005. For people from
                                   3
a non-English speaking background, there was growth in both actual numbers and proportional representation
(up from 5.4% in 2005 to 5.6% in 2006).
The proportion of Indigenous Australians continued to fall this year, from 2.2% to 2.0% of ongoing staff. This
result was in line with the representation of Indigenous Australians in the employee survey, also 2%.
Representation of people with disability fell from 3.8% to 3.4% over the year.This was lower than the
representation of people with disability in the employee survey at 5%.

Both these groups declined in both actual number and proportion, despite strong growth in the broader APS.

Representation of Indigenous Australians and people with disability is somewhat lower in Medicare Australia (new
to the APS this year) than in the APS overall and this has had some impact on total numbers. However, even
after excluding Medicare Australia, the representation of both groups was still lower than it was in June 2005. For
Indigenous Australians the representation rate would have been 2.1% and for people with disability, 3.5%.

The proportional representation for all EEO groups over the past 10 years is shown in Table 5.1.


Table 5.1: Representation of EEO groups among ongoing employees, 1997 to 20064

                     1997      1998     1999      2000      2001      2002     2003      2004      2005      2006
                      (%)       (%)      (%)       (%)       (%)       (%)      (%)       (%)       (%)       (%)
Women               48.1      48.6     49.0      49.9      51.4      51.9     52.8      53.1      54.2      55.8
Indigenous
                    2.6       2.7      2.7       2.5       2.5       2.5      2.5       2.4       2.2       2.0
Australians
People with
                    5.3       5.1      4.8       4.5       4.2       4.0      3.9       4.0       3.8       3.4
disability
NESB1               5.5       5.5      5.3       5.3       5.3       5.3      5.2       5.3       5.4       5.6

Source: APSED

Trends in representation for each of these groups are discussed in the following sections.


Agency commitment to workplace diversity

Employees generally believe their agencies have a strong commitment to workplace diversity.

This year saw an increase in the proportion of employees agreeing that their organisation is committed to creating
a diverse workforce (67% compared to 61% in 2005). This result is generally consistent with results in a range of
other jurisdictions. In 2005, 65% of Tasmanian respondents, 51% of Victorian respondents and in 2006, 64% of
                                                                                                       5
Western Australian respondents agreed that their agency is committed to creating a diverse workforce.

There were some differences in perceptions of agencies’ commitment to creating a diverse workforce across
different groups of employees. In particular, EL employees were less likely to agree than APS or SES employees.
Women were more positive than men about their agency’s commitment to creating a diverse workforce.
Indigenous employees and employees from non-English speaking backgrounds had similar results to those not in
these groups, with employees with disability the least positive (58% compared to 68% for those without disability).

Employees in medium agencies were less likely to agree that their agency was committed to creating a diverse
workforce than employees in small or large agencies. Of the 23 large agencies, employee agreement ranged from
a low of 50% to a high of 79%. Large agencies with agreement rates significantly above the APS average were
ABS, ATO, DEST, DIMA, and Medicare Australia.

The majority of employees were also satisfied against two composite employee engagement factors relating to
the extent to which agencies encourage the recruitment and retention of employees from diverse groups
(‘Diversity-recruitment and retention’-73%), and the extent to which certain diversity characteristics did not act as
                                                   6
barriers to employment (‘Diversity-barriers’-63%). There was some variation in results for the questions about
individual EEO groups that make up these factors and these are discussed in more detail below.
Women in the APS
As noted above, the representation of women in the APS continued to rise this year reflecting the fact that women
                                                7
were more represented in engagements (65.2%) than separations (55.2%). If this trend continues, it will lead to
an acceleration in the feminisation of the APS.

The proportional representation of men and women, however, varies widely between agencies. Of agencies with
more than 1000 ongoing employees, BoM had the highest proportion of men (80.1%), followed by Defence
(63.5%). Medicare Australia (80.3%) and Human Services (76.7%) had the highest proportion of women (see
Figure 5.1).

Figure 5.1: Representation of women and men in agencies with more than 1000 ongoing employees, June
     8
2006
Source: APSED


Table 5.2 shows that women are still under-represented at higher classifications. However, there have been
significant gains for women over time, particularly at the EL and SES levels.
Table 5.2: Ongoing staff: proportion of women by classification, 1997, 2005, 2006

                                                  1997 (%)              2005 (%)              2006 (%)
Trainee & Grad APS                            50.4                  52.5                  53.8
APS 1-2                                       54.6                  62.1                  62.6
APS 3-4                                       59.4                  65.0                  67.1
APS 5-6                                       42.1                  51.9                  53.1
Executive                                     28.0                  40.2                  42.2
SES                                           19.7                  33.2                  34.8
Total                                         48.1                  54.2                  55.8

Source: APSED

There is also some evidence that this trend is accelerating. Figure 5.2 shows that women’s representation among
engagements and promotions to EL and SES classifications was higher than their representation at these levels.

Figure 5.2: Ongoing staff: Engagement and promotion rates for women, 2005–06




Source: APSED


In addition, Table 5.3 shows that women’s representation in both the EL and SES classification groups is higher
for younger age groups. For the SES, however, women are less represented in the under 40 group than they are
in the 40–44 group.


Table 5.3: Ongoing staff: Proportion of women by age group in EL and SES
classifications, June 2006

                   Under 40 (%)             40-44 (%)            45-49 (%)               50 & over (%)
EL          52.1                       45.2                  37.9                 31.6
SES         38.6                       44.5                  37.0                 28.4

Source: APSED
Large agencies with the highest representation of women in the SES are Health (56.4%), DEST (53.8%), ASIC
(51.7%), Human Services (51.6%) and DEWR (51.4%). The large agencies with the lowest representation of
women at SES levels are BoM (20.0%), DVA (21.2%), Defence (21.6%) and DAFF (23.3%). The considerable
variation across agencies suggests that, despite overall gains, some agencies could be more pro-active in
encouraging women to apply for more senior positions.

Women in the APS are less likely to have graduate qualifications than are men, with 49.9% of women having a
bachelor degree or higher compared to 54.0% of men at June 2006.


Agency support for the employment of women

Reflecting increases in overall employment, employees had high levels of satisfaction that their agencies
supported the employment of women. Eighty-four per cent of employees agreed that their agency actively
encourages the recruitment and employment of women. Younger workers (less than 25 years) and employees in
large agencies were more likely to agree that their agency actively encourages the recruitment and employment
of women than other workers. Agreement levels in all large agencies were high, ranging from 72% to 93%.

Most employees also agreed that their agency actively encourages the retention of women, although agreement
levels were somewhat lower (71%). Employees in large agencies were again more likely to agree, as were
employees in small agencies. The level of agreement in large agencies was again relatively high ranging from
55% to 82%.

Consistent with these results, 82% of employees did not believe that gender was a barrier to success in the
workplace. Agreement levels for SES employees were particularly high (97%). The level of agreement was again
high across all large agencies ranging from 68% to 91%.

There was no difference between men and women’s views about the support for women in their agency.

These results are excellent. They compare very well with other sectors of the economy and position the APS well
as an employer of choice for women.

Reflecting the high level of agreement that agencies support the employment of women, there was little difference
                                                                                                  9
in women’s and men’s satisfaction with a range of employee engagement factors (see Figure 5.3). However,
women tended to be slightly more satisfied than men with the factors ‘Current job’ and ‘Understanding current
role’.

Figure 5.3: Employee satisfaction with factors identified through factor analysis—women and men, 2005–
06
Source: Employee survey


Women also tended to report slightly higher overall levels of job satisfaction than men (see Chapter 3).


Indigenous employment
The employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the APS continues to be a challenge for
agencies. In 2005–06, the number of ongoing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees fell from 2775 to
2750—a fall of 0.9%. The fall was small (25 people), but the decline in proportional terms was large, considering
the overall increase in ongoing staff numbers of 9.1%.

Despite this decline, the 2% representation of Indigenous Australians in the APS still compares favourably with
that in the broader Australian workforce, in which 1.4% of the Australian labour force identified themselves as
             10
Indigenous.

Indigenous representation varies widely between agencies. Those that predominantly deliver services to, or work
with, Indigenous communities generally have the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
employees. As Table 5.4 shows, the agencies with the highest proportion of Indigenous employees in their
workforce (i.e. more than 10% of total ongoing employees) at 30 June 2006 were AHL, TSRA, AIATSIS, NNTT
and FaCSIA. These are all agencies with significant Indigenous core functions.


Table 5.4: Agencies with the highest proportion of ongoing Indigenous employees, June
2006

                                                        Indigenous          Total ongoing        Indigenous
                                                       ongoing staff            staff                (%)
Aboriginal Hostels Limited                        269                       334                 80.5
Torres Strait Regional Authority                  25                        33                  75.8
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and
                                                  10                        57                  17.5
Torres Strait Islander Studies
Table 5.4: Agencies with the highest proportion of ongoing Indigenous employees, June
2006

                                                      Indigenous          Total ongoing       Indigenous
                                                     ongoing staff            staff               (%)
National Native Title Tribunal                  24                       195                12.3
Family, Community Services and
                                                238                      2271               10.5
Indigenous Affairs

Source: APSED

FaCSIA is the only one of these agencies that is large. Figure 5.4 shows representation of Indigenous employees
in large agencies at June 2006. Large agencies with above average Indigenous representation are DEST (9.4%),
DEWR (4.5%), Centrelink (3.6%), DEH (3.0%) and Health (2.7%).

Figure 5.4: Representation of Indigenous employees in agencies with more than 1000 ongoing staff , June
2006
Source: APSED


Overall, three agencies employed over half of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees at June 2006
(51.3%). These agencies were Centrelink (905 or 32.9%), AHL (269 or 9.8%) and FaCSIA (238 or 8.7%).
Indigenous employees make up 3.6% of Centrelink’s total ongoing employees.

Thirty agencies reported that none of their ongoing employees had identified as Indigenous. These agencies were
mostly small except for one large (ASIC) and three medium agencies—Defence Housing Authority, ACC and
ComSuper.
Excluding those agencies involved in machinery of government changes during the year, the largest increases in
ongoing Indigenous employment were in DHS (14 employees), DEH (7 employees), ABS (6 employees) and
Customs (5 employees). The largest decrease was in Centrelink (63 employees) and ATO (9 employees).

Despite overall falls, Table 5.5 shows that the number of Indigenous employees rose at EL, SES and Graduate
trainee classifications this year. The growth was strongest among ELs. The number of Indigenous SES increased
               11
from 17 to 19. The proportion of all Indigenous employees who are in EL and SES classifications rose from
9.8% at June 2005 to 11.3% at June 2006. In addition to the Indigenous Australians employed under the Public
Service Act 1999, there are also two agency heads who are Indigenous.

The proportion of Indigenous employees in the Graduate trainee classification increased from 0.5% to 0.9%. The
number in this classification increased from 15 to 26. Indigenous representation fell for APS 1–6s (from 2443 to
2382) and trainees (from 46 to 30).


Table 5.5: Ongoing representation of Indigenous employees by classification, 1997, 2005 and 2006

                          1997                                   2005                                   2006
                  % of                      % of                      % of
                             % of                      % of                      % of
                 class'n                   class'n                   class'n
           No.            Indigenous No.            Indigenous No.            Indigenous
                 who are                   who are                   who are
                          employees                 employees                 employees
               Indigenous                Indigenous                Indigenous
APS 1-
       874        4.1            28.1            288    4.6             10.4            287    4.8             10.4
2
APS 3-
       1405 3.3                  45.2            1336 3.0               48.1            1278 2.6               46.5
4
APS 5-
       540        1.6            17.4            819    1.9             29.5            817    1.8             29.7
6
EL        130     0.7            4.2             254    0.9             9.2             293    0.9             10.7
SES       19      1.2            0.6             17     0.8             0.6             19     0.8             0.7
Trainee 118       15.5           3.8             46     12.3            1.7             30     6.7             1.1
Grad
          17      2.8            0.5             15     1.9             0.5             26     2.7             0.9
APS
Other     2       1.1            0.1             -      -               -               -      -               -
Total     3105 2.6               100.0           2775 2.2               100.0           2750 2.0               100.0

Source: APSED

Looking at longer-term trends, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees have become less concentrated at
APS 1–2 classifications with the largest proportional increase being at APS 5–6 classifications. As a proportion of
all employees in that classification group, Indigenous representation has risen in APS 1–2 (although actual
numbers have declined), APS 5–6 and EL classifications, remained steady for Graduate trainees and fallen for
APS 3–4. The number of Indigenous SES has remained steady, but proportional representation has decreased as
the size of the SES overall has risen.

The total number of Indigenous employees has declined over the past 10 years, although actual numbers rose
between 2001 and 2003, before falling for the past three years. While the concentration of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander employees at the APS 1–2 has decreased, their continuing over-representation at these levels and
the dramatic decline in employment in the APS 1–2 level in the APS is likely to be a key factor in the decline in
Indigenous employment.

The decline has also been exacerbated by the growing emphasis on tertiary qualifications in the APS— at June
                                                                                                        12
2006, 26.1% of Indigenous employees had graduate qualifications, compared to 51.9% of the APS overall. As
discussed further in Chapter 11, some of the decline may also relate to the concentration of Indigenous
employees in service delivery positions, which have declined as a proportion of total APS employment.
Engagements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees have fluctuated over the last ten years, but as a
proportion of total engagements, have generally fallen. These trends are shown in Table 5.6. Although Indigenous
engagements actually increased from 295 in 2004–05 to 372 in 2005–06, the proportional increase was lower
than for overall engagements. During 2005–06 Indigenous employees accounted for only 1.8% of all
engagements—the lowest proportion for the whole decade.

Trainee programmes have historically represented an important source of engagements for Indigenous
employees. Figure 5.5 shows that the use of traineeships and graduate trainee programmes to recruit Indigenous
Australians has varied widely over the past 10 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees have been
more highly represented in traineeships than in graduate trainee programmes— at June 2006, 6.7% of trainees
were Indigenous compared with 2.7% of graduate trainees.

Indigenous representation rose among graduate trainees during 2005–06, but fell for other trainees. The rise in
the number of graduate trainees is consistent with the success of the Commission’s Indigenous graduate
recruitment initiative (see Figure 5.5). The fall in trainees is somewhat of a surprise, given the 32 cadets recruited
through the Commission for 12 agencies on behalf of DEWR (and who are classed as trainees, for the purpose of
the Classification Rules). The trainee numbers may not reflect all cadets recruited because:

        some cadets have been recruited on a non-ongoing basis (because of data quality issues, analysis of
         APSED data in this chapter is restricted to ongoing employees)
        there are generally high levels of ‘no-data’, and other data quality issues, in the data supplied by
         agencies on recently engaged employees
        in some cases Indigenous trainees and cadets were put into classifications other than the trainee
         classification, for example APS 1–2.

If cadets currently employed on a non-ongoing basis are successful in obtaining ongoing employment, their
numbers are likely to feed into Indigenous representation in the future.

Figure 5.5: Representation of ongoing Indigenous employees in trainee classifications, 1997 to 2006




Source: APSED


Indigenous separations have been relatively high for most of the last ten years. Indigenous separations can be
looked at in two ways—either as a proportion of Indigenous employees, or as a proportion of total separations.
Using the first method, 14.4% of all ongoing Indigenous employees separated during 2005–06. This was lower
than the previous financial year (15.9%) but higher than the four years prior to that. The comparable separation
rate for the APS overall during 2005–06 was 7.4%.

Table 5.6 looks at Indigenous separations using the second method described above. As a proportion of all
ongoing separations, Indigenous separations fell this year, from 4.3% to 4.2% of all separations, but Indigenous
employees continued to be over-represented. The number of Indigenous separations also fell, from 454 to 397.
Table 5.6: Indigenous representation in engagements and separations of ongoing
employees, 1996–97 to 2005–06

                     1996- 1997- 1998- 1999- 2000- 2001- 2002- 2003- 2004- 2005-
                      97    98    99    00    01    02    03    04    05    06
Engagements
                     265      263       268       300      409       420       446      302       295       372
No.
(% of
                     4.7      4.3       3.4       2.5      3.0       3.5       2.9      3.2       2.6       1.8
engagements)
Separations
                     501      448       474       412      277       289       305      373       454       397
No.
(% of
                     3.3      2.7       3.3       3.8      3.4       3.4       4.3      5.1       4.3       4.2
separations)

Source: APSED

Indigenous employees are also much more likely to have considerably shorter service before leaving the APS.
During 2005–06, 41.8% of Indigenous employees who separated had less than five years service, compared with
34.5% of non-Indigenous employees.


Indigenous employment challenges

In line with the general trends, a substantial proportion of agencies identified they were experiencing challenges in
relation to Indigenous employment. Around half of all agencies faced at least one of a number of specified
challenges (see Table 5.7). Eighty-seven per cent of large agencies reported facing one or more challenges
compared to 29% of small agencies and 50% of medium agencies. For each challenge, a relatively high
proportion of agencies, between 35% and 46%, indicated that it was not applicable to them.

The most common challenges related to recruitment, with the two most frequently identified challengesbeing the
difficulty in recruiting Indigenous graduates and recruiting Indigenous Australians with the required skills. The loss
of valued Indigenous employees was also relatively common (see Table 5.7 below, for the frequency of
challenges faced by agencies in the employment of Indigenous Australians). None of the other challenges were
identified by more than 10 agencies. Only a small number of agencies identified that they had a challenge in
dealing with negative perceptions held by non-Indigenous employees, or providing mentors.


Table 5.7: Agency challenges in relation to Indigenous employment, 2005–06

                                                                                        Number of agencies
                       Challenges faced by agencies
                                                                                            (N = 84)
                                                                                                        Not
                                                                                       Yes No
                                                                                                     applicable
Loss of valued Indigenous employees                                                    20     35 29
Difficulty recruiting Indigenous graduates with required skills as part of
                                                                           31                 14 39
a formal graduate programme
Difficulty recruiting Indigenous Australians (other than for a formal
                                                                                       30     24 30
graduate programme) with required skills
Difficulty in managing underperforming Indigenous employees                            10     43 31
Difficulty providing mentors with appropriate experience for Indigenous
                                                                        7                     38 39
employees
Ensuring that Indigenous employees’ skills and/or knowledge meet the
                                                                     10                       43 31
agency’s requirements
Table 5.7: Agency challenges in relation to Indigenous employment, 2005–06

                                                                                      Number of agencies
                      Challenges faced by agencies
                                                                                          (N = 84)
                                                                                                     Not
                                                                                     Yes No
                                                                                                  applicable
Dealing with negative perceptions held by non-Indigenous employees
                                                                                     4       50 30
of Indigenous employees
Other                                                                                2       24 29

Source: Agency survey


APS Employment and Capability Strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Employees

To respond to the trends in Indigenous employment and the challenges identified by agencies, the Commission’s
APS Employment and Capability Strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employees was announced by
the Government in August 2005. The strategy was outlined in detail in the State of the Service Report 2004–05. A
range of initiatives under the strategy were implemented during the year. These include:

        an inaugural service-wide Indigenous graduate recruitment initiative; as a result, 25 Indigenous
         graduates were recruited to 19 agencies
        the bulk recruitment of Indigenous cadets on behalf of DEWR, which saw 32 cadets recruited to 12
         different agencies
        an inaugural school-to-work programme implemented in Queensland with five sponsorships finalisedfor
         Year 10 students
        the release of two publications to attract Indigenous people to apply for jobs in the APS, distributed to
         Job Network agencies, Indigenous community organisations, universities and other educational
         institutions
        twenty-seven Career Trek workshops attended by 330 APS 1–4 and APS 5–6 Indigenous employees in
         14 locations around the country
        the establishment of the APS Indigenous Capability Fund to support Indigenous employees in
         developing relevant skills and building successful careers in the APS
        the Indigenous Australian Public Service Employees Network (IAPSEN)
        the Indigenous Employer’s Human Resources Forum.

The Commission is also using strategic partnerships to develop collaborative and innovative employmentsolutions
to improve employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. A partnership has been established
with Quest Employment and Training Solutions to deliver Certificate III in Government to Indigenous Job Network
participants.

To support the strategy the Commission undertook an evaluation of agency approaches to Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander employment, which incorporated a census survey of all employees identifyingas Aboriginal or
                                  13
Torres Strait Islander in the APS. The report outlining the census results identified four key challenges for the
APS:

        increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander capability
        encouraging a greater diversity of roles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees
        encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to remain within the APS
        improving the quality of workplace support.

A number of the initiatives under the strategy are focusing on these challenges including:

        continuing the national Indigenous graduate and cadetship recruitment programmes
        running a national service-wide Indigenous traineeship recruitment campaign in 2006–07 in
         associationwith the Ngunnawal Aboriginal Corporation
        continuing the sponsorship of participants in the school-to-work programme for years 11 and 12
        implementing the Indigenous Capability Fund through provision of $0.5 million per annum to support the
         training and development of Indigenous employees
        implementing Horizons, a national secondment programme for staff at the APS 4 to APS 6 level, and
         developing a secondment strategy for senior managers working in Indigenous-related areas to move
         between partner agencies
        considering the development of a post-graduate scholarship programme
        developing evidence-based better practice guides for APS managers on better recruitment and
         bettermanagement of Indigenous employees including revision of the Get it Right recruitment kit
        promoting the APS as an employer of choice to Indigenous Australians through various national
         Indigenous media and events.


Agency support for the employment of Indigenous Australians

A number of agencies have implemented strategies to address Indigenous employment in their agency. Some of
these were the subject of an evaluation this year to determine the effectiveness of agency approaches.

        Evaluation—Agency approaches to attracting and retaining Indigenous employees



In June 2005, six agencies agreed to participate in the evaluation of agency approaches to the attraction and
retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees—Centrelink, DAFF, DEH, DEST, DEWR and NAA.
The objectives and methodology of the evaluation are outlined in Appendix 3.

Key overall findings

Most agencies had invested considerable effort in creating an attractive and supportive workplace for Aboriginals
and Torres Strait Islanders. In some agencies (Centrelink, DEST, and DEWR) these efforts had sustained the
employment at levels above the APS average representation of 2% with DEST having the highest representation
(9.4% at June 2006). In other agencies there have been pockets of success, but overall representation was less
positive.

Positive initiatives in place in agencies

A large number of initiatives had proved effective in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment.
These included:

        mechanisms to promote agencies as potential employers
        links established between workforce planning and Indigenous employment strategies
        innovative approaches to recruiting and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and
         targeted advertising
        extensive learning and development strategies, including DEWR’s Indigenous Australian Contract
         Management Traineeship (IACMT) programme
        a strong emphasis on visible commitment including through the celebration of NAIDOC and the Festival
         of Lights, protocols such as welcome to country and cultural awareness training
        in one agency, the development of an Indigenous career planning tool
        the use of formal Indigenous Staff Networks
        the placement of specialist Indigenous officers within HR.

Areas for consideration

Most agencies had experienced relatively high separation rates and a fall in total Indigenous proportional
representation in recent years (DEWR and DAFF were the exceptions). There had also been limited success in
encouraging movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees into mainstream positions and
promotion rates were generally lower. A number of proposals were identified for addressing these issues.

Most agencies had relatively high proportions of staff for whom no information is available on their Indigenous
status (rates ranged from 10% to 40%). Agencies need to regularly review practices for collecting EEO data and
encourage all staff to provide relevant data.

There was also a lack of awareness of Indigenous employment strategies in some agencies. Consideration needs
to be given to how strategies and their successes can be best promoted to staff.

Attraction and recruitment
Employer of choice

In some agencies, employees were concerned that their work was not well known among potential Indigenous
applicants. Agencies may need to better promote the work they perform to prospective employees. Promotional
strategies could focus on how jobs within the agency can contribute to better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people, as well as promote the benefits of a career in the APS.

Recruitment

Some agencies had detailed Indigenous recruitment strategies in place, but others would benefit by providing
further advice, for example on targeting recruitment to attract people from diverse groups and alternatives to
standard processes of interviewing. There was potential to share experiences more systematically. Specific
issues that agencies could address include making greater use of ‘plain English’ in selection documents, including
more information on what might be expected from successful candidates, and providing information on the
purpose of police checks and how privacy is handled. Where agencies use recruitment providers, they need to
monitor their success at encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to apply for positions and
progress through the recruitment process.

Mainstream employment

Encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to take up a more diverse range of roles is a key
challenge. Ideas identified include emphasising the link between broader policy making and programmes and
outcomes for Indigenous communities, developing the capability of potential Indigenous applicants, locating more
mainstream positions outside of Canberra, and considering more proactive strategies, such as targeted mobility
programmes.

Identified positions

The use of identified positions varied.14 Some agencies used them in the traditional sense and others had
condensed the two traditional ‘core’ criteria into one criterion and applied this to a range of positions, in
recognition of the importance of Indigenous capability to their business. Some employees were concerned that
there was a lack of clarity about the use of identified positions.

Special measure provisions

Agencies used a range of measures to encourage the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
including cadetships, graduate programmes, school-based traineeships, a junior ranger programme and
community/ trainee ranger programmes, IACMTP and the APS Entry Level Pilot Programme (IELP). There was
potential for some agencies to make greater use of Indigenous-specific cadetships, traineeships and graduate
programmes.

Some agencies were concerned about high attrition rates. Agencies taking on Indigenous people in training
programmes need to ensure they are actively supported. Ideas for support include placing cadets in offices in
their home location, using induction programmes, and developing informal networks.

In some agencies, there was the potential for a greater use of APS 1–2 classifications as entry level positions to
allow staff to gain entry, receive experience and training and make a stepped progression to work at higher
classification levels.

In some agencies, non-ongoing employment had been used to provide opportunities to develop relevant skills for
ongoing employment. In taking on non-ongoing employees agencies could consider using employment agencies
that specifically support Indigenous Australians in finding work.

Retention and support

Learning and development

Some employees in regional areas had concerns about their level of access to learning and development.
Agencies had developed mechanisms for cost-effective delivery of training to staff in remote locations, including
the use of regular ‘training weeks’. Some staff also appeared to believe that it was up to the agency to take
responsibility for their learning and development. Agencies may need to encourage such staff to take a more
active role, in consultation with their managers, in identifying appropriate learning and development opportunities,
including through the performance agreement process.

Mentoring

Some agencies had formal mentoring programmes in place. There was potential for these to be used more
broadly, but also a need for more formal training in the responsibilities of the mentor role. Agencies could make
greater use of Indigenous mentors for non-Indigenous staff, particularly in areas of Indigenous business. Many
managers indicated they would appreciate additional support to help them support their Indigenous employees.
One idea was a ‘buddy scheme’ for newly promoted managers of Indigenous staff.

Indigenous networks

In some agencies, existing networks could be used further to provide advice in developing Indigenous
employment strategies. There may also be value in having more formal Indigenous networks at local levels, cross
agency networks, and promoting greater use of IAPSEN.

Cultural awareness

Most agencies used some form of cultural awareness training, but there were mixed views about its effectiveness.
There were some views that cultural awareness training should be more practical and cater for local differences.

Exit surveys

There was potential for agencies to make greater use of exit surveys to collect data on why Indigenous staff
leave. Comments from employees suggest that agencies need to address concerns about anonymity to maximise
completion rates of exit surveys.

Indigenous employment strategies

There has been a growth in the use by agencies of formal Indigenous Employment Strategies (IES). A quarter of
all agencies now have an IES (21, compared to 13 in 2004). The majority of agencies without an IES were small
and medium agencies.

There is potential, however, for a more rigorous approach to assessing strategies. Of agencies with an IES only
57% had a formal framework in place to evaluate its effectiveness. Nevertheless, 43% of agencies with an IES
had performed an evaluation of their strategy in the last two years, a relatively high rate given that many agencies
have only recently adopted a formal strategy.

Where agencies had performed an evaluation, results were generally positive. Results reported included that the
IES had helped identify areas for concentrated activity, enabled engagement with Indigenous issues, given a
focus to new initiatives and helped in gaining cross-agency support. Some agencies reportedthat their IES had
contributed to increased recruitment of Indigenous graduates, high retention rates and improved the status of the
contribution of Indigenous employees.

Recruitment strategies

Although only a minority of agencies have formal Indigenous Employment Strategies in place, most (58%) use at
least one specific Indigenous recruitment strategy. However, 35 agencies did not have any recruitment strategies
in place.The frequency results for individual strategies are outlined at Table 5.8.

The most common strategy was advertising employment opportunities in the Indigenous media (43% of all
agencies). Of these, most agencies were most likely to use the Koori Mail followed by the National Indigenous
Times.

Agencies were also relatively likely to use special employment measures, which limit employment opportunities to
Indigenous applicants (42%).The most frequent measures used were the National Indigenous Cadetship Project
and the Commission-run APS Indigenous Graduate programme. Other special employment measures included
DEWR’s contract management traineeship, Indigenous specific apprenticeship or traineeship programmes,
agency specific Indigenous graduate or cadetship programmes and Indigenous specific vacancies as part of
broader recruitment processes.
Table 5.8: Agency strategies to recruit Indigenous Australians, 2005–06

                                                                                      Number of agencies
                        Recruitment strategies
                                                                                          (N = 84)
                                                                                   In         Being           Not in
                                                                                 place      developed         place
Special employment measures15                                                   35        0                  49
                       16
Identified positions                                                            28        0                  56
Providing other opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander employees to gain skills and experience under an                       18        2                  64
agency based Indigenous employment scheme.17
Advertising employment opportunities in Indigenous media                        36        2                  46
Other recruitment strategies specifically aimed at recruiting
                                                                                22        6                  51
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Note: Agencies that did not respond to the question relating to a particular strategy are not included in the
table.

Source: Agency survey

Identified positions are positions which have specific selection criteria that require agencies to
demonstrateknowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies and cultures, and an
ability to communicate sensitively and effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Traditionally,
these have been expressed in two core selection criteria. Identified positions are open to all Australians and have
to be won on merit.

A third of agencies reported that they had used identified positions during 2005–06 to recruit Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander people. Most (68%) had used the traditional two criteria giving them prominence in the
vacancy and 36% had used a single criterion combining the two criteria.

To gain a better understanding of the use of identified positions and special employment measures, the
Commission conducted a desk-based evaluation in 2005–06, drawing on a range of existing data sources.

       Evaluation of identified positions and special employment measures— key findings



The use of identified positions and special employment measures is associated with higher levels of Indigenous
representation and retention in agencies, but is not associated with increased levels of career progression for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. It is difficult to determine the extent to which this is a direct result
of the strategies, or reflects more broadly the nature of work performed in these agencies.

There is confusion about the difference between identified positions and special measures, with many staff
believing that identified positions are open only to Indigenous people. The issue of confusion in the APS
employment context is complicated by the fact that in five other Australian State and Territory jurisdictions, the
term ‘identified positions’ is used to denote employment opportunities open only to Indigenous people.

The Commission is considering the findings of this evaluation in consultation with agencies as part of its APS
Employment and Capability Strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employees work programme.

Twenty-one per cent of agencies had used an agency based Indigenous employment scheme to provide other
opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to gain skills and experience. The most common
types of schemes were work experience used by 44% of relevant agencies, and certificate I, II, and III
programmes, used by a third of relevant agencies. Agencies also used a range of other schemes, including
traineeships, school to work programmes, placements under the Indigenous Leadership programme, a Certificate
IV programme and a job-ready programme.
Twenty-six per cent of agencies identified that they had used recruitment strategies other than those specified in
the agency survey. These included intern placements, scholarships developed in collaboration with universities,
work experience, providing advice of vacancies to Indigenous employment agencies or Job Network providers,
running seminars and information groups in Indigenous communities about job vacancies, participating in
Indigenous job markets, and participation in a cross agency Indigenous recruitment strategy.

Only a minority (36%) of agencies were collecting data on Indigenous applicants, increasing to 42% if those
agencies that indicated that this strategy was not applicable are excluded. This is, however, a slight increase on
last year.

Retention strategies

Measures to retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees continue to be more common than measures
to recruit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. Sixty-nine per cent of agencies used one or more
measures to retain their Indigenous employees, which is similar to 2005. However, 26 agencies had no measures
in place. Of these 19 indicated that these measures were not applicable as they had no Indigenous staff .

This year the agency survey asked agencies about a much larger selection of retention measures. Table 5.9 sets
out the overall frequency of strategies used by agencies to retain Indigenous Australians in 2006.

The most common retention strategy was provision of special leave (for example, ceremonial leave), followed by
encouragement to participate in the Indigenous APS Employees’ Network (IAPSEN). The use of both had
increased slightly since last year.

Sixty-one per cent of applicable agencies also reported that they provide study options to their
Indigenousemployees. Of these, the majority provided additional study hours, with some agencies providing
undergraduate scholarships, pre-tertiary or bridging scholarships and post graduate scholarships.


Table 5.9: Agency strategies to retain Indigenous employees, 2005–06

        Retention strategies                                 Number of agencies (N = 84)
                                                                                         Not applicable (no
                                               In           Being         Not in
                                                                                            Indigenous
                                             place        developed       place
                                                                                            employees)
Special employment measures                  16       3                 42          22
Identified positions                         20       1                 40          22
Encourage participation in the
Indigenous APS Employees’                    39       2                 21          22
Network
Operate an internal agency-based
                                             20       2                 38          22
Indigenous employees’ network
Provide study options                        37       2                 22          22
Provide culturally specific training
programmes for Indigenous                    11       4                 46          22
employees
Provide Indigenous cultural
awareness training for all                   21       8                 32          22
employees
Provide special leave provisions
                                             50       1                 12          21
(e.g. ceremonial leave)
Provide targeted leadership
                                             22       1                 38          22
development opportunities
Provide mentoring and/or coaching            27       4                 30          21
Table 5.9: Agency strategies to retain Indigenous employees, 2005–06

        Retention strategies                                  Number of agencies (N = 84)
                                                                                         Not applicable (no
                                               In            Being        Not in
                                                                                            Indigenous
                                             place         developed      place
                                                                                            employees)
to Indigenous employees
Provide mobility and/or secondment
opportunities into mainstream      18                  6                 37         22
positions
Other retention strategies                   10        2                 38         19

Note: Agencies that did not respond to the question relating to the particular strategy are not included in
the table.

Source: Agency survey

Only a minority of agencies provided Indigenous cultural awareness training for all employees. Of theseagencies
the majority provide training run by outsourced providers. Agencies providing targeted leadershipdevelopment
opportunities mostly used Commission run courses.

Twenty-nine per cent of agencies undertook exit interviews with Indigenous employees when they left the
organisation. This was a slight increase on last year.

Employee perceptions of agency support

Employees were generally positive about the support provided by their agency to Aboriginal and TorresStrait
Islander people, although results were not as strong as results for the support of women.

Almost two-thirds of employees (64%) agreed that their agency actively encourages the recruitment and
employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The level of agreement in large agencies ranged
from 32% to 87%. Of the large agencies, those with agreement rates significantly above the APS average were
Centrelink, DEST, FaCSIA, DFAT and Medicare Australia.

Just over half of employees (55%) agreed that their agency encouraged the retention of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people.The level of agreement in large agencies ranged from 30% to 77%. Of the large agencies,
those with agreement rates significantly above the APS average were Centrelink, DEST and Medicare Australia.

The majority of employees (65%) agreed that being an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander was not a barrier to
success in their workplace. SES employees were more likely to agree than APS and EL employees. The level of
agreement varied across large agencies, ranging from 43% to 84%.

There were no significant differences between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and other
employees on any of these statements.


Employee engagement and job satisfaction

As reported in Chapter 3, Indigenous employees had higher rates of overall job satisfaction than other employees.
                                                                                                                   18
However, their satisfaction against a range of employee engagement factors was more mixed (see Figure 5.6).
In particular, Indigenous employees tended to be less satisfied than other employees on some factors, particularly
those relating to an understanding of their current role, the effectiveness of their work group, satisfaction with
immediate supervisor and governance. On other factors, diff erences were relatively small.

Figure 5.6: Employee satisfaction with factors identified through factor analysis—Indigenous and non-
Indigenous employees, 2005–06
Source: Employee survey


The lack of satisfaction against the ‘Understanding current role’ factor is of particular concern given the
importance, reported in Chapter 3, that many of this group place on having their duties and expectations made
clear.


People with disability
The MAC report, Employment of People with Disability in the APS, recommends a definition of disability that all
agencies should use when collecting and reporting data on disability status of employees (see the box on the
MAC report).

Agency survey results reinforce the need for the use of more systematic definitions of disability across the APS.
Only 26% of agencies were using a definition of disability when collecting data. Three main definition types were
identified—the definition in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the definition that has been used by the
Commission for APSED, and one based on a period of time (a person has a disability if they report a limitation,
restriction or impairment, which has lasted or is likely to last, at least six months and restricts everyday activities).

Until agencies implement the MAC recommended definition, data collection is based on agencies using a variety
of different approaches.

As noted above, the decline in employment of people with disability continued this year. In absolute terms, the
number of employees increased during 2002–03, but fell in each of the past three years. At June 2006, people
with disability represented 3.4% of ongoing APS employees, down from 5.3% in 1997. However, 5% of
employees reported having an ongoing disability in the employee survey.

Some of the decline in the employment of people with disability is due to a substantial decrease in the number of
positions at APS 1–2 levels, where people with disability were historically over-represented. However, over the
past 10 years representation of people with disability has dropped at all classification levels (see Figure 5.7).

Figure 5.7: Proportion of ongoing employees with disability, 1997 to 2006
Source: APSED


During 2005–06, representation of people with disability fell proportionally in all classification groups. The number
actually rose in EL, SES and trainee classifications, but the increases were smaller than the overall increase in
these classification groups.

Employees with disability are somewhat less likely to have graduate qualifications than other employees— at
June 2006, 42.0% of employees with disability had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with the APS
                  19
average of 51.9%.

Agencies with relatively high proportions of ongoing people with disability are the Commission (9.1%), Australian
Industrial Registry (7.8%), AIATSIS (7.0%) and Questacon (6.8%). These are all small agencies, so the actual
number of people with disability is relatively low.

Thirteen agencies reported that they had no ongoing employees with disability. All were small agencies.

Figure 5.8 shows the proportion of people with disability in agencies with more than 1000 ongoing employees.

Figure 5.8: Proportion of people with disability in agencies with more than 1000 ongoing employees, June
2006
Source: APSED


Overall, the engagement rate for people with disability fell this year (from 2.2% of all engagements in 2004–05 to
1.5% in 2005–06). The actual number of engagements rose (from 252 to 316), but the rise was proportionally less
than for the APS overall. The engagement rate is now half of what it was a decade ago.

During 2005–06, the separation rate for people with disability rose (from 4.1% to 4.8%) and the actual number of
separations also rose, from 429 to 456.The separation rate is still lower, however, than it was in 1996–97.


Challenges in the employment of people with disability

Agencies were less likely to report a range of specific challenges in relation to people with disability than they
were for similar challenges relating to Indigenous employment, and most agencies did not report facing a
challenge. As for challenges for Indigenous employment, a number of agencies identified each of the challenges
as not being applicable.

Less than half (39%) of agencies reported facing at least one challenge with regard to the employment of people
with a disability. Almost two-thirds of large agencies, however, reported facing one or more challenges.

The most common challenge facing agencies with respect to the employment of people with disability was the
difficulty in recruiting people with disability with the required skills (28% of applicable agencies).

Although less common overall, challenges in relation to people with disability tended to focus more on skills and
performance issues than the challenges for Indigenous employment, with difficulty in managing underperforming
employees with disability, and ensuring that employees with disability have skills and/or knowledge to meet the
agency’s requirements the second most commonly cited challenges.

Table 5.10 sets out the frequency of challenges faced by agencies in relation to the employment of people with
disability.


Table 5.10: Agency challenges in relation to employment of people with disability, 2005–
06

                                                                                     Number of agencies (N
                     Challenges faced by agencies
                                                                                            = 84)
                                                                                    Yes No Not applicable
Loss of valued employees with disability                                            7      51    25
Difficulty recruiting graduates with disability with required skills as
                                                                                    8      31    44
part of a formal graduate programme
Difficulty recruiting people with disability (other than for a formal
                                                                                    15     38    29
graduate programme) with required skills
Difficulty in managing underperforming employees with disability                    11     45    27
Difficulty providing mentors with appropriate experience for
                                                                                    6      35    42
employees with disability
Managing the cost of providing reasonable adjustment                                4      58    21
Difficulty in accessing information and/or assistance on reasonable
                                                                                    2      58    23
adjustment
Ensuring that employees with disability have skills and/or
                                                                                    11     54    18
knowledge to meet the agency’s requirements
Dealing with negative perceptions held by employees without
                                                                                    10     54    19
disability of people with disability
Other                                                                               0      38    17

Note: Agencies that did not respond to the question relating to the particular strategy are not included in
the table.

Source: Agency survey

Agency support for the employment of people with disability

The MAC report, Employment of People with Disability in the APS, highlights the importance of agency support
for people with disability. The report sets out eight objectives for promoting the employment of people with
disability, identifies a range of strategies for meeting those objectives, and calls on agencies to adopt strategies
most appropriate to their circumstances.
It is important for agencies to take action on each of the eight objectives outlined in the case study in light of
current trends in APS employment of people with disability.

        Management Advisory Committee report No.6—better practices to promote the employment of

people with disability

Objective 1: A culture that values diversity and actively promotes the employment of people with
disability. Strategies include:

        promoting commitment to upholding the APS Values of providing a workplace free from discrimination
         and promoting equity in employment
        highlighting the business case for employees with disability
        mainstreaming policies and procedures to encourage the recruitment and retention of people with
         disability by integrating them into day-to-day business planning processes.

Objective 2: Flexible recruitment strategies, accessible to applicants with disability. Strategies include:

        developing closer links with organisations specialising in placing people with disability in employment
        accepting applications in different formats and giving people with disability reasonable time to lodge
         applications
        making reasonable adjustments to direct testing arrangements required by applicants with disability.

Objective 3: Accessible training, cadetship and mentoring opportunities for people with disability.
Strategies include:

        establishing training schemes to provide work experience that will assist people with disability to
         compete in merit-based APS selection processes
        participating in mentoring programmes such as the Willing and Able Mentoring Programme to identify
         appropriate mentors for students with disability interested in a career in the APS.

Objective 4: Special employment measures to employ people with intellectual disability. Strategies
include:

        incorporating strategies to employ people with intellectual disability in agencies’ workplace diversity
         programmes
        using organisations such as the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator and/or the Disability
         Employment Network to assist in the design of appropriate positions.

Objective 5: Accessible premises, workplaces and supportive work environments for people with
disability. Strategies include:

        ensuring new premises and modifications to existing premises are readily accessible by people with
         disability
        identifying, in consultation with new employees with disability and with the assistance of organisations
         such as the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator and/or the Disability Employment Network, the
         reasonable adjustments required by new employees with disability, before they start
        incorporating in collective agreements and workplace diversity programmes flexible work practices that
         allow all employees, including employees with disability, to achieve an appropriate work-life balance.

Objective 6: Reduced complexity, cost and risk for managers employing people with disability. Strategies
include:

        developing a source of information and expertise to assist managers and employees, or access to
         external sources of information and assistance
        providing training and awareness programmes for managers and other APS employees on mental
         illness, depression or other related disorders
        participating in networks, for example, the Australian Employers’ Network on Disability.

Objective 7: A consistent conceptual framework for recruitment and retention strategies and uniform
arrangements for data collection. Strategies include:
        adopting the definition of ‘disability’ in section 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 for developing
         recruitment and retention strategies relating to the employment of people with disability
        adopting the definition of disability used by the ABS Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings
         2003 survey to collect data and statistics
        using the question identified in Chapter 6 of the report to collect data from employees and actively
         encouraging employees to provide this data.

Objective 8: Continuous improvement in recruiting and retaining people with disability.

        Providing information to the Commission on issues relating to disability, in response to surveys for the
         State of the Service report, that will enable reporting on the success of APS agencies in achieving
         continuous improvement in recruiting and retaining employees with disability.

Recruitment strategies

The number of agencies using measures to facilitate the recruitment of people with disability was greater than
those recruiting Indigenous employees. In the last 12 months, however, the number of agencies using strategies
to recruit people with disability declined. Seventy per cent of agencies used at least one or more strategies to
facilitate the recruitment of people with disability (lower than 80% in 2004–05 and 85% in 2003–04). Twenty-five
agencies did not have any strategies in place to recruit people with disability, an increase on the 17 reported last
year.

Table 5.11 sets out the number and types of strategies agencies use to facilitate the recruitment of people with
disability.

The most common measures used to recruit people with disability related to the support provided to applicants
during the selection process. Almost half of agencies provided assistance to people with disability during the
application process; the most frequent assistance given was the provision of guidance on how to address
selection criteria, with other forms of assistance including allowing extensions of time for applications to be
submitted, providing selection criteria in alternative formats, and allowing people with disability to submit
applications in alternate forms. One agency allowed site visits so that any specific questions the applicant might
have can be addressed and a separate email address that can trigger specific recruitment support.

At the interview stage of the selection process 42% of agencies reported that appropriate adjustments are made
to any interview testing situation. The most common type of adjustment made was ensuring that testing locations
are accessible to people with disability, for example suitable parking and entry and mobility within the building,
allowing extra time to complete tests, and administering tests in formats other than written. Almost a third of these
agencies indicated that they provided other forms of adjustment, including a sign language interpreter as required
and allowing case workers or support people to attend the interview or assessment.


Table 5.11: Agency strategies to recruit people with disability, 2004–05

                        Recruitment strategy                                   Number of agencies (N = 84)
                                                                                 In         Being          Not in
                                                                               place      developed        place
Special employment measures limiting employment
                                                                               0        2                 82
opportunities only to persons with an intellectual disability
Working with organisations that specialise in placing people
                                                                               19       1                 64
with a disability in employment
Advertising vacancies through disability employment and
                                                                               3        3                 78
support services/networks
Providing opportunities (such as traineeships or cadetships) for
people with disabilities to gain skills and experience under an  6                      3                 75
agency-based employment scheme
Providing assistance during the application process                            40       1                 43
Appropriate adjustments made to any interview testing situation 35                      2                 47
Table 5.11: Agency strategies to recruit people with disability, 2004–05

                         Recruitment strategy                                  Number of agencies (N = 84)
                                                                                 In         Being          Not in
                                                                               place      developed        place
Training of selection panels in appropriate interviewing
                                                                               14       8                 62
methods for people with disability
Ensuring any recruitment agencies contracted by your agency
                                                                               18       5                 61
encourages and support people with disability
Participating in mentoring programmes for students with
                                                                               1        2                 80
disability interested in a career in the APS
Other                                                                          2        1                 49

Note: Agencies that did not respond to the question about the particular strategy are not included in the
table.

Source: Agency survey

Working with organisations that specialise in placing people with disability in employment is another option open
to agencies to recruit people with disability. One in five agencies (21%) reported that they had worked with
organisations in this way, including working with Advance Personnel (Canberra) Inc, Disability Works Australia,
JobMatch ACT and CRS Australia.

No agencies had used the provisions under the Commissioner’s Directions for special employment measures to
employ people with intellectual disabilities. Twelve per cent of agencies, however, indicated they used contractors
(e.g. Koomarri Jobmatch, the Disability Employment Action Centre, Break Thru, Employment Solutions, and
Direct Employment) that specifically employ people with an intellectual disability. Such contractors were
predominantly used for outsourced work such as mail-outs. A small number of agencies also reported using these
contractors to recruit people with an intellectual disability into their agency.

Only a minority of agencies (30%) collected data on applicants with disability, increasing to a third if those
agencies that indicated that this strategy was not applicable are excluded.


Retention strategies

Measures to retain employees with disability continue to be more common than measures to recruit such
employees. This year the agency survey asked agencies about a much larger selection of retention measures.
Seventy-seven per cent of all agencies reported using at least one measure to retain employees with disability, a
slight decrease on the 80% of agencies last year, but higher than the 69% using retention strategies for
Indigenous employees.

Nineteen agencies did not have any measures in place to retain employees with disability. Fourteen of these
indicated that the strategies were not applicable to them as they had no employees with disability. Table 5.12 sets
out the number and types of strategies agencies use to retain employees with disability.

The most common strategies offered by agencies related to adaptive technology. The most popular types of
support provided by these agencies were access to flexible working arrangements, modification to the workspace,
providing parking spaces, providing Dragon (voice recognition) software and job redesign.

Most agencies allowed adaptive technology purchased for employees with disability to move with them if they
transfer within the department, but only a minority considered transferring adaptive technology between agencies
if employees are transferred or promoted to another agency. Funding for adaptive technology was slightly more
likely to be centralised than decentralised.

Just over half of applicable agencies reported that they provide a centralised source of information and expertise
to assist managers and employees with disability; this might be in the form of disability action officers, case
managers or ready access to external sources of information. The remaining measures to retain employees with
disability were used by a minority of applicable agencies.


Table 5.12: Agency strategies to retain people with disability, 2005–06

                Retention strategy                                Number of agencies (N = 84)
                                                                                            Not applicable
                                                           In    Being   Not in
                                                                                              (no people
                                                         place developed place
                                                                                            with disability)
Special employment measures                              13       4               50        17
A disability action plan                                 25       10              31        15
A centralised source of information and
expertise (such as disability action officers,
case managers or ready access to external      39                 3               26        15
sources of information) to assist managers and
employees with disability
Access to adaptive technology or other
                                                         57       0               10        17
practical support
Centralised funding for adaptive technology or
                                                         32       2               31        18
other forms of practical support
Decentralised funding for adaptive technology
                                                         27       0               36        20
or other forms of practical support
Access to Workplace Modification Schemes                 21       2               42        18
Adaptive technology provided to employees is
transferred with them when they move within              48       1               13        21
agencies
Adaptive technology provided to employees is
transferred with them when they move between 21                   2               36        24
agencies
Disability awareness training programme for
                                                         15       9               42        17
employees generally
Encourage participation in a network for people
                                                14                6               45        18
with a disability
Operate an agency network for people with
                                                         4        4               57        18
disability
Identify mentor for employees with disability            10       4               51        18
Appoint an advocate for people with disability           11       1               53        18
Other retention strategies                               4        1               41        15

Note: Agencies that did not respond to the question about the particular strategy are not included in the
table.

Source: Agency survey

The MAC report emphasised the importance of agencies facilitating workplace adjustments for people with
disability. Employee survey results reinforce this finding. Almost half, 47%, of employees with an on-going
disability required workplace adjustments in the workplace. The most common types of adjustments were
adjustments to people’s workspace, including workstation modifications, specialised equipment, such as
Teletypewriters (TTY) for those with speech or hearing impairments, voice recognition software and screen
reading software and changes to work practices, including management of schedules and reduced hours and
ready access to appropriate parking and bathroom facilities.

Employee perceptions of agency support

Most employees appear to regard their agency as supportive of people with disability, with results generallybeing
similar to perceptions of support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, but lower than for women.

Sixty-one per cent of employees agreed that their agency actively encourages the recruitment and employment of
people with disability.The level of agreement in large agencies ranged from 36% to 76%. Of the large agencies,
those with agreement rates significantly above the APS average were ATO, Centrelink, DEST, and FaCSIA.

Employees with disability were less likely to agree that their agency actively encourages the recruitmentand
employment of people with disability (54%), compared with people not in this group (61%).

Over half of employees (55%) agreed that their agency encouraged the retention of employees with disability. The
level of agreement in large agencies ranged from 33% to 68%. Of the large agencies, those with agreement rates
significantly above the APS average were ABS, Centrelink, CRS Australia, DEST and Medicare Australia.

There was no difference between views of employees with disability and employees not in this group in relation to
the encouragement of the retention of employees with disability.

Sixty-one per cent of employees agreed that having a disability was not a barrier to success in their workplace.
The level of agreement in large agencies ranged from 37% to 76%.The majority of large agencies’ agreement
rates were similar to the APS average.

There was no difference between views of employees with disability and employees not in this group as to
whether a disability was a barrier to success.


Employee engagement and job satisfaction

As reported in Chapter 3, people with disability reported similar job satisfaction ratings to other employees (70%
compared to 73%), and generally job satisfaction for this group appears to have improved over the last four years.

Nevertheless, people with disability had lower satisfaction ratings against all employee engagement factors (see
            20
Figure 5.9). The largest differences were for the factors relating to governance, work-life balance and learning
and development, merit, and diversity. Despite some improvements, continuing lower rates of satisfaction on a
range of survey questions over a number of State of the Service reports reinforce the importance of agencies
taking action against all of the eight objectives identified by MAC and outlined above.

Figure 5.9: Employee satisfaction with factors identified through factor analysis—people with disability
and people without disability, 2005–06
Source: Employee survey


Employees from a non-English speaking background
As indicated earlier in this chapter, the term ‘NESB’ is used in APSED to represent people from a non-English
speaking background. In the absence of an alternative, the measure used to analyse data for this purpose is
NESB1, which includes people born overseas whose first language was not English. NESB2 data, which includes
children of certain migrants, has not been included as there is little evidence of employment disadvantage having
occurred for this group.

                                                                                                                21
The proportion of APS employees who identified themselves as being from a non-English speaking background
rose again this year to 5.6%, up from 5.4% last year and 5.3% in 2004. Representation for this group has been
quite stable over the past decade and, indeed, is higher now than it was 10 years ago.

The proportion of employee survey respondents identifying themselves as from a non-English
speakingbackground, defined as being born outside of Australia and not speaking English as a first language,
was 15%, closer to the combined figures for NESB1 and NESB2 (13%) from APSED. Given this result it is likely
there may have been some definitional confusion among respondents, but the extent of this cannot be assessed.
It is also possible that there is some under-reporting on APSED. Given the disparity in results, the employee
survey results in relation to employees from non-English speaking backgrounds should be treated with some
caution.

The 10 most common countries of origin for APS employees born overseas, beginning with the most common,
were: England, India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Scotland, Hong Kong and China.

The five most common first languages, other than English, spoken by APS employees, beginning with the most
common, were: Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin), Italian, Greek, German and Vietnamese.

The representation of employees from a non-English speaking background by classification has remained steady
over the past 10 years. The exception is trainee and graduate trainee classifications, where this group’s
representation has ranged from 6.6% in 2000 to 3.0% in 2002—at June 2006 it was 4.0%. Compared with the
APS overall, employees from a non-English speaking background are slightly more concentrated at APS 3–4 and
APS 5–6 classifications and slightly less represented at the EL group, but the differences are only small.
However, representation at SES levels is much lower, with 0.6% of employees from a non-English speaking
background at the SES level compared to 1.7% of the APS as a whole.
Employees from a non-English speaking background are much more likely to have graduate qualifications than
are other employees—at June 2006, 73.2% of NESB1 employees had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared
                               22
with the APS average of 51.9%.

Representation of employees from a non-English speaking background varied between agencies, with the highest
representation in the Royal Australian Mint (26.5%), Australian Fair Pay Commission, Commonwealth Grants
Commission (both 20.0%), National Library of Australia (17.2%) and IP Australia (15.8%). Figure 5.10 shows
representation for those agencies with more than 1000 ongoing employees.

Figure 5.10: Representation of NESB1 employees in agencies with more than 1000 ongoing employees,
June 2006




Source: APSED
Agency support for the employment of people from non-English speaking
backgrounds

The large majority of employees believed that their agency was supportive of the employment of people from non-
English speaking backgrounds, with agreement levels similar to those relating to support for women. Eighty-two
per cent of employees agreed that their agency actively encourages the recruitmentand employment of people
from non-English speaking backgrounds. The level of agreement in large agencies was generally high, ranging
from 66% to 92%.There was no difference on this statement according to non-English speaking background
status.

Just over two-thirds of employees (67%) agreed that their agency encouraged the retention of employees from
non-English speaking backgrounds.The level of agreement in large agencies ranged from 53% to 79%. Of the
large agencies, those with agreement rates significantly above the APS average were ABS, Centrelink and
Medicare Australia.

Employees from non-English speaking backgrounds were less likely to agree that their agency actively
encourages the retention of employees from non-English speaking backgrounds compared with employees not in
this group.

Seventy-six per cent of employees agreed that cultural background was not a barrier to success in their
workplace. The level of agreement in large agencies was generally high, ranging from 63% to 83%. However,
employees from non-English speaking backgrounds were less likely to agree than other employees.

As with support for Indigenous employees and people with disability, employees outside the ACT were more likely
to agree with each question.


Employee engagement and job satisfaction

Employees from non-English speaking backgrounds reported similar overall levels of job satisfaction to other
employees. They also reported few differences in their satisfaction with the range of employee engagement
                             23
factors shown at Figure 5.11. The largest differences were the factors relating to senior/ leaders culture and
understanding current role, where they were both more positive than other employees.

Figure 5.11: Employee satisfaction with factors identified through factor analysis—NESB1 and non-
NESB1 employees, 2005–06




Source: Employee survey
Age diversity
Encouraging diversity in the age structure of an agency is an important part of overall approaches to workplace
diversity. This is particularly so given the ageing of the APS workforce over the last 10 years. The changing age
profile of the APS is shown in Figure 5.12.

In response to demographic change, APS agencies need to take a systematic approach to workforce planning,
implement strategies to recruit and retain employees in high demand and build the capability of their workforce for
the future. To do this, the APS needs to provide a work environment which is attractive to employees of all ages.

Figure 5.12: Ongoing employees—age profile, 1997 and 2006




Source: APSED


The APS is increasingly reliant on mature-aged employees (i.e. those aged 45 and over). This group now
represents 40.8% of the APS ongoing workforce, although there is significant variation between agencies (see
Chapter 2).

There are a number of factors that are likely to affect the ability of the APS to retain mature-aged employees.
These include access to flexible working arrangements, the earnings rates of the superannuation funds, which
affect the benefits available to those who resign before age 55, and general levels of job satisfaction.

As noted in Chapter 2, the APS has had some success in encouraging the retention of mature-aged workers.
                                                 24
Figure 5.13 shows trends in the separation rate for APS employees in the 50–64 age range in 1996–97 and
2005–06. It shows that in the earlier period there was a steady rise in the separation rate for older workers; the
data for 2005–06 clearly shows a peak in separations at age 54 (the 54/11 effect), but otherwise lower separation
rates for those employees aged less than 54 and aged 56 and above, compared with 1996–97.

Figure 5.13: Separation rates for ongoing employees aged 50 to 64, 1996–97 and 2005–06
Source: APSED


As reported in Chapter 3, mature-aged workers (those aged 45 years or over) tended to report higher overall
levels of job satisfaction than younger employees (76% and 71% respectively).

Differences in satisfaction for mature-aged workers on factors relating to employee engagement, tended to be
                         25
small (see Figure 5.14). However, they recorded slightly higher levels of satisfaction in relation to the factor
dealing with understanding current role and slightly lower levels of satisfaction on the ‘Diversity—recruitment and
retention’ factor.

Figure 5.14: Employee satisfaction with factors identified through factor analysis—mature-aged (45 years
and over) and younger (under 45 years) employees, 2005–06




Source: Employee survey


In addition to meeting the needs of mature-age workers, effective age diversity strategies need to look at how
agencies can attract and retain young people. This year, across the APS, there was a slight reversal of last year’s
decline in the number of ongoing employees aged less than 25 years. The growth in younger workers reflects
strong growth this year in employment of graduate and other trainees.

There are some distinctive features of the employment of young people in the APS. Younger workers are much
more likely to be employed on a non-ongoing basis than are other employees: at June 2006, 4.4% of ongoing
employees were aged less than 25, compared with 20.7% of non-ongoing employees. Younger employees also
have a higher separation rate, accounting for 6.0% of all separations during 2005–06, compared with their
representation in the APS of 4.4% at June 2006. The resignation rate for younger workers has increased steadily
over the past ten years, rising from 6.0% in 1996–97 to 9.8% in 2005–06. Although this may indicate greater job
mobility among generation Y employees it is important that agencies pay attention to the reasons that younger
employees are leaving, and encourage those that do leave to consider returning to the APS at some time in the
future.

APS agencies need to look at how to make their work environment more attractive to young people. This is likely
to cover a range of strategies including providing opportunities to combine work and study; to develop skills; to do
interesting work and to put their skills into practice.

As reported in Chapter 3, employees aged under 25 years have reported job satisfaction levels equal to or above
the APS for the last three years. However, their satisfaction against the employee engagement factors set out in
Figure 5.15 showed more variation than for mature-aged workers. In general, they had higher levels of
satisfaction on most factors. Differences were greatest for factors relating to work-life balance and learning and
development, diversity and senior leaders/culture. However, they were less likely than other employees to be
satisfied with their work group.

Figure 5.15: Employee satisfaction with factors identified through factor analysis—employees aged under
25 years and employees aged 25 years and over, 2005–06




Source: Employee survey


Work-life balance
Work-life balance in its broadest sense can be defined as a person’s satisfaction with their level of involvement in
the multiple roles in their life. The broader adoption of work-life balance as distinct from work-family balance
recognises both a broader concept of family and the recognition that care of dependent children is not the only
important non-work function that employees struggle to balance. In addition to the care of dependent children,
other life activities that need to be balanced with employment may include caring for ageing parents or extended
family members, study, volunteer work, sport and exercise, and hobbies.
Research has shown that work-life balance initiatives can have a direct impact on employees’ levels of
engagement and provide real benefits to organisations through increased productivity, organisational
                                                                                                26
commitment, improved morale and job satisfaction, reduced absenteeism, and reduced turnover.

This year the employee survey asked employees if having family responsibilities and/or using flexible working
arrangements were barriers to success or not in their workplaces. Results were encouraging. Sixty-two per cent
of employees agreed that family responsibilities were not a barrier to success; 16% of employees thought that
having family responsibilities was a barrier to success in their workplace. Fifty-eight per cent of employees agreed
that using flexible work practices was not a barrier to success and 16% of employees thought that it was.
However, when asked specifically if working part-time was a barrier to success only 47% of employees agreed
that it was not a barrier; 23% disagreed and thought that working part-time was a barrier to success.


Agency support for work-life balance

Support for work-life balance is an area of particular strength for the APS and is something that can be built on to
market the APS as an employer of choice and to attract and retain employees in a tight labour market. Agencies
provide an extensive range of work-life balance options to employees. Employees have a high level of take-up of
these options and are generally satisfied with their work-life balance in their current job. It will be important for the
APS to continue to do well in this area, particularly as a new generation of employees enters the APS that is likely
to view many of these initiatives as their right.

The most frequent work-life strategy used by agencies was part-time work, with all agencies providing this option.
Maternity leave at half pay and flexible working hours were used in all but a few agencies. Other very widely used
strategies were purchased leave arrangements and working from home (see ATAC study). The use of time off in
lieu arrangements, although still used by the majority of agencies, fell in 2006 and the provision of paid paternity
leave increased. Table 5.13 sets out the overall frequencyof strategies used by agencies to promote work-life
balance.

Around a fifth of agencies reported using other work-life strategies than those included in the agency survey. A
wide range of strategies were mentioned including school holiday programmes, health initiatives, and the salary
packaging of child care fees.


Table 5.13: Work-life balance strategies available in agencies, 2005–06

       Work-life balance strategies                                 Number of agencies (N =84)
                                                                                      No, but measure
                                                                   Being
                                                      Yes                       No provided on an informal
                                                                 developed
                                                                                            basis
Flex-time arrangements for non-APS level
                                         35                  0                  28 21
employees (e.g. for ELs)
Time off in lieu arrangements for ELs                 54     1                  3    26
Time off in lieu arrangements for the SES             25     0                  14 42
Purchased leave arrangements (e.g.
                                                      71     2                  11 N/A
48/52)
Recreation leave entitlement available at
                                                      52     0                  31 N/A
half pay
Maternity leave entitlement available at
                                                      82     0                  2    N/A
half pay
Paid paternity leave                                  56     3                  25 N/A
Paid adoption leave                                   62     5                  17 N/A
More than 12 weeks paid ‘maternity’ leave 39                 3                  42 N/A
Paid ‘parental’ leave other than those
                                                      21     0                  62 N/A
specified (e.g. maternity, paternity,
Table 5.13: Work-life balance strategies available in agencies, 2005–06

        Work-life balance strategies                             Number of agencies (N =84)
                                                                                  No, but measure
                                                                Being
                                                    Yes                     No provided on an informal
                                                              developed
                                                                                        basis
adoption)
Job share arrangements                              51    1                 20 12
Flexible working hours                              80    0                 1    3
Compressed work week (37.5 hrs in less
                                                    29    0                 42 13
than 5 days)
Working from home                                   70    2                 6    6
Part-time work                                      84    0                 0    0
Other                                               15    0                 21 1

Note: Agencies that did not respond to the question about a particular strategy are not included in the
table.

Source: Agency survey

In addition to specific agency measures in relation to maternity and paternity leave, all APS agencies are required
to provide 12 weeks paid maternity leave under the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973. The
Workplace Relations Act 1996 also provides a minimum entitlement to 52 weeks of unpaid parental leave
following the birth or adoption of a child, one week unpaid paternity leave around the birth of a child and up to
three weeks of unpaid leave as a couple when adopting.

There has been an increase in the total number of women commencing a period of maternity leave (from 2471 in
2004–05 to 2538 in 2005–06). The number was substantially higher than was reported five years ago (1624 in
2000–01). Of the women who commenced maternity leave in 2004–05, 8.0% (198) had separated from the APS
by 30 June 2006.


Use of flexible working arrangements

Flexible working arrangements are one of the top five workplace factors that impact on how satisfied employees
are with their job, and high levels of satisfaction with this factor were reported in Chapter 3.

Reflecting this satisfaction, employees report high levels of access to a range of flexible working arrangements
(see Table 5.14). Eighty-six per cent of employees report using flexible working arrangements in their current job.
Women and people with disability were more likely to use flexible working arrangements as were those with carer
responsibilities and those working part-time. Employees outside the ACT were more likely to use these
arrangements than those within the ACT. Classification had a strong impact on whether flexible working
arrangements were used, with APS 1–6 employees more likely to use flexible working arrangements (91%) than
either EL employees (73%) or SES employees (52%). The level of use of flexible working arrangements was high
across all large agencies ranging from 66% to 97%.

The use of different types of flexible working arrangements among employees varies considerably. By far the
most commonly reported mechanisms are flexible working hours and flex-time. The majority of other flexible
working arrangements were predominantly used on an ad-hoc basis by a minority of employees. The exception
was part-time work, which was not widely used, but when it was used, was used on a weekly basis. Job-sharing is
still not widely used in the APS.

        Australian Telework Advisory Committee (ATAC)
In March 2005, the formation of the Australian Telework Advisory Committee was announced by Senator the Hon.
Helen Coonan to advise on options and impediments to the development of telework for employees and
businesses. The committee consisted of representatives from government agencies, industry and small business.
This committee provided an opportunity for Government, the private sector and members of the public to share
telework experiences and consider strategies to maximise the opportunities and benefits provided by telework for
Australian workers.

Telework refers to activities that contractors and employees perform away from an employer’s primary site; it is
facilitated by information and communications technology and can contribute to a positive work-life balance. A
final report by ATAC that went to the Government early this year (February 2006) found that:

        despite research that suggests that employees undertaking telework can be 40% more productive than
         those in office environments the majority of workers and businesses are still reluctant to use these
         arrangements
        impediments to increased uptake were attitudinal, educational and management related rather than ICT
         related
        telework is able to meet and support society’s changing values and practices by removing traditional
         constraints of location and time, offering new and innovative working arrangements, satisfying changing
         expectations of many workers, especially younger workers who are seeking increasingly flexible
         lifestyles, and facilitating greater workforce participation.




Table 5.14: Use of flexible working arrangements by employees , 2005–06

                                                          Weekly       Fortnightly       Monthly       Ad-hoc
        Flexible working arrangements
                                                            %              %               %             %
Flexible working hours                                   40           7                 5             28
Flex-time                                                18           11                19            38
Time off in lieu                                         1            1                 2             31
Purchased leave                                          1            1                 1             14
Compressed weeks                                         1            1                 0             3
Working from home                                        2            0                 1             15
Working from locations other than your usual
                                                         1            1                 3             26
place of work
Part-time                                                13           1                 0             2
Job share                                                0            0                 0             1

Source: Employee survey

Reflecting the high use of flexible working arrangements, the majority of employees (54%) reported that their
flexible working needs were currently being met. However, 22% of employees indicated that they would like to
access working from home but currently could not, 10% would like to access flex-time and 9% would like to
access flexible working hours and compressed working weeks. Only 5% had no desire to use flexible working
arrangements.

The key reasons given for not being able to access flexible working arrangements were that the work demands in
an employee’s work area do not allow that degree of flexibility (61%), followed by not being allowed to by
management (28%) and not having enough people to allow for that degree of flexibility (23%).


Employee satisfaction with work-life balance

Consistent with the wide range of measures provided by agencies and the high rates of access to flexible work
arrangements, satisfaction with work-life balance for APS employees continues to be high. Sixty-eight per cent of
employees were satisfied with the work-life balance in their current job, 15% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
and 17% were dissatisfied.

Women were more likely to be satisfied with their work-life balance than men. There were no differences for the
other EEO groups. Younger employees (under 25 years of age) tended to be more satisfied than older workers
with their work-life balance.

Those with carer responsibilities were less satisfied with their work-life balance than those without carer
responsibilities. APS 1–6 employees were also more satisfied with their work-life balance (70%) than either EL
employees (60%) or the SES (42%).

Not surprisingly, satisfaction was also related positively both to satisfaction that an employees’ immediate
supervisor would support the use of flexible work practices and support staff to achieve an appropriate work-life
balance, and to satisfaction with their senior leaders in helping staff to achieve work-life balance. Satisfaction with
immediate supervisors and senior leaders in this area is discussed in more detail in Chapter 7.

Satisfaction with work-life balance in large agencies ranged from a low of 56% to a high of 80%. Employees in the
ABS were significantly more satisfied with their work-life balance when compared with the APS average.

Consistent with their feelings about their satisfaction with their work-life balance in their current job, 63% of
respondents also agreed that their workplace culture supports people to achieve a good work- life balance. This
was, however, a decrease on last year’s result of 68%. Satisfaction rates are similar to satisfaction rates in a
number of other jurisdictions. Fifty-seven per cent of Tasmanian respondents, 60% of Victorian respondents and
65% of Western Australian respondents agreed that their workplace culture was supportive of people achieving
                  27
work-life balance.

Women, younger employees (less than 25 years) and employees from small agencies were more satisfied and
people with disability and people from non-english speaking background were less satisfied that their workplace
culture supports people to achieve a good work-life balance. Consistent with previous results, APS 1–6
employees were significantly more satisfied that their workplace culture supports people to achieve work-life
balance (65%) compared with EL employees (59%) and the SES (54%), although differences were not as marked
as when employees were asked to think about their current job.

Not surprisingly, as for satisfaction with work-life balance in employees’ current job, satisfaction was also related
positively both to satisfaction that an employees’ immediate supervisor would support the use of flexible work
practices and support staff to achieve an appropriate work-life balance, and to satisfaction with their senior
leaders in helping staff to achieve work-life balance. These issues are discussed in more detail in Chapter 7.

Results for large agencies ranged from a low of 43% to a high of 84%. Employees in the ABS, CRS Australia,
DEST, DITR and DVA were significantly more likely to agree that their workplace culture supported people to
achieve work-life balance.


Average hours worked in the last six months

Flexible working arrangements are particularly important for employees in balancing their work and outside work
commitments when they are working long hours. There continues to be a large number of employees working
long hours in the APS. More than half (56%) of employees reported that they worked more or significantly more
than their ‘standard or agreed’ hours (or for SES employees a ‘reasonable’ number of hours), on average over the
last six months.This was a fall from the 63% who reported working these hours in 2005, but was consistent with
the results in 2004.

Although the overall proportion of employees working longer hours has declined, the proportion working
significantly more has remained the same (21%). The difference relates to the proportion working more but not
significantly more, than their standard or agreed hours (35% down from 42% last year). Reflecting this decrease,
the number of people working around their standard or agreed hours increased (42% from 36% in 2005, similar to
the proportion for 2004).

Not surprisingly, the number of employees who reported working more, or significantly more, than their agreed
hours increased with classification (see Figure 5.16).

Figure 5.16: Proportion of employees working more, or significantly more, than a standard or agreed
number of hours on average over the past six months, 2003–04, 2004–05 and 2005–06
Source: Employee survey


Groups more likely to work more than standard and/or agreed (or reasonable) hours were those in the ACT, in
small and medium agencies, ongoing employees and full-time employees. This year saw a drop in the proportion
of part-time employees working more than their standard or agreed hours.

There was a wide variation among large agencies in the proportion of employees reporting that they had worked
more than their standard or agreed hours.The result ranged from a low of 45% to a high of 81%, with employees
in ATO and DVA significantly less likely to work more than their standard or agreed hours when compared to the
APS average.


Carer responsibilities

A significant proportion of APS employees (38%) reported that they had carer responsibilities (a proportion similar
to that found in the last three year’s surveys). Of those with caring responsibilities most had only one form of
responsibility (67%), lower than the results for the last two years. However, 32% of carers had two or more
different types of caring responsibility.

Carers were most likely to care for children between five and 16 years of age (62% of carers), followed by
children under five years old (25%), dependent children over 16 years of age and aged parents (both 19%). This
year there was a decline in the number of employees caring for children under five years old and an increase in
those caring for aged parents.

This year was the first time that caring responsibilities for partners or extended family members was included as a
separate response option. Five per cent of employees indicated that they cared for a partner with acute or long-
term health problems and 4% reported that they cared for aged relatives and/or extended family members. Carers
were still least likely to care for disabled dependants (2%).

Employees with carer responsibilities were more likely to be women, in the 35–54 year age bracket, at the EL
classification, and located outside the ACT. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees continue to be much
more likely to report having carer responsibilities (65% compared to 37% for non-Indigenous employees).
Employees from a non-English speaking background also report higher rates of caring responsibilities. Carers
were more likely to be ongoing and working part-time.

Women and men were equally likely to care for children up to 16 years of age, however, women were more likely
to care for dependent children over 16 years, aged parents, aged relatives and/or extended family members. Men
were more likely to be caring for a partner with acute or long-term health problems.

Carers were asked how often over the last 12 months they had personally used leave or some other arrangement
at short notice to care for those for whom they are responsible. The results are shown at Figure 5.17. Carers were
most likely to take between one and five days of carer’s leave (or similar arrangement) (63%) with only 11%
taking no such leave. Results were generally similar to results for 2004 and 2005.

Figure 5.17: Proportion of carers reporting days used for carer’s leave or similar arrangements, 2003–04,
2004–05 and 2005–06




Source: Employee survey


There was little difference between women and men in the use of leave, although women were more likely to
report that they had not used carer’s leave (13% compared with 8% for men). Employees with disability and
employees from non-English speaking backgrounds were more likely to use more than 10 days leave.


Bullying, harassment and discrimination
One element of the Code of Conduct as set out in the Public Service Act 1999 is the requirement that APS
employees, when acting in the course of APS employment, treat everyone with respect and courtesy and without
             28
harassment. This requirement is closely linked to valuing and encouraging diversity in the workplace, which
needs to be based on respect for differences between employees. It operates in tandem with protections for
employees under federal anti-discrimination legislation, and relevant State legislation, where federal anti-
discrimination legislation does not apply.

                                   29                              30
A detailed analysis of discrimination and bullying and harassment was undertaken in the State of the Service
Report 2003–04, which found that employees were more likely to report that they had experienced bullying or
harassment than discrimination. The 2006 employee survey did not ask about discrimination, but asked
employees whether they had experienced bullying or harassment during the last 12 months.

The incidence of bullying and harassment reported in the employee survey has been very consistent. During the
last 12 months 16% of employees believed that they had been subjected to bullying or harassment in the
workplace. This result is similar to the 17% of employees in 2005 and 15% of employees in 2004 that indicated
that they had experienced bullying and harassment.

Rates of perceived bullying and harassment tend to be slightly lower in the APS than in other jurisdictions. In
2005, just over one-quarter (26%) of Tasmanian respondents, 21% of Victorian respondents and in 2006, 21% of
                                                                                              31
Western Australian respondents indicated that they had experienced bullying or harassment. The differences
may reflect differences in the nature of the State and Australian Government public services.

Women continue to be more likely to believe that they have experienced bullying and harassment than men (19%
compared to 12%). Employees with disability were also more likely (24%) than those without disability (15%) to
believe that they have experienced bullying or harassment. There was no significant difference for Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander employees and employees from non-English speaking backgrounds in this year’s survey.
However, given the small number of Indigenous respondents, the result for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
employees should be treated with caution. The 2005 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee census
                                                                                                      32
survey found that 23% of Indigenous employees believed they had experienced bullying and harassment.

Classification level continued to be relevant to perceptions of bullying or harassment, with perceptions decreasing
as classification increases (see Figure 5.18).

Figure 5.18: Proportion of employees indicating they had experienced bullying or harassment,
byclassification, 2003–04 to 2005–06




Source: Employee survey


The range of employees believing that they had experienced bullying and harassment in large agencies was from
10% to 24%. The ABS and ATO had rates significantly below the APS average (a good result).

Just over one-fifth of employees (22%) believed that they had witnessed bullying or harassment in the last 12
months. Of these, over half (57%) also believed that they had experienced bullying or harassment. Women were
more likely than men to believe that they have witnessed bullying or harassment; there were no other statistically
significant differences based on EEO group. There were some differences based on classification—APS 1–6 level
employees (23%) were more likely than EL or SES employees (18% and 15% respectively) to indicate that they
had witnessed bullying or harassment.

The range of employees believing that they had witnessed bullying and harassment in large agencies was from
10% to 41%. ABS had rates significantly below the APS average.

Rates of formally reporting bullying and harassment among those who had experienced it were relatively low.
Employees who believed that they had experienced bullying or harassment were very unlikely to report it (28%).
When employees who had believed they had witnessed bullying or harassment in the last 12 months are
included, two out of five (42%) reported it. Employees who believed that they had, both experienced and
witnessed bullying or harassment were more likely to report it, than those that had only witnessed or experienced
such behaviour.

Employees that did not report the bullying or harassment were asked to outline the reasons why they chose not to
report it. Three key themes emerged as to the reasons why employees choose not to report the incident:

        a fear of negative repercussions associated with a formal report or complaint (such as a negative effect
         on career or possible isolation)
        informally dealing with the issue, either personally or through the assistance of a manager
        a perception that it was easier not to formally address the issue, not worth the effort and that there was
         little likelihood of positive improvement if reported.

Less commonly, employees referred to nepotism amongst those in positions of power, and the perceived
protection of key individuals from bullying or harassment claims.
Agencies need to be proactive in creating and promoting a workplace culture which is free from bullying and
harassment. They also need to make sure they have the mechanisms in place to support employees who have
experienced or observed bullying or harassment. Education is an important part of this process, and to assist
agencies in this area the Commission will be releasing a practical guide titled Respect: A Good Practice Guide to
Promoting a Culture Free from Bullying and Harassment in the Australian Public Service in late 2006.


Safe workplaces
The APS Values require that safe, as well as fair, flexible and rewarding workplaces are provided to employees.
APS agencies have responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act
1991 to take all reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety of their employees while at work.
This general duty of care extends to the provision and maintenance of a safe working environment and systems
of work, including adequate facilities for employees’ welfare. APS employees are required to cooperate with their
employer to ensure that they do not create a risk, or increase an existing risk, to their own health and safety or
that of other persons.

Although the primary focus should be injury prevention, under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act
1988 responsibility extends to APS agencies and injured employees to work together to ensure timely and
durable return to work is achieved.

The Australian Government’s workers’ compensation scheme provides fair and generous benefits and compares
favourably against other state/territory schemes on premium rates. However, increases in premiums over recent
years indicate that APS agencies need to improve both their injury prevention and their return to work strategies.

For 2006–07, Australian Government premium paying employers will pay around $206 million in workers’
compensation premiums, with APS agencies contributing around $168 million. The overall premium rate for
Australian Government employers has increased from 1.00% of payroll for 2001–02 to 1.77% for 2006–07, which
translates to $1,167 per full-time equivalent (FTE) employee.The overall premium rate for APS agencies in 2006–
07 is 1.91%, which translates to $1,193 per FTE employee.

Figure 5.19 shows the performance of current APS agencies from 2001–02 to 2005–06 against three key
performance indicators. The performance indicators used are:

        the incidence rate (number of claims per 1000 FTE employees) for compensated workplace injuries that
         resulted in five or more days off work
        the incidence rate for compensated workplace injuries that accumulated 30 or more days off work (an
         indicator of return to work performance)
        the incidence rate for compensated workplace injuries that accumulated 60 or more days off work (an
         indicator of return to work performance).

Although there was an increasing trend in the incidence of claims accumulating 30 and 60 or more day’s
incapacity in the years to 2004–05, performance of APS employers improved marginally against these indicators
in 2005–06. Irrespective of the reduction in 2005–06, the significant proportion of claims progressing to 30 and 60
days’ incapacity suggests that timeliness and effectiveness of rehabilitation may be an ongoing issue.

Figure 5.19: Incidence rate for compensated workplace injuries that resulted in 5, 30 and 60 or more days
off work—all APS employers
Source: Comcare


In 2002 the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council endorsed the National Occupational Health and Safety
Strategy 2002–2012 (the National OHS Strategy), which sets two national targets and providesthe framework for
ensuring there is a sustained and substantial improvement in Australia’s occupational health and safety
performance.

The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission adopted the National OHS Strategy targetsfor the
Australian Government jurisdiction, but went further by setting a zero target for workplace fatalities—this excludes
death from disease and commuting claims.The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission also
extended the workplace injury target to include disease and commuting injuries.

In addition to these targets, Australian Government premium paying employers have been asked to adopt a
further two targets—focusing on the duration of injury and the timeliness of rehabilitation intervention. In the ten
years to 30 June 2012, the four targets aim to:

        reduce the incidence of workplace injury and disease by 40% (T1)
        eliminate all fatalities due to work-related injury (T2)
        reduce the average lost time rate by 40% (T3)
        reduce the average time taken for rehabilitation intervention by 90% (T4).

Figures 5.20, 5.21 and 5.22 show that there have been variable results against three of the four indicators
mentioned above over the last 5 years.

Figure 5.20: Incidence of workplace injury and disease (T1 indicator)
Source: Comcare


Figure 5.21: Incidence of lost time due to injury (T3 indicator)




Source: Comcare


Figure 5.22: Average time taken for rehabilitation intervention (T4 indicator)
Source: Comcare


There is a need for substantial improvement, particularly in the area of return to work performance, as the
reductions required to meet these targets are not being achieved. Since the 2001–02 base year, current APS
employers have recorded:

        a 5% increase in the incidence of workplace injury and disease
        a 32% increase in the average lost time rate
        an 8% reduction in the average time taken for rehabilitation intervention.

Developing a strong safety and injury management culture within an organisation relies on commitment and
leadership from senior management. Australian Government employers have been invited to sign a ‘statement of
commitment’ signifying their commitment of working towards achieving the National OHS Strategy targets.

As at 30 June 2006, 39 current APS agencies (an increase of 16 agencies on last year) had signed a ‘statement
of commitment’. Based on FTE employee data, this group of agencies covers 85% of the workforce employed in
the APS. A list of Australian Government employers that have signed a ‘statement of commitment’ is available on
the Comcare website (http://www.comcare.gov.au).

Performance reports are available to APS agencies through Comcare’s Customer Information System (CIS). CIS
is an online system, which enables these employers to access their own detailed claims information and summary
level data. In implementing target setting, APS agencies have been encouraged to monitor their performance
using Comcare’s CIS and report their own performance in their annual reports.

Comcare continues to work in partnership with employers and stakeholders to achieve improvements in
injury/disease prevention and management. A number of publications are available on Comcare’s website to
assist APS agencies to develop strategies to improve their performance against the targets.


Key chapter findings
Commitment to workplace diversity and equal employment opportunity is an area of relative strength for the APS.
A wide range of agencies are investing considerable time and effort in promoting workplacediversity within their
workplaces and employees agree that their agencies take these issues seriously.

The APS has had some major successes. This has been most notable in the area of women’s employment. The
proportion of women in senior positions in the APS has improved substantially in recent times, and there are
strong signs that this will continue in the future. The growth in representation at the highest SES level, SES Band
3, reported in Chapter 2, is particularly positive, with women achieving a critical mass in this feeder group for
Departmental Secretary positions.
The general increase in women’s employment in the APS has also continued. Although this is pleasing, agencies
need to ensure that they make themselves attractive to a wide range of employees so that the APS can continue
to be representative of the community it serves. In time this may mean that the APS may need to recruit more
young men.

The APS also continues to show very positive results in the area of work-life balance. The sustained levels of high
satisfaction in work-life balance reflect the wide access that APS employees enjoy to a range of flexible working
arrangements, which appear to allow many APS employees to balance their non-work lives around long working
hours. The APS can build on its success in this area as it markets itself as an ‘employer of choice’ in an
increasingly tight labour market.

Understandably, satisfaction with work-life balance tends to decrease as classification level increases. This is, at
least in part, an inevitable impact of the increased responsibilities at the EL 2 and SES levels. It is important too,
to interpret this finding in light of the fact that SES generally report very high levels of job satisfaction.
Nevertheless, as agencies compete to attract staff, they may need to look at how they can assist their EL 2 and
SES employees to find a better balance, and to sustain their energy and all round effectiveness, or risk higher
turnover among this group. To date this does not appear to be an area of focus for agencies.

The APS also appears to be doing better at retaining its mature-aged workers, including through greater use of
flexible working arrangements.The representation of employees from non-English speaking backgrounds has
improved this year, after being relatively stable for the last decade. The increase in the employment of young
people and their relatively high levels of satisfaction is pleasing, but the APS clearly has to work harder at
supporting this group, encouraging them to build long-term careers in theAPS, or to consider returning to the APS
at a later stage if they do decide to leave.

The employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people with disability continue to be areas of
major challenge for the APS. Agencies are putting a range of strategies in place to supportthese groups, although
there is potential to improve levels of support, and for more agencies to make support a priority. There has also
been a wide range of initiatives implemented this year under the APS Employment and Capability Strategy for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employees.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees there have been some successes. In particular, increasing
representation at the EL classification levels and among graduate trainees bodes well for the future.
Nevertheless, the structural issues that are affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment,
particularly the reduction in the use of APS 1–2 levels, the increasing reliance on tertiary graduates, and
reductions in the representation of service delivery employees, are not easy to overcome. If Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander employment is to be put on a more sustainable footing, agenciesneed to make concerted efforts to
encourage Indigenous employment in a more diverse range of roles. It is unlikely, however, that we will see a
quick turnaround of the current trends.

In the case of people with disability, declining representation is accompanied by lower satisfaction against a range
of factors relevant to employee engagement. These results reinforce the importance of all agencies taking action
on the eight objectives identified by MAC to support the employment of people with disability. The Commission is
conducting further evaluation work in 2006–07 with the aim of producing a tool-kit that will provide further support
for agencies in this task.

Another area of concern for the APS is in the ongoing perceptions by a minority of APS employees that they have
experienced bullying and harassment. The level of perceived bullying and harassment has remained fairly
constant over the last few years. Although lower than in some other jurisdictions, the variation in agency
performance suggests that some agencies need to focus on improving their culture in this regard. Management
attention, clear expectations about behaviour, the development of formal policies, and early intervention when
things go wrong can all assist in promoting a respectful workplace culture.

Variable results have been achieved against the occupational health and safety targets set for Australian
Government employers. There continues to be a need for substantial improvement, particularly in the area of
return to work performance. Agencies’ senior managers need to display commitment to a strong safety and injury
management culture and to monitor and report on their performance.

More broadly, the onus is on APS leaders to demonstrate, and to expect from their staff, a clear commitment to
equity and workplace diversity. Building on our successes and addressing our weaknesses in these areas is likely
to have large pay-offs for the APS. Through its link to employee engagement such a focus will increase the level
of commitment of our employees and increase levels of retention. Ensuring that we draw on the full breadth and
diversity of the labour market to meet our demands for skilled employees, and that our work benefits from a broad
range of perspectives and ideas, will also provide direct benefits in terms of improved performance.
1.    Management Advisory Committee 2006, Employment of People with Disability in the APS, Commonwealth of
      Australia, Canberra
2.    If Medicare Australia had not moved into coverage under the Public Service Act 1999, women’s representation would
      have been 54.8%—an increase of 0.6 percentage points.
3.    In the absence of alternative measures, the concept ‘NESB’, representing people from a non-English speaking
      background, is used with APSED. This captures information about first language spoken, place of birth and parents’
      language. NESB1, the measure reported here, includes people born overseas whose first language was not English.
      NESB2 has previously been reported in addition to NESB1 and includes children of migrants, including those who
      were born overseas and arrived in Australia before the age of five and did not speak English as a first language, those
      who were Australian born but did not speak English as a first language and had at least one NESB1 parent, and those
      who were Australian born and neither of whose parents spoke English as a first language. Analysis of APSED data
      has found that this group does not have a substantial disadvantage compared to other workers, and it is therefore not
      reported on here.
4.    Due to improvements in the quality of historical data, proportions in this table may differ from those published in
      previous years.
5.    The jurisdictional comparison data from surveys conducted in 2004–05 and 2005–06 was provided to the Commission
      by the State Services Authority, Victoria (People Matter Survey 2005); the Office of the State Service Commissioner,
      Tasmania (State Service Employee Survey 2005); and the Office of the Public Sector Standards Commissioner,
      Western Australia (Climate Survey 2005–06). While the Victorian and Tasmanian surveys covered the jurisdiction, the
      Victorian jurisdictional comparison data was based on web-based responses only. The Western Australian Climate
      Survey involved 14 agencies—each year 10–15 agencies are surveyed with each agency being surveyed
      approximately once every 5 years.
6.    See Appendix 4 for further details of the factor analysis.
7.    Excluding Medicare Australia, the proportion for 2005–06 was 59.9%.
8.    As mentioned in Chapter 2, unlike in previous years, APSED data for DHS includes CSA and CRS Australia which
      are both legally part of the Department. Separate employee survey results for CSA and CRS Australia, however, are
      provided where they are significantly different from the APS average on important variables. DHS itself was too small
      for employees to be included in the employee survey.
9.    Full details of the factor analysis, including details of the methodology and questions used, are in Appendix 4.
10.   ABS 2002, Census of Population and Housing 2001, ABS, Canberra
11.   The number of Indigenous SES reported last year for 2005 was 20. Due to improvements in data quality, this has
      been revised to 17.
12.   The method used to calculate the proportion of employees with graduate or tertiary qualifications includes those with
      qualifications at bachelor degree and above. It excludes from the denominator those for whom no data was provided
      by agencies, and those who chose not to provide details for their highest educational qualification.
13.   Census Report—Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander APS Employees, 2006, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra
14.   Identified positions have specific selection criteria that require applicants to demonstrate knowledge and
      understanding of issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and an ability to communicate
      sensitively and effectively with them. Traditionally, these have been based on two core selection criteria specifically
      addressing these issues.
15.   Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 4.2, 4.3 and 4.6A allows agency heads to limit specified employment
      opportunities to Indigenous applicants within the framework provided by Commonwealth discrimination legislation.
16.   Agency heads can create positions that require an understanding of Indigenous culture and issues faced by
      Indigenous Australians, and the ability deal effectively and sensitively with these issues. While it is likely that these
      positions will be occupied by Indigenous Australians, recruitment is on the basis of merit and not confined to
      Indigenous Australians.
17.   Public Service Regulation 3.3 provides that agency heads may approve schemes enabling non-ongoing APS
      employees to gain skills and experience for the purpose of assisting them to participate in the workforce.
18.   For further information on factor analysis see Appendix 4.
19.    The method used to calculate the proportion of employees with graduate or tertiary qualifications includes those with
      qualifications at bachelor degree and above. It excludes from the denominator those for whom no data was provided
      by agencies, and those who chose not to provide details for their highest educational qualification.
20.   For further information on factor analysis see Appendix 4.
21.    Employees from non-English speaking backgrounds refer only to those people born overseas whose first language
      was not English (those reported on APSED as NESB1).
22.   The method used to calculate the proportion of employees with graduate or tertiary qualifications includes those with
      qualifications at bachelor degree and above. It excludes from the denominator those for whom no data was provided
      by agencies, and those who chose not to provide details for their highest educational qualification.
23.   See Appendix 4.
24.   The separation rate is calculated as the proportion of employees separating at a particular age during the year,
      divided by the average number of employees at that age at the beginning and end of the financial year. The
      separation rate for those aged 64 and over in 1996–97 was inflated due to compulsory age retirement at that time.
      This meant that the number of separations was artificially high, and the number of employees at the beginning and
      end of the financial year (used in calculating the separation rate) was lower than is the case now. The number of
      volunteer redundancies, particularly for older employees, was also much higher that year.
25.   For further information on factor analysis see Appendix 4.
26.   Hudson, 20:20 Series/The Case for Work-life Balance: Closing the gap between policy and practice,
      <http://www.hudson.com.au>
27.   The jurisdictional comparison data from surveys conducted in 2004–05 and 2005–06 was provided to the Commission
      by the State Services Authority, Victoria (People Matter Survey 2005); the Office of the State Service Commissioner,
      Tasmania (State Service Employee Survey 2005); and the Office of the Public Sector Standards Commissioner,
      Western Australia (Climate Survey 2005–06). While the Victorian and Tasmanian surveys covered the jurisdiction, the
      Victorian jurisdictional comparison data was based on web-based responses only. The Western Australian Climate
      Survey involved 14 agencies—each year 10–15 agencies are surveyed with each agency being surveyed
      approximately once every 5 years.
28.   PS Act, s. 13(3).
29.   For the purpose of the employee survey, discrimination was defined as any distinction, exclusion or preference made
      on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction, social origin or other attributes that
      removes equality of opportunity of treatment in employment. It does not include any distinction, exclusion or
      preference in respect of a particular job based on the inherent requirementsof the job or any distinction, exclusion or
      preference which is a special measure to eliminate employment related disadvantage of a particular group.
30.   For the purpose of the employee survey workplace harassment was defined as entailing offensive, belittling or
      threatening behaviour directed at an individual or group of APS employees. The behaviour was described as
      unwelcome, unsolicited, usually unreciprocated and usually (but not always) repeated. The survey noted that there is
      no standard definition of workplace bullying, but stated that it is generally used to describe repeated workplace
      behaviour that could reasonably be considered to be humiliating, intimidating, threatening or demeaning to an
      individual or group of individuals. It also stated that it can be covert or overt.
31.   The jurisdictional comparison data from surveys conducted in 2004–05 and 2005–06 was provided to the Commission
      by the State Services Authority, Victoria (People Matter Survey 2005); the Office of the State Service Commissioner,
      Tasmania (State Service Employee Survey 2005); and the Office of the Public Sector Standards Commissioner,
      Western Australia (Climate Survey 2005–06). While the Victorian and Tasmanian surveys covered the jurisdiction, the
      Victorian jurisdictional comparison data was based on web-based responses only. The Western Australian Climate
      Survey involved 14 agencies—each year 10–15 agencies are surveyed with each agency being surveyed
      approximately once every 5 years.
32.   Further information on the results from the Census Survey can be found in the 2005 Aboriginal and Torres Strait
      Islander APS Employees Census Report, <www.apsc.gov.au>
Chapter 6: Learning and development
Learning and development can be viewed from the perspective of building organisational capability and in the
                                  1
context of employee engagement. Agencies need to consider learning and development as an essential part of
their strategic business and workforce planning processes and align learning and development activities to the
business outcomes of the agency. Planning for learning and development requires the same vigour and attention
as any other management task.

A strategic approach to learning and development opportunities is essential in maintaining and building the
capability of employees to meet the increasingly complex challenges of the 21st century. Well managed, learning
and development can deliver the right people with the right skills at the right time to enable agencies to deliver
government objectives and outcomes into the future. This approach is even more important in a tight labour
market, where we can expect to see employees move in and out of the APS with greater frequency, and where
employees may be promoted to higher positions before they have had the opportunity to build their capability
through experience on-the-job.

During 2006, the Commission, on behalf of the Public Service Commissioners’ Conference, drew together views
across jurisdictions and from relevant literature on the early detection of performance issues within agencies. A
range of indicators relevant to learning and development was identified as impacting on agency performance,
including the level of agency investment in learning and development, and the level of take-up of learning and
development opportunities within an organisation. Conversely, the failure to provide, or the failure of employees to
take up, learning and development related to business needs was viewed as one indicator of an underperforming
agency.

From the perspective of employees, their access to learning and development opportunities affects how they see
their role and their general satisfaction with working in a particular agency. Access to learning and development
can significantly influence how employees engage with their agency, which is increasingly important as agencies
face competition to recruit and retain employees and to increase employee productivity.

Agencies have focused strongly on learning and development in 2005–06. For example:

        Centrelink has delivered a major training programme for its employees in the context of the
         implementation of the Welfare to Work reforms
        DCITA has implemented a school leavers’ programme which includes internal and external training and
         development
        Defence has provided 14,000 places for its employees on financial training courses
        DIMA has developed a College of Immigration, delivering consistent training to DIMA employees
        in response to the outcomes of its staff survey, PM&C provided increased funding for professional
         development.

                                                                                                                 2
The Commission, which has a statutory role to coordinate and support learning and development inthe APS,
both complements agencies’ internal learning and development activities and provides an APS-wide focus. The
Commission provides a comprehensive series of learning and development programmes specifically designed to
build the capability of employees at all classifications across the APS.

During 2005–06, there has been considerable refocusing and redevelopment of these programmes to ensure that
they continue to meet the needs of the current and future APS. This includes the expansion of the Integrated
Leadership System (ILS) to APS 1–6 classifications, allowing for the same clear pathway progression as is
currently available to EL and SES employees.

The Commission also maintains a panel of leadership, learning and development consultancy firms which are
able to deliver to agencies a range of development services targeted to their needs, and provides input into these
programmes.

Many of the changes to the Commission’s programmes have focused on issues related to leadership and whole
of government. These are discussed further in Chapter 7 and Chapter 10. The Commission also works closely
with ANZSOG and APS agencies to ensure that ANZSOG teaching programmes meet the needs of the APS by
building leadership capability and skills sets. The ANZSOG programmes are also discussed in more detail in
Chapter 7.

The focus on learning and development in Australia is consistent with a strong focus across international
jurisdictions. For example, in the UK, formal qualifications for civil servants have been, or are being, established in
the areas of emergency planning and leadership and management development. In both the UK and the USA
there has been a focus on improving the capability of information technology professionals. Canada has
established a new career-long public service learning and development initiative. In both the USA and NZ there
has been a focus on developing the capacity of potential graduate applicants, with the USA establishing a
programme to develop talented graduates for Federal public service careers and NZ running an internship
programme for honours or postgraduate students.

This chapter relies on information from the employee survey, including in relation to how employees’ learning and
development needs are documented and identified and employees’ views on their access to, their satisfaction
with, and the effectiveness of, learning and development. This year, the agency survey concentrated on issues of
leadership development. These results are discussed in Chapter 7.


Identification of development needs and access to learning
and development
Learning and development is relevant to job satisfaction and productivity. Nearly one-third of employees identify
opportunities to develop their skills as one of the top workforce influences on their job satisfaction. Nearly one
quarter of employees believe access to effective learning and development helped, or would help, to increase
their productivity in their current job.

This section looks at how employees had their learning and development needs identified, and their satisfaction
with their access to, and the management of, learning and development in their workplace.


Identification of learning and development

There is a strong focus on learning and development across the APS. The large majority of APS employees(75%)
had their learning and development needs identified and agreed with their manager. Around one in five (22%)
employees did not.

The fact that three-quarters of employees have reached formal agreements with their managers on learning and
development is a very positive result and reflects a strong push across the APS for consideration of learning and
development issues in performance management processes. Agencies need to maintain and improve these
efforts.

Agency size and classification influence the formal identification of learning and development needs. There are
significantly more employees in large agencies who have identified and agreed on their needs with their
managers than in medium or small agencies. In contrast, SES employees (64%) report lower identification of, and
agreement on, learning and development needs than APS 1–6 and EL employees (75% and 74% respectively).
Although SES employees may be expected to take greater responsibility for their own learning, this is still of some
                                                                                                              3
concern given the strong focus on SES capability development in the MAC statement One APS—One SES.

Learning and development needs, when identified and agreed, were generally documented in a formal individual
development plan (88% of relevant employees). SES employees who have had their learning and development
needs identified (72%) were less likely to have their needs documented in a formal plan than APS 1–6 and EL
employees (both 88% of relevant employees). However, documentation does not necessarily mean that plans are
acted upon. Only 41% of employees with formal plans had their agreed learning and development needs fully met
within the agreed timeframe. Employees in small agencies were least likely to have the agreed learning and
development provided in the timeframe.

Those employees whose learning and development had not been provided or only partially provided (56% of
relevant employees) cited a number of reasons why it had not taken place within the agreed timeframe. The most
common reasons were appropriate learning and development opportunities had not occurred (49% of relevant
employees), other things had taken priority (44%), employees had not had the time (28%) and there was no
money in the budget (16%). The most common reason cited by SES employees was that they had not had the
time. Other things were more likely to take priority for EL employees, and appropriate opportunities were more
likely not to occur for APS 1–6 employees.

Some other problems identified by employees affecting delivery of learning and development activities included:

        the employee changed jobs or had a new manager or supervisor
        senior management or corporate areas overrode agreed learning and development activities
        difficulty in access because of geographic location or personal circumstances such as carer
         responsibilities
        lack of staff to cover absences prevented access and if there was training, the backlog of work on return.


Satisfaction with the management of learning and development

Overall, most employees believed that their agencies place a high priority on learning and development. Just over
half (55%) of APS employees agreed with this statement, with only one in five employees disagreeing.

It is possible to make a number of broad comparisons regarding the APS’s performance on this issue using
survey results from some other Australian jurisdictions. In general, the commitment of agencies to learning and
development appears to be perceived as lower in the APS than in the Tasmanian and Victorian public services.
Sixty-five percent of Tasmanian public sector employees believed that their agency encourages professional
                4
development. Around three-quarters of Victorian employees (76%) agreed that their organisation is committed to
                           5
developing its employees. Results were similar though, to WA where 54% of employees agreed that sufficient
                                       6
training opportunities were available.

The employee survey also asked employees to choose the most important attributes they would like to see in an
immediate supervisor. Although the provision of access to learning and development was not one of the most
commonly selected attributes, one-fifth of employees did consider provision of access to effective learning and
development as one of the five most important attributes in an immediate supervisor. For those employees who
rated this as important, the majority were satisfied that their immediate supervisor had these attributes (59%), with
around 23% dissatisfied.

Employees were also asked to choose the five most important attributes they would like to see in senior leaders.
Twenty-six per cent of employees identified taking a genuine interest and assisting staff to develop through such
actions as coaching, mentoring and career planning as one of the five most important attributes in a senior leader.
However, only one-third of employees who considered these attributes to be important thought that their
agencies’ senior leaders demonstrated these attributes. A larger proportion of employees (40%) were dissatisfied
with their agency’s senior leaders. These results are discussed further in Chapter 7.


Individual satisfaction

The majority of employees were satisfied with their own access to learning and development. Overall, 61% of
employees were satisfied, with 18% expressing dissatisfaction.

Satisfaction with access varies across groups. Women were more satisfied than men. Location and classification
are also important. SES employees had the highest level of satisfaction with access to learning and development,
with APS 1–6 employees more satisfied than EL employees.

Employees in the ACT were significantly more satisfied with access than employees outside the ACT. This may
reflect concerns about the provision of learning and development in particular geographic locations. The level of
satisfaction with access to learning and development also varies depending on the type of work undertaken.
Table 6.1 sets out the level of satisfaction against the type of work.


Table 6.1: Satisfaction with access to learning and development opportunities by type of
work undertaken, 2005–06

                                           Satisfied          Neither satisfied nor
           Type of Work                                                                         Dissatisfied %
                                              %                  dissatisfied %
Policy                                   62              22                                    17
Research                                 70              20                                    9
Programme design and/or
                                         62              24                                    14
management
Service delivery to the general
                                         58              21                                    20
public
Exercising regulatory authority          43              27                                    29
Table 6.1: Satisfaction with access to learning and development opportunities by type of
work undertaken, 2005–06

                                           Satisfied           Neither satisfied nor
           Type of Work                                                                         Dissatisfied %
                                              %                   dissatisfied %
Legal                                    73              7                                      21
Corporate services                       66              19                                     15
Administrative support/clerical          64              20                                     15

Source: Employee survey

Table 6.1 shows that employees involved in legal or research work reported the highest levels of satisfaction with
access to learning and development. Employees exercising regulatory authority showed both the lowest level of
satisfaction and the highest level of dissatisfaction with access to learning and development in their agency.

This result is particularly significant given the concerns about the capability of employees exercising regulatory
                                                       7
authority in DIMIA expressed in the Comrie Report. The Comrie Report was primarily about the behaviour of
public servants who exercise regulatory authority and it supports the conclusion that regulators need to
understand more than just the regulatory provisions they apply. If employees are to understand the nature of their
authority, the broad legislative and constitutional framework from which it derives, its limits, the scope of any
discretion in its application, and how and when it is appropriate to exercise such discretion, targeted learning and
development opportunities are essential. Although the Comrie Report was specific to DIMIA, the employee survey
results suggest that there may be broader implications for the learning and development of APS employees
exercising regulatory authority.

Satisfaction with access to learning and development was also related to satisfaction with the employee
engagement factors identified through factor analysis (see Appendix 4), in particular factors relating to ‘Senior
leaders/culture’, ‘Merit’ and ‘Immediate supervisor’.

Satisfaction with access to learning and development opportunities varied across large agencies from a low of
46% to a high of 83%. ABS and Defence had satisfaction levels significantly above the APS average. A majority
of employees considered that access to learning and development is fair within the work group. Seventy-two
percent of employees agreed that their immediate manager ensured fair access to developmental opportunities
for employees in their work group, with only 11% disagreeing.

The consideration of learning and development needs should be an important part of performance feedback.
Results concerning this issue were generally positive, with nearly two-thirds of employees who reported having
received individual performance feedback agreeing that their learning and development needs were adequately
considered as part of their performance feedback discussion. One in six of these employees disagreed.


Amount of off-the-job learning and development
The amount of off-the-job learning and development reported by employees remains relatively consistent.

                                                                                                      8
In the last 12 months, half of all APS employees participated in either 3–5 days (28%) or 1–2 days, (22%) of off-
the-job learning and development activity. There appears to be a slight increase in the level of formal off-the-job
training in the APS in 2005–06, with the number of employees taking 3–5 days increasing from 25% in 2005 and
a corresponding fall in the proportion for 1–2 days from 24%. However, the proportion of employees taking 1–5
days (50%) has not changed significantly since 2003. A further 16% of employees participated in 6–10 days of
learning and development, and 13% participated in more than 10 days of learning and development activity.

Twenty-two per cent of employees spent no time in off-the-job learning and development during the last 12
months. This proportion has not changed significantly since 2004.

Although an indication of employees’ access to learning and development opportunities, care must be taken when
considering these results. In particular, they do not reflect the amount of on-the-job training received by
employees which, depending on the nature of the work and the experience of the employee, may be a more
appropriate and effective approach to training.
Access to learning and development was related to several factors, including:

        age (employees under 25 years were more likely to have more than 10 days learning and development
         than other age groups)
        sex (more female employees (24%) spent no time in learning and development than male employees
         (20%), and more male employees (15%) spent more than 10 days in learning and development than
         females (11%))
        agency size (employees working in large agencies were more likely to have spent no time in learning
         and development than those in small agencies, but when they did undertake training, they were more
         likely to have spent more than 10 days)
        classification (APS 1–6 employees were both more likely to have spent no time in learning and
         development and more than 10 days on learning and development, than EL and SES employees)
        type of work undertaken (employees in administrative support/clerical roles and service delivery to the
         general public were more likely to have spent no time in training, and employees engaged in research
         and corporate services were more likely to have spent more than 10 days in learning and development).

Comments provided by employees reflected recognition of the importance of learning and development but
highlighted the practical difficulties in undertaking it (comments are not necessarily representative of all
employees).

I need the training but don’t have the time. Increased productivity means doing the same job with fewer staff in
our agency. Under these circumstances training becomes the victim.

It is difficult to access training when resources are strained, and there is little time to spend on training.

My agency has excellent learning and development programmes, it is just sometimes difficult to fully take
advantage of them due to work pressures.


Effectiveness of learning and development in improving
performance
Employees were positive about how effective they thought the learning and development they had received in the
last 12 months was in helping improve performance. Nearly three-quarters of employees(73%) rated their learning
and development activities as high or moderate in improving their performance and only 18% rated them as low.

A number of factors influenced how employees rated the overall effectiveness of the learning and development
they had received:

        classification—EL employees were more likely to rate the effectiveness of learning and development as
         low than APS 1–6 employees
        sex—while there was no difference between male and female employees who rated the effectiveness of
         their learning and development as high, women were more likely to rate overall effectiveness as
         moderate and men more likely to rate overall effectiveness as low
        agency size—employees in medium agencies were less likely to rate overall effectiveness of their
         learning and development as low than employees in large or small agencies
        location—employees in the ACT were more likely to rate overall effectiveness of learning and
         development as high and less likely to rate it as low
        type of work—employees who exercised regulatory authority were more likely to rate overall
         effectiveness as low (32%) than employees in other work
        amount of time spent on training—the greater the amount of time undertaken in training the more
         employees were likely to rate the overall effectiveness of learning and development as high.


 Priority development areas
The employee survey asked respondents to consider their learning and development needs in the next 12 months
and to indicate the priority they would place on a number of nominated skills development areas.


Table 6.2: Priority for skills development, 2005–06
                                                                                                                No
                                                                          High      Medium        Low
                   Skills Development Area                                                                    priority
                                                                          (%)         (%)         (%)
                                                                                                                (%)
Leadership
(e.g. general leadership development, whole of
                                                                         43        27            21       9
government approaches, achieving results, shaping
strategic thinking)
Public Administration
(e.g. writing for government, policy development,                        22        29            36       14
implementation)
Corporate
(e.g. understanding the organisational setting, agency
                                                                         25        36            31       9
structure, priorities, key clients, service orientation, APS
and/or agency values, diversity)
Business
(e.g. planning, finance, human resources, project                        30        30            30       10
management, record keeping)
Technical, relevant to specific jobs (e.g. knowledge of
                                                        57                         24            15       5
specialist areas, legislation)
IT
                                                                         34        29            29       8
(e.g. training in agency specific IT systems)
Interpersonal skills
                                                                         38        32            24       5
(e.g. communication, conflict resolution, negotiation)
Self-management
(e.g. time management, learning and personal                             40        28            26       6
development, team participation, ethical behaviour)

Source: Employee survey

Table 6.2 shows the priority placed on a range of different skills development areas. Employees were most likely
to place the highest priority on developing technical skills or skills relevant to specific jobs and were least likely to
place a high priority on developing public administration skills. The development of leadership, self-management
and interpersonal skills also rated highly.

Other types of skills development needs identified by employees included completing formal study and continual
professional development, particularly in the legal area, facilitation and presentation skills, public speaking and
general management.

There were some minor differences in the priorities placed on learning and development needs depending on the
type of work undertaken in the APS. Technical and leadership skills were identified as the top two priorities by
employees working in policy, research, programme design or delivery, exercising regulatory authority and legal
areas. Technical skills remained the number one priority for the other three identified work areas, but leadership
was replaced by interpersonal skills for those employees involved in service delivery to the general public, by
business skills for corporate employees and by IT skills for those working in administrative support/clerical areas.


Key chapter findings
In 2005–06, there was a strong focus on learning and development across the APS. The majority of APS
employees considered that their agency places a high priority on learning and development, that their learning
and development needs are documented, and that they are satisfied with their access to, and the effectiveness of,
the learning and development they receive.
Nearly three-quarters of employees considered their manager ensures fair access to learning and development
opportunities across their work group. However, there is still a minority of employees who do not receive
significant amounts of formal learning and development, and comparisons with other jurisdictions indicate that
there is some room for improvement.

The fact that most employees have reached formal agreements with their managers on learning and development
and report that they have discussed learning and development during performance feedback are very positive
results, and reflect a strong push across the APS for consideration of learning and development issues in
performance management processes. Nevertheless, some agencies may need to look at increasing their focus on
learning and development within the performance management process for the minority of employees who do not
report these outcomes. A more systematic discussion of learning and development during performance feedback
may help in ensuring that a greater priority is given to implementing learning and development plans, as well as a
more strategic approach to developing plans that identify feasible and achievable learning and development
opportunities.

Access to learning and development appears to be a particular issue for APS employees located outside the
ACT, who report lower levels of access and effectiveness. With two-thirds of APS employees located outside the
ACT, this is particularly important.

Greater attention should be given to identifying and delivering learning and development for employees exercising
regulatory authority. These employees are the most dissatisfied group in relation to both access to learning and
development and its effectiveness. The findings of the Comrie Report indicated how important the capability of
this group of employees was for the operation of DIMIA. All agencies with employees involved in exercising
regulatory authority can learn lessons from the DIMIA experience to ensure that the learning and development
opportunities provided to this group target the technical aspects of the job and the employee’s understanding of
the source of the authority, the scope of any discretion and how to exercise it appropriately. The Commission is
developing new programmes in this area.

Another finding of some concern is that more than one-third of SES employees report that their learning and
development needs have not been identified or agreed on with their manager. Given the strong reinforcement of
the need for SES capability development in MAC’s One APS–One SES statement, this result is disappointing. It is
important that agency leadership and the SES focus as much on the capability development of the senior
leadership group as they do on that of other employees.

A strategic approach to learning and development is a crucial part of improving organisational capability and
overall levels of employee engagement. An agency’s approach to learning and development can be an important
component in positioning it as ‘an employer of choice’, allowing it to retain its skilled employees and to attract new
employees. This is already necessary today with skills shortages apparent in some areas. It will be essential in
the future, given the demographic challenges that are tightening the labour market and the signs that younger
generations of public servants want agencies to invest more in them than was once the case. Agencies will need
to focus increasingly both on overall approaches to learning and development that meet the needs of employees
and targeted initiatives for groups where skills shortages are particularly severe, such as cadetships.

Overall, this year’s results show that learning and development is an area of strength for the APS. However,
agencies need to keep a continuing focus on maintaining and improving their efforts.




    1.   Learning and development as discussed in this chapter refers to learning activities on-the-job as well as more formal
         off -the-job activities. Seminars, conferences, classroom training courses, leadership programmes, academic study,
         and in-house programmes are all included.
    2.   The Australian Public Service Commissioner is required to ‘coordinate and support APS-wide training and career
         development opportunities in the APS’ (s.41(1)(i) of the Public Service Act 1999).
    3.   Management Advisory Committee 2005, Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service: One APS—One
         SES, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
    4.   State Service Employee Survey Report 2005, State Services Commissioner, Tasmania.
    5.   People Matter Survey 2005, State Services Authority, Victoria.
    6.   Annual Compliance Report 2005–06, Office of the Public Sector Standards Commissioner, Western Australia.
    7.   Commonwealth Ombudsman, Inquiry into the Circumstances of the Vivian Alvarez Matter, (Report by the
         Commonwealth Ombudsman of an inquiry undertaken by Mr Neil Comrie), September 2005,
         <http://www.ombudsman.gov.au>
    8.   These results also include part day responses.
Chapter 7: Leadership and management
Leadership and management are critical aspects of the business of the APS. They are integral to our
performance and affect both our capacity to deliver policy and programme outcomes for the Government, and the
level of confidence that the public has in the APS as an institution. Leadership and management also have an
influence on employee engagement.

Although related, leadership and management describe different, but important, aspects of the business of the
APS. Leadership is important in the context of identifying and defining organisational goals and desired outcomes,
developing strategies and plans to achieve those goals and deliver those outcomes, and guiding the organisation
                                                                     1
and motivating its people in reaching those goals and outcomes. Management tends to focus on a range of more
practical tasks including financial, contract, project, risk and people management skills, which are also very
important.

The importance of both leadership and management skills is reflected in the APS leadership model developed as
part of the Integrated Leadership System (ILS), which illustrates the shift in emphasis between technical,
managerial and leadership roles as work becomes more complex at higher classification levels (see Figure 7.1).
The model is underpinned by five capability clusters also reflected in the Senior Executive Leadership Capability
framework (the SELC framework): achieves results; cultivates productive working relationships; communicates
with influence; exemplifies personal drive and integrity; and shapes strategic thinking.

Figure 7.1 APS Leadership model




Both the managerial and leadership aspects of APS employees’ roles require capabilities from all five capability
clusters. However, the managerial component has a strong focus on the achieves results capability cluster and
the leadership component has a strong focus on shapes strategic thinking, achieves results and cultivates
productive working relationships. At all levels, technical knowledge and capability are linked to effective
performance and credibility, but with increasing seniority, the requirement for technical knowledge shifts from a
requirement for depth of knowledge to one of breadth of knowledge.

It is worth noting that leadership, critical to how we deal with the complexity and uncertainty that has come to
characterise the modern public sector environment, is expected of a broad range of APS employees. The extent
to which leadership is required will, of course, vary at different levels, and, to a lesser extent, in different positions.
The fact remains, however, that public servants today need to be more agile, and to have the ability to respond
quickly to governments’ changing agendas and to the fast-moving pace of our operating environment. Events of
the last few years have shown that public services need to be adept at, and in a continual state of readiness for,
dealing with crisis situations and other challenges, whether these arise from natural disasters or security and
terrorism incidents. We also need to have the skills to carry forward an increasingly complex and important whole
of government agenda. All of this puts a high premium on effective leadership and management.
Additional questions were included in this year’s employee survey to develop a greater understanding of both
what attributes employees value in senior leaders and immediate supervisors, and their perceptions of the quality
of leadership and management in their agencies. This chapter draws on the results from the employee and
agency surveys and a range of other data to make an assessment of how effectively the APS is performing in
these critical areas.


Leadership
In its One APS–One SES statement, MAC refers to the SES of the APS as a leadership cadre which is clearly
                                                                      2
and very deliberately reinforced through the Public Service Act 1999. The quality of the leadership group has an
impact on all aspects of the APS, including our ability to achieve agency business goals, our ability to work in a
whole of government context, how we deliver services to the Australian community, and how we engage with the
Australian community more generally (some of these issues are discussed further in Chapters 10 and 11).

This section begins by examining the composition of the current SES group and the implications of this for
leadership capability development in different agencies. It then looks at employees’ perceptions of their senior
leadership, before going on to examine how potential leaders are being identified, and leadership capabilities are
being developed throughout the APS.


The composition of the SES3

The effective functioning of the SES is fundamental to the effectiveness of leadership and management in the
APS. Chapter 2 includes a brief overview summary of the demographics of the current SES.

This section builds on the information provided in Chapter 2 to provide a more comprehensive picture of the
composition of the current leadership group. For this particular analysis, the focus is on capability requirements of
the leadership cadre currently active within agencies. (To do this, the analysis excludes inoperative SES. For this
reason, the data is not directly comparable with the data included in Chapter 2 which focuses on trends in the
overall composition of the APS).

The number of operative SES in the APS has increased by 10.5% in 2005–06 (from 1976 to 2184) compared to a
9.1% increase in the total number of APS ongoing employees. The increase in SES employees represents a
marginal increase in the SES as a proportion of total employees to 1.6%.

Reflecting the diverse nature of their activities, there continues to be significant variation between agencies in the
                                                                 4
proportion of SES to ongoing staff (in 2006 in MAC agencies, this ranged from 0.4% in Centrelink to 9.6% in
PM&C), and in the relative use of the three SES Bands.

Some agencies increased their proportion of SES to ongoing staff in 2005–06. This is likely to be a reflection of
the nature of the work of these agencies, in particular, a range of new Government initiatives and enhanced
functions of an especially complex nature. The growth also reflects increasing levels of accountability, the
requirements of Ministers’ offices, and the pace of modern communications leading to expectations of rapid
provision of comprehensive advice.

It is important that the integrity of the SES as a leadership cadre with appropriate capability levels is maintained.
The SES criteria and arrangements for SES recruitment (outlined in Chapter 4) have been deliberately framed to
allow for a flexible approach to recruitment to the SES while preserving the SES as a leadership cadre and
avoiding classification creep. Although not apparent at this stage, agencies will still need to be mindful of
‘classification creep’, especially in an increasingly tight labour market. Agencies have at their disposal a range of
mechanisms, other than promotions, to reward and recognise valuable EL 2 employees who are working at
positions where work value requirements are consistent with EL 2 classifications (e.g. AWAs).

The ageing of the APS workforce more generally, and the SES in particular, has been well-documented. The age
profile of the SES this year is similar to that reported in last year’s State of the Service report. At June 2006, the
median age for SES employees is 48, with 43.2% being 50 or more. There is considerable variation between
MAC agencies in 2006, with DVA (66.7%) and ABS (59.5%) having the highest proportions of their SES aged 50
or more in 2006, compared to PM&C (30.4%) and DEWR (27.4%) with the lowest.

Seventy per cent of current SES employees and 55% of existing EL 2 employees are now aged 45 or over and
will be eligible for retirement within 10 years. This continues to be a challenge that APS agencies will have to
manage carefully, particularly given changes in the general depth of experience and exposure in the SES.
Experience and exposure

The importance of ensuring a depth of experience and exposure among the SES featured as a key theme in the
                                                           5
MAC report, Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce. As part of its examination of APS workforce trends,
the report found an increasing narrowness in the APS experience of employees now moving towards and into
senior leadership levels and pointed to the longer-term decline in inter-agency mobility.

As reported in Chapter 2, mobility across the APS has now risen for two years in a row. This is an encouraging
result. As MAC found, there are substantial benefits to be derived from potential leaders taking steps to broaden
their experience and exposure by working in different environments. This could mean seeking out different
experiences within their existing agency, portfolio or elsewhere in the APS, as well as in other public, private and
non-government organisations.

Nevertheless, a relatively high proportion of current SES has limited experience either at the SES level or at the
SES level in their current agency. This is reflected in a reduction in the median length of service for the SES. In
2006, the median length of service in the SES was 4.5 years, compared to 6.2 years in 1996.

The majority of the SES in all MAC agencies, except for ANAO, have been at their current level in their current
agency for less than five years. In 2006, this ranged from 91.5% in DEWR and 91.3% in PM&C, to 47.8% in
ANAO and 56.2% in ATO.

A substantial proportion of SES also has limited experience outside their current agency—41.7% of MAC
agencies’ SES have worked in one agency only (although this reduces through the classification levels to 28.9%
at the SES Band 3 level). Some 22.2% of MAC agencies’ SES have worked in four or more agencies.

The corollary of this is that many SES have substantial experience within their own agency. Around two-thirds
(67.7%) of SES in MAC agencies have been in their current agency for five or more years; half (50.4%) have
worked in their current agency for 10 years or more.

SES are more likely to have been promoted from within their agency, than from another agency sector. Overall,
28.9% of the MAC SES came to their current level from another sector or agency, while 71.1% were promoted or
on temporary assignment at their current SES level from within their agency. Significant variations between
agencies can be seen underlying these figures.

        Some agencies are more likely to promote from within—ABS (94.6%), DFAT (91.4%), ATO (86.8%).
        Some agencies are more likely to recruit externally from other agencies into the SES— PM&C (52.2%),
         DOTARS (47.5%).
        Some 8.4% of the MAC agencies’ SES were engaged from outside the APS. This ranges from 14.7% in
         Centrelink to 2.1% in DFAT.

Variation between agencies

An examination of the profile of different MAC agencies suggests that there are broadly three different types of
SES profiles across the APS.

The first group is comprised of agencies with SES who have worked in the agency for a long time. This group can
be further divided into two sub–groups. One group has relatively high proportions of experienced SES, and the
other group has relatively high proportions of SES comparatively new to their SES level, but not new to the
agency. Agencies with a relatively large proportion of their SES who have worked in the agency for more than ten
years include DFAT (85.0%), ATO (82.6%), ABS (78.4%), DVA (60.6%) and Defence (56.9%). As a corollary of
this, DFAT at 6.4%, ATO at 9.1% and ABS at 10.8% have the smallest proportions of SES with less than five
years’ experience in the agency.

The second group of agencies have an SES with relatively broad experience outside their current agency.
Agencies with an SES who are more likely to have worked in four or more agencies are DCITA (47.2%), DHS
(46.7%), DOTARS (45.0%), and DITR (40.6%).

The third group of agencies are those with a relatively high proportion of newcomers to both their particular SES
level and to the agency. These agencies include DEWR (91.5% have been at level in DEWR for less than five
years and 48.1% have been in the agency for less than five years), PM&C (91.3% and 69.6% respectively), DEST
(85.3% and 41.3%), Health (80.6% and 46.9%), Finance (80.0% and 51.4%) and the Commission (77.8% and
55.8%).
The figures for these agencies compare to the APS average of 73.0% of SES with less than 5 years experience at
their current level in their current agency, and 33.9% with less than five years in current agency. MAC agencies
with SES who have a relatively low median length of service in the SES are DHS (1.1 years), the Commission
(1.3 years), DEWR (2.1 years) and DEST (2.9 years).

There are, of course, other agencies that deviate from these profiles. For example, DEH and Treasury both have
a relatively high proportion of experienced SES (i.e. their SES have been at their current level in the agency for
five or more years (37.3% and 36.4% respectively)), and have SES with a relatively broader experience across
the APS (70.6% of DEH’s SES and 59.7% of Treasury’s SES have worked in two or more agencies).

There is a range of factors at play behind the difference in agency profiles, including the nature of the agency’s
business and its size and age profile. It is not surprising, for example, that specialist and technically oriented
agencies like ABS and ATO operate with strong internal labour markets and develop their leaders from within.
There is no ideal profile to suit all agencies. However, there is a need to ensure that leadership teams are
composed and work in a way that ensures fresh eyes and ideas, and maintain a continuous approach to
organisational improvement. Given the variation between agencies’ SES profiles, agencies confront a range of
different issues and may need to employ different methods to develop, broaden and support their SES.

Agencies with SES with little experience within their agency need to ensure that their SES have the necessary
business knowledge and expertise. They may need to look to internal programmes to enable their SES
employees to develop an understanding of the agency, and the relevant technical understanding to meet their
responsibilities. They may also need to focus on the retention of some of their more experienced people and skills
transfer.

Agencies with a high proportion of SES who have significant experience within their agencies (and related
technical expertise and corporate knowledge) but limited experience in other agencies, confront different issues.
Such agencies need to focus on how they broaden their SES’s exposure, guard against predictability and make
sure that their approaches are subjected to ‘fresh eyes’. For some SES, this may mean seeking opportunities to
broaden their experience and exposure by working in different environments, in different parts of their agencies,
across different agencies and—on occasions—in the private or community sectors. Agencies may also wish to
consider other means of obtaining ‘fresh eyes’ such as including external people on key governance committees
and using peer reviews.

For all groups, agencies with relatively high proportions of SES new to their level need to ensure that those
inexperienced employees develop the broader leadership capabilities and qualities expected at the SES level.
Agencies with SES new to the APS may need to provide access to programmes focusing on topics peculiar to the
APS, such as government finance, programme management and the regulatory environment.

Given the issues confronting different agencies, the importance of adequate and appropriate leadership
development and training in particular areas cannot be underestimated. Depending on the circumstances,
agencies may wish to explore a range of agency-specific and cross-service development opportunities for their
SES. Agencies may also wish to explore mentoring and coaching as other ways of supporting their newly
promoted SES.

Across public administration internationally and in Australia, concerns about the value of fresh perspectives and
ideas and a desire to support ongoing innovation have led to consideration of:

        succession planning and consideration of the skill and background make-up of leadership teams
        support for mobility and exposure widening opportunities as part of leadership development
        peer review processes (e.g. between international agencies in the same business)
        processes of organisational review.

International initiatives undertaken in 2005–06 include:

        The Department of Defence in the USA evaluating the performance of its senior-level professionals with
         a view to reshaping their career development for future challenges, including addressing the lack of
                                     6
         mobility among many staff.
        The Canada School of Public Service introducing a new course, ‘The Courage to Lead in the Public
         Service’, which is designed to encourage more innovative thinking among public sector leaders as they
         respond to a fast changing public sector environment, including by challenging habitual ways of
                                7
         perceiving situations.
        In the UK, capability reviews of government departments have been introduced to assess departmental
                                                              8
         capability in three key areas, including leadership.
Employee views of senior leaders

Compared to other indicators in the employee survey, employee perceptions of their senior leaders were relatively
poor. Only 38% of employees agreed that leadership in their agency was of the highest quality. A third of
employees neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement and 26% disagreed. This result was similar to
perceptions of senior leaders’ communication discussed in Chapter 3.

Consistent with the results in a number of other surveys, these results were lower than employees’ views about
their immediate supervisors and to a large degree are likely to reflect the distance between many junior
employees and their senior leaders. Results on more specific questions tended to be slightly higher. For example,
43% of employees agreed that their agencies were well-managed (24% disagreed) and 50% agreed that the SES
in their agencies were empowered to do their jobs (only 7% disagreed).

Consistent with results reported above, only 38% of the overall APS were on average satisfied with the composite
                                 9
‘Senior Leaders/Culture’ factor. This was the lowest result among employee engagement factors, although
employees who did not report satisfaction were more likely to report that they were neither satisfied nor
dissatisfied (44%), than that they were actively dissatisfied (18%). For the ‘Senior Leaders/Culture’ factor, large
agency results ranged widely from 19% to 66%.

Satisfaction with the ‘Senior Leaders/Culture’ factor was positively related to results on a range of other employee
engagement factors. The strongest relationships were with the ‘Governance’ and ‘Merit’ factors.

Employees tended to have slightly higher satisfaction ratings when asked about specific attributes of their senior
leaders than they did when assessing the quality of leadership overall. Employees were asked to select the five
most important attributes they would like to see in senior leaders. Having nominated the attributes they would
most like to see, employees were then asked to indicate their level of satisfaction with the attributes in their
agency’s senior leaders.

Table 7.1 shows that the most important attributes that employees would like to see in their agency’s senior
leaders encompassed elements of honesty, integrity and fairness, judgment and communication. The majority of
employees were satisfied with three of the elements rated in the top five, namely demonstrates honesty and
integrity, shows judgment, intelligence and commonsense; and demonstrates sound judgment and is prepared to
make decisions. A majority of relevant employees were also satisfied with factors relating to inspiring a sense of
purpose and direction, setting clear expectations and working collaboratively with other APS agencies and
stakeholders. However, for two attributes nominated in the top five, relating to communication and transparency
and fairness in decision-making, only a minority of employees were satisfied.


Table 7.1: Attributes employees would like to see in senior leaders, 2005–06

                                                Employees that                Employees who nominated
                                              nominated attribute in          attribute as important who
                Attribute
                                                  top five (%)                     were satisfied (%)
                                                    2005–06                             2005–06
Demonstrates honesty and integrity            59                             60
Communicates effectively with staff           57                             47
Shows judgement, intelligence and
                                              54                             52
common sense
Shows transparency and fairness in
                                              51                             38
decision making
Demonstrates sound judgement and
                                              42                             57
is prepared to make decisions
Listens carefully and considers the
                                              36                             34
views and opinions of staff
Inspires a sense of purpose and
direction showing links to business           34                             56
outcomes
Table 7.1: Attributes employees would like to see in senior leaders, 2005–06

                                                Employees that                Employees who nominated
                                              nominated attribute in          attribute as important who
                 Attribute
                                                  top five (%)                     were satisfied (%)
                                                    2005–06                             2005–06
Takes a genuine interest and assists
staff develop (e.g. coaching,                 26                             33
mentoring, career planning)
Helps staff to achieve work/life
                                              25                             44
balance
Sets clear expectations linked to
                                              24                             67
business outcomes
Recognises and rewards success                24                             31
Demonstrates competence and has
                                              23                             49
the ability to value-add
Provides constructive feedback                14                             47
Demonstrates passion to succeed               10                             68
Works collaboratively with other APS
                                     9                                       70
agencies and stakeholders
Values individual differences and
                                              9                              47
diversity

Source: Employee survey

A summary index was created from the results of this leadership question in the employee survey.The index
ranges from zero (the employee was very dissatisfied with all of the attributes nominated) to 10 (the employee
was very satisfied with all attributes). An index of five translates to an employee being, on average, neither
satisfied nor dissatisfied with their nominated factors.

For all employees, the proportion with a senior leaders’ attribute satisfaction index over five was 58%.
Interestingly, this is higher than the 38% of employees who agreed that leadership in their agency was of the
highest quality, perhaps indicating that the wording of the first question encouraged employees to rate their senior
leadership against a particularly high benchmark.

The overall satisfaction of employees with the attributes of their agency’s senior leaders, as measured by the
index, varied considerably between large agencies. Of the large agencies, those with satisfaction rates
significantly above the APS average were ABS and DFAT.

The employee survey also asked employees whether they viewed the SES leaders in their agencies as part of a
broader APS-wide leadership cadre/group. For the SES group, the result was very positive, with73% of SES
employees viewing themselves either definitely or somewhat as part of a broader APS-wide leadership
cadre/group. Only 42% of non-SES employees, however, viewed the SES leaders in their agencies as part of a
broader APS-wide leadership cadre/group. This contrasts markedly with SES employees’ views of themselves but
may reflect the different perspectives of employees at lower levels.

Some respondents to the employee survey made comments about feeling removed from their agency’s senior
leaders (these comments are not necessarily representative of all employees).

Have very little to do with senior leaders.

The SES leadership group is so far removed from me that I have no knowledge of their abilities. They are only
‘names’. They have no direct impact on my day to day work.
I’m not sure they listen to or understand the voices of staff on the floor.

I think there is a lack of recognition for those who do the hands on work of the organisation by more senior
management. Accountability seems to be in an upward direction with little recognition back down the line of the
achievements that have been made by those who do the day to day work.


Leadership capability and development

The identification of future leaders and the design of effective leadership development programmes are both
critical to leadership development.

Identification of potential leaders

One of the major outcomes of the MAC report, Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce, is that all APS
agencies are developing systematic approaches to developing potential future leaders.

There has been increased interest in ways of identifying and realising the potential of high-performing employees,
and for better targeting those with the best potential for leadership.

Research by the Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) links employee engagement with identifying and nurturing
                            10
high potential employees. A high-potential employee is defined as someone capable of rising to and succeeding
in a more senior, critical role. Potential, according to CLC, has three components: an employee’s aspiration,
engagement, and ability. Aspiration is the extent to which an employee wants or desires prestige and recognition
in the organisation, advancement and influence, financial reward, work-life balance and overall job enjoyment.
Ability, on the other hand, is a combination of talents such as innate characteristics, mental and/or cognitive
agility, emotional intelligence, and learned skills. Engagement is a measure of emotional and rational commitment
to the organisation, discretionary effort and intent to stay.

CLC’s research suggests ways that agencies can better target high-potential employees, through strategies to
understand their employees’ aspirations, the level of their engagement and their ability. It is important to note that
neither aspiration, nor ability, nor engagement, are fixed, and there is scope for organisations, leaders and
managers to influence whether employees achieve their potential.

In the APS, there is still a strong focus on more informal mechanisms to identify potential leaders.

As Figure 7.2 shows, manager/agency head identification was the most common method of identifying future
leaders for all classifications. Next to this method there was a fairly even spread between individual self-
identification, performance management system and development opportunities. Assessment centres were used
less often by agencies, and almost not at all for identification of potential leaders at the APS 1–6 classifications. It
appears that dedicated surveys to identify high potential employees have not yet had any widespread use as a
means of identification of potential leaders in the APS. A small proportion of agencies indicated other means of
identifying future leaders including through formal succession plans, the participation of employees in project
teams and psychometric assessment.

Figure 7.2: Methods agencies use to identify future leaders, 2005–06
Source: Agency survey


SELC framework and leadership capability

The capability clusters in the SELC framework, outlined in the introduction to this chapter, articulate the crucial
success factors for senior APS leaders.

Employees are most likely to rate their immediate supervisor (not necessarily at the SES level) as high against
achieves results, cultivates productive working relationships and exemplifies personal drive and integrity (see
Figure 7.3). Half rated their immediate supervisor as high against communicates with influence and 45% rated
their immediate supervisor as high against shapes strategic thinking capability.

Overall, employee perceptions of their immediate supervisor’s leadership capabilities (as assessed against the
ILS and/or SELC framework) were relatively stable between 2002–03 and 2005–06. Compared to the other core
leadership capability areas, employees were more likely to rate their immediate supervisor as high in the areas of
achieves results and exemplifies personal drive and integrity in all years. The proportion of employees who rated
their immediate supervisor as high in the area of cultivates productive working relationships increased slightly
over the period, and communicates with influence has fluctuated around 50%.

A trend is emerging, however, to a decline in the proportion of employees rating their supervisor as high in the
area of shapes strategic thinking. Moreover, relative to the other leadership capabilities, the proportion of
employees who rate their supervisor as high in the area of shapes strategic thinking remains relatively low. This is
of concern as strategic thinking is an important leadership characteristic in an increasingly complex and fast-
moving world.

Ratings vary according to the classification of those doing the rating. SES employees are most likely to rate their
immediate supervisor highly against all of the leadership qualities, followed by EL employees and APS 1–6
employees.

The relatively low rating of supervisors against the shapes strategic thinking capability is consistent with trends
identified within the feeder group to the SES who participate in the Career Development Assessment Centre
(CDAC) programme—there is a consistent pattern that many CDAC participants are relatively weaker in the area
of shapes strategic thinking. This may relate to limited experience in policy work in these days of more
comprehensive management roles. Indeed, it is recognised that strategic thinking is a skill that develops with time
and experience and that people are getting to senior positions much sooner than they once did and have not
necessarily had the experience and development opportunities that their predecessors did. As agencies are
developing the next generation of leaders to replace the large number of retirees they will need to focus
increasingly on strategic thinking as a core capability.

Figure 7.3: Proportion of employees who rated their immediate supervisor as ‘high’ on leadership
capabilities, 2002–03 to 2005–06




Source: Employee survey


In prioritising their own development needs over the next 12 months against the five capability areas, the majority
of employees placed a high priority on all five of the capabilities. Seventy per cent of employees placed a high
priority on leadership development in the area of achieves results, 67% on cultivating productive working
relationships, 65% on communicating with influence, 60% on exemplifying personal drive and integrity and 55%
on shaping strategic thinking. Although shaping strategic thinking was the area where employees were least likely
to place priority, this understandably varies according to classification. Seventy-three per cent of SES employees
placed a high priority on leadership development in this area, compared to 67% of EL employees and 51% of
APS 1–6s.

Integrated Leadership System (ILS)

The Commission has expanded the SELC framework through the ILS. The ILS builds on the SELC framework by
describing indicators of capability and by outlining pathways to leadership from EL 1 to SES Band 3. It is
supported by a range of tools for both agencies and individuals to use in their leadership development. This year
the Commission has continued to work with agencies to extend the pathway down to APS levels. The expanded
ILS will be published in 2006–07.

More than half of agencies have used the ILS as a basis for managing leadership development in their agency.
Forty-two per cent of agencies used the ILS for SES employees, 49% used it for EL employees, and 21% used it
for other employees, mostly the APS 5–6 levels although some agencies used it for all levels. Forty-five per cent
of agencies indicated that they did not use the ILS at any level.

Of the 55% who did make some use of the ILS, 17% had developed a relevant policy strategy or framework to
supplement or support the ILS. A further 30% were developing such supporting material.

Views about the ILS were generally positive. Of those agencies who had used the ILS, 67% believed that it had
assisted the agency in developing leadership capability for SES employees, 72% for EL employees and 39% for
employees at other levels. Only 13% said that it had not assisted in improving leadership capability at any level.

Specific comments made about how the ILS had affected leadership capability within agencies were
overwhelmingly positive. Agencies believed that it had helped in a number of ways, including by providing a
rigorous and consistent framework for capability development within the agency, focusing managers and
employees on leadership capabilities and clarifying expectations about behaviours, assisting in discussion of
career and capability development, and by linking learning and development programmes to the ILS. Some
agencies had utilised the ILS specifically for performance management discussions and recruitment processes.

Leadership capability development within agencies

There has been a strong focus during 2005–06 on leadership development at both the agency and cross-APS
levels. Agencies were asked to identify the leadership development activities they offer at different classification
levels.

As Figure 7.4 shows, agencies are continuing to take an active and targeted approach to leadership development,
particularly for the SES feeder group. Leadership development programmes, mentoring and/or personal
sponsorship, internal coaching and structured individual learning agreements are the dominant learning and
development activities offered by agencies. The 2006 results show some decline in the use of agency-specific
leadership development programmes and a large increase in those not tailored to agency-specific requirements.

Figure 7.4: Leadership development activities offered by agencies, 2005–06




Source: Agency survey


The agency survey results show that the use of structured placements and/or mobility options across the APS
and outside the APS continues to be limited. There is potential for agencies to make greater use of these
                                                                     11
programmes which the 2004 MAC report, Connecting Government, found could help to foster organisational
agility.

Some agencies highlighted specific leadership development activities. These included the range of learning and
development and scholarship opportunities for staff provided by DITR, which is in the process of putting in place
two new programmes relating to ‘policy development’ and another in relation to ‘management/ leadership’, and
the leadership development programme being developed by DEH which will be rolled out progressively during
2006–2007.
Whole of APS leadership development

Agency approaches to leadership development are supported by the work of the Commission. The Australian
Public Service Commissioner has a specific responsibility under the Public Service Act 1999 to ‘contribute to, and
                               12
foster, leadership in the APS’. In practice, the Commissioner exercises this responsibility in close collaboration
with agencies. The Commissioner consults with portfolio secretaries on the development of leadership and
development programmes for SES and EL employees, including through the Leadership and Learning Advisory
Committee (LALAC), which consists of agency heads from 10 departments and two other APS agencies. In
2005–06, LALAC’s focus included the outcomes of the CDACs and learning and development opportunities,
including the development of new leadership programmes for senior executives which aim to build individual
capability and at the same time foster cross-agency perspectives and collaboration between SES employees in all
APS agencies.

New programmes include residential programmes for SES Band 3s, Leadership Mastery, and for Band 2s,
Leading Across Boundaries. These programmes bring together a range of high-profile guest speakers and
relevant stimulus material and provide an opportunity for participants to develop as leaders and build professional
networks. The Commission has also developed two new residential programmes for SES Band 1s. New
Leadership Horizons will assist SES Band 1s who have been appointed in the past three years to gain confidence
in their new roles and leverage their experience to make a significant contribution to their organisation and across
the APS. Transforming Leadership is a programme for senior executives who have been at the Band 1 level for
three or more years. It will enhance the leadership capabilities of the participants by helping them identify, share,
make sense of and leverage their considerable experience in the APS. The Commission is also developing a
range of new SES short programmes to build capability in strategic thinking, governance and regulation and
financial and programme management capability.

The refined three–day Senior Executive Service Orientation programme was delivered for the first time in June
2005 and 11 further iterations were offered during 2005–06. One hundred and sixty-four senior executives
                                                                                                             13
attended orientation programmes in 2005–06 (compared to 67 attending orientation programmes in 2004–05).
Attendance at the orientation programme plays an important role in helping new SES to understand what it means
to be part of the APS leadership cadre and to develop a cross- agency perspective.

Other leadership programmes offered by the Commission are the ‘SES Breakfast Series’, ‘Ministerial
Conversations’, and ‘Leading Australia’s Future in the Asia–Pacific’ (LAFIA) programme. In 2005–06, the
Commission led one LAFIA programme in Asia and one programme in the Pacific. The ANZSOG Executive
Fellows Program is also targeted at the SES.

SES feeder group development

Focusing on the development of the EL group is fundamental to the capacity of the APS. This is particularly so,
given concerns expressed by MAC about the breadth and depth of experience in Australian Government
                                                                   14
processes among the feeder group of potential future APS leaders. The role of ELs as middle-managers, who to
a large extent represent the interface between the senior leadership group and other employees in their
organisations, is also central to organisational effectiveness.

Two key APS-wide programmes for the SES feeder group are CDAC and ANZSOG’s Executive Master of Public
Administration (EMPA).

CDAC assesses high-performing EL 2s identified by their agencies as having clear potential to reach the SES.
Since the inception of CDAC in 2000, participation has included 797 EL 2s, with 96 participants in 2005–06, down
                                         15
from 118 in 2004–05 and 138 in 2003–04.

Comparison of the progression from EL to SES levels between participants in CDAC and non-participants shows
that, at June 2005, 21.3% of 2003–04 CDAC participants were in the SES compared to 3.3% of non-participating
EL 2s who were EL 2s at June 2003; and 53.3% of 1999–2000 participants were in the SES compared with
13.8% of non participating EL 2s who were EL 2s at June 1999. This is not necessarily a measure of the success
of the programme, but it does indicate that suitable people are generally being nominated, and that they are being
helped to identify their development needs for future advancement. Agencies might consider the further
participation of suitable employees in CDACas a means of identifying employees with SES potential, including
younger employees in the feeder group and EL 2s new to that role with SES potential, for whom CDAC might
indicate development requirements early in their management careers.
ANZSOG’s EMPA is a two-year part-time postgraduate degree aimed at high-performing EL 2s, which is intended
to develop the depth and breadth of management and policy skills needed in today’s public sector. In 2006, 26
APS employees from 13 agencies commenced the fourth Master’s course.

A number of EL programmes are also conducted as part of the Commission’s ongoing development calendar.
These include the quarterly EL updates and a series of programmes aimed directly at the EL classifications in
relation to policy development, financial management, projects, tenders and contracts as well as a series on
people management and leadership.

The EL 2 transition programme is targeted at newly appointed EL 2s to assist them in gaining confidence in their
new roles and leveraging their experience to make a significant contribution to their organisation. A new EL 2
residential programme, which is currently under development, will also focus on developing leadership capabilities
that require new and more complex behaviours in order to be highly effective at the EL 2 classification.

In 2005–06, 13 Indigenous APS EL employees completed the inaugural ‘Leadership in the Australian Public
Service—An Indigenous experience’. The programme develops the APS leadership capabilities of Indigenous EL
employees. A further 13 participants representing eight agencies commenced a second programme in February
2006 in Canberra.

Employee satisfaction with leadership development

Employee satisfaction with their access to leadership development opportunities improved in 2005, but there is
still room for more improvement. This year, 39% of employees indicated that they were satisfied with their access
to leadership development opportunities in their organisation (up from only 26% in 2004–05). Twenty-one per cent
of employees indicated dissatisfaction (down from 30% last year).

Satisfaction levels were related to a range of factors including sex, location and classification, with men,
employees located in the ACT and the SES all having higher levels of satisfaction.

SES employees were by far the most satisfied (72%). EL employees’ satisfaction level was above the average for
all respondents (53% compared to 39%), but well behind those of SES employees (72%). This is of some
concern, given EL employees’ crucial role as leaders, and as the feeder group for the SES.

There was also considerable variation between agencies, with ABS and Defence having significantly higher levels
of satisfaction than the APS average.


Management
As discussed at the beginning of this chapter, leadership and management skills are both critical to agency
performance. Management encompasses a range of practical day-to-day tasks within an agency that are
fundamental to an effective organisation including financial, contract, project, risk and people management
activities, all of which are important in terms of organisational performance. The quality of an employee’s
immediate management can also be an important factor in their level of engagement with the organisation. In
addition, employee survey results reported in Chapter 3 suggest that the quality of management can impact
directly on an employee’s perception of their productivity.

On average, employees were satisfied with their immediate supervisors, with satisfaction levels being much
higher than for senior leaders. Two-thirds of employees were satisfied with the composite ‘Immediate supervisor’
factor. There was some variation across agencies, however, with large agency results ranging from 56% to
     16
80%.

Satisfaction with an employee’s immediate supervisor was strongly related to job satisfaction and was also
positively related to results on a range of other factors, including the ‘Senior leaders/culture’ and ‘Work group’
factors.

Employees were also generally satisfied with their immediate supervisor’s people management skills. Nearly two-
thirds of employees agreed with the statement ‘My immediate supervisor is effective in managing people.’ This
                                                                                17
result compares favourably with results in other jurisdictions (see Table 7.2).
Table 7.2: Level of agreement by employees that immediate supervisor is good at
managing people

                                        Neither                                       Don’t
                    Strongly                               Strongly
                                       agree or                                   know/does not
Jurisdiction       agree/agree                         disagree/disagree                         Missing
                                       disagree                                   apply/not sure
                       (%)                                    (%)
                                          (%)                                          (%)
Tasmania         59                  17               24
Western
                 65                  10               21                         1                    3
Australia
Victoria         60                  18               22
APS              63                  19               18

Source: 2006 Employee survey, 2005 Jurisdictional Input, 2006 jurisdictional input from WA


Immediate supervisor attributes

Generally high satisfaction ratings were also apparent in employees’ ratings of a range of immediate supervisor
attributes. The employee survey asked respondents to select the five most important attributes they would like to
see in an immediate supervisor. Having nominated the attributes they would most like to see in an immediate
supervisor, employees were then asked to indicate their level of satisfaction with these attributes in their own
immediate supervisor.

Table 7.3 shows that the attributes that employees would most like to see in an immediate supervisor were
demonstrates honesty and integrity, respects employees as individuals, works with staff to find solutions to
problems, possesses relevant job skills, and stands up for staff .

The majority of employees who nominated these attributes in the top five were satisfied with their immediate
supervisors’ demonstrated abilities in respect of these attributes. Of all the attributes demonstrating honesty and
integrity and supportings the use of flexible work practices had the highest satisfaction ratings, and providing
quality informal feedback had the lowest. However, given that only 29% of employees nominated providing quality
informal feedback as a top five attribute, it is difficult to assess whether their views are representative of all
employees’ views.


Table 7.3: Attributes employees would like to see in an immediate supervisor, 2005–06

                                             Employees that                Employees who nominated
             Attribute                     nominated attribute in          attribute as important who
                                               top five (%)                     were satisfied (%)
Demonstrates honesty and
                                          66                             80
integrity
Respects employees as
                                          46                             76
individuals
Works with staff to find solutions
                                   46                                    69
to problems
Possesses relevant job skills             43                             71
Stands up for staff                       42                             62
Sets realistic performance
                                          39                             66
expectations
Supports staff to achieve an
                                          37                             75
appropriate work/life balance
Table 7.3: Attributes employees would like to see in an immediate supervisor, 2005–06

                                              Employees that              Employees who nominated
             Attribute                      nominated attribute in        attribute as important who
                                                top five (%)                   were satisfied (%)
Listens carefully and considers
                                        36                              62
the views and opinions of staff
Provides quality informal
                                        29                              55
feedback
Open to new ideas and ways of
                                        27                              64
working
Supports the use of flexible
                                        21                              80
working practices
Clearly articulates organisational
                                   20                                   65
goals
Provides access to effective
                                        20                              59
learning and development
Respectful of diverse points of
                                        10                              62
view
Demonstrates passion to
                                        9                               65
succeed
Works effectively and sensitively
with people from diverse          6                                     71
backgrounds

Source: Employee survey

A summary index was created from the results of this people management question in the employee survey. The
index ranges from zero (the employee was very dissatisfied with all of the attributes nominated) to 10 (the
employee was very satisfied with all attributes). An index of five translates to an employee being, on average,
neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with their nominated factors.

The proportion of employees with an immediate supervisor attribute satisfaction index over five was 77%. This is
considerably higher than the 58% of employees with a senior leaders attribute satisfaction index of over five.

Satisfaction with the attributes in their immediate supervisors was higher for men, employees located in the ACT
and for the SES. There was some variation between large agencies. ABS stood out as having the highest levels
of satisfaction with the attributes in their immediate supervisors.

Employees were mostly satisfied against a number of other questions asked to ascertain their general
impressions of their immediate managers. Three-quarters of employees agreed that their managers provide them
with the support they need to do their jobs. Seventy-two per cent of employees agreed that their managers ensure
fair access to developmental opportunities for employees in their workgroups and almost two-thirds (63%) of
employees agreed that their managers would take appropriate action if decision-making processes were found
not to be objective. Consistent with the results outlined above, employees located in the ACT and people at
higher classification levels were more likely to agree with the above statements about their immediate
supervisors. Again, there was also considerable variation between large agencies and again, ABS stood out as
having higher levels of agreement with the statements overall.

Employees’ different perceptions about people management were also reflected in the comments providedby
some employees (comments are not necessarily representative of all employees).

I could have marked another 6 attributes which I find important.
Supervisors need training.

My current high level of job satisfaction is largely related to the immediate supervisor that I have.

Very important area. Managers should not be promoted to positions who do not demonstrate adequate people
management skills.

My immediate supervisor is very much the ‘meat in the sandwich’ between staff and higher management. A
higher rating would apply if my immediate supervisor could rely on the above attributes of higher management.

If the above question was to apply to senior management my response would be ‘very dissatisfied on all counts.’

People management in this Department is not done well. The emphasis instead is on office technology and staff
qualifications. Management of people seems a secondary consideration.

Current manager has just started receiving coaching and have noticed an improvement in people management
skills. Would encourage all managers to be properly trained in: providing feedback, recognising and appreciating
differing work styles, providing encouragement and recognition, and time management.


Performance management

An important aspect of people management is managing performance. Performance management is an essential
component of a constructive workplace environment and, among other things, is aimed at improving individual
and organisational performance, aligning individual work with organisational initiatives, recognising and rewarding
good performance, and managing underperformance.

Performance management is a well documented area. Relevant and significant guidance material for APS
agencies in this area includes the 2001 MAC report on performance management, the 2004 ANAO report, and
                                          18
material disseminated by the Commission.

Systematic approaches to performance management have been in place for some time in the APS. Within the
broad framework outlined by the PS Act and the Commissioner’s Directions, agency heads have the flexibility to
develop performance management systems that meet the particular needs of their organisation and employees.
In 92% of agencies it is mandatory for all employees to have a formal performance agreement (94% in 2005, 87%
in 2003).

There are some very positive indications this year that the quality and effectiveness of performance management
in the APS is improving.

The employee survey results point to the fact that performance management systems are well embedded in
agencies, with most employees (85%) receiving formal performance feedback during the year (85%, the same
proportion as in 2005, down slightly from 87% in 2004, but higher than the 79% reported in 2003).

Managers also report high levels of providing feedback. Of the 31% of employees who indicated that they had
direct supervisory responsibility for at least one employee in their agency, 87% indicated that they had provided
formal feedback in the last 12 months.

The ability of managers to provide effective formal and informal feedback is fundamental to the success of
performance management systems. MAC’s 2001 report and more recent research by the Corporate Leadership
Council both stress the importance of informed, positive, fair, accurate and detailed feedback as a strong driver of
               19
performance.

Almost all (87%) of employees who had received feedback, reported that their performance in their most recent
performance feedback session was assessed against a formal performance agreement or work plan agreed with
their supervisor. The use of such agreements is likely to increase the quality of feedback.

According to employees, the feedback that they receive appears to be providing them with necessary
assistance/guidance and addressing their learning and development needs. Almost two-thirds of employees who
had received formal individual performance feedback in their current agency in the last 12 months agreed that it
had provided them with the assistance/guidance they needed. Only 15% disagreed. A similar proportion of
relevant employees agreed that their learning and development needs were adequately considered as part of the
performance feedback session, and only 16% disagreed. Results were less strong on whether their most recent
performance review would help them improve their performance (48% agreed, 30% neither agreed nor disagreed
and 22% disagreed).

Levels of agreement with the above statements varied considerably between large agencies. However, Medicare
Australia, new to the APS this year, stands out as having the most positive results.

This high level of feedback, and employees’ generally positive perceptions of the feedback may be one factor
driving the high results for employees’ understanding of their role, discussed in detail in Chapter 3. The
‘Understanding current role’ factor had the highest levels of agreement of any employee engagement factor at
      20
84%.

Also encouraging is the greater attention to values and behaviour in performance assessments. As reported in
Chapter 4, 80% of employees who received feedback reported that some discussion had taken place on
behaviour in their performance assessment.

There has also been some improvement in employees’ perceptions of performance pay.

A majority of employees (60%) reported that under the performance assessment system in their agency, any part
of their pay was linked to an assessment of their performance (down from 69% in 2004 and 65% in 2005). The
most common approaches reported were being eligible for advancement through the salary range for your
classification, subject to fully competent performance (65%, down from 77% in 2003) and eligibility for a one-off
performance bonus depending on performance (25%).

Other options, which were less common, included:

        eligibility for accelerated advancement through the salary range for the employee’s classification, subject
         to better than fully competent performance (16%—down from 26% in 2003)
        eligibility for an increase in base salary (18%)
        if covered by an AWA, performance assessments are formally taken into account when renegotiating
         AWAs (8%)
        performance assessment is formally taken into account in selection for promotion (7%).

Performance pay in this chapter is used broadly to refer to all of these methods of linking pay to employees’
performance assessment.

Employee opinions about the operation of their employee pay systems are reported in Figure 7.5.

Across the board this year, relevant employees were more positive about the operation of their agencies’
performance pay systems. Some positive results are now emerging, with agreement with all statements being
higher than they were in 2003, except that performance pay provides appropriate rewards for top performers
(likely to be scheme related).

The majority of relevant employees now agree that the performance pay system in their agency ensures
performance assessment is managed systematically and regularly (54%). Fifty per cent of employees also agree
that the system in their agency operates fairly and consistently (up from 39% in 2005 and 47% in 2004).

At the other end of the spectrum, although agreement levels have improved this year, relevant employees
continue to be more likely to disagree than agree that the systems in their agencies reflect differences in
individuals’ performance (45% disagreed compared to 24% agreed), provides appropriate rewards for top
performers (51% compared to 24%), accurately reflects differences in individuals’ performance (45% compared to
24%) and contributes to a workplace culture where individuals work together effectively (33% compared to 28%).

Figure 7.5: Proportion of relevant employees agreeing with performance pay statements, 2002–03 to
2005–06
Source: Employee surveys


There continued to be considerable variation in opinions about performance pay across large agencies. The
largest difference in range was in the level of agreement on whether performance pay systems operate fairly and
consistently, from a low of 24% to a high of 66%. However, there was a broad range of results for most
statements, including:

        acts as an incentive to perform well (26%–63%)
        ensures performance system is managed systematically and regularly (38%–68%)
        contributes to a workplace culture which upholds the APS Values (23%–55%)
        provides appropriate rewards for top performers (14%–45%)
        contributes to a workplace culture where individuals work together effectively (12%–49%).

The smallest range was for accurately reflects differences in individuals’ performance (12%–38%). The breadth of
the range for all statements shows that there is scope for further improvement.

Medicare Australia stood out as a good performer, being significantly above the APS average against all but one
of the statements.

Levels of agreement varied considerably on some of the statements according to sex, classification, age and
location. Women and younger employees tended to be more positive about aspects of performance pay systems.
With one exception (i.e. provides appropriate rewards for top performers), employees in the EL classifications
were most negative.

Overall, the improvement in this year’s results, taken in the context of the other positive results on performance
management, suggest that there may have been some improvements to some agencies’ systems or a gradual
change in culture in some agencies. Some support for the hypothesis that the culture in the APS is changing
slowly is provided by looking at levels of agreement about the operation of performance pay systems by length of
service. Employees with longer service, who have experienced different approaches to performance pay in the
past and/or commenced in the APS prior to the introduction of performance pay, tend to have greater levels of
dissatisfaction with performance pay systems. Conversely, employees with 1–5 years of service are more likely to
agree against most factors, although the only statements with which the majority of this group agrees are that the
performance pay system operates fairly and consistently (53%) and ensures performance assessment is
                                               21
managed systematically and regularly (58%).
In contrast to the general improvements in views about performance management in agencies, employees remain
concerned about the handling of underperformance in their agencies.

Almost all of the managers who provided feedback (92%) indicated that they either always, or usually, confront
and deal with performance management issues as they arise. However, this contrasts rather starkly with
employee perceptions. Only 42% of employees agreed that their manager deals appropriately with employees
who perform poorly. Even fewer (25%) agreed that their agency dealt with underperformance effectively. This
disparity between supervisors’ and employees’ views might be partly explained by the fact that employees are not
in a position to know exactly how underperformance is being dealt with. Nevertheless, there appears to be room
for improvement in this area.

Managing performance is a difficult task. With this in mind, the Commission has developed a guide, Sharpening
the Focus: Managing Performance in the APS to assist agencies to improve their performance management
                          22
approaches and systems. The guide suggests a three-level approach for reviewing, refining and implementing
performance management systems to ensure they achieve desired outcomes, are supported by employees, and
are effective in managing various aspects of performance.

The key considerations identified are workplace culture, the system and its credibility, and supporting practices.
The effectiveness of the whole system relies upon the successful integration of the three levels.


Key chapter findings
Effective leadership is fundamental to the performance of the APS. SES composition and experience varies
widely between agencies. Agency heads need to manage carefully their SES leadership group to ensure its
effectiveness. SES officers need to invest in themselves and plan their careers carefully if they are to consolidate
to the maximum extent possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and this chapter presents a mixed
picture about the APS’s leadership and management performance.

There are areas where the APS is doing particularly well. Positive results include employees’ satisfaction with
their immediate supervisor, both in terms of their people management skills, and in relation to the management
attributes that they view as most important. The fact that almost three-quarters of SES employees recognise their
role as part of a broader APS-wide leadership cadre is also positive. This is likely to be bolstered among the
leadership cadre as a whole, by the embedding of MAC’s One APS— One SES statement, which has a particular
focus on helping the SES to understand their role in promoting a strong common identity across the APS.

There has been a focus, both in individual agencies and at a whole of government level, in developing
programmes to improve the capability of the APS leadership group. In particular, agencies are continuing to take
an active and targeted approach to leadership development, particularly for the SES feeder group. More than half
of APS agencies have used the Commission’s ILS, and the overwhelming majority have found that it has assisted
them in improving leadership capability. Reflecting this eff ort, employee satisfaction with leadership development
opportunities has increased, although it still shows room for further improvement.

In general, employees’ perceptions of their senior leaders were not as positive as their views about their mnagers.
To a large extent this result is to be expected, and is consistent with results from other surveys where employees
tend to rate senior leaders lower than their immediate managers. It is understandable that employees may be
more positive about their immediate supervisor, with whom they have daily contact, than the senior leadership of
their agency which may seem more remote. Many junior employees may not fully appreciate the role of senior
leadership, and on a number of questions the low levels of satisfaction reflect a high neutral response, rather than
a high actively dissatisfied response.

The phrase ‘senior leaders’ was not defined in the employee survey, and for some employees it may include
employees outside of the SES. Nevertheless, when combined with data from APSED which shows an increase in
the number of SES employees with limited experience, the employee survey results appear to have particular
significance for the SES group. They suggest that some APS agencies may need to work harder at ensuring both
that they have senior leadership of the highest quality, and that the interactions of their leadership team with more
junior employees in the agency reflect this quality. This is particularly so given that, of all the employee
engagement factors, issues related to senior leaders and culture and immediate supervisor showed the strongest
relationship to job satisfaction.

The employee survey results suggest that the traits that employees most value in their senior leaders, and where
agencies may want to concentrate their efforts, are in communication, integrity and fairness, and judgment and
decision-making. The results also suggest that there are continuing concerns about the ability of leaders in the
APS to shape strategic thinking. In this regard, it is heartening that almost three-quarters of SES employees place
a high priority on leadership development in this area.

There are some very positive signs of improvement in the area of performance management. Performance
management systems are now firmly embedded in agencies and there is evidence that formal performance
feedback is providing employees with necessary assistance/guidance and helping to address their learning and
development needs. Feedback seems to have been effective in providing employees with a clear understanding
of their role, and to have been increasingly concentrated on behaviour as well as outcomes. Perceptions of
performance pay also seem to be improving slightly.

That said, this is the area, both in relation to the provision of feedback and in dealing with underperformance
effectively, where employees were most critical of their immediate supervisors. Performance across agencies,
particularly in the area of performance pay, continues to be highly variable, but the good results in some agencies
suggest that employee perceptions can be further improved.

The marked differences in the composition of the SES leadership group across agencies means that agencies will
need to take different approaches to developing their SES and ensuring the capability of their leadership group.
For agencies with strong internal labour markets this may mean encouraging greater use of mobility options, as
well as mechanisms of external review to bring ‘fresh eyes’ to their operations. For agencies with relatively
inexperienced SES it may mean investing in more formal leadership capability development programmes. For
agencies with many SES new to the agency it may mean finding ways to ensure that they can develop the
technical understanding they need to bring a sufficient breadth of knowledge to their work. For all agencies,
however, a continuing focus on the capability of their leadership group will be critical to their ability to achieve
outcomes for the Government and the community.




    1.    National Institute for Governance, Public Service Leadership: Emerging Issues, December 2003,
          <http://governance.canberra.edu.au>
    2.     Management Advisory Committee 2005, Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service: One APS–One
          SES, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
    3.    All data in this section relates to operative SES, except where specific references to inoperatives are included.
    4.    MAC agencies are listed in full at the start of Chapter 12.
    5.    Management Advisory Committee 2005, Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce, Commonwealth of Australia,
          Canberra.
    6.    K. Rutzick, ‘Pentagon to Civilians: Get Departmentwide Experience’, GOVEXEC, 18 April 2006
          <http://www.govexec.com>
    7.    Canada School of Public Service, <http://www.myschool-monecole.gc.ca/main_e.html>
    8.    ‘Publication of First Capability Reviews Steps Up Civil Service Reform’
          <http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/news/index.asp>
    9.    Full details of the factor analysis, including details of the methodology and questions used, are set out in Appendix 4.
    10.   Corporate Leadership Council 2004, Driving Employee Performance and Retention through Engagement: A
          Quantitative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Employee Engagement Strategies, CLC, Washington, DC.
    11.   Management Advisory Committee 2004, Connecting Government: Whole of Government Responses to Australia’s
          Priority Challenges, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
    12.   PS Act s.41(1)(j).
    13.   The lower number of participants in 2004–05, compared to 2005–06, was partly due to the fact that the programme
          was being reworked during the first half of 2005 and there was a backlog of participants for 2005–06.
    14.   Management Advisory Committee 2005, Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce, Commonwealth of Australia,
          Canberra.
    15.   The lower participant number for 2005–06 was due to the introduction of the new CDAC series which commenced
          later in the financial year (i.e. September).
    16.   Full details of the factor analysis, including details of the methodology and questions used, are set out in Appendix 4.
    17.   The jurisdictional comparison data from surveys conducted in 2004–05 and 2005–06 was provided to the Commission
          by the State Services Authority, Victoria (People Matter Survey 2005); the Office of the State Service Commissioner,
          Tasmania (State Service Employee Survey 2005); and the Office of the Public Sector Standards Commissioner,
          Western Australia (Climate Survey 2005–06). While the Victorian and Tasmanian surveys covered the jurisdiction, the
          Victorian jurisdictional comparison data was based on web-based responses only. The Western Australian Climate
          Survey involved 14 agencies—each year 10–15 agencies are surveyed with each agency being surveyed
          approximately once every 5 years.
    18.   Management Advisory Committee 2001, Performance Management in the Australian Public Service—A Strategic
          Framework, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra; ANAO 2004, Performance Management in the Australian Public
          Service, Performance Audit Report No. 6, <http:// www.anao.gov.au>; Australian Public Service Commission 2006,
          Sharpening the Focus—Managing Performance in the APS, <http://www. apsc.gov.au>
    19.   Management Advisory Committee 2001, Performance Management in the Australian Public Service—A Strategic
          Framework, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra; Corporate Leadership Council (CLC), Building the High
          Performance Workforce—A Quantitative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Performance Management Strategies,
          Corporate Executive Board, Washington, DC. These findings result from research undertaken by the CLC, via a web-
          based survey of 41,000 employees and managers, and of their performance management database, aimed at
          identifying the major drivers of individual performance <http://corporateleadershipcouncil.com>
20. Full details of the factor analysis, including details of the methodology and questions used, are set out in Appendix 4.
21. Those with less than one year’s service were excluded on the basis that they would not have gone through a full
    annual performance management cycle. Forty-nine per cent of employees with 1–5 years service agreed that their
    performance management system acts as an incentive to perform well.
22. Australian Public Service Commission 2006, Sharpening the Focus: Managing Performance in the APS,
    <http://www.apsc.gov.au>
Chapter 8: Organisational capability
The Australian economic and population outlook of sustained economic growth, low unemployment rates and an
ageing population present significant workforce planning challenges for APS agencies.

These challenges are not new and have been the subject of a number of reports including the MAC report on
                       1
Organisational Renewal in 2003 and previous State of the Service reports. The 2004 MAC report, Connecting
             2
Government, concluded that, for the APS to meet the economic, societal and technological challenges in the
21st century, APS organisational capability must be underpinned by a multiskilled, flexible and intellectually agile
workforce.

                                                                    3
The MAC report on Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce, released in October 2005, reinforces these
concerns, canvassing the key workforce trends that have emerged since the 1970s, driven by both internal and
external developments, and which present significant challenges for the APS. These trends include:

        a declining role in the APS for unskilled or low-skilled employees
        higher entry levels and streamlined classification structures
        the ageing of the APS workforce
        an increasing proportion of the workforce with graduate qualifications
        an increasingly female workforce.

These trends have emerged in the context of an Australian labour market which has grown significantly on both
the supply and demand sides in recent years, but which is projected to tighten over the next two decades.

In response to these trends, Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce calls upon agencies to implement a
series of initiatives that will help them respond to the challenges identified, including skill shortages, a more
mobile and better educated workforce, evolving career expectations, and demands for more flexible working
arrangements. Chapter 6 examines learning and development issues in the context of employee engagement and
from the perspective of building organisational capability. In particular, the chapter concludes that a strategic
approach to learning and development is an important part of improving organisational capability. Chapter 7 looks
more specifically at the issue of leadership development and concludes that agency heads need to manage their
SES leadership group carefully to ensure its effectiveness.

This chapter looks at a number of issues that are of direct relevance to the challenges identified in Managing and
Sustaining the APS Workforce, and to ensuring that the APS builds the organisational capability it needs to
deliver outcomes for the Australian community, both now and into the future. It begins by looking at the extent to
which agencies have embedded formal approaches to workforce planning into their operations, the specific
workforce challenges they have identified and how they are responding to these challenges. It then goes on to
look at trends in remuneration that could affect the ability of the APS to support and sustain a high quality
workforce. The chapter concludes by looking at an area of particular challenge to the organisational effectiveness
in the APS, that is, our level of capability in record keeping.


Workforce planning
APS agencies are increasingly recognising the importance of workforce planning, with a trend to greater use of
formal workforce planning over the last few years. This year, over half of agencies (58%) had in place policies,
strategies and/or frameworks that aim to ensure they have the skills and capabilities needed for the next one to
five years. Most other agencies (37%) had these strategies in development.

The proportion of agencies with formal strategies in place was substantially higher than in the previous two years
(41% of agencies in 2003–04 and 43% in 2004–05), perhaps reflecting a renewed emphasis on workforce
planning emerging from Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce. The report calls on all APS agencies to
undertake systematic workforce planning to identify emerging issues and challenges in relation to the recruitment,
development, advancement and succession of their employees. Large agencies were slightly more likely than
medium or small agencies to have these arrangements in place.

Workforce risk assessment in relation to organisational capability was also undertaken by almost half of all
agencies (45%). As for formal workforce planning, large agencies were more likely than small or medium
agencies to have undertaken such an assessment.
Agencies that had conducted a workforce risk assessment had addressed a range of issues (see Figure 8.1).
These included the workforce implications of the strategic direction of the agency, the likelihood and
consequences of staff shortages—both in terms of overall staff numbers and in relation to critical occupations or
competencies for the agency—and the short-term and long-term consequences of staff shortages. The issue of
shortages in critical occupations or competencies had been addressed by all but one agency conducting a
workforce risk assessment.

Figure 8.1: Elements of workforce risk assessments (where assessment undertaken), by agency size,
2005–06




Source: Agency survey


Current workforce challenges

Consistent with the growing emphasis on workforce planning, agencies reported facing a range of workforce
challenges (see Figure 8.2). The most common challenge faced by almost all agencies this year was recruiting
experienced people with the required skills. The majority of agencies also reported the loss of valued mature-
aged employees as a workforce challenge. Agencies were least likely to view the lack of sufficiently strong
leadership skills at the SES level, and lower than acceptable employee turnover, as challenges.

There is evidence of increasing skill shortages for agencies over the last three years, with agencies reporting
difficulty recruiting people (other than through a graduate programme) with required skills increasing from 62% in
2003–04 to 88% in 2005–06. Challenges with higher than acceptable employee turnover and difficulty recruiting
to graduate programmes have also increased substantially, but they are still not widespread. These increases all
point towards the effects of a tighter overall job market on the APS this year than in recent years.

Agencies were less likely to report that ensuring employees’ skills and/or knowledge meet the agency’s
requirements was a challenge this year compared to previous years.

Figure 8.2: Workforce challenges faced by agencies, 2003–04 to 2005–06
                        4
Source: Agency survey


A substantial minority of agencies are reporting that skill shortages are having a moderate to severe impact on
organisational capability. Figure 8.3 shows the types of skills shortages reported by agencies and their impact on
capability in 2005–06. Approximately one third of agencies reported that shortages in information technology,
accounting, and financial management professionals were having a moderate or severe impact on their agency’s
organisational capability. Skills shortages in the ‘other’ category that some agencies reported as having a severe
impact on capability included medical specialists, technical, auditors, forensic auditors, investigators/compliance
officers, social workers, and oil and gas safety professionals.

Agencies need to consider the best way to attract applicants from areas of skill shortage. This may include
proactive recruitment strategies, developing individualised remuneration and employment conditions packages
and marketing the advantages of an APS career. Agencies may also benefit by participating in the APS
Communities of Accountants and Statisticians being developed by Finance and the ABS and the ICT Professional
and Skills Development Group being developed by AGIMO to promote learning and development and career
planning for professionals in these disciplines. The establishment of these communities flowed from the MAC
publication Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce. As a result of this report, the Commission is also
redeveloping the online gazette as an APS employment and recruitment portal which will provide a more effective
mechanism for marketing vacancies to potential applicants.

Figure 8.3: Skills shortages and their impact on agency capability, 2005–06
Source: Agency survey


Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce identified particular concerns about the breadth and depth of
experience in potential APS leaders in management, policy development and whole of government processes. It
called on all APS agencies to invest in identifying and developing the future leaders of the APS.

A substantial minority of agencies reported that they were currently experiencing at least one leadership skill set
gap among their existing SES (36%). The most common skill set gap was in the area of people management
(24% of agencies).This was followed by the capacity to think strategically (14%), the capacity to steer and
implement change, and effective communication skills (both 13%). Agencies expressed fewer concerns about the
ability of their SES to motivate, inspire and generate commitment to agency goals (12%), the capacity to work
collaboratively across agency and jurisdictional boundaries (10%) and expertise in delivering outcomes (9%). Skill
set gaps in the area of people management and the capacity to think strategically were more commonly identified
by large agencies.

Skill set gaps were more common in the SES feeder group, with more than half of agencies (55%) reporting at
least one gap. The relative incidence of the different skill set gaps was similar to the SES group, with agencies
most likely to identify people management skills (40% of agencies), followed bythe capacity to think strategically
(35%). The relatively high incidence of skill set gaps for this group supports the emphasis that MAC has placed on
encouraging agencies to invest in developing future APS leaders.


Workforce planning challenges

Given the growing emphasis on workforce planning, agencies need to ensure that they have the internal
capability that allows them to plan strategically for their future workforce needs. In this regard, it is significant that
the majority of agencies (65%) report experiencing at least one workforce planning challenge.

The most common workforce planning challenge for agencies during 2005–06 was gaining adequate information
to enable their agency to evaluate the effectiveness of learning and development (48%). This was followed by:

        the ability to plan for changes that are likely to impact on their agency’s business (e.g. technological
         change, greater cross collaboration with other agencies) (42%)
        adequate information on their agency’s workforce skills sets (e.g. qualifications) (38%)
        identifying the capabilities required to deliver future workforce needs (36%).
Only a relatively small proportion of agencies indicated that adequate information on their agency’s workforce
demographics and characteristics was a workplace planning challenge (12%).

The proportion of agencies that identified workforce planning challenges increased with agency size. This is likely
to reflect the increasing complexity of workforce challenges in larger agencies.

Although workforce planning is still an area where agencies need to develop more capability, there is some
evidence of improvement. In particular, almost all challenges were less frequent in 2006, than they had been in
2005.


Measures to deal with workforce challenges

Reflecting the growing use of strategic processes for workplace planning, agencies have a broad range of
measures in place to deal with workforce challenges and there has been an increasing focus on these measures
since 2004. Such measures were used by almost all agencies in 2006, including those who had not yet developed
formal workforce plans—95% of agencies had at least one measure in place.

Table 8.1 shows the agency measures in place to deal with workforce challenges, ordered by the most common
measures used in 2005–06.


Table 8.1: Agency measures in place to deal with workforce challenges, 2003–04 to
2005–06.

                                                                                    2003–       2004–       2005–
                                  Measure
                                                                                    04 %        05 %        06 %
Performance management systems aligned with identified
                                                                                  71           78          83
workforce requirements
Measures to attract and retain people with critical skills (e.g.
enhanced and/or more flexible pay and conditions, development                     69           76          81
opportunities)
Learning and development strategies aligned with identified
                                                                                  59           65          79
workforce requirements
Recruitment strategies aligned with identified workforce
                                                                                  60           63          68
requirements
Succession management strategy link to future workforce needs                     22           24          24

Source: Agency survey

Performance management systems aligned with identified workforce requirements, measures to attract and retain
people with critical skills, learning and development strategies aligned with identified workforce requirements, and
recruitment strategies aligned with identified workforce requirements were all widely used. Reflecting the growing
focus on workforce planning, the use of the first three measures has increased over the last three years. The use
of recruitment strategies has not increased as dramatically, but a number of agencies have this measure in
development.

The only measure not used by the majority of agencies was a succession management strategy linked to future
workforce needs. This is of some concern, given that MAC has called on all APS agencies to invest in identifying
and developing future leaders, albeit that almost half of agencies (48%) reported that they are currently
developing formal succession management strategies and many other agencies appear to be adopting an
informal approach to this issue.

Agencies that indicated they use measures to attract and retain people with critical skills did this in a variety of
ways. Most commonly they used a higher base salary (90% of relevant agencies), followed by a performance-
related bonus (68%), development opportunities (e.g. study awards, fellowships, secondments) (66%),
recruitment/retention allowance/bonus (53%); work placements/rotation (47%), car parking space (40%) and
enhanced conditions (e.g. leave, reunion fares) (40%).
Remuneration
Remuneration should be seen as an essential element of agencies’ strategic approach to workforce planning and
human resource management. As noted above, many agencies are already using a combination of salary,
bonuses and enhanced employment conditions to attract and retain people with critical skills.

For most APS agencies the overarching legislative framework against which agency heads manage an
organisation’s business, including agency remuneration, consists of the Financial Management and Accountability
                                                                                                          5
Act 1997 (FMA Act), the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (WR Act) and the Public Service Act 1999 (the Act).
Within the established accountability framework, agency heads are required to ensure that agency annual reports
contain details of their agency’s remuneration arrangements including coverage information on collective
            6
agreements and AWAs, salary ranges by classification and a description of any non-salary benefits. An annual
report must also provide information on the number of employees receiving performance pay by classification,
aggregate amount by classification and for the whole agency, the average bonus payment and the range of such
payments by classification.

Since the last State of the Service report the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (WR Act) was substantially amended
by the Workplace Relations Amendment (WorkChoices) Act 2005, which introduced changes to the workplace
                                                            7
relations framework including agreement making provisions. In response to these changes, DEWR, which has an
advising and oversighting role for the implementation of Government policy for agreement making in the APS,
recently revised the Workplace Relations Policy Parameters for Agreement Making in the Australian Public
                     8
Service (April 2006). These parameters ensure that agreements:

        are consistent with the Government’s workplace relations policy, including that AWAs are available to all
         staff
        link improvements in pay and conditions to improvements in organisational productivity and performance
        provide improvements in pay and conditions that can be funded from within agency budgets
        include compulsory redeployment, reduction and retrenchment provisions, with any changes not to
         enhance existing redundancy arrangements
        facilitate mobility across the APS
        have leave and employment practices that support the release of Defence Reservists for peacetime
         training and deployment.

The policy parameters operate in conjunction with resourcing arrangements overseen by Finance which also
affect the way in which agencies address labour market pressures. Other factors affecting agency remuneration
strategies include legislated obligations in relation to public accountability, organisationalperformance and
outcomes considerations, and managing individual behaviours such as supporting the APS Code of Conduct, the
APS Values and agencies’ performance management schemes.

This section examines key trends in APS agencies’ remuneration in 2005–06. It covers agreement coverage,
salary and performance pay issues. It also makes some comments on current funding arrangements andpotential
difficulties facing the APS in an increasingly tight labour market environment.


Agreement coverage in APS

Agreement making in the APS has progressed since the early 1990s and the data suggests that a mature
bargaining relationship between employers, employees and unions has become well established. Data provided
by DEWR indicates that at 30 June 2006 there were 100 collective agreements operating in the APS. Seventeen
of these were third-round agreements and 49 were fourth-round agreements with 16 agencies having negotiated
a fifth-round agreement and 2 agencies being in their sixth round (the remaining sixteen agreements were first or
second-round agreements). Forty agreements were made during the year to 30 June 2006 (compared with 34
agreements made in the previous 12 months). The 100 operating agreements cover around 95% of ongoing APS
1–6 employees and just under 80% of ongoing EL employees. It has been Government policy for some time that
all SES employees are to be employed on AWAs.

Over two-thirds of operating agreements have been made with one or more trade unions (under either old section
170LJ or new section 328 of the WR Act), while over 30% have been made directly with employees (under either
old section 170LK or new section 327 of the WR Act). These proportions have been much the same over the past
four years and almost all agreements totally replace the award.

As shown in Table 8.2, the average annualised wage increase (AAWI) for all APS collective agreements entered
into during the 12 months to 30 June 2006 was 4.2% (the same as for 2004–05 and 2003–04). When calculated
from the nominal expiry date (NED) of an agreement to the NED of that agreement’s replacement, the AAWI was
3.9% for the 12 months to 30 June 2006 (compared to 4.0% for the previous12 months). The spread of NED to
NED AAWI in APS collective agreements in the 12 months to 30 June 2006 ranged from 3.1% to 5.0% (last year
the comparable data was 2.7% to 4.7%).


Table 8.2: Comparisons of wages growth, 1997–98 to 2005–06

            APS          APS NED to                                      ABS wage
                                     Private sector Comparable sectors’
           AAWI (a)     NED AAWI (b)                                    cost index (e)
                                     AAWI (c) (%)      AAWI (d) (%)
             (%)            (%)                                              (%)
1997–
          2.6 (f)       Na                 4.0                4.1                       Na
98
1998–
          2.6 (f)       Na                 3.9                4.1                       3.2
99
1999–
          3.3           3.0                3.5                3.6                       2.9
00
2000–
          4.8           3.5                3.9                3.9                       3.4
01
2001–
          4.1           3.9                3.6                4.0                       3.3
02
2002–
          4.9           3.9                3.8                4.1                       3.4
03
2003–
          4.2           4.0                3.9                4.3                       3.6
04
2004–
          4.2           4.0                3.8                4.4                       3.8
05
2005–
          4.2           3.9                4.1                4.4                       4.1
06

Notes:

(a) Average annual wage increases in APS collective agreements entered into during the 12 months to
30 June. Collected by DEWR.

(b) The NED to NED AAWI measures the average annual pay increase from the nominal expiry date
(NED) of the previous agreement to the NED of the current agreement. The NED to NED AAWI allows
for particular comparisons of annual wage increases across APS agency agreements and should only be
used in this context.

(c) Average annual wage increase in current private sector collective agreements. Note that some figures
in this column have been revised since last year’s report.

(d) Average annual wage increase in industry sectors with more than half their employees having post-
school qualifications. ABS data shows that there were six industry sectors with more than 50% of their
employees with post-school qualifications—Electricity, Gas and Water (65%), Construction (55%),
Property and Business Services (56%), Government Administration and Defence (54%), Education
(77%), and Health and Community Services (61%). This data is sourced from the ABS 2001, Census of
Population and Housing. The data on AAWI by industry sector was collected by DEWR.

(e) ABS Cat. No. 6345.0 Labour Price Indexes, Australia. Average annual index—ordinary time hourly
rates of pay excluding bonuses. It is a broad measure of wage growth in both the federal and state
jurisdictions covering all employees.

(f) These numbers are estimates based on a DEWR publication Pay Increases in APS Agencies—April
Table 8.2: Comparisons of wages growth, 1997–98 to 2005–06

             APS           APS NED to                                      ABS wage
                                       Private sector Comparable sectors’
            AAWI (a)      NED AAWI (b)                                    cost index (e)
                                       AAWI (c) (%)      AAWI (d) (%)
              (%)             (%)                                              (%)

2001 Report which calculated that the AAWI since 1996 to the end of 2000 was 2.6% per annum.

As shown in Table 8.2, salary increases contained in APS collective agreements (4.2%) were slightly higher than
the private sector AAWI at 30 June 2006, which was 4.1%. On an AAWI basis, the average APS wage increases
in collective agreements has been above the average for the whole of the private sector over the past six years.
However, this wage increase difference has narrowed over the past three years and was only 0.1 percentage
point at 30 June 2006.

A more accurate method of comparing APS wage increases to that of the private sector limits the comparison to
                                                                                       9
those industry sectors where employees have tertiary qualifications similar to the APS. As shown in Table 8.2,
the AAWI in collective agreements current at end-June 2006 for industry sectors with more than half of their
employees having tertiary qualifications remained stable at 4.4% compared to the APS figure of 4.2%. This is the
third consecutive year that the APS AAWI has been below that for private sector industries with comparable levels
of educational qualifications. Results from the 2005 Mercer APS remuneration survey comparing the APS to the
private sector are discussed below.

With regard to AWAs in the APS, coverage continued to grow over the past year. Data collected by DEWR from
agencies indicates that the number of operative AWAs in the APS over the 12 months to 30 June 2006 increased
to around 10% of all APS employees—14,800 AWAs compared to 11,823 AWAs last year. This figure comprises
2167 covering the SES (1937 last year), 7141 covering EL staff (5966 last year) and 5492 covering APS 1–6
employees (3837 last year).

The growth in AWA coverage of APS 1–6 employees continued to be very strong—up 43% from last year. This
classification group, however, still has the lowest coverage level (around 5% of all APS 1–6 employees)
compared with around 22% for EL staff .


Salary and performance pay

Data on salary increases, salary levels and performance pay by classification for those on AWAs and collective
agreements is available from the results of an agency survey of SES and non-SES remuneration commissioned
by DEWR and conducted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting (the APS remuneration survey) each
          10
December.

As participation in the APS remuneration survey is voluntary, there are limitations concerning the generalisability
of the data collected from the 55 participating agencies (in 2005) to the whole APS. In particular, self-selection
into the survey has resulted in a higher proportion of larger APS agencies, than medium and small agencies,
participating in the survey. Additionally, the APS Remuneration survey adopts a four-band size scale as opposed
to the three-band size scale used elsewhere in this report. Caution is therefore recommended when comparing
Mercer collected data to other data in this report where agency size is included in the analysis. Nevertheless, the
APS remuneration survey offers a unique perspective on wage movements in the APS and has proven to be a
reliable guide to remuneration trends in the APS.

Salary increases in 2005

APS remuneration survey data generally supports the finding that salary increases are consistent with those in
the comparable private sector industries but that actual salary levels are generally lower than those in the
                                                                                                        11
comparable private sector. The 2005 APS remuneration survey reported that the median base salary increases
                                                                                                                 12
across all non-SES classifications (3.7%) was equal to the private sector base salary increases at quartile one.
EL 2 employees recorded the highest median movement (4.3%) while Graduates recorded the lowest (2.5%). The
median base salary in the private sector, in contrast, was higher across all non-SES classifications, with the
exception of APS 1 and APS 2, but the competitive position of the APS compared to the private sector remained
stable between 2004 and 2005.

For SES employees, the APS remuneration survey data indicates that their relative remuneration position
compared to private sector equivalents remained virtually unchanged. The 2005 APS remuneration survey found
an overall SES median base salary increase of 4.3% (3.5% last year) with increases across classifications being
4.7% for SES Band 1, 4.0% for SES Band 2 and 4.2% for SES Band 3. The remuneration gap between the SES
                                                                                                                13
and their private sector equivalents identified in last year’s report continued but remained relatively stable.

The 2005 APS remuneration survey data show no consistent trends when wage increases or actual remuneration
is analysed by agency size. There were also no consistent trends in the pay rises provided to employees covered
by collective agreements and AWAs.


The use of AWAs/collective agreements for non-SES employees

Consistent with the results from last year’s State of the Service agency survey, nearly all agencies (94%) reported
having some non-SES employees covered by an AWA. For most of these agencies (95%), this meant employing
non-SES employees at the same classification level on a mix of AWAs and the agency’s collective agreement (i.e.
some employees at the same level are on AWAs while others are covered by the collective agreement). Ninety-
two percent of these agencies reported that this occurred for EL 2 employees, 87% of these agencies for EL 1
employees and 81% of these agencies for APS 1–6 employees.

There has been little change in the most common reasons for having employees at the same classification level
on a mix of AWA and collective agreement coverage. Of the changes that did occur, more agencies reported
adopting this mixed coverage approach to implement a performance pay system, to provide flexible work
practices and to maintain an employee’s pay and conditions upon moving from another agency. These increases
applied across APS 1–6, EL 1 and EL 2 classifications. More agencies also reported additional
duties/responsibilities of EL 2 employees on AWAs/individual agreements, relative to other positions at the same
classification level, as a reason for having mixed coverage.

Overlapping salary ranges

There appears to be some increase in the extent of overlapping salary ranges between classifications this year.
Consistent with the findings of the previous two APS remuneration surveys, the approximately 50% of employees
paid around the median (i.e. in the second and third quartiles) do not overlap between any of the non-SES
classifications. However, across all these classifications, some employees in a particular classification can earn
more than the median base salary for the classification above. For example, some APS 2 employees are paid
more than the median base salary for an APS 3 and this pattern applies through all classifications to EL 2. The
2005 salary overlap pattern is similar to that provided in the 2004 APS remuneration survey.

These findings are consistent with the devolved agreement making arrangements where each agency can,
subject to budgetary constraints, tailor their recruitment and remuneration policies to reflect the requirements of
their agency. Base salary overlaps across all non-SES classifications are also consistent with the earlier finding
that agencies are using AWAs to maintain an employee’s pay and conditions upon moving from another agency.
Where this is being driven by demand for widely-used specialist skills, there could be some potential for agencies
to create a bidding war that unnecessarily increases pay levels. One way of avoiding the worst aspects of bidding
wars for scarce skills and knowledge is through effective workforce planning strategies which place greater
emphasis on developing specialist skills and experience internally.

      Evaluation of APS Agencies’ Remuneration Policies



This evaluation, conducted in 2005, examined agencies’ written remuneration policies as they relate to AWAs for
non-SES employees, and assessed the efficacy of the interaction of these policies with other strategic corporate
policy associated with workforce planning.

In the APS, tailored remuneration arrangements are predominately managed through AWAs and are generally
linked to a performance bonus scheme that identifies agency outcomes, and individual contributions to those
outcomes. An effective performance pay scheme can deliver several key outcomes including flexibility in
remuneration levels and improved employee attitudes, behaviours and commitment.

Employee acceptance of remuneration arrangements is crucial for an individualised pay system to meet
management objectives. This turns on perceptions of fairness, direct application to the individual and consistent
application across an agency. The evaluation found that transparency in these processes is paramount in gaining
employee acceptance, and that a written remuneration policy was critical to gaining this support. However, the
2006 agency survey found only 37% of APS agencies had written remuneration policies in place (23% of small,
38% of medium, and 57% of large agencies) for non-SES employees on AWAs.
An examination of agency-written remuneration policies showed that:

        larger agencies were more likely to offer lower level staff AWAs
        the collective agreement salary established the minimum base salary of commencement of an AWA
        regardless of agreement type, there was a direct relationship between ratings from performance
         assessment and reward
        remuneration policies dealt primarily with pecuniary issues of base salary and/or performance related
         pay arrangements with no reference to an employee’s scope to vary conditions of employment.

A benefit of longer term strategic planning identified by the evaluation was that it increased an agency’s capacity
to meet skills requirements through planned skills development linked (where appropriate) to planned succession
management. The more long term an agency’s strategic planning, the greater the scope to address skills
requirements through less reactive approaches than the simple offer of a higher salary or bonus.

A likely inhibitor on the development of agency remuneration policies identified in the evaluation was that for
many agencies, longer term, strategic corporate objectives remain unclear. As a consequence remuneration
policies in these agencies tended to be reactive and process oriented, or undocumented altogether.

Performance bonuses

Performance bonuses are an important element in managing workplace performance in the APS and can add
considerably to remuneration for those employees who receive them. The 2005 APS remuneration survey data
shows that although 36% of non-SES APS employees are eligible for bonuses, employees covered by AWAs
were considerably more likely to be eligible than their collective agreement-covered colleagues.

The 2005 APS remuneration survey found that non-SES bonuses are overwhelmingly focussed on performance.
Receiving performance bonus payments is commonly associated with employees meeting high performance
objectives. However, the APS remuneration survey found that, in some cases, they are also used to provide a
performance incentive to those employees already at the top salary point in their classification.

A substantial minority of non-SES employees are eligible for performance bonuses. The 2005 APS remuneration
survey reported that 36% of non-SES APS employees are eligible (27% last year) with APS 1–6 classifications
averaging 20% eligibility. More than half of EL employees are eligible (52%). The average actual bonuses paid to
staff generally increased with classification ranging from 1.7% of base salary for an APS 1 to 4.9% of base salary
for EL 2s. As with the 2004 results, the 2005 APS remuneration survey found average bonuses for AWA-covered
employees were considerably higher than the average bonuses paid to collective agreement-covered employees.
Moreover, the difference at the top end of the non-SES classifications was larger when compared to last year,
primarily due to a higher proportion of eligible collective agreement employees not being paid a bonus.

Almost all SES employees are eligible for a bonus. The 2005 APS remuneration survey reported that 87% of SES
were eligible (compared to 85% last year) and, of those, 84% actually received a bonus payment (85% in
2004).The percentage increase in bonus payments from 2004 to 2005 for SES Band 1 was 2.9%, for SES Band
2, 1.7% and for SES Band 3, 6.8%.

The 2005 APS remuneration survey also found that an increasing number of SES AWAs contain provisions that
provide for salary increases to be taken in the form of a bonus payment—from 5% of SES Band 1 AWAs in 2004
to 19% in 2005, from 12% of SES Band 2 AWAs in 2004 to 24% in 2005 and 10% of SES Band 3 AWAs in 2004
to 29% in 2005. This could suggest that, at the SES levels, employees are becoming more confident in the
processes and outcomes associated with performance pay. See Chapter 7 for a discussion on overall employee
views on performance bonuses.


Funding arrangements

The last two State of the Service reports touched on the matter of pay increases in the APS and their funding.
Those reports suggested that the policy parameter that requires the ongoing funding of remuneration increases
for collective agreements and AWAs largely from productivity improvements within agency budgets had not, at
least at the average level, appeared to have prevented APS employees from achieving salary increases in excess
of the average of the private sector. This trend continued during2005–06, with the gap between APS and the
private sector average wage increases continuing to close over the past four years.

The comparison with the average increase for the total private sector is somewhat misleading in that the APS
workforce is, on average, a more highly qualified workforce than the general Australian labour force. The results
of the 2006 State of the Service employee survey indicated that 67% of APS employees(66% last year) had a
                                                                           14
tertiary qualification (including all post-secondary school qualifications) ; comparative data for the broader
Australian labour force is 47% with tertiary qualifications according to the 2001 ABS Census of Population and
Housing. When wage increases in the APS are compared to industry sectors with a similar educational
qualification profile, APS collective agreements have recorded lower wage increases over the past three years,
and the level of wage rates continues to be behind comparable sectors at a range of classifications. This limited
evidence tends to suggest that there is little if any ‘bidding up’ of pay amongst APS agencies beyond what the
broader labour market demands, at least for employees covered by collective agreements.

In an increasingly tight labour market wage pressures appear set to continue and, while the flexible wage-setting
mechanisms in the APS have allowed agencies to successfully compete in the current labour market climate, our
continued success into the future is not guaranteed. The generational change creating labour market supply
shortages causes particular problems for the APS given our skill requirements, the concentration of the APS
workforce in Canberra, the generally lower APS remuneration compared to private sector equivalents and the
nature of our funding arrangements.

To help address the challenges thrown up by tight labour market conditions, agencies need to draw on the many
positive features of working in the APS, including the nature of its work in strategic policy development and
service delivery to the public, its unique development opportunities and its values- framework, to position the APS
as an ‘employer of choice’. Agencies need to demonstrate a 21st century approach to work-life balance—an
approach that caters for more mobile career patterns among younger workers, flexible work options for older
workers that encourage continued participation in the workforce, and working arrangements that allow all
employees to balance their work and non-work lives. Chapter 5 indicated that this is already an area of relative
strength for the APS. Additionally, new technologies and more efficient work practices are likely to enable a more
sophisticated APS workforce to continue to increase its productivity and to lead to a reduction in workforce
numbers in some areas.

Regardless of how successful the APS is in recruiting and developing quality staff, however, individual agencies
will need to confront the budgetary pressures created by these workforce challenges, including higher
remuneration and increased investment in both technology and staff training and development.

The State of the Service Report 2004–05 discussed the current funding arrangements and the substantial overall
productivity gains required to be made by APS agencies. The report made the reasonable assumption that, in a
tightening labour market, agencies and, in particular, small agencies may experience difficulties in matching the
market rates for the skills they require under the current funding arrangements. At face value, the 2005 APS
remuneration survey suggests that small agencies are competing effectively. However, having a ‘small agency’
size band that includes agencies with up to 499 employees may serve to mask problems being experienced by
smaller agencies.

Although some agencies may achieve the required efficiencies through genuine efficiency gains or sensible re-
prioritising, others may have no choice but to fund pay increases by cutting worthwhile activities and/or reducing
numbers of employees. This in turn could lead to a reduced capacity to absorb new initiatives and to deliver on
core responsibilities.

To meet increasing wage and condition pressures without cutting activities and/or employees, new approaches to
meeting these budgetary challenges may need to be considered. The current arrangements are likely to hinder
APS agencies, particularly small agencies, competing for high quality staff in an ever-tightening labour market.
Consideration of a ‘safety valve’ for agencies in stress may be warranted.


Record keeping
The maintenance of effective record keeping systems is a key part of overall organisational capability, as well as
an important component in an agency’s governance arrangements. Effective record keeping assists agencies in
achieving their business goals by ensuring the accessibility of required information and allowing employees to
meet their obligations of accountability to the Government and the community. It allows agencies to demonstrate
that due process has been followed in actions and decisions.

Record keeping has attracted substantial attention in recent years. Although there has been an increase in the
transparency of record keeping, a number of reports have raised concerns about its quantity and quality, notably
from the ANAO. Record keeping has also been raised in the context of specific cases of concern such as the
                                            15                                  16
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Services case and A Certain Maritime Incident. In part, this increased attention
has arisen because record keeping in the APS has been affected by greater public scrutiny through administrative
law reform and parliamentary oversight over the past few decades. However, it also reflects a greater emphasis
on achieving results.

Last year’s State of the Service report noted that although administrative law reforms such as the Freedom of
Information Act 1982, have generally led to improvements in public administration, there is a risk that these
reforms may inhibit formal record keeping. The Ombudsman has undertaken a review of departments’ handling of
freedom of information applications this year, with the results reported in Chapter 11.The Commission’s
publication, Supporting Ministers, Upholding the Values, released in March 2006, provides a range of good
practice suggestions as to how record keeping should be handled in public servants’ dealings with Ministers’
        17
offices.

Technology has also had a major impact on record keeping practices. The ANAO has previously identified limited
                                                                                                                18
controls over electronic records as a significant risk in the non-capture and unauthorised disposal of records.
Electronic records that need to be captured effectively include important email messages, databases containing
                                                                     19
case records with long-term value, and records of online business. The ANAO recently published its third audit
                                                                                      20
of record keeping, Recordkeeping including the Management of Electronic Records. The findings of the audit,
which focused on record keeping practices in three major agencies, were similar to its previous two audits. The
audit noted that electronic environments pose particular problems for adequate record keeping, but that this
should not impinge upon the obligation of the APS to effectively maintain records. The report indicated that work
was required in each of the agencies examined to enable them to fully meet their record keeping responsibilities.

Based upon the findings of all three audits, the ANAO provided the following recommendations to assist
organisations to meet their record keeping responsibilities: recognise record keeping as an integral part of ‘doing
business’; undertake a record keeping needs analysis; develop medium to long term strategies to deal with
increasing volumes of electronic records; ensure that policies address all systems, both paper-based and
electronic; determine the information that needs to be created within each major area of activity; and supplement
strategic and policy frameworks with ongoing training and advice to employees.

Another influence on record keeping, identified by the National Archives of Australia, is an increasing reliance on
outsourcing, and contractors or consultants. This can have implications for corporate memory and mean that the
                                                                 21
organisation must depend more heavily on recorded information.

Poor record keeping is also routinely raised by the Ombudsman as an impediment to the proper handling of
complaints by members of the public (see Chapter 11 and previous State of the Service reports).

                              22                        23
Last year, the Palmer Inquiry and the Comrie Inquiry raised concerns about the integrity of the then DIMIA’s
systems and processes, including systems for record keeping.

In response to the issues raised by Palmer and Comrie, DIMIA sought the NAA’s assistance in reviewing its
                                                                                                          24
record management training and practices. The NAA’s report, Recordkeeping in DIMIA: A Strategic Review,
recommended that the department build systematic record keeping into business processes and systems. DIMA’s
response to the NAA’s recommendations was outlined, among other initiatives, in 12 Months after Palmer: On the
                  25                        26
Move to Improve. The DIMA Plan 2006–07 also has a focus on improving information management.

DIMA’s experience, although based on its own particular circumstances, demonstrates what can go wrong when
record keeping fails within agencies. It is likely that the issues raised are experienced to a greater or lesser
degree across the APS, particularly as they relate to managing records in an electronic environment.

The importance of effective information management was highlighted in work prepared by the Commission for the
Public Service Commissioners’ Conference, which drew together views across jurisdictions and from the relevant
literature on the early detection of unhealthy symptoms in underperforming agencies. The review highlighted
effective information management and good record keeping as one of the signs of a healthy agency. Conversely
ineffective information management could be an early warning sign of an underperforming agency.


Agency measures to improve record keeping

Based on both the State of the Service surveys, it appears that many agencies are making record keepinga high
priority. Almost all APS agencies took some measures to improve record keeping during 2005–06(90%). The level
of activity increased with agency size, with all large agencies having adopted at least one measure.

The most common measure was a review or implementation of systems to support record keeping (see Figure
8.4). Measures involving staff training and reviews of record keeping policies and procedures were also common.
The review of record keeping capability of line-of-business systems and the introduction of a best practice guide
to record keeping were less common, but were being developed in a substantial proportion of agencies.

Figure 8.4: Specific agency measures to improve record keeping, 2005–06




Source: Agency survey


Around one-fifth of agencies indicated that they had implemented measures other than those included in the
agency survey. These included educational strategies, conformance reporting, intranet news items and dedicated
record keeping project officers.

Assessing the effectiveness of this level of agency activity is more difficult. Employees are generally supportive of
the general commitment of their agency to record keeping, with the large majority believing that their agency
considers good record keeping practices to be very important (87%). This figure is the same as last year, but
slightly higher than the result in 2002–03 (84%).There was generally high agreement with this question across
large agencies, ranging from 72% to 97%.

Employees were less positive, however, about whether, in the last 12 months, record keeping practices in their
agency had generally improved—45% of employees agreed and 10% disagreed. Many employees did not appear
able to make a judgement, with 36% neither agreeing nor disagreeing. Agreement within large agencies varied
from 18% to 59%. It seems that many of the initiatives undertaken by agencies have not yet had a real impact on
employees on the ground, particularly in small agencies where employees are generally less positive about their
agency’s efforts.

Employees inside the ACT were generally less positive than those outside the ACT across most record keeping
issues, possibly reflecting differences in the nature of work performed by these employees. There are also
continuing differences between EL and APS 1–6 employees. In particular EL employees were almost twice as
likely to disagree (16%) that agency record keeping practices had generally improved than APS level employees
(9%).


Communicating record keeping responsibilities

In reviewing DIMA’s record keeping practices, the NAA placed a strong emphasis on the provision of adequate
training to employees, and encouraging employees to take their record keeping obligations seriously.

Agencies have put in place a range of measures to make employees aware of their responsibilities in relation to
record keeping. The most commonly used measure was placing information on the Intranet. Circulars, operating
instructions and outlining record keeping responsibilities to new staff as part of formal induction were also widely
used. Around two-thirds of agencies had staff attend seminars and training provided by the NAA. Compliance
assessments (i.e. audits) and information in Chief Executive’s Instructions were used by just over half of
agencies. All measures were less used by small agencies than other agencies (see Figure 8.5).

Figure 8.5: Agency measures to ensure employees are aware of their record keeping by agency size,
2005–06




Source: Agency survey


Consistent with the high level of agency activity, the large majority of employees believed that they receive
appropriate training and/or have access to information that enables them to meet their record keeping
responsibilities. There was a higher level of agreement (72%) than last year (67%), with agreement showing a
generally upward trend since 2003.

In line with results for the importance agencies place on record keeping, employees from inside the ACT and from
small agencies were less likely to agree. This is a similar pattern to previous years.

Despite the generally good results overall, agreement within large agencies ranged widely from 42% to 83%. The
agencies with agreement rates significantly above the APS average were ABS, AGD, CRS and Centrelink.

Most employees (75%) believed that their agency provides adequate equipment, facilities and/or storage to
enable them to meet their record keeping responsibilities—results were similar to last year, although the level of
disagreement was down slightly. Once again, those outside the ACT were more likely to agree than those inside
the ACT. Agreement across large agencies ranged from 56% to 92%.

Employees were generally very positive about their own commitment to, and understanding of, record keeping.
The vast majority agreed (90%) that they understand their responsibilities in relation to creating and maintaining
records, although those from small agencies were less likely to agree. There was generally high agreement with
this question across large agencies, with results ranging from 59% to 95%.

The majority also agreed (80%) that an important aspect of their job is meeting their record keeping
responsibilities. Those from small agencies were again less likely to agree. Agreement across large agencies
ranged from 75% to 96%.
Despite these positive results, employees seem to be struggling to find enough time to do their record keeping.
Just over half of employees (59%) agreed that, considering their work demands, they have enough time to meet
their record keeping responsibilities (22% disagreed). Agreement across large agencies ranged from 41% to
72%.This is consistent with the concern identified by the NAA that the pace of change and demands made of
individuals in modern government puts great pressure on the capacity of people to make good records. The NAA
has stressed that these pressures make it all the more importantthat good, easy-to-use systems are in place to
                                               27
help people achieve essential record keeping.

Classification again had a significant relationship to views about record keeping, with APS level employees
showing higher levels of agreement than other employees for most items. The clearest difference related to
whether, considering their work demands, employees feel they have enough time to meet their record keeping
responsibilities. Sixty-four per cent of APS level, 41% of EL and 34% of SES agreed.

The high level of activity in relation to record keeping, and generally positive views about record keeping, need to
be tempered somewhat by the reality of the deficiencies in record keeping identified by the ANAO, Palmer and
Comrie and the Ombudsman. Although the understanding of employees of the importance of record keeping is
encouraging, it needs to be translated into more effective procedures on a day-to-day basis. In this regard, the
NAA’s recommendations to DIMA to integrate record keeping as apart of routine operations should have
resonance for all APS agencies.


Electronic Business Systems (EBS) for record storage

The growing use of electronic records has been a major challenge for agencies’ record keeping systems. Agency
survey results this year confirm that this is an area which many agencies are just beginning to address.

Table 8.3 shows that the use of a number of measures to deal effectively with electronic records are not yet
widespread across APS agencies, with only approximately one third of agencies using each of the listed elements
in their electronic business systems. Levels of interest are increasing with significant proportions of agencies
reporting that they were developing each initiative.

A digital preservation plan was the least commonly used initiative. However, almost half of agencies had this plan
in development.


Table 8.3: Elements of agency’s electronic business systems, 2005–06

                                                                                   Yes        Being    No
                                                                                    %      developed % %
Formal mechanisms in place to ensure that record keeping
requirements are addressed in the design and management of your 37                        40                 20
agency’s electronic business systems
The use of a records disposal authority28 to manage data as
                                                                                  37      43                 20
records within the agency’s electronic business systems
The use of a taxonomy29 to manage data as record within the
                                                                                  35      30                 35
agency’s electronic business systems
The use of a thesaurus30 to manage data as record within the
                                                                                  32      31                 36
agency’s electronic business systems
A digital preservation plan to ensure that corporate data of long
                                                                                  18      45                 37
term or ongoing value remains accessible
Other                                                                             2       7                  27

Source: Agency survey. Note figures may not total 100% as some agencies did not provide responses to
all items

In contrast to other record keeping policies, on average, medium-sized agencies were more likely to have these
elements of their electronic business system currently in place, followed by small and large agencies.
Small (43%) and medium-sized agencies (46%) were far more likely than large agencies (17%) to have formal
mechanisms in place to ensure that record keeping requirements are addressed in the design and management
of their agency’s electronic business systems. However, the majority of large agencies (61%) had these
mechanisms in development.

Reflecting the early stage that many agencies are at in dealing with electronic records, most agencies still use
traditional forms of storage of corporate emails as the official corporate record, with by far the most common
method being to print and file into registered paper correspondence files (93% of agencies).

The next most common methods were to save into personal email folders (65%) and save into shared drives
(54%). Other methods used by less than half of agencies included saving into an email storage or email archiving
system (39%), saving into personal drives (37%), and saving into a corporate Electronic Document and Records
Management (EDRM) system (35%). The heavy concentration on printing off emails and saving on personal
email folders is of concern, particularly given the warnings by the ANAO of the risk of the non-capture of
electronic records.

Record keeping, both at an organisational and an individual staff level is clearly an area where many agencies
need to improve their capability. With this in mind, MAC is undertaking a project on effective record keeping
designed to enhance the understanding, capability and motivation of staff to make appropriate records. The MAC
report, which will consolidate existing material and ensure that key messages and recommendations are practical
and can be readily understood and applied by employees with record keeping responsibilities, is expected to be
released in early 2007.


Key chapter findings
The challenge of sustaining high levels of organisational capability currently facing the APS is not new. Many of
our current challenges centre around the demographics of an ageing APS workforce combined with the projected
tightening of the labour market. This situation is not expected to ease in the short to medium term.

The potential for skills shortages have been highlighted repeatedly in successive State of the Service reports and
this year received renewed emphasis with MAC’s report, Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce. The
evidence is now emerging that skill shortages, particularly in areas of specialist skills such as information
technology, accounting, and financial management, are becoming widespread across the APS.

APS agencies are increasingly responding in a more systematic way to these challenges. More are implementing
formal workforce planning and there is some evidence of increased workforce planning capability and an
increasing focus on measures to deal with workforce challenges.

The evidence in the chapter, however, highlights some important challenges. In particular, and consistent with the
findings of Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce, many agencies have identified skills gaps both for their
SES, but more particularly, for their SES feeder groups. This is an area of concern in relation to current and future
organisational capability. Agencies need to take seriously the need to develop the capacity of the SES feeder
group and take a more systematic approach to identifying future leaders.

Part of the response to our growing workforce challenges will inevitably be ensuring that we have the right
remuneration strategies in place. APS non-SES salary increases continue to be slightly ahead of overall private
sector wage increases, but the difference is narrowing and increases have now been less than the most
comparable private sector industries for the past three years. In addition, there is a continuing remuneration gap
between the actual level of remuneration received by many APS employees and their private sector equivalents.
If this trend continues APS agencies may begin experiencing more difficulties in recruiting quality staff .

Overall, the relationship between organisational capability, remuneration policies and a high quality APS
workforce suggests that the APS needs to take a more strategic and integrated approach to developing
remuneration policies. Agencies need to have a particular focus on areas of specialist skills in high demand and
will benefit from supporting the APS-wide professional communities of accountants, statisticians and ICT
professionals being established in response to Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce.

Nevertheless, no matter how innovative our approaches we will need to confront the budgetary pressures that
meeting these workforce challenges will create, including higher remuneration and increased investment in both
technology and staff training and development. Pressures on our one-size-fits-all financial allocation process, in
an ever-tightening labour market, will only increase.
The area of record keeping continues to be a problematic one for the APS as a whole and for individual agency
effectiveness.

Overall, the agency and employee survey results regarding record keeping were fairly positive, highlighting the
fact that most agencies consider record keeping a priority issue. Employees, however, have mixed views about
the success of these efforts and many feel that, considering their work demands, they do not have enough time to
meet their record keeping responsibilities. There is also limited evidence that agencies are dealing with the
challenge of electronic record keeping effectively.

The experience of DIMIA demonstrates what can go wrong when record keeping fails, and reinforces the
importance of making record keeping a routine part of business operations within all APS agencies. MAC’s project
on record keeping should be a useful tool in reinforcing the priority of record keeping to all employees and
encouraging agencies to develop practical, business-oriented, and easy-to-use systems in place to help people
achieve essential record keeping.




    1.    Management Advisory Committee 2003, Organisational Renewal, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
    2.    Management Advisory Committee 2004, Connecting Government: Whole of Government Responses to Australia’s
          Priority Challenges, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
    3.    Management Advisory Committee 2005, Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce, Commonwealth of Australia,
          Canberra.
    4.    The item ‘Lack of sufficiently strong leadership skills and/or potential within the SES feeder group’ was not included in
          the 2003–04 agency survey.
    5.    A number of APS agencies continue to be covered by the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.
    6.    In this report the term ‘collective agreement’ refers to either collective agreements made under the new sections 327
          or 328 of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (WR Act), as introduced in the WorkChoices amendments, or to Certified
          Agreements (CAs) made under previous sections 170 LK or 170 LJ of the WR Act.
    7.    For a discussion of these changes see Bills Digest at <http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/bd/2005-06/06bd066.pdf; 2
          December 2005, no.66, 2005–06>.
    8.    DEWR, <http://www.workplace.gov.au/workplace/Organisation/Government/Federal/AgreementMaking/APS-
          WorkplaceRelationsPolicyParametersforAgreementMakingintheAustralianPublicServiceApril2006.htm>
    9.    For comparability purposes the ABS definition of tertiary education is adopted, that is formal education beyond
          secondary education, including higher education, vocational education and training, or other specialist post-secondary
          education or training. The qualification categories contained in the employee survey question included under this
          definition of tertiary education are: vocational qualification; associate diploma; undergraduate diploma; bachelor
          degree; postgraduate diploma; masters; and doctorate. It should be noted that other differences between sectors may
          also drive remuneration results.
    10.   Mercer Human Resource Consulting, APS Remuneration survey, commissioned by DEWR, in 2001, 2002, 2003,
          2004 and 2005. Since 2002 the Mercer surveys present a snapshot of data as at 31 December each year. In previous
          reports this survey was referred to as the APS remuneration survey. For additional information see:
          <http://www.workplace.gov.au/workplace/Organisation/Government/Federal/Reports/2005APSRemunerationSurvey.h
          tm>
    11.   The 2005 APS remuneration survey uses three salary classifications in its analysis. Base Salary represents full time
          equivalent annualised PAYG salary. It includes post-tax employee superannuation contributions and any additional
          post-tax sacrifice amount. It excludes all other cash components including bonuses and allowances. Total
          Remuneration Package (TRP) represents the total of: Base salary; superannuation (including employer productivity
          superannuation contribution amounts); annual remuneration value of motor vehicles (including parking and FBT); and
          other fixed benefit items. Total Reward (TR) represents TRP plus bonus payments.
    12.   The Average Annual Wage Increase (AAWI) in Collective agreements from comparable industry sectors remains
          slightly higher (at 4.4%) than the non-SES TRP median reported by Mercer in the 2005 APS remuneration survey.
    13.   Methodological changes made to the 2004 APS remuneration survey inflated the percentage increases.
    14.   For comparability purposes the ABS definition of tertiary education is adopted, that is formal education beyond
          secondary education, including higher education, vocational education and training, or other specialist post-secondary
          education or training. The qualification categories contained in the employee survey question included under this
          definition of tertiary education are: vocational qualification; associate diploma; undergraduate diploma; bachelor
          degree; postgraduate diploma; masters; and doctorate.
    15.   ANAO, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Services—Effectiveness and Probity of the Policy Development Process and
          Implementation, Performance Audit No. 42, May 2000, <http://www.anao.gov.au>
    16.   Senate Select Committee on a Certain Maritime Incident, A Certain Maritime Incident, October 2002,
          <http://www.senate.aph.gov.au>
    17.   Australian Public Service Commission, Supporting Ministers, Upholding the Values: a good practice guide,
          Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, <http://www.apsc.gov.au/publications06/supportingministers.pdf>
    18.   ANAO, Recordkeeping in Large Commonwealth Organisations, Report No.7, September 2003,
          <http://www.anao.gov.au>
    19.   NAA, Recordkeeping: a new approach, <http://www.naa.gov.au/recordkeeping/overview/new_approach.html>
    20.   ANAO, Recordkeeping including the Management of Electronic Records, Audit Report No. 6, October 2006.
          <http://www.anao.gov.au> This audit was published late in the production cycle of the State of the Service Report
          2005–06 and will be discussed in further detail in next year’s report.
    21.   NAA, Recordkeeping: a new approach, <http://www.naa.gov.au/recordkeeping/overview/new_approach.html>
    22.   M.J. Palmer, Inquiry into the Circumstances of the Immigration Detention of Cornelia Rau: Report, July 2005,
          <http://www.minister.immi.gov.au>
23. Commonwealth Ombudsman, Inquiry into the Circumstances of the Vivian Alvarez Matter, (Report by the
    Commonwealth Ombudsman of an inquiry undertaken by Mr Neil Comrie), September 2005,
    <http://www.ombudsman.gov.au>
24. NAA, Recordkeeping in DIMIA: A Strategic Review, February 2006, <http://www.immi.gov.au/about/department/perf-
    progress/dimaimprovements/>
25. DIMA, 12 Months After Palmer: On the Move to Improve, September 2006,
    <http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/department/_ pdf/palmer-progress-a5-booklet-web.pdf>
26. DIMA, The DIMA Plan 2006–07, July 2006, <http://www.immi.gov.au/about/department/dima-plan/dima-plan.pdf>
27. NAA, Recordkeeping: a new approach, <http://www.naa.gov.au/recordkeeping/overview/new_approach.html>
28. A legal document issued by the NAA to authorise the disposal of Commonwealth records in accordance with the
    Archives Act 1983.
29. A classification system applied to records in a particular business information system, within a particular
    organisational setting. It is a hierarchical system for classifying records based on the business activities that generate
    the records.
30. An alphabetical presentation of a controlled list of terms, linked together by semantic, hierarchical, associative or
    equivalence relationships. Such a tool acts as a guide to allocate classification terms to individual records.
Chapter 9: Agency governance
Since the 1990s corporate governance, within both the private and public sectors, has received worldwide
attention. Highly publicised corporate failures in Australia and internationally have served to highlight the adverse
consequences of poor corporate governance for direct stakeholders and the community at large. This increased
focus by governments, international organisations, private sector regulators, public sector auditors and academics
has driven legislative reforms, as well as a myriad of codes and guides to assist practitioners in implementing the
structures and principles underpinning good governance. It has also prompted an expanding body of evidence-
based research that is beginning to establish the linkages between governance and the micro-performance
dimensions required for an organisation to meet its goals.

ANAO has defined corporate governance as the processes by which organisations are directed, controlled and
held to account. It encompasses authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control exercised
                     1
in the organisation.

                                                                                                     2
Uhrig's definition of governance is similar but puts primary emphasis on the delegation of authority. He states
that corporate governance encompasses the arrangements by which the power of those in control of the strategy
and direction of an entity is both delegated and limited to enhance prospects for the entity's long-term success,
taking into account risk and the environment in which it is operating. Uhrig notes, however, that there is no
universally accepted definition of corporate governance, or agreement on the structures and practices that are
required to achieve good governance.

ANAO goes on to note that public sector governance has a very broad coverage, including how an organisation is
managed, its corporate and other structures, its culture, its policies and strategies and the way it deals with its
various stakeholders. The concept encompasses the manner in which public sector organisations acquit their
responsibilities of stewardship by being open, accountable and prudent in decision making, in providing policy
                                                         3
advice, and in managing and delivering programmes. Some of these issues are covered in this chapter, but
others, in particular culture and relationships with stakeholders, are covered in other chapters, notably Chapter 4
and Chapter 11.

Effective governance processes can have both direct and indirect benefits. At a direct level, effective governance
processes provide the framework within which organisations can operate effectively. At the indirect level, they can
also have an effect on employee satisfaction, and on the general public's perceptions of the effectiveness and
integrity of the organisation.

Following a discussion of recent governance related initiatives being undertaken in other countries, this chapter
examines the implementation of a selection of governance initiatives in the APS during 2005-06.

It then looks at the effectiveness of key governance processes, particularly the exercise of authority, stewardship
and accountability. The chapter concludes by looking at links between employee perceptions of the effectiveness
of governance processes and levels of employee engagement.


International initiatives
There has been growing interest internationally in issues of effective governance. A 2006 Institute of Public
Administration of Canada study of journal article content found that governance related articles were the number
                                                                                                     4
one topic covered in international public administration journals published over the last two years.

The OECD has played a role in focusing governments internationally on issues of public governance and
corporate governance more generally. As part of a suite of initiatives dealing with governance, in April 2005 the
                                                                                                         5
OECD launched a website to enable easier research into governance and public sector developments. This was
followed in September 2005 by a publication that sets out the OECD guidelines on corporate governance in state-
                   6
owned enterprises. The OECD suggests that not only is sound corporate governance critical in enabling state
owned enterprises to contribute to a country's economic efficiency and competitiveness, it is a prerequisite for
economically effective privatisation.

Governance issues have also been examined by the OECD's Public Governance Committee at ministerial level.
The committee found that effective and efficient public governance is important to ensuring economic and social
development. It linked governance to issues of strengthening citizen trust and engaging with citizens, and
                                                                                             7
emphasised the importance of effective risk management strategies and resource allocation.
In the UK, governance reforms aimed at improving government services to the community through regulatory
innovations continued during 2005-06. The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill was introduced to streamline
reforms to outdated or overly complex legislation, allow for a business friendly regulatory enforcement,
                                                                                                          8
consolidate regulatory bodies, and reduce legislative requirements needed to implement EU directives. The Bill
aims to improve the regulation of the private sector by reforming existing governance arrangements that impede
efficient and effective public sector decision-making in this area. As at 19 July 2006, the Bill had completed the
Committee stage in the House of Lords.

In Canada the controversy created by the AdScam election advertising scandal underpinned a host of initiatives
to improve governance in the Canadian federal public service. For example, the Treasury Board of Canada
Secretariat released a new policy on learning, training and development for public service employees at all levels
                                        9
with the goal of improving governance. The new Conservative Government has also introduced an Action Plan
                                                                                                                     10
that incorporated most of the recommendations contained in Justice Gomery's inquiry into the AdScam scandal.
The aim of the Action Plan is to create a culture of accountability, transparency and integrity within the Canadian
public service and amongst public office holders. Of the initiatives that target the public service, the main focus is
on procurement and financial management policies, where the core reform is a shift from the current command
and control transaction level rules and regulations to a principles based approach promoting management
accountability and transparency.

In NZ, the State Services Commissioner has released a publication which provides guidance to government
                                                                                                                 11
agencies for preparing their Statements of Intent under the requirements of the revised Public Finance Act 1989.
These documents are tabled in Parliament and contain the agencies' medium-term (three to five years) operating
intentions and performance expectations.

The NZ Government has also initiated a five-year plan to introduce a comprehensive set of Development Goals
for public sector agencies. These goals provide the framework to improve whole of government coordination and
to establish processes for future public sector reform. In July 2006, the State Services Commission released the
State of the Development Goals Report 2006 that describes what the future public sector might look like after the
goals are achieved, highlights examples of good practices already implemented, and provides a set of indicators
                                                            12
for measuring agency progression toward the milestones.


Governance developments in 2005-06
The increased attention to public governance internationally has mirrored developments in Australia. The release
of ANAO discussion papers on governance in Budget funded agencies (1997) and in Commonwealth authorities
and companies (1999) and the 2003 Better Practice Guide on public sector governance has placed governance
                                               13
on the APS reform agenda for the past decade. Events such as the examination of the governance structures of
the private company, AWB International, have kept the focus on this issue more broadly.

There have been two key direct influences on governance in the APS in more recent times. The first wide-ranging
influence has been the Uhrig report and subsequent reviews of Australian Government agencies. The second is
                        14             15
the impact of the Palmer and Comrie reviews of immigration cases in DIMIA.

Although the Palmer and Comrie reviews were specific to DIMIA, they nevertheless raised issues whichgo to the
heart of ANAO's definition of governance including issues of authority, accountability, leadership, and control, as
well as issues of underpinning culture, and the way an organisation deals with its various stakeholders.


Uhrig Reviews
                                                                                                             16
The Review of the Corporate Governance of Statutory Authorities and Office Holders (the Uhrig Review),
presented in 2003, called for a more rational and consistent approach to determining the financial and
governance frameworks that should apply to Commonwealth Government entities, and clarifying the relationships
between entities, Minsters and departments of state. In its August 2004 response, the Government accepted most
of the key recommendations of the Uhrig review and endorsed the two templates identified in its report designed
to ensure good governance exists.

Finance, in its publication Governance Arrangements for Australian Government Bodies (August 2005), outlined
the principles for determining appropriate structures and governance arrangements for Australian Government
bodies, underpinned by the policy preference to curb the unnecessary proliferation of these bodies. The
publication also reinforced the approach advocated by the Australian Public Service Commissioner that there be a
greater alignment of the employment and financial frameworks for statutory bodies which, as a general rule,
would see the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Public Service Act 1999 (the Act)
applying to the majority of Commonwealth bodies performing core APS functions such as programme
management, service delivery, policy advising or regulatory activities.

The implementation of the Uhrig Review consists of three distinct but interrelated phases. The first phase was a
ministerially-led assessment of governance arrangements of 162 Commonwealth statutory authorities and office
holders. The second phase focuses on implementing the outcomes of those phase one assessments. The third
phase seeks to establish the Uhrig Review governance principles and templates as a fundamental feature of
future APS decision-making, especially when considering the creation of new Commonwealth entities.

As at August 2006, 148 of the 162 phase one assessments had been provided to the Minister for Finance and
Administration. This equates to a 91% completion rate. Of the remaining assessments, some have been rolled
                                                                                          17
into wider review processes to achieve more effective outcomes for the agencies involved.

Responsible Ministers are announcing assessment and implementation outcomes on a continuous basis. A
sample of achieved outcomes as at August 2006, include:

        Centrelink-retirement of board and introduction of executive management from 1 October 2005
        Medicare Australia-retirement of former HIC board and its conversion from the CAC Act to the FMA Act
         from 1 October 2005 and staff coverage was also transferred to the Public Service Act 1999
        Austrade and AIFS-boards retired and converted from the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies
         Act 1997 to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 from 1 July 2006; Austrade staff
         coverage was also transferred to the Public Service Act 1999
        Australian Research Council-board retired and converted to executive management from 1 July 2006
        National Health and Medical Research Council-converted to executive management and agency status
         under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 from 1 July 2006
        Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme and Public Sector Superannuation Scheme-boards merged to
                                                                          18
         form the Australian Reward Investment Alliance from 1 July 2006.

The Uhrig Review also posited that, in order for statutory authorities to meet Government, Parliament and the
public's expectations, a clear understanding of their purpose is essential. It recommended that the responsible
Minister issue a Statement of Expectations that, inter alia, articulates the statutory authority's purpose and
functions and communicates the objectives and priorities of government that require incorporation into the
authority's administrative responsibilities. Conversely, the statutory authority is responsible for formally committing
to ministerial expectations by providing the Minister with a Statement of Intent. This statement needs to explain
how the authority will meet all expectations and priorities and must clearly link the Statement of Expectations with
                                                                                                                19
the authority's ability to deliver by articulating measurable and verifiable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Statements of Expectations and Intent are generally published to allow external scrutiny, although independent
bodies, GBEs and agencies closely linked to departments will be exempted from this reporting requirement. As at
                                                                                                      20
August 2006, Statements have been published for at least 11 entities, six of which are APS agencies. There is
                                                                                                        21
ministerial agreement that the Statements for the remaining non-exempt entities will also be published.


Response to Palmer and Comrie

Another influence on governance in the APS has been the inquiries into the handling of immigration cases at
DIMIA. In discussing the Palmer and Comrie inquiries, the State of the Service Report 2004-05 focused on
findings that relate to the authority, accountability and leadership aspects of ANAO's definition of governance,
including concern over the integrity of systems and processes, and issues related to decision- making processes
in the application of regulations and following the discovery of errors.

In 2005, DIMIA revised its internal governance structures and released an implementation plan to advance a
comprehensive series of reforms aimed at addressing the process and structural deficiencies highlighted in the
Palmer and Comrie reports. Overall, 56 projects identified in the implementation plan have been completed. The
Department, now DIMA, has publicly recognised that the acceptance of the recommendations of the Palmer and
Comrie reports committed the department to a process of continued improvement across a broad spectrum of its
                            22
governance arrangements.

It would be a mistake to quarantine the lessons of Palmer and Comrie to a single agency; all APS agencies and
employees can learn from the reports. DIMA's comprehensive overhaul of its governance processes is a model
which other APS agencies may wish to examine.
Governance policies, procedures and structures
The issues raised in ANAO's definition of governance-the exercise of authority, accountability, stewardship,
leadership, direction and control-are operationalised in agencies through governance policies, procedures and
structures. A number of aspects of ANAO's definition, especially leadership, direction and control, were
considered in the context of Chapter 7. Accountability issues are of course also an integral part of more general
issues of integrity and fairness which were discussed in Chapter 4.

This section looks in more detail at some particular aspects of governance. The issue of authority, is explored
through the effectiveness of agencies' organisational structures and decision-making. The issue of stewardship is
explored through an assessment of approaches to risk management and financial management. Finally, the issue
of accountability is examined through approaches to the management of conflict of interest.

Of course, these issues only provide a partial picture of governance within agencies. In addition, all three areas
can be said to relate to all aspects of the ANAO definition of governance in some way. Nevertheless, an
examination of agency performance against these aspects of ANAO's definition of governance begins to provide
us with a picture of the effectiveness of governance structures in the APS.


The exercise of authority-organisational structures and decision-making

Organisational management and structures, and their effect on decision-making within agencies, are key aspects
of governance arrangements. They are a large part of how authority is delegated and exercised within agencies.

A number of factors that influence the effectiveness of organisational structures have been identified, including
the capability of committee members, the clarity with which the role and authority of committees is defined, and
employees' understanding of the governance structures in their agency. All of these issues can also impact on
perceptions of the objectiveness of decision-making.

Agency policies and approaches

Agencies generally have well-developed governance structures which govern the exercise of authority within the
organisation, including a range of governance committees. Agencies were asked to list the governance
committees they had in place as at 30 June 2006. The agency survey found that agencies were most likely to
have audit committees in place (83%) reflecting the fact that these are a requirement of the Financial
Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. Also
common were occupational health and safety and management or executive committees (both 65%) and
workplace consultative/relations (62%). IT (42%), personnel management/human resources (36%) and finance
and information/knowledge management committees (both approximately one quarter) were less used.

Agency size appeared to have some influence on committee structure. For example, audit, security and IT
committees were more common in large agencies, workplace relations committees in medium agencies, and
occupational health and safety committees in small agencies.

The quality of the employees recruited to governance committees and those exercising the authority delegated to
these committees is crucial to their success. Agencies reported a variety of procedures in place to select
                                                                                      23
employees to serve as members of the various committees operating in their agency. Procedures varied
depending on the committee type, and were determined largely by the function, responsibilities and terms of
reference of the particular committee. Membership of senior committees was commonly determined by CEO or
executive nomination, having regard to the skills, experience and positions held by potential committee members.
Some selection decisions were determined solely by the positions held by incumbents (e.g. remuneration
committees comprised only of SES employees). Other committees commonly used a staff election process (e.g.
workplace relations committees) and/or self-nomination (e.g. occupational health and safety and consultative
committees). Generally, committees requiring employee representation would use some type of employee
election process, with managerial committee members mostly appointed by the executive.

Some agencies recognised the need to invest in improving the capability of committee members. A variety of both
formal and informal training was provided to ensure they have the requisite knowledge and skills to contribute to
committee operations, the type of training being dependent on the committee in question. Membership of some
committees required training to be undertaken upon entry or at specific time intervals, whereas other training was
ad hoc. Although some training was undertaken internally, the majority of training was sourced from external
providers. Mentoring and informal development was commonly used to facilitate knowledge transfer. In some
cases, training was not considered necessary due to members being selected based on their particular skill set
and professional expertise. Where committees had a formal charter they were more likely to be able to clearly
identify training needs, establish specific training requirements and facilitate member induction.

In most cases, agencies recognised the importance of ensuring that the role and authority of governance
committees was clear. Over two-thirds of agencies mentioned using committee terms of reference to ensure that
the roles of each committee are clearly established. Committee charters were also mentioned by approximately
one-third of agencies. Various forms of departmental documentation were highlighted as being available to
identify committee roles, provide guidelines for action and other information relating to responsibilities. This type
of information was commonly published on agency Intranets. Another mechanism included a review of roles and
charters to ensure that the committee roles were clearly defined.

The methods used by agencies to ensure that committee members are clear about their role were similar to those
used in ensuring the roles of the committee itself are clearly established. Over one-third of agencies had terms of
reference and approximately one-quarter listed a committee charter, though these were mentioned less
commonly by small than by medium and large agencies, suggesting a tendency to adopt a less formal approach.

Processes of member role definition were generally divided between formal (e.g. committee charters, terms of
reference) and informal mechanisms where no formal individual roles exist (e.g. induction briefings, mentoring,
committee discussions); the latter are more common. Several agencies relied upon the chair of the committee,
and to a lesser extent the secretariat, to ensure that committee members are aware of their respective roles.
Among those agencies that did use formal mechanisms to define committee members' roles, the documentation
relating to this process was sometimes made available to all agency employees, most commonly through the
agency Intranet.

The existence of terms of reference or other means of member role definition is an essential prerequisite of
effective governance processes, but this does not guarantee effective participation or outcomes. Being effective
as a committee member is not just a matter of understanding one's role. It also requires members to be
thoughtful, helpful, critical and active participants. These are characteristics not easily measured through a
survey. However, it is incumbent on all agencies to encourage this type of commitment from their committee
members.

For governance processes to be effective, they also need to be widely understood among all employees.
Procedures to ensure that employees have access to information that outlines the agency's decision- making
processes and/or relevant committee structures were widespread, being reported by 89% of agencies. Another
8% had arrangements in development. Small agencies (91%) were slightly more likely than large agencies (87%)
to have these policies and procedures in place.

One mechanism for explaining the structure and authority of governance arrangements within the organisation is
through a diagrammatic representation of the relevant structures. Just over one-third of agencies (37%) had a
diagrammatic representation (e.g. a flow chart) of how some (or all) of their agency's committees link together
(54% did not and 10% had diagrams in development). Such diagrams can be an important tool to enable
employees and committee-member understanding of decision-making structures. Large agencies (61%) were
more likely to have a diagrammatic representation than medium (38%) or small agencies (20%).

Employee awareness and understanding

There are fairly high levels of awareness and understanding of how authority is exercised in agencies among APS
employees. The majority of respondents to the employee survey (64%) agreed that they understand how their
agency's decision-making processes operate (e.g. relevant committee structures and how committees are linked);
14% disagreed. Employees were more likely to agree if they were located in the ACT, or were from small
agencies.

Just over half (55%) of employees agreed that their agency provides them with information that clearly outlines
the agency's decision-making processes (e.g. relevant committee structures). Employees from small agencies
were more likely to agree than those from medium or large agencies. Agreement across large agencies varied
widely and ranged from 30% to 70%.The agencies with satisfaction rates significantly above the APS average
were DFAT and FaCSIA.

SES employees showed much higher agreement regarding their understanding of agency committee structures
and their relationship to decision-making processes (93% and 87% respectively) than APS level (62% and 53%)
or EL employees (71% and 59%).This is not a surprising finding, given the generally greater level of committee
involvement and higher-level strategy work undertaken by SES employees. Women, employees not reporting a
disability and those from non-English speaking backgrounds all showed higher levels of agreement than their
counterparts.

The fact that the majority of employees both understand and agree that their agency provides them within
formation on its decision-making processes is consistent with the high proportion of agencies reporting that they
provide this information. However, the variability of results across groups and the fact that a minority of
employees disagree that the information is provided indicates that some organisations may need to improve the
effectiveness of their information dissemination.

Objectivity in decision-making

An important issue with regard to governance and the exercise of authority within agencies is the actual and
perceived objectivity of decision-making processes. Employee perceptions of objectivity in decision- making were
generally positive. Sixty-two per cent of employees agreed that their agency has procedures and systems that
ensure objectivity in decision-making (12% disagreed). Those from medium agencies (50%, compared to 58% for
small and 63% for large agencies) were less likely to agree that these procedures and systems were in place.

Agency-specific results for large agencies ranged from 39% to 71%. Centrelink had a satisfaction rate significantly
above the APS average.

Sixty-three per cent of employees agreed that their immediate manager would take appropriate action if decision-
making processes were found not to be objective (12% disagreed). Large agency results ranged from 52% to
70% agreement. There was considerable variation across groups of employees. In particular, as with their greater
understanding of committee structures and decision-making, SES employees (82% and 83%) were more likely
than other employees (61% to 68%) to believe that processes exist in their organisation and that their immediate
manager would act to ensure objectivity in decision-making.

Women were more likely and those with disability were less likely to believe that procedures and systems were in
place to ensure objectivity. Those in the youngest age category (i.e. those aged under 25 years) agreed more
often than older employees with both these items. Employees of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background
were less likely than other employees to believe that their immediate manager would take appropriate action if
decision-making processes were not objective.


Exercise of stewardship-risk and financial management

Risk and financial management relate to all aspects of ANAO's definition of governance, but have a particular
relevance to the issue of stewardship. Uhrig's definition of governance also puts particular emphasis on the way
organisations take into account risk and the environment in which they operate. The Uhrig Review and the
                                                                                    24
Finance publication, Governance Arrangements for Australian Government Bodies, outline appropriate
                                                                                                              25
frameworks for risk and financial management as do the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997
                                                                26
and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.

Risk management

The APS appears to do particularly well against the stewardship aspect of governance. Risk management
practices are well-embedded across the APS, with most agencies (90%) indicating that they have policies and
procedures in place to ensure appropriate assessments of risk are conducted. Of those that did not, most were
developing these arrangements (8%). Large (100%) and medium (92%) agencies were more likely to report risk
assessment arrangements than small agencies (83%).

Employees were also generally positive about this issue. Over two-thirds (69%) of employees agreed that their
agency has policies and procedures in place to ensure that appropriate assessments of risk are conducted (7%
disagreed). This is a high result, but it does indicate some disparity between employee perceptions and results
from the agency survey, with most of the difference explained by a large proportion of employees who neither
agreed nor disagreed with this question. Consistent with the findings from the agency survey, employees from
small agencies were less likely to agree than those from large agencies. Employee results across large agencies
ranged from 57% to 81% agreement.

Sixty-three per cent of employees felt that in general, employees in their agency appropriately assess risk(9%
disagreed). Agency-specific results for large agencies ranged from 49% to 77%.The large agencies with
satisfaction rates significantly above the APS average were CRS and Customs.
Consistent with their generally high rate of satisfaction against governance questions, SES employees had
approximately 10%-20% higher levels of agreement regarding the appropriateness of risk management in their
agency, than other employees. Some other characteristics also influenced the findings, with women having higher
agreement levels than men, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and employees with disability
being less likely to agree than other employees.

Financial management

There was also a strong focus among APS agencies on ensuring that employees have adequate information
about financial issues. Almost all agencies (96%) had policies and procedures in place to keep employees
informed about updates, changes or revisions that relate to financial and other delegations, and to ensure that
Chief Executive Instructions (CEIs) are available to all employees (95%). All large agencies had such procedures.

Employees generally agreed that their agencies had such procedures. Seventy per cent of employees agreed that
their agency provides them with information about updates, changes or revisions relating to financial and other
delegations (8% disagreed). The majority of employees (63%) also agreed that they know where they can find
their agency's CEIs (20% disagreed). Employees located in the ACT were more likely to agree and those from
small agencies were less likely to agree.

Levels of agreement within large agencies ranged widely from 37% to 78%. Defence, FaCSIA, Health, DOTARS,
DEST, DITR, Finance, DAFF and DEH had agreement rates significantly higher than the APS average.

Again, although these results are positive, there appears to be some disparity between the agency and employee
survey results on these two issues. Some agencies may need to assess the effectiveness of their information
dissemination on finance-related updates and CEIs.

As before, SES employees showed much higher levels of agreement (86% and 92% respectively) on these
issues than other employees (58% to 77%). Employees were less likely to agree that they know where to find
their agency's CEIs if they were aged under 25 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees were much
more likely to disagree (20%) than other employees (4%). Those with an ongoing disability also showed lower
agreement than other employees on both financial management items.


Exercise of accountability-managing conflict of interest
                                                                              27
Accountability is a key part of ANAO's definition of corporate governance. One of the mechanisms by which
agencies ensure accountable and prudent decision-making is through procedures to manage conflicts of interest.
Under the Code of Conduct employees are required to disclose, and take reasonable steps to avoid, any conflict
                                                                   28
of interest (real or apparent) in connection with APS employment.

Conflict of interest obligations are an important element of public sector governance and agencies need to
develop procedures for managing real and apparent conflicts of interest. They also need to ensure that APS
employees are aware of the circumstances in which conflict of interest issues may arise and of how to resolve
these issues. Agencies also have a responsibility for defining and communicating their expectations of ethical
behaviour to non-APS employees including service providers, consultants and people supplied by labour hire
firms.

Agencies have made significant progress in developing procedures to help their employees manage conflict of
interest. Each agency reported implementing at least one measure aimed at raising employee awareness of
conflict of interest obligations. Small agencies averaged four such measures, medium agencies averaged five and
large agencies averaged six.

Ninety-two per cent of agencies reported having internal policies or procedures in place regarding the acceptance
of gifts and benefits (including hospitality). However, the potential exposure to situations leading to a conflict of
interest is not equally distributed across all APS roles, and agencies were asked if learning and development
activities on this issue were provided to particular groups of employees.

Only 63% of agencies reported providing targeted guidance/development activities to particular groups of
employees; 29% did not offer employees these activities. Large and medium agencies were much more likely to
offer these activities than small agencies.

There is a range of potential conflict of interest issues in the area of contractual relationships. Sixty- three per cent
of agencies reported having policies in place governing employee conduct in the market testing and contracting
out phases of contract procurement. This was influenced considerably by agency size, with large agencies (87%)
more likely to have these arrangements in place than medium (73%) and small agencies (40%).

A similar proportion of agencies (62%) used contractual provisions that place restrictions on key public servant
participants in a tender process being employed by the successful tenderer. Again, this result differed by agency
size, 83% for large agencies, 73% of medium and 40% of small agencies. However, only 48% of agencies
reported having policies dealing with the issue of avoiding conflict of interest when taking up employment after
leaving the public service; 39% of agencies did not but 13% were developing such systems. Just over half of large
agencies and medium agencies (57% and 54% respectively) and 37% of small agencies had these policies in
place.

The decision-making responsibilities associated with senior management positions in the APS place the senior
executive cadre in another area of high potential for conflicts of interest to occur. Eighty-three per cent of
agencies required SES employees to provide a written statement of their interests. This was required in
approximately three-quarters (77%) of small and medium agencies and all large agencies.

                                                                   29
Last year's State of the Service report noted that the Uhrig report had highlighted the scope for conflicts of duty
to arise where APS employees sit as representatives on boards or committees. Although the progressive
implementation of the recommendations of the Uhrig report accepted by the Government should reduce the
scope for such conflicts of duty, APS employees who do sit on boards need to exercise considerable care in
identifying, declaring and managing conflicts of interest and conflicts of duty. Seventy-five per cent of agencies
reported procedures for alerting employees who sit on boards or committees of the need to declare and manage
potential conflicts of interest. These procedures were in place in most agencies, regardless of size (large 83%;
small 74%; medium 69%).

Figure 9.1 shows an increase over time in the use of agency measures to help raise awareness of employee
obligations in relation to conflict of interest. The initiatives with the most marked increase in use between2004 and
2006 were policies regarding board member declaration of conflict of interest (56% in 2004,75% in 2006), policies
developed for those involved in market testing and contracting out processes (45% in 2004, 63% in 2006) and
contractual provisions used to restrict the employment of key participants in the tender process by successful
tenderers (44% increased to 62%).

Figure 9.1: Measures used by agencies to raise employee awareness of conflict of interest obligations,
2003-04 to 2005-06




Source: Agency survey
Employee survey results were generally consistent with the high level of measures reported by agencies.
Seventy-one per cent of employees agreed that their agency had policies and procedures in place to assist
employees manage conflicts of interests, and a further 7% disagreed with this statement. Employees inthe ACT,
and those working in small and large agencies (as opposed to medium agencies) were more likely to agree.
Agreement levels within large agencies ranged from 56% to 83%.

Employees were still positive, but had slightly lower levels of agreement, about whether employees in their
agency effectively manage conflicts of interest, with 62% of employees agreeing that this was the case.
Employees were more likely to agree with this statement if they were located outside the ACT or were SES
employees. Agreement within large agencies ranged from a low of 45% to a high of 73%. CRS, ASIC, DITR and
ATO had agreement rates significantly above the APS average.

Employees who agreed that their agency had policies and procedures in place to assist employees manage
conflicts of interest were more likely to also agree that generally, employees in their agency effectively manage
conflict of interest. Those who disagreed that policies and procedures existed, were more likely to disagree that
employees in their agency effectively manage conflicts of interests. This result suggests that agencies that take
an active role in ensuring all employees are familiar with agency policies and procedures for managing conflicts of
interest can make a real difference to levels of employee confidence.


Policies and procedures for non-APS employees

Non-public servants are increasingly providing direct services on behalf of APS agencies both to other
government agencies and to the public. The Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines specify that officials,
departments and agencies are answerable and accountable for any plans, actions and outcomes involving the
expenditure of public money. Agencies are expected to include provisions in tender documentation and contracts
alerting prospective providers to the public accountability requirements of the Commonwealth.

The APS Values and the Code of Conduct are particularly relevant where contractors are delivering services to
the public on behalf of the APS. When establishing relationships with providers, agencies need to consider how
the Values and the Code might be relevant, how they will be drawn to the attention of contractors (and their
employees), and how compliance is to be monitored.

Over the last three years, there has been a steady increase in the proportion of agencies reporting and
communicating to non-public servants the agency's expectations that they would behave in accordance with the
relevant Values and the Code (from 77% in 2004 to 90% in 2006). Of these agencies taking such action in 2006,
68% did this through information set out in tender documentation, 71% reported using general clauses in
contracts referring to the Values and the Code, and 29% reported including specific contractual clauses regarding
only relevant aspects of the Values and the Code. These results are generally consistent with those from last
year, although there was a decrease in the proportion of relevant agencies using specific contractual clauses.
Only 15% of relevant agencies reported using non-contractual arrangements such as briefing sessions, protocols,
the provision of information and training-the same proportion as last year.


The relationship of governance to key employee engagement
indicators
Table 9.1 sets out the results for a number of governance related questions included in the employee survey.
Some of these results are covered in more detail in Chapter 4 and Chapter 11 but are included here for
comparison with the core governance items. Results against the individual items are generally strong, with a
majority agreeing against all but one question, and the level of disagreement against any particular question no
higher than 20%. When combined in a summary 'Governance' factor, the average response for these questions
was 65% with only 5% disagreeing-a very impressive result (see Appendix 4 for more information on factor
analysis).


Table 9.1: Governance related items ordered by level of agreement, 2005–06

                                                                      Neither agree                         Not
                                                           Agree                          Disagree
                                                                      nor disagree                          sure
                                                            (%)                              (%)
                                                                           (%)                               (%)
My organisation actively encourages ethical
                                                          85         11                  4              0
behaviour by all of its employees.
Table 9.1: Governance related items ordered by level of agreement, 2005–06

                                                                     Neither agree                        Not
                                                          Agree                          Disagree
                                                                     nor disagree                         sure
                                                           (%)                              (%)
                                                                          (%)                              (%)
My agency has policies and procedures in place
that assist employees manage conflicts of      71                   17                  7             5
interest.
My agency provides me with information about
updates, changes or revisions that relate to             70         18                  8             4
financial and other delegations.
My agency has policies and procedures in place
to ensure that appropriate assessments of risk 69                   18                  7             5
are conducted.
My agency operates with a high level of
                                                         67         22                  9             2
integrity.
I understand how my agency’s decision-making
processes operate (e.g. relevant committee   64                     21                  14            1
structures and how committees are linked).
I know where I can find my agency’s Chief
                                                         63         12                  20            5
Executive Instructions (CEIs).
My manager would take appropriate action if
decision-making processes were found not to              63         20                  12            6
be objective.
In general, employees in my agency
                                                         63         23                  9             6
appropriately assess risk.
In general, employees in my agency effectively
                                                         62         22                  9             7
manage conflicts of interest.
My agency has procedures and systems that
                                                         62         22                  12            4
ensure objectivity in decision-making.
My agency provides me with information that
clearly outlines the agency’s decision-making            55         25                  16            4
processes.
My agency encourages the public to participate
                                               47                   27                  16            10
in shaping and administering policy.

Source: Employee Survey

Analysis of the connection between the summary 'Governance factor' and other employee engagement indicators
suggests that there is a link between employee perceptions of governance and some aspects of employee
engagement. For example, results on the 'Governance' factor were positively related to how satisfied employees
were with the overall say they have in decisions that impact on their work and, less strongly, to levels of job
satisfaction.

The results on the 'Governance' factor were also positively correlated with results on the other employee
engagement factors identified through factor analysis (see Appendix 4). The strongest relationship was with the
'Senior leaders/culture' factor followed by the 'Merit' factor.

These results are consistent with international and Australian research that has linked effective governance with
high levels of employee engagement. For example, Vogl linked organisational ethics with high levels of employee
                                                          30
performance and the capacity to attract and retain staff . The OECD has also suggested a link between the
integrity of governance processes and the competitiveness of the public sector as an employer, with potential
employees more likely to view the public sector as an employer of choice where it displays governance
                                                   31
institutions and mechanisms that promote integrity. Overall, the results suggest that the ramifications of good
governance arrangements may potentially extend beyond their obvious benefits to organisational performance.


Key chapter findings
The high level of interest in public sector governance on the part of governments, international organisations,
private sector regulators, public sector auditors and academics continued during 2005-06. International public
sector governance reforms have been driven by strategic reform processes based around reviews, consultation
and research and are focused on increasing accountability and improving internal agency mechanisms with the
aim of improving services to citizens.

Within Australia, the implementation of the Uhrig Review, although not yet completed, has led to revised
governance structures and processes across a range of statutory authorities and office holders. These reviews
are helping to place lines of accountability between departments, Ministers and statutory agencies on a stronger
footing.

The recommendations contained in the Palmer and Comrie reports have been accepted by DIMA. DIMA has
implemented a new governance structure and a number of projects identified in the DIMA implementation plan
have already been completed. The Commission has encouraged all APS agencies to examine their governance
structures in the light of the Palmer and Comrie reports.

Results from the agency and employee surveys provide some indication of the effectiveness of
governanceprocesses in the APS against some of the key components of governance identified by ANAO.

In relation to the exercise of authority, there has been extensive attention to the development of decision-making
structures across agencies. Agencies report a wide range of committee structures, with the variation across
agencies suggesting that they are, at least in part, being adapted to agency circumstances. Many agencies have
also recognised the importance of ensuring that committee members understand their roles and the authority they
exercise, and that they have the right capability to perform their functions. Where agencies have adopted formal
charters, they have been better able to identify the training needs of committee members. There is potential,
however, for more agencies to take a more systematic approach to member role definition.

There also appears to be widespread implementation of some basic aspects of stewardship, specifically in the
management of risk and in the communication of key aspects of financial management to employees. The high
level of activity in these areas, at least to some extent, reflects specific legislative obligations on employees under
the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act
1997. Nevertheless, it is heartening to know that agencies are taking their obligations seriously.

Issues of accountability were most clearly assessed in the agency and employee surveys through questions on
the management of conflict of interest. Results show that agencies are increasingly recognising the importance of
dealing systematically with issues of conflict of interest, with substantial improvement in recent years in the
provision of policies and measures to help employees manage conflict of interest in a range of key areas. There is
potential, however, for small agencies to take a more rigorous approach. There also needs to be greater attention
to policies for avoiding conflict of interest when taking up employment after leaving the APS.

The employee survey results provide some indication of the extent to which agencies have been successfulat
communicating their policies on decision-making, and on risk and financial management, to employees. In
general, the level of understanding or awareness reported by employees is high. However, some agencies may
need to assess the effectiveness of their information dissemination on governance issues. This may be
particularly so for EL employees who in many agencies act as the lynchpin for translating messages from senior
leadership to all employees. Greater use of diagrammatic representations of governance structures in
communicating to employees may be one strategy agencies could consider.

The results show that there are real benefits for agencies in ensuring that employees understand their policies. In
particular, agencies that take an active role in ensuring employees are familiar with agency policies and
procedures for managing conflicts of interest make a real difference to levels of employee confidence about how
such issues are handled.

In other areas, it is more difficult to make a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of APS governance
processes, in particular the extent to which the organisational structures that agencies report are effective in
practice, and make an active contribution to assurance and decision-making. The extent to which they help to
provide agencies with meaningful advice on the management of risk and emerging problems is also not clear.

One of the key difficulties in making an assessment of the effectiveness of governance processes in the APS is
the lack of information about what effective governance processes should look like. In work undertaken for the
Public Service Commissioners' Conference, the Commission has identified some features of good governance
that are likely to be found in healthy organisations, including a culture of integrity and accountability, an open,
transparent culture that encourages information sharing, effective information and record keeping management,
and a sound management system that appropriately integrates systems and processes for finance, HR and ICT.
Conversely, ineffective governance arrangements may lack clarity in accountabilities and responsibilities, lack
effective evaluation measures, have poor resource management and ineffective alignment of resources with
business needs, and initiate change through crisis management rather than through a strategic reform process.

There is clearly a need for more information on how good governance practices should apply to the APS. The
Commission is undertaking further work in this area in consultation with Finance and other agencies, both in
relation to the identification of good practice governance principles, and the governance issues related to
contracting out and the use of external partnerships for the delivery of services.

The employee survey results generally showed that employees have moderate to high levels of satisfaction with
governance issues in their agency. Governance issues also showed a positive relationship to some key indicators
of employee engagement, including how satisfied employees were with the overall say they have in decisions that
impact on their work and job satisfaction. These findings, and findings from research on the link between integrity
of processes and the attractiveness of public sector employment to potential employees, suggests that attention
to governance issues can have a range of benefits for agencies, beyond the more direct benefits of transparent
and effective decision-making.




    1.    ANAO, Public Sector Governance Vol 1, Better Practice Guide, July 2003, <http://www.anao.gov.au>
    2.    J. Uhrig, Review of the Corporate Governance of Statutory Authorities and Office Holders, June 2003,
          <http://www.finance.gov.au/governancestructures/docs/The_Uhrig_Report_July_2003.pdf>
    3.    ANAO, Public Sector Governance Vol 1, Better Practice Guide, July 2003, <http://www.anao.gov.au>
    4.    M. McConkey and P. Dutil, ‘The Top Ten Topics in Public Administration Scholarship: An International Perspective’,
          New Directions, No. 19, The Institute of Public Administration of Canada, 2006.
    5.    OECD, <http://www.oecd.org/infobycountry>
    6.    OECD, Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises: A survey of OECD Countries.
    7.    OECD Public Governance Committee at Ministerial Level, Statement by the Chairman, Rotterdam, 28 November
          2005, <http://www. oecd.org>;
          <http://www.oecd.org/document/11/0,2340,en_2649_37405_35672075_1_1_1_37405,00.html>
    8.    UK Cabinet Office, ‘Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, 2006’
          <http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/regulation/reform/bill/index.asp>
    9.    Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 2006, New Learning and Training Policy for the Canadian Public Service and
          its Role in Improving Governance, <http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca>; Government of Canada, Canada’s New Government:
          Federal Accountability Action Plan—Turning a New Leaf, <http://www.accountability.gc.ca>
    10.   Canada’s New Government: Federal Accountability Action Plan—Turning a New Leaf,
          <http://www.accountability.gc.ca>; Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsor Program and Advertising Activities
          (Gomery Review), 2005, <http://www.gomery.ca/en/index.asp>
    11.   State Services Commission, Guidance and Requirements for Departments—Preparing the Statement of Intent, 2005,
          <http://www.ssc.govt.nz/display/document.asp?docid=5288>
    12.   State Services Commission, State of the Development Goals Report, 2006,
          <http://www.ssc.govt.nz/upload/downloadable_files/sdg-report06.pdf>
    13.   ANAO, Applying Principles and Practices of Corporate Governance in Budget Funded Agencies, Discussion Paper,
          July 1997, <http://www.anao.gov.au>; ANAO, Corporate governance in Commonwealth authorities and companies,
          Discussion Paper, May 1999, <http://www.anao.gov.au>; ANAO, Public Sector Governance Vol 1, Better Practice
          Guide, July 2003, <http://www.anao.gov.au>
    14.   M. J. Palmer, Inquiry into the Circumstances of the Immigration Detention of Cornelia Rau: Report, July 2005,
          <http://www.minister.immi.gov.au>
    15.   Commonwealth Ombudsman, Inquiry into the Circumstances of the Vivian Alvarez Matter, Report by the
          Commonwealth Ombudsman of an inquiry undertaken by Mr Neil Comrie, September 2005,
          <http://www.ombudsman.gov.au>
    16.   J. Uhrig, Review of the Corporate Governance of Statutory Authorities and Office Holders, June 2003,
          <http://www.finance.gov.au/ governancestructures/docs/The_Uhrig_Report_July_2003.pdf>
    17.   T. Ioannou, ‘The Governance of Australian Government Bodies—Ensuring Better Practice in the Post-Uhrig
          Environment’, speech presented at the CPA Public Sector Finance and Management conference, 17 August 2006,
          <http://www.cpaaustralia.com.au>
    18.   Ibid. Staff coverage transfers to Public Service Act 1999 also occurred at the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority
          (ASADA) and for former Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) staff who are now part of DEST.
    19.   J. Uhrig, Review of the Corporate Governance of Statutory Authorities and Office Holders, June 2003,
          <http://www.finance.gov.au/ governancestructures/docs/The_Uhrig_Report_July_2003.pdf> pp. 91–93.
20. APS agencies include: Centrelink, Medicare Australia, MRT RRT, NOPSA, the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, and
    the Office of Parliamentary Counsel.
21. T. Ioannou, ‘The Governance of Australian Government Bodies—Ensuring Better Practice in the Post-Uhrig
    Environment’.
22. DIMA 2006, 12 Months after Palmer: On the Move to Improve,
    <http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/department/_pdf/palmerprogress-a5-booklet-web.pdf>
23. Due to the introduction of a range of questions on committees in the agency survey this year, and the absence of
    obvious pre-determined response categories, several of these items were structured as open-ended questions. For
    this reason, exact quantitative results on some issues are not available and are discussed in more general terms.
24. Department of Finance and Administration 2005, Governance Arrangements for Australian Government Bodies,
    <http://www.finance.gov. au/finframework/governance.html>
25. Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, <http://www.finance.gov.au/finframework/fma_act.html>
26. Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, <http://www.finance.gov.au/finframework/cac_act.html>
27. ANAO, Public Sector Governance Vol 1, Better Practice Guide, July 2003, <http://www.anao.gov.au>
28. PS Act, s.13(7).
29. J. Uhrig, Review of the Corporate Governance of Statutory Authorities and Office Holders, June 2003.
30. F. Vogl 2001, ‘Corporate Integrity and Globalisation: The Dawning of a New Era of Accountability and Transparency’
    <http://www.ethics.org/resources/speech_detail.cfm?ID=33>
31. K. Aijala 2002, ‘Public Sector—An Employer Of Choice: Report On The Competitive Public Employer Project’,
    <http://www.oecd.org>
Chapter 10: Whole of government
There has been an increasing focus on whole of government in the APS context in recent years. This reflects the
fact that APS agencies and their employees are required to focus beyond agency-specific outcomes and priorities
in contributing to the Government’s overall policy agenda and priorities.

The need for effective whole of government approaches continues to grow. A wide range of whole of government
activities is underway across the APS, including in the areas of security, natural resource management and the
environment, health, biosecurity, service delivery and social policy. Implementation of initiatives related to
Indigenous service delivery and the significant Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agenda reinforce the
need for the APS to operate effectively at both a cross-agency and a cross-jurisdictional level.

MAC defined ‘whole of government’ in its 2004 report, Connecting Government, as:

. . . denot[ing] public service agencies working across portfolio boundaries to achieve a shared goal and an
integrated government response to particular issues. Approaches can be formal and informal. They can focus on
                                                                   1
policy development, program management and service delivery.

Promoting and supporting a whole of government approach has been a priority of public administration in a range
of countries, as well as international bodies such as the UN.

Some common themes emerge when reviewing recent international developments in this area. Many countries
have approached increasing government coordination and improving information management through e-
government. According to the UN, approaches to e-government vary from country to country, but governments in
developed countries are advanced in the provision of services to citizens, and developing countries are also
making an effort to engage citizens through the use of innovative initiatives aimed at greater access and
           2
inclusion.

A number of countries have also looked at how they report on and assess whole of government outcomes.
Different countries have taken different approaches. For example, in the UK, until late 2005 the Prime Minister’s
Strategy Unit coordinated cross-cutting public service reform initiatives between departments. Since then, the
focus on national targets has moved to an emphasis on whole of government collaboration between central and
local government and community organisations (the ‘Third Sector’).

In Canada, there has been a focus on improving reporting to Parliament on the implementation of programmes on
a government-wide basis. Canada’s Performance 2005 provides a whole of government perspective on the
                                               3
performance of individual federal departments.

In NZ, the State Services Commission has developed an initial set of indicators for measuring progress towards
its development goals. Two relate specifically to whole of government issues, namely ‘Networked State Services’
and ‘Co-ordinated State Agencies.’

A number of national governments have addressed whole of government issues in the context of emergencies
and national crises. In the USA, inquiries into the Federal Government’s response to Hurricane Katrina have been
a catalyst for greater attention to inter-agency cooperation and communication. In NZ, the State Services
Commission has been involved in all-of-government planning for a possible Avian influenza pandemic.

Some countries have recognised the need to address issues of public service culture to promote more
collaborative approaches to addressing problems. For example, NZ organised a Public Service Senior
Management conference to reinforce the common values and collective identity of the public service, and to unify
and challenge senior managers.

In Australia, there has been significant progress in implementing whole of government across the APS, although
there remain some key risks and pressure points that require continued attention and action.

At the broadest level, progress is reflected in a number of important whole of government governance structures
which have continued to be progressed. These include:

        the continued work of the Cabinet Implementation Unit in PM&C in ensuring that major government
         projects are being planned, monitored and delivered effectively
        continuing whole of government governance arrangements for Indigenous affairs guided by the
         Ministerial Taskforce on Indigenous Affairs and supported by the National Indigenous Council and the
         Secretaries’ Group on Indigenous Aff airs.

During 2005–06, the work of the Cabinet Implementation Unit has been supplemented by the development by
Finance of the Gateway Review process, a project assurance methodology that will involve short, intensive
reviews at critical stages of a project, to improve the delivery of major projects on time and on budget.

MAC has also continued to support whole of government work this year, through the release of its Managing and
Sustaining the APS Workforce report, a statement about expectations for the SES titled One APS—One SES,
and through continuing review of progress in implementing the findings of Connecting Government. These
developments are discussed further below.

This chapter looks at some of the key structures that support the operation of whole of government, namely ICT
infrastructure and Budget and accountability frameworks. It then looks at how well whole of government culture
and capability is being promoted, both through agency and cross-agency initiatives.

Whole of government in action—Indigenous Coordination Centres (ICCs)

The introduction of ICCs as part of the Government’s new arrangements for administering Government
programmes and services for Indigenous people has been a major whole of government initiative for the APS.
ICCs bring under the one roof staff working in the main agencies administering Government programmes and
services for Indigenous people. They also work closely with other agencies delivering programmes to Indigenous
communities, most notably Centrelink.

Under the new arrangements, the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination (OIPC) coordinates and supports
whole of government approaches to programmes and service delivery for Indigenous Australians. In January
2006, OIPC was transferred to the new FaCSIA.

The ICC model is a major endeavour involving a comprehensive whole of government-based approach to service
delivery. The model is being progressively enhanced. To help support and strengthen the ICC model, the
Secretaries’ Group on Indigenous Affairs issued a further two whole of government bulletins in 2005–06 which:

        set out the next steps at the local level, including progressing more comprehensive shared responsibility
         agreement work in a range of locations and ensuring support to both ICCs and Indigenous communities
         for this work
        clarified the ICC model, focusing on expectations that ICCs will operate as whole of government offices
         focused on improving service delivery to Indigenous Australians.

OIPC state and territory offices coordinate the development of whole of government regional action plans. The
plans set out the priorities for each region within a state or territory as agreed by state managers from Australian
Government agencies and ICC managers. The plans are a frame of reference for whole of government work
carried out in each state and territory and act as an accountability mechanism.

Agencies have worked collaboratively to build the capacity and skills of staff in the ICC network. In particular:

        the appointment of solution brokers by agencies and round table discussions between agencies at ICC
         level to discuss joint approaches to funding applications have enhanced the capacity of ICCs to improve
         service delivery
        training and other support has been provided to address the leadership development needs of ICC
         managers and deputy ICC managers, and to enhance the skills of ICC staff in engaging with Indigenous
         communities, facilitating capacity development and working in a whole of government environment.

To help support and strengthen the ICC model, agency heads and SES Band 3s have become mentors to some
ICC managers to support their new role. This mentoring programme is being expanded to other ICC managers.

Supporting whole of government work on Indigenous policies and programmes is one of the five key elements of
the APS Employment and Capability Strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employees.

Working outside the agency silos is challenging for staff in all agencies. Significant effort has been invested at all
levels across agencies to ensure that agency-specific practices and processes are flexible so that they can
respond to location-specific challenges and achieve shared outcomes across the ICC network.
The operation of the ICCs illustrates well the systemic, cultural and capability issues to be managed in such
endeavours. It highlights the significant challenges in marrying vertical and horizontal responsibilities and
accountabilities on the ground and the need for supportive capability building, flexible funding arrangements and
business process reengineering that successful whole of government arrangements can entail.

Agencies whose employees had been involved with ICCs either directly or indirectly have put a range of
measures in place to support whole of government work. The most common measure has been encouraging
participation in inter-agency meetings or forums. Providing regular information and advice to ICC staff and
organising joint workshops with ICCs to promote whole of government processes are also common. Almost all the
agencies directly involved in ICCs have circulated information on ICCs to all other staff in the agency to engender
broad support and have used Commission or OIPC training on working collaboratively. Training audits have also
been used.




Whole of government systems
For whole of government approaches to be successful they have to be supported by effective systems,
particularly in the area of Budget and accountability frameworks and ICT.


Budget and accountability framework

Connecting Government identified Budget and accountability arrangements as an important enabler of whole of
government work. Although resourcing and accountability are daily priorities for most peoplein the APS, they can
present new challenges in a whole of government environment.

A specific achievement in relation to the whole of government Budget framework has been the development of a
coordinated approach to developing Budget proposals for Indigenous affairs. In 2006, OIPC coordinated the
second single Budget submission for Indigenous affairs across all Australian Government portfolios. As with the
first single Budget submission in 2005, this reflected a collaborativeprocess, enabling Budget proposals to be
considered across portfolios against identified strategic priorities. This process has illustrated how Budget
frameworks can support whole of government initiatives, but the last two years’ experience also illustrates the
complexities of, and the high-level of engagement required, to make these frameworks work in practice.

One area where MAC identified a need for improvement was in encouraging and facilitating the exchange of
financial information between Australian Government agencies. Since the report, there has been progress in
reviewing financial infrastructure to provide improved support for whole of government activities, and improving
capability across the APS to transfer and exchange financial information.

In particular, to support government Budget processes and financial reporting, Finance has been implementing a
Central Budget Management System (CBMS) progressively since July 2005, with full implementation expected in
November 2006. The system provides increased functionality and flexibility, integration between modules, the
provision of a single reporting framework, and secure desktop access for agencies through FedLink or
broadband.

Despite these successes, there is more work to do in structuring supportive financial budgeting and accountability
arrangements for whole of government work. At a very practical level, this is illustrated by the fact that only
around half of EL and SES employees involved in inter-agency forums believed that participants in these forums
pool resources when necessary.

At a more fundamental level, more work is needed on how to marry vertical and horizontal lines of accountability,
and in particular, ensure that governance structures are sufficiently flexible to allow themto operate horizontally
across traditional boundaries. Portfolio secretaries and agency heads have a specific role to play in leading by
example in these areas, collaborating with each other, developing appropriate structures, and aligning Budget
arrangements to reflect shared responsibility for outcomes.

Secretaries need to think carefully about the right governance arrangements at the start of any particularwhole of
government exercise. There are a number of key challenges to be met, including how to articulate shared
outcomes across portfolios that provide a clear framework for joint responsibility and accountability; how to
appropriate funding for joined up initiatives; and how to set meaningful performance indicators and report on
progress in a way that recognises vertical and horizontal responsibilities. The ICC initiative, in particular, has
highlighted the complexities of marrying vertical and horizontal responsibilities on the ground and the importance
of having sufficient delegated flexibility to tailor joined up packages locally (see box above).

Connecting Government found that the existing outcomes and outputs Budget framework does have the flexibility
to provide appropriate Budget and accountability arrangements for whole of government projects. Nevertheless,
in practice the implementation of these flexibilities can prove complex and thereare still perceptions among some
agencies that the framework tends to hinder joint approaches. There would be value in greater guidance and
clearer policies on financial accountability within the context of the whole of government initiative.


Technology enablement

Connecting Government also identified a need to improve agencies’ capability to transfer and exchange
information, which requires improved interoperability between agencies’ information systems.

There have been significant moves at the broad level to support the use of ICT in a whole of government way,
including through the development of ICT, and a range of ICT policies and cross-agency ICT governance bodies
to ensure a coordinated and consistent approach across whole of government.

In June 2006, the Information Management Strategy Committee was replaced by the Secretaries’ Committee on
Information and Communications Technology—a strategic, decision-making committee established to drive whole
of government approaches relating to the use of ICT across government. The Secretaries’ Group is supported by
the Business Process Transformation Committee which coordinates there design and reform of agency business
processes. The Chief Information Officer’s Committee has also been refocused and is responsible for
investigating and endorsing ICT issues and solutions to be applied at a whole of government level.

There have also been a range of practical ICT initiatives that have provided improved support to wholeof
government activities.

In March 2006, the Government released the e-government strategy, Responsive Government: A New Service
                                                                4
Agenda which outlines a vision for what can be achieved by 2010. The strategy, discussed in more detail in
Chapter 11, has a strong focus on encouraging agencies to operate in a collaborative and connected manner.

AGIMO has developed the ICT Investment Framework to guide more targeted and efficient ICT investment by
Australian Government agencies and departments. The framework aims to improve the Australian Government’s
return on investment in ICT (by enhancing strategic planning, management and evaluation of ICT-enabled
business change programmes and projects) and to better align ICT investment with agencies’ business and policy
objectives and the overarching whole of government agenda.

The latest version of the Australian Government’s Information Interoperability Framework was released in April
2006. This framework provides the principles that underpin sound information management and establishes the
concepts, practices and tools that will drive the successful sharing of information across government boundaries.

Despite these improvements at the broad level, there remains further work to be done in ensuring that information
infrastructure supports whole of government, particularly in the area of implementation. A review of the
implementation of Connecting Government conducted for MAC found that some agencies continue to identify
problems with information management and infrastructure, including systems and IT incompatibility, as
impediments when undertaking whole of government activities. There is some improvement in this area, with the
majority of participants in multi-agency forums now agreeing that they are adequately supported by ICT
infrastructure. Nevertheless, employees remain less positive about their level of ICT support than a range of other
issues relevant to their participation in multi-agency forums. This is an area where both agencies and relevant
whole of government forums need to continue to focus.

Whole of government in action—preparing for a possible influenza pandemic

Preparing for a possible influenza pandemic has been a major priority for all governments in Australia during
2005–06. A whole of government response has been developed to prevent or delay the entry of an influenza virus
with pandemic potential into Australia, limit the spread of a virus if it enters Australia and, in the event a pandemic
influenza virus spreads, respond in a rapid, cooperative and coordinated way to minimise social and economic
disruption and maintain social functioning.
PM&C established a Pandemic Team in response to the identified need for a coordinated whole of Australian
Government as well as a national approach to the issues which might face Australia in the event of an influenza
pandemic.

The major challenge facing the team has been the scale, complexity and scope of the work, involving agencies
across the Australian Government and interactions with states and territories, and the need to get both the
national and Australian Government plan in place as quickly as possible. The wide- ranging nature of the issues
which might be faced in the event of a pandemic has reinforced the need for enhanced communication and
coordination within and across agencies. The team convened and supported a high-level Deputy Secretaries’
Inter-Departmental Committee on Influenza Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness, a COAG Working Group,
and up to 12 other working groups at any one time in order to develop policy directions in a number of areas.

The work undertaken during 2005–06 resulted in the development of the National Action Plan for Human
Influenza Pandemic and a Statement of Cooperation between Australian Governments on a human influenza
pandemic endorsed by COAG on 14 July and the Commonwealth Government Action Plan endorsed by Cabinet.
These plans will continue to be reviewed and updated in response to emerging developments.




Whole of government culture and capability
Agency culture and capability critically shape the success of whole of government activities.The challengefor the
APS is to create a service-wide bias towards looking for wider whole of government objectives. Making sure that
the right capabilities are in place for whole of government work needs to be a theme in workforce planning across
the APS, including through recruitment and induction, learning and development activities and performance
management.


Building a whole of government culture

Building a whole of government culture means encouraging public servants to move beyond agency- bounded
limits to their thinking, and to embrace problem solving that is integrated, efficient and focused on achieving
shared outcomes across portfolios, and across jurisdictional boundaries. Experience shows the ongoing
importance of issues of culture and working relationships to the success of on-the-ground operations of whole of
government endeavours (e.g. the ICCs).

Most SES and EL respondents to the employee survey (77%) dealt regularly with people from other public service
agencies, with a significant proportion of this group also dealing with different levels of government—41% with
state and/or territory agencies, and 14% with local government agencies. Only 20% had none of these
interactions.

The level of formal participation in whole of government activities is, however, much lower. Of SES and EL
employees who dealt directly with other agencies, 13% reported having been a member of a task force, 22%
reported having been part of an inter-departmental committee, and 16% reported having been a member of a joint
team. Sixty-one per cent had had no involvement in such arrangements.

Developing a whole of government culture is of course relevant to all employees. Nevertheless, agencies may
need to have a particular focus on the group of employees who are at the whole of government ‘front line’.

Agency support and guidance for collaborative activity

Agencies are increasingly recognising the need to provide support and guidance for collaborative activity (see
Table 10.1). Requirements that employees maintain adequate records and report back to other employees in their
agency are the most widespread, followed by procedures for ensuring that employees have the appropriate
authority to express views on behalf of their agency. However, less than half of agencies have procedures for
ensuring that employees have the relevant skills, knowledge and authority to participate in multi-agency decision-
making forums.


Table 10.1: Proportion of agencies with guidelines/policies in place to guide employees’
participation in formal, multi-agency decision-making forums, 2003–04 to 2005–06
                                                                            2003–04 2004–05 2005–06
                                                                               %       %       %
Procedures for ensuring that employees have the relevant
                                                                            29           35           40
skills/knowledge and authority to participate in such forums
Requirement that relevant employees maintain records of
                                                                            48           63           63
discussions, decisions and actions of the forum or structure
Procedures for ensuring that employees have the appropriate
                                                                            46           54           58
authority to express views on behalf of agency
Requirement that Minister(s) are briefed on relevant issues                 45           54           55
Requirement that agency representatives report back to other
                                                                            59           61           63
employees in your agency
Access via your agency’s Intranet to the Working Together
                                                                            -            38           48
document a

(a) Working Together is a publication by MAC released in March 2005 that provides broad guidance on
the handling of whole of government communication, organisation, standards of behaviour and inter-
agency working arrangements.

Source: Agency survey

SES and EL employees who had been involved in structured whole of government activities were generally
positive about the underpinning governance structures for these arrangements. In particular:

        90% were required to report back to other employees in their agency
        77% were required to maintain records of discussions, decisions and actions of the forum or structure
        67% were required to ensure that they had the appropriate authority to participate in the forum or
         structure.

Only 52% were required to brief Ministers on relevant issues. This may reflect the nature of the issues being dealt
with by the particular forum. This result is an increase on the 36% of relevant employees who indicated such a
requirement in 2005.

Employees expressed mixed judgments on how collaborative and well supported formal whole of government
structures had been in practice (see Table 10.2). Fewer relevant employees believed that participants are
primarily focused on solving whole of government priorities, than believed that participants are primarily focused
on meeting agency-specific objectives.

As discussed above, the results indicate some concerns about the quality of budgetary and ICT systems. Only
51% of respondents believed that participants pool resources where necessary. The proportion of employees
believing that participants are supported by adequate ICT infrastructure was also relatively low, although there
was a marked improvement on last year’s result of 45%.

The best results were for participants sharing information and actively trying to work across boundaries to make
sure outcomes are achieved. In the latter case, this was a significant increase on the 2005 results (62%).


Table 10.2: Relevant EL and SES employees’ experience of multi-agency forums, 2005–
06

                                                                Agree      Neither agree nor         Disagree
                                                                 %            disagree %                %
Participants are primarily focused on meeting
                                                               67         18                        15
agency-specific objectives
Participants are primarily focused on solving whole            54         25                        21
Table 10.2: Relevant EL and SES employees’ experience of multi-agency forums, 2005–
06

                                                              Agree      Neither agree nor        Disagree
                                                               %            disagree %               %
of government priorities
Participants actively try to work across boundaries
                                                              72        20                       8
to make sure outcomes are achieved
Participants share information relevant to the
                                                              78        14                       8
project/issue
Participants pool resources where necessary                   51        32                       16
Participants are supported by adequate information
                                                              61        24                       13
and communications infrastructure

Source: Employee survey

The majority of SES and EL employees whose job required them to deal directly with people from other public
service agencies believe that their agency’s culture encourages a constructive approach to collaboration (see
Figure 10.1). Employees were more likely to believe that their agency culture encouraged a cooperative approach
to collaboration if they were located in the ACT.

Figure 10.1: Views of SES and EL employees whose job required them to deal directly with people from
other public service agencies, on whether their agency’s culture encouraged a constructive approach to
collaboration, 2003–04 to 2005–06




Source: Employee survey


These results are very good with 78% of SES and EL employees dealing with other public service agencies
indicating that their agency always or usually encouraged a constructive approach to collaboration. However,
results ranged from a low of 55% to a high of 95%. Large agencies where a significantly higher proportion of
relevant employees reported that their agency always or usually encouraged collaboration were AGD, DEST,
DAFF and DFAT.

Of the four agencies whose results were significantly above the APS average, three—DEST, DAFF and DFAT—
provided detailed comments to the Commission on how they had promoted whole of government work within their
agency, indicating a strong link between active promotion and employee views. These included:
        DAFF using its leadership alumni to assess its whole of government activities and capability and
         developing a whole of government policy statement
        DEST emphasising whole of government as a key strategy in its strategic plan, introducing a Secretary’s
         Award for Excellence in Whole of Government, and re-designing its training programmes to include
         emphasis on improving the capability of its employees to undertake whole of government activities
        DFAT promoting relevant publications, using an administrative circular to encourage staff to think
         strategically about meeting whole of government interests in their work, and integrating whole of
         government issues into departmental training programmes and performance agreement templates for
         managers.

In line with the generally high levels of agreement that their agency behaves collaboratively, agency heads are
putting significant emphasis on communicating the importance of whole of government to their senior leadership
teams. SES respondents were significantly more likely to agree that their agency head had communicated to
them the importance of working collaboratively with other agencies in 2006 than in 2005 (95% compared to 83%).

Employees involved in service delivery also indicate that there have been improvements in their agency’s
cooperation with other APS agencies. Forty-seven per cent of employees involved in service delivery reported an
improvement in cooperation between their agency and other APS agencies over the last 12 months that had
improved their work area’s capacity to tailor service delivery to the needs of their clients, a substantial increase
over the 2005 result of 35%.

Employees made a number of comments about their involvement in whole of government exercises. In particular,
they stressed the need for greater communication and the need for simple processes for sharing information.

Some employees raised the need to clearly identify goals and responsibilities. This is a point that has also been
identified in a review for MAC of the implementation of Connecting Government. The review found problems are
encountered where there is insufficient clarity and specificity in the upfront setting of shared outcomes and
objectives, with this issue having the potential to detract from the success of particular whole of government
endeavours. It also stressed the need to ensure that employees have the appropriate authority to express views
on behalf of an agency.

Whole of government in action—DAFF emergency animal disease preparedness and response

Animal diseases pay little heed to jurisdictional, legal and agency boundaries. A whole of government approach,
across government and between jurisdictions, is critical to prepare for and manage an emergency response.

DAFF has in place established and robust national arrangements for such emergencies that include Australian
Government agencies, the states and territories, and industry in a framework that addresses policy, planning,
public communications, and border protection. Lessons learnt from national exercises and responses to
emergencies such as Newcastle disease, citrus canker, anthrax in cattle, and wheat streak mosaic virus, have
strengthened these arrangements and extended the capability of response staff, as well as ensuring the early
engagement of key government and industry stakeholders.

In 2002, COAG recognised that a foot and mouth disease outbreak in Australia would require a comprehensive
management approach because of the immediate implications of export trade ceasing in livestock and livestock
products and the long-term consequences to local and regional communities and the national economy in
general. In response, DAFF led the development of a national framework and conducted a nationally coordinated
exercise known as Exercise Minotaur to evaluate our preparedness for a possible outbreak.

The release of Connecting Government coincided with the escalation of disease emergency and biosecurity
issues, in particular the emergence of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) as a threat to animal and
human health. To remain well-prepared, a second national exercise, known as Exercise Eleusis, was held at the
end of 2005 to simulate a zoonotic disease outbreak of bird flu in poultry.

DAFF is responsible for the coordination and administration of the National Management Group, which has
ultimate decision-making responsibility in the event of an emergency. The group is comprised of chief executives
of Australian Government, state and territory primary industry departments and chief executives of industry
bodies. Where appropriate, an inter-departmental committee involving key Commonwealth agencies is also
convened to coordinate response eff orts and facilitate information transfer.

An agreement between the Australian, state and territory governments and industry, known as the Emergency
Animal Disease Response Agreement, assigns responsibilities, activities and functions necessary for
preparedness and response to an animal disease threat. The agreement encompasses cost sharing
arrangements that can be invoked in the event of an emergency.

DAFF has developed a Critical Incident Response Plan that underpins its internal response to a critical incident.
The plan emphasises clear coordination arrangements, cross-portfolio, cross- government and national
involvement, and information sharing. A National Rapid Response Team has been established to respond to
jurisdictional calls for assistance with the establishment of Emergency Animal Disease control arrangements. A
national communications network charged with information dissemination and exchange, and crisis
communication at times of national emergency, has also been established

Cross-agency support

Agency efforts to support a whole of government culture have been reinforced by a number of activitiesat cross-
agency level.

In particular, MAC released a statement in October 2005, outlining its expectations for the SES across a range of
                                    5
matters titled, One APS—One SES. The statement specifically emphasises the responsibility of the SES to:

        position their work in its context, to know the business of their organisation and of the Government, and
         to contribute to the agency’s broader responsibilities in the Australian community and abroad
        connect with other agencies to leverage better outcomes, including through whole of government
         strategies.

The statement emphasises the fundamental role of the SES in making effective whole of government ways of
working happen. The SES cadre is expected to work effectively across agencies and jurisdictions to deliver
outcomes within the framework established by their statutory responsibilities. SES employees must actively foster
a supportive culture and capabilities.

The One APS—One SES statement was distributed to every member of the SES. The Australian Public Service
Commissioner also sends a copy of One APS—One SES to all newly appointed SES.

A further mechanism to reinforce the whole of government message across the APS is the Connected
Government website, launched in August 2005 to help Australian public servants work more effectively across
Government departments and agency boundaries, and promote the benefits of cross-agency approaches.

The website was a key recommendation of MAC’s Connecting Government report. It includes practical guidance
and examples to assist public service employees to work across multiple agencies, and provides users with links
to guides, tools, directories, training information, and research and reports.

The website has been well used, with an average of over 1300 unique visitors to the site every month since it was
launched in August 2005. The Connected Government website is available on the Internet at:
http://www.connected.gov.au.


Building whole of government capability

Developing the right capabilities is essential to effective whole of government working. Project management,
contract management and financial management are all important for the delivery of whole of government
programmes on the ground, as are negotiation and relationship management skills.

Training

There has been a substantial degree of activity in developing whole of government capability at agency level in
2005–06. Just over half (51%) of agencies had redesigned training programmes or refocused training objectives
to specifically improve employee capability in undertaking whole of government activities during 2005–06. A
further four agencies (5%) were developing such initiatives.

Agencies who were redesigning training programmes or refocusing training objectives put the greatest priority on
relationship management, project/programme/contract management, and communications—72% of these
agencies placed a high or very high priority on these skill sets. Other high priority skills sets included clarifying
and specifying shared outcomes, objectives and priorities (60%), ICT, and Budget/ financial management (both
58%), team building (53%) and records management (51%).
Agencies were least likely to view building negotiation/mediation and change/conflict management skills as a
priority for their agency (33% and 23% of relevant agencies stated that these areas had not been a priority in
2005–06).

In addition to activity at agency level, the Commission has had a particular focus on whole of government
capability development in the design of a suite of new learning programmes and opportunities for the SES. All
new programmes are underpinned by the theme of developing whole of government capability, and the concepts
and principles outlined in One APS—One SES are woven throughout the programmes (the programmes are
outlined in more detail in Chapter 7).

The Commission has also organised ‘Getting Connected’, a series of seminars on whole of government issues for
small groups at the EL 2 and SES classifications. Six seminars were delivered in 2005–06, with a total of 143
attendees representing 52 agencies.

Experience and exposure

A common theme emerging from MAC’s Connecting Government and Managing and Sustaining the APS
Workforce, is the need for potential leaders to take steps to broaden their experience and exposure. In some
cases, this will be through working in different environments to assist potential leaders to work productively across
agencies, other jurisdictions and non-government organisations (both private and not-for-profit). This might
include moves between agencies and sectors, or more internally focused opportunities.

APS-wide inter-agency mobility rates (transfers and promotions) have varied considerably over the past decade,
with some fluctuations, falling from 3.3% in 1997–98 to 1.6% in 2003–04. However, mobility rates have now risen
for two years in a row, to 2.7% in 2005–06. Although it is premature to suggest that this represents a reversal of
the previous trend, the growth in mobility is encouraging. Engagements of people from outside the APS at higher
classifications have also increased significantly over the period, bringing a wider range of experience and skills to
the APS, with some APS employees returning to the APS having gained experience in other sectors.

Reflecting a commitment made in the context of Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce, portfolio
secretaries and agency heads, in consultation with the Australian Public Service Commissioner, are undertaking
systematic career planning discussions with SES Band 2 and 3 employees and arranging mobility opportunities
where these are deemed appropriate. Managing and Sustaining the APS Workforce also commits agencies to
consider their employees’ need for, and opportunities to pursue mobility, as part of their regular performance
management processes. The APS employment portal being developed by the Commission will include a facility
for APS and external organisations to advertise rotation and mobility opportunities and for employees to express
interest in accessing such opportunities. MAC will be reviewing the implementation of Managing and Sustaining
the APS Workforce annually.

Whole of government achievements—2005–06

AGD—Document Verification Service

As part of the National Identity Security Strategy, AGD, in collaboration with DFAT, DIMA, Centrelink, the Births,
Deaths and Marriage Registries and Road Traffic Authorities in NSW and the ACT, commenced implementation
of the national Documentation Verification Service which will allow authorised government agencies to check
Australian passports, citizenship certificates, birth certificates and drivers’ licences online and in real time.

DCITA—M2006 Commonwealth Games Taskforce

The taskforce, set up within DCITA, played a major role in assisting the Minister for the Arts and Sport to
coordinate Australian Government involvement in the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

DHS—Health and Social Services Card

DHS worked with 14 government departments and multiple agencies to develop a proposal and business case for
a health and social service access card, which received government approval to proceed in April 2006.

PM&C—Response to Cyclones Larry and Monica

PM&C coordinated the Australian Government response to Cyclones Larry and Monica across a raft of
departments as well as a range of COAG and other taskforces.
DEWR and Centrelink—Welfare to Work

DEWR was the lead agency in coordinating the whole of government implementation of Welfare to Work
measures, designed to increase workforce participation and employment and reduce welfare dependence for
working age Australians.

Centrelink developed a governance model for inter-departmental collaboration with DEWR, FaCSIA, DEST and
DIMA, to implement the Welfare to Work reforms.

FaCSIA—Indigenous Affairs

FaCSIA developed a comprehensive eight-point strategy in partnership with other agencies and three state and
territory governments to address petrol sniffing in Central Australia.

Health—COAG agreements

Health, working closely with PM&C, other Australian Government departments and state and territory
governments contributed to the development of major COAG agreements in the areas of mental health and the
health workforce.

ABS—National Statistical Service (NSS)

ABS, on behalf of a consortium of federal and state government agencies, expanded and improved the NSS to
provide a national platform for acquiring, sharing and integrating data relevant to policy and research.




Key chapter findings
Significant progress has been made in embedding whole of government ways of working in the APS. The APS
has improved its capability to transfer and exchange information, has begun to rationalise its financial and ICT
infrastructure, and a number of highly relevant capability development programmes have been put in place.
Specific governance arrangements are dealing with some of our most pressing needs in relation to Indigenous
affairs and improving our preparedness for a possible avian flu outbreak.

A growing number of agencies are looking at how best they can provide appropriate support and guidance to their
employees involved in formal whole of government activities and are emphasising the importance of collaborative
ways of working to their leadership group. DAFF, DEST and DFAT, which have all put a strong emphasis on
promoting whole of government issues, show that these activities can have a real impact on agency culture. The
extent of support provided by agencies more generally is, however, variable, as are employee perceptions of their
agency’s cultural bias towards whole of government work.

The need for effective whole of government approaches continues to grow. The APS can boast a wide range of
achievements in this area and there is evidence that the impact of cooperation across agencies is helping to
improve the quality of service delivery.

Experience to date, however, confirms that whole of government approaches are not always easy to implement or
maintain. The onus is on all of the APS to make whole of government work effectively. This is particularly
important in view of the extensive upcoming COAG agenda and the fact that there are a number of initiatives,
particularly Indigenous service delivery, that are at critical threshold points.

In light of this, there are some key risks and pressure points that require continued attention and action.

At a systems level, although there has been progress in improving ICT infrastructure, more needs to be done,
particularly in the area of implementation at agency level. Some agencies continue to identify problems with
information management and infrastructure, including systems and IT incompatibility. This is an area where both
agencies and relevant whole of government forums need to focus.

Despite some successes, there is also more to do in structuring supportive financial budgeting and accountability
arrangements for whole of government work. More work is needed on how to marry vertical and horizontal lines of
accountability, and in particular, ensure that governance structures are sufficiently flexible to allow them to
operate horizontally across traditional boundaries. Although the existing outcomes and outputs Budget framework
has the flexibility to provide appropriate Budget and accountability arrangements for whole of government
projects, there are still perceptions among some agencies that it tends to hinder joint approaches. The whole of
government approach taken to the Indigenous Budget arrangements shows what can be achieved, but also
highlights the complexity of the issue. There are many agencies that would benefit from further practical guidance
on this matter.

Embedding whole of government culture and capability at both the service-wide level and in individual agencies is
an ongoing project. Although showing some signs of improvement, senior employees involved in structured whole
of government activities continue to pass mixed judgments on how collaborative and well supported these
structures have been in practice. The results suggest a need for a greater focus on how multi-agency forums such
as inter-departmental committees and task forces work.

There is also a need for a continued focus on some of the key themes identified in Connecting Government,
including the modeling of collaborative leadership behaviours, capability development, opportunities for increasing
the depth of experience and exposure, and rewards and recognition strategies that promote and reinforce
collaborative behaviour. Although not the only option for enhancing depth of experience, the increase in mobility
for the last two years is encouraging, but needs to be sustained.

Finally, there are a number of specific and practical issues that could have the potential to detract from the
success of whole of government endeavours. In particular, there is a need to ensure that employees have the
appropriate authority to express views on behalf of an agency and for forums to clearly identify goals and
responsibilities. Agencies need to clearly articulate to their employees their expectations and requirements in
these areas, and ensure that relevant staff understand what whole of government means in practical terms. They
also need to ensure that multi-agency forums are underpinned by high-level agency agreement that makes it
clear where responsibility lies and ensures that there is the follow- through on this responsibility.

In progressing the whole of government agenda, support from senior leadership will be critical. Embedding One
APS–One SES across agencies will go a significant way to ensuring this support. However, portfolio secretaries
and agency heads have a specific role to play in leading by example in collaborating with each other, developing
appropriate structures, and aligning Budget frameworks to reflect shared responsibility for outcomes.

Whole of government working is not yet natural to public servants. It requires a fundamentally different approach
to working and alignment of finances and accountabilities. It will take many years to embed. It is clear that public
servants are learning how to work in this new environment and are seeing the results.

We can be confident about the future.




    1.   Management Advisory Committee 2004, Connecting Government: Whole of Government Responses to Australia’s
         Priority Challenges, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, p. 1.
    2.   United Nations, Global e-Government Readiness Report 2005: From e-Government to e-Inclusion, November 2005,
         p. xii, <http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/un/unpan021888.pdf>
    3.   Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 2005, Canada’s Performance 2005: The Government of Canada’s
         Contribution, <http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/report/govrev/05/cp-rc_e.asp>
    4.   AGIMO 2006, Responsive Government: A New Service Agenda, <http://www.agimo.gov.au>
    5.   Management Advisory Committee 2005, Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service: One APS—One
         SES, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
Chapter 11: Working with the Australian
community
The capacity of the APS to work effectively with the Australian community is fundamental to our success.

Interactions with the community can take a variety of forms. For most Australians, their greatest contact with the
APS will be through the direct delivery of services, for example, income support, taxation or health rebates. The
APS Values place a strong emphasis on the APS delivering services fairly, effectively, impartially and courteously
and being sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public.

It is critical that the APS builds and sustains its capacity to deliver services, particularly as the complexity of the
services delivered grows and community expectations of high-quality and seamless services increase. Meeting
these expectations requires a whole of government approach, with an emphasis on a connected public service
that is more responsive to the needs of the Australian public. The effective use of technology is an important part
of this approach.

Another growing point of contact with the community is in consultation over policy development, programme
implementation and regulatory change. These consultations occur with a wide range of groups—the general
public, industry organisations, community groups and specialist professional bodies. Greater use of consultation
has the potential to contribute significantly to the quality of policy and programme outcomes if used in a targeted
way.

Increasingly, the APS delivers government programmes with and through a range of non-Australian Government
bodies. At one level, this involves the use of contracted providers, for example, to provide employment-related
services to unemployed people on behalf of DEWR through the Job Network. In other cases, it can extend to
partnerships between the Australian Government, State and Territory, and local governments, such as Australian
Government funding of local road infrastructure through the Roads to Recovery Programme, where local councils,
rather than the Australian Government, nominate the projects to be funded.

These collaborations have already improved greatly the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in some
areas. However, they also highlight the need to ensure that appropriate accountability and governance
arrangements are in place to manage relationships with external stakeholders, and to ensure that the APS has
the skill set needed to make collaborations work.

In a number of countries, including Australia, there has been a growing emphasis on engaging with the
community more directly as active participants in policies and programmes. Such participation reflects changing
community expectations, but also a recognition that the delivery of outcomes across a range of key policy fronts
requires a degree of community engagement of a more intensive and strategic nature than in the past to achieve
the best results, for example, in the area of Indigenous disadvantage. This again highlights the importance of
developing the skills in the APS to manage a more active approach to community engagement.

This chapter begins by examining the effectiveness of more traditional approaches to service delivery in the APS.
It looks at how agencies are improving the effectiveness of their service delivery, including through e-government,
and the issues that have been highlighted through complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman (the
Ombudsman). It then looks at the extent to which agencies are using consultation with a range of stakeholders,
from the general public to more specific interest groups, to contribute to policy development, programme
implementation and regulatory reform. It also looks at the extent and effectiveness of APS contact with external
stakeholders more broadly. The chapter concludes by looking at the implications for the APS of a move to more
active engagement with the community.


Delivering services to the public
The quality of the services delivered by the APS has an immediate impact on how it is viewed by the community
overall.

This section addresses how agencies are improving service delivery—particularly through coordination between
APS agencies, feedback mechanisms available to service users, employee training and the use of performance
indicators and service standards—and how public satisfaction with service delivery is being measured and
reported. It also examines some aspects of professionalism demonstrated by APS employees in delivering
services to the public. Changes in service delivery as a result of new technology are considered, together with
further developments made in implementing the Australian Government’s new e-government agenda.


Level of involvement in service delivery

The employee survey found that 50% of employees were either directly involved in delivering services to the
public or manage employees who do so. This continues the downward trend over the last few years of employees
being involved in direct service delivery (from a high of 61% in 2003).

As might be expected, employees who are located outside the ACT (64%) were much more likely to be directly
involved in delivering services to the public than those in the ACT (25%).

Of the large agencies, Medicare Australia, CSA and CRS are the three agencies that have the highest proportion
of employees directly involved in providing services to the public, with over 80% of their employees doing so.
Seventy-three per cent of respondents from Centrelink, the largest APS service delivery agency, report being
directly involved in providing services to the public.

APS 1–6 employees continue to make up the vast majority (85%) of employees involved in delivering services
directly to the public, or managing the delivery of such services (EL and SES employees represent14% and 1%
respectively). As Figure 11.1 shows, however, over the last four years there has been a steady decline in the
proportion of employees at all classification levels involved in delivering services to the public. Most of the overall
decline in the last 12 months appears to coincide with a decrease in the proportion of employees at the APS 1–6
levels involved in delivering services directly to the public.

Figure 11.1: Involvement in delivering services directly to the public by classification, 2002–03 to 2005–06




Source: Employee survey


Women continue to be more likely than men to be involved in delivering services directly to the public. Despite
declines, the representation of women in service delivery (63%) continues to be higher than the representation of
women in the APS overall (56%), but is similar to the representation of women at lower classification levels,
particularly APS 3–4 (67%).

Service delivery continues to be a key area of employment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees,
with 71% involved directly in delivering services to the public. This result from the 2006 employee survey is
slightly lower than the result from the 2005 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Census Survey, where
                                                       1
78% of respondents indicated that this was the case. The concentration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
employees in service delivery positions when the overall proportion of APS employees involved in delivering
services to the public is declining may account for some of the decline in the proportion of Indigenous employees
in the APS overall.
Professionalism in delivering services to the public

In an environment with an increased focus on delivering high-quality services to the Australian community, it is
important for APS employees to exercise high levels of professionalism when dealing with the public.
Consequently, employees need to have access to appropriate training to be able to develop the required
capabilities, including whole of government coordination.

The following sections examine APS employees’ experiences over the last 12 months in accessing training, their
views on coordination between APS agencies in delivering services to the public, and their workplace practices in
relation to ethical behaviour and confidentiality.

Employee access to training and/or information in service delivery responsibilities

A large majority of employees (83%) involved in delivering services directly to the public (or managing such
employees) reported that they receive appropriate training and/or have access to information that enables them to
meet their client service responsibilities. This result is very positive and represents an improvement on previous
years’ results, when just over three-quarters of relevant employees reported that they received appropriate
training and/or had access to information. Levels of agreement varied between the large agencies, the highest
being 91% at CRS.

Coordination between APS agencies

The degree to which APS agencies can effectively coordinate the services they deliver to the public will depend
largely on the level of cooperation between agencies. An increasing proportion of employees involved in service
delivery believe that better coordination between APS agencies has occurred in the last 12 months. Almost half
(47%) of employees involved in delivering services directly to the public reported that over the last 12 months,
cooperation between their agency and other APS agencies had improved their work area’s capacity to tailor
service delivery to the needs of their clients. This is an improvement on last year’s result (35%).

Results varied by classification and agency size, with SES employees more likely than EL or APS 1–6 employees
to agree that cooperation had improved their work area’s capacity to tailor service delivery.

Employees in small and large agencies were more likely to agree than employees from medium agencies.
Results for the large agencies ranged from 20% to 64%.

      A coordinated response to Cyclone Larry and the Katherine floods



The Centrelink emergency management response to Cyclone Larry in Far North Queensland and the floods in
Katherine in the Northern Territory during the months of March and April 2006 and subsequent assistance with
transition to recovery to 30 June 2006 proved to be a massive whole of government relief effort.

Cyclone Larry

On 20 March 2006, Cyclone Larry crossed the coast at Innisfail. From then until 30 June Centrelink paid over
$160 million in direct government relief assistance, representing more than 57,000 claims. Over 1460 employees
from across Centrelink were involved in the provision of assistance within the declared disaster area.

Katherine Floods

Katherine office closed at 11.00am on Thursday 6 April due to the impending flood. The first response staff were
flown in on Friday 7 April. The office was open, both for Centrelink business and as the Disaster Relief Centre,
from Monday 10 April. In a first for the Commonwealth, Centrelink delivered Natural Disaster Relief Payments to
affected citizens on behalf of the NT Government (NT Dept of Health & Community Services). Centrelink paid just
under $400,000 in assistance on behalf of the NT Government, representing 859 claims.

Workplace practices

Employees were very positive about the impact of their workplace practices on service delivery. The great
majority (86%) of employees who were involved in delivering services to the public agreed that employees in their
workplace behave ethically, professionally and fairly when making decisions that affect their clients and
customers. Almost all (94%) agreed that confidentiality of information is taken seriously in their workplace, and
88% agreed that employees in their workplace do not abuse their authority or position when dealing with
customers or clients. In addition, 84% of relevant employees agreed that employees in their workplace are
committed to providing excellent customer service. SES employees tended to have more positive views than EL
and APS 1–6 employees, except in relation to confidentiality where results were uniformly high.

These very positive results for confidentiality may, in part, reflect some agencies’ recent proactive approach to
implementing mechanisms to detect inappropriate access to client or customer information. The action taken by
Centrelink this year, where around 600 employees were sanctioned under the Code of Conduct for
inappropriately accessing client records as the result of the implementation of more sophisticated monitoring
systems, shows that agencies are serious about protecting the confidentiality and privacy of client and customer
records.

Of the large agencies, CRS and Medicare Australia recorded agreement levels that were consistently above the
APS average (agreement levels for both of these agencies for the four workplace indicators were 95% or higher).

Employees who agreed that their colleagues, immediate manager and senior leaders act in accordance with the
APS Values also recorded higher levels of agreement on the workplace indicators.

Some employees took the opportunity to provide comments on levels of commitment to customer service (the
comments are not necessarily representative of all APS employees).

We care, we listen, we get it right! This is written in our Client Service Charter and is taken seriously by my co-
workers.

The team is strongly motivated to provide really good customer service.

Staff in my agency are highly committed to providing the best service possible to customers who are often in very
difficult circumstances.

Some members are excellent in their dealings with the public, and others leave a lot to be desired.

[agency] has always delivered the highest standards of customer service as reflected in surveys of our customers.
In the last year however I think the focus has shifted away from customer service.


Improving service delivery

Agencies have adopted a range of approaches to monitoring public satisfaction. These include mechanisms to
measure and report on agency performance, and mechanisms used to obtain, and respond to, feedback from the
public.

Use of performance indicators

A key mechanism used by the Australian Government to improve service delivery is agency service charters. A
service charter is a public document that describes the standard of service the public can expect from an agency.

The Australian Government’s approach to service charters is based on a common set of principles outlined in the
Client Service Charter Principles 2000. These principles contain mandatory elements in relation to service
standards, feedback options and reporting on performance. All government agencies delivering services directly
to the public are required to prepare and implement such a charter. Agencies with policy development functions
are also encouraged to develop charters.

The Client Service Charter Principles 2000 place a strong emphasis on the monitoring and reporting of
satisfaction. They also state that, when deciding which service standards to publish, agencies should take into
account their ability to measure performance against each standard.

There was an increase in 2005–06 in the use of service standards to measure the quality of services provided to
the public. The proportion of agencies that report having quantifiable performance indicators or service standards
in place has increased to 67 agencies or 80% in 2005–06, compared to 58 agencies or 71% in 2004–05. Ten
agencies reported that they had no public contact.
Increases were particularly evident for small and large agencies, with all large agencies now reporting that they
are using these indicators.

There continues to be widespread use of mechanisms to report this information, with agency management
structures (94%) and the annual report (96%) continuing to be the mechanisms most commonly used by relevant
agencies. Reporting to internal service delivery units has increased over the last three years (84%, up from 74%
in 2004), as has the use of balanced scorecards (45% in 2006, up from 34% in 2004).

Following the Uhrig Review, statutory authorities with service delivery responsibilities are required to make their
                                                                                         2
service objectives and goals publicly available, in what is called a Statement of Intent. Statements of
Expectations (issued by the relevant Minister to the statutory authority) and Intent (the response by the statutory
authority to the relevant Minister) are designed to clarify the purpose, functions and objectives of the statutory
authority. Two of the largest service delivery agencies in the APS, Centrelink and Medicare Australia, entered into
their first Statements of Expectations and Intent in 2005–06; these are publicly available on their websites. Further
information regarding Statements of Expectations and Intent and other agency governance arrangements can be
found in Chapter 9.


Effectiveness of service delivery

There is a widespread use of public feedback mechanisms among agencies with public contact. Figure 11.2
shows that the most common mechanisms used by agencies to obtain feedback from the public were website
links, liaison with peak bodies and telephone hotlines.

Figure 11.2: Use of feedback mechanisms to obtain information from the public—relevant agencies,
2005–06




Source: Agency survey


Variation among agencies in their use of feedback mechanisms continues to be related to size, with large
agencies more likely to use feedback mechanisms. In particular, large agencies were more likely to use
complaints/feedback phone hotlines and website links—although the use here for medium and small agencies
was also relatively high. The use of client surveys was more often reported by large agencies than by medium
and small agencies.

Large agencies were also more likely to use focus groups and liaison with peak bodies—all large agencies liaised
with peak bodies. Differences based on agency size are likely to reflect differences in the nature of the business,
of service users, in ways of doing business, and in resourcing.
Most agencies that collect feedback have mechanisms to ensure that it is fed into service delivery improvement.
Figure 11.3 shows that relevant agencies were most likely to respond directly to the person/organisation, and to
integrate feedback into decision-making processes, with approximately three-quarters of agencies reporting doing
so often.

Figure 11.3: Use of feedback collected from the public—relevant agencies, 2005–06




Source: Agency survey


Fewer agencies presented feedback findings in public forums. Greater use of public forums may be a particularly
effective way for agencies to engage the Australian community in the discussion on service delivery and to
strengthen their relationships with the public.

Reflecting the high use of such measures in agencies, most employees directly involved in delivering services to
the public agreed that their workplaces used feedback from their customers and clients to improve the services
they deliver (69% of relevant employees agreed and 11% disagreed).

The level of agreement about the use of feedback among employees directly involved in service delivery varied
significantly based on classification and agency size. Relevant SES employees were more likely than employees
at the EL classifications to agree, who in turn were more likely than APS 1–6 employees to agree. Employees
working in small agencies were much more likely to agree than employees working in medium and large
agencies. Among large agencies, three agencies had significantly higher agreement levels than the APS average
(CRS, DEST and Medicare Australia).

Employees were even more positive about their workplace striving to match services to customer needs. More
than three-quarters (77%) of employees agreed that this was the case. As for the use of feedback, employees’
agreement levels with this statement varied by classification.

Service delivery employees who agreed that their workplace used feedback from customers and clients to
improve services were also more likely to agree that their workplace strives to match services to customer needs.

Some employees also took the opportunity to provide comments on aspects of service delivery in their agency.
Consistent with the results reported above, most employees who provided comments were positive about their
agency’s approach to service delivery (these views are not necessarily representative of all APS employees).

My agency prides itself on its service delivery to the client group.
[agency] has always delivered the highest standards of customer service as reflected in surveys of our customers.

Every effort seems to be made to deliver efficient and effective service to the public.

This year, as part of their five key achievements, some MAC agencies outlined some of their achievements in
relation to improving service delivery.

DVA finalised a service delivery review which was conducted to develop options and strategies to match its
resources to an expected decline in client numbers. A new national structure, known as one DVA, has been
implemented without adverse impact on the Department’s clients.

DHS and its portfolio agencies provided greater convenience to customers through a larger variety of contact
options, including the increasing use of online services. Centrelink, CSA and Medicare Australia have introduced
and/or improved their online services; 329,000 customers have used online services to update their personal
details and 634,000 customers accessed family assistance services online.

Centrelink introduced the Single User Workspace to improve the conceptual and physical environment for
marshalling workflows for Centrelink Customer Service staff . The Single User Workspace represents a
convergence of existing technologies into a single framework. It strengthens and unifies the service delivery
environment to support the introduction of new government initiatives like Welfare to Work. Employees will be
able to focus more of their attention on the customer rather than on the system in the way they do their work.

        Audit Report No. 26 2005–06 Forms for Service Delivery and Better Practice Guide: User-Friendly

Forms, Key Principles and Practices to Effectively Design and Communicate Australian Government
Forms

Each year, Australian Government agencies issue and receive back millions of forms to establish individuals’
eligibility for services. Well-designed and effectively communicated forms make it easier for members of the public
to access these services, and support administrative efficiency. This audit examined how well key Australian
Government agencies responsible for the delivery of services to individuals managed form design and review.

The results of the audit were used to develop a Better Practice Guide to help agencies increase the usability and
effectiveness of their forms.3 Following are some of the principles for form design that are reflected in the Better
Practice Guide.

The key to developing useable forms is to understand clients’ requirements. Processes for form design, issue and
review will improve if the agency:

         consults with relevant community organisations about the communications needs and preferences of the
          client groups each represents and takes account of this information in form design and review activities;
         strengthens understanding of client preferences and constraints influencing communication channel use
         (mode of communication), and facilitates clients’ connection to the mode of delivery most appropriate to
          their circumstances;
         involves design experts with content owners of forms early in the design process to enable more
          effective and efficient form design approaches;
         tests how easily forms placed on its website may be found, including by users with special print
          handicap, literacy, language and dexterity needs;
         undertakes independent market research on customer satisfaction with its major forms and associated
          information products;
         undertakes systematic and regular analysis of customers’ completion patterns for the main forms used
          for delivering major programmes.

Service users’ satisfaction

Seventeen agencies provided information about their overall levels of client or customer satisfaction, and these
are presented in Table 11.1. Direct comparisons between agencies are not recommended as the survey tools
used to measure satisfaction are specific to the business of each agency and use different methodologies.

Nevertheless, the results presented in the table paint a positive picture of service users’ overall satisfaction with
relevant APS organisations, with the majority of these agencies reporting service user satisfaction levels of 80%
or higher.
Table 11.1 Service user satisfaction levels, 2005–06

                                             Overall
               Agency                      satisfaction                       Measure
                                            level (%)
Department of Communications,
                                                            Customer service overall as satisfactory
Information Technology and the 96
                                                            to excellent
Arts
Medicare Australia                    96                    Community satisfaction with Medicare
National Library of Australia         96                    Satisfied overall with their visit
                                                            Somewhat satisfied to very satisfied with
Australian War Memorial               94.5
                                                            overall visit to the Memorial
National Museum of Australia          93                    Satisfied to very satisfied with their visit
Department of Veterans’ Affairs       90.4                  Overall satisfaction with services
Department of Foreign Affairs
and Trade (Passports Customer         Over 90               Maintain high level of service to clients
Survey)
                                                            Satisfied to very satisfied with weather
Bureau of Meteorology                 90
                                                            services and information
Department of Industry, Tourism                             Overall customer satisfaction with service
                                      88.7
and Resources                                               delivery
Office of the Employment                                    Clients fairly to very satisfied with OEA
                                      87.2
Advocate                                                    products/services
Centrelink                            86                    Service as good to very good
Office of the Australian Building
                                      84                    Service as extremely helpful
and Construction Commission
Administrative Appeals Tribunal       4.1                   5 point scale of staff courtesy
                                                            Satisfied to extremely satisfied with
Comcover                              81
                                                            services provided by ComCover
                                                            Satisfied, very satisfied or extremely
IP Australia                          80
                                                            satisfied with the organisation
                                                            Respondents with respect to the
Office of the Privacy
                                      73                    complaints handling process who rated
Commissioner
                                                            service good to excellent
Child Support Agency                  3.5                   5 point scale of overall client satisfaction

Source: Agency service user survey data




Last year’s State of the Service report outlined a Cabinet Office initiative in the UK that aimed to create a
comprehensive ‘Customer Satisfaction Index’—a standard measurement system across public services that could
identify, and then track, the degree of customer satisfaction with public services.
A report released in June 2006 outlined the findings of a review examining this proposed initiative. One of the
recommendations was that there should not be a central measurement of customer satisfaction (such as a
centralised index), but that customer satisfaction surveys should be commissioned and owned by the
organisations delivering the services to the public. The report recommended that organisations should, however,
be required to include in their surveys certain core questions and to comply with a survey framework and
                                                                                                      4
approved robust methodology—these baseline elements would enable benchmarking within sectors.


E-government services

ICT is pervasive in all Australian Government functions, from the delivery of health care and education, to the
collection of taxes and the protection of borders. ICT is vital in facilitating the provision of seamless service
delivery to the Australian community, and represents an efficient way in which agencies can engage citizens in
policy debates. Collectively, online, electronic and voice-based government services are known as e-government
services. Australia’s e-government objective is to simplify the Government’s interaction with citizens and
business, and improve the efficiency of government administration at the same time.

On 30 March 2006, the Special Minister of State, the Hon. Gary Nairn MP, launched the Government’s 2006 e-
Government Strategy, Responsive Government: A New Service Agenda. This strategy represents the next phase
                                                                                          5
for Australia in terms of improved online service delivery and responsive government. The strategy concentrates
on applying ICT to improve and reform underlying government processes, and outlines the Government’s vision
for 2010. The strategy also identifies four strategic priorities to guide agencies over the next five years:

        meeting users’ needs
        establishing connected service delivery
        achieving value for money
                                             6
        enhancing public sector capability.

For each of these priorities, the strategy outlines a vision for what can be achieved by 2010, how it can be
achieved, and provides a list of actions in key focus areas to deliver the vision by 2010.

AGIMO, led by the Australian Government Chief Information Officer, is responsible for coordinating the
implementation of the e-government strategy under the direction of the Secretaries’ Committee on Information
and Communications Technology and in collaboration with the members of the Chief Information Officers’
Committee and the Business Process Transformation Committee.

As part of the e-government strategy, the Government will continue to annually measure overall use and
satisfaction with its services. The Government will also review and seek to consolidate the number of its websites.
The principal Australian Government entry point www.australia.gov.au will be enhanced to offer simplified sign-on
and personalised accounts to government information and services.

The new e-government strategy states that e-government is not simply about applying new technologies to
existing business and service processes. Rather, it is about integrating ICT to reform and improve government
services, and address the challenges that arise in a devolved environment through cooperation and sharing
amongst agencies. Privacy and security issues will be central to the successful integration of ICT into future
service delivery reform.




AGIMO is developing the Australian Government Smartcard Framework in consultation with a number of key
stakeholders—federal, state and territory government agencies and industry. On 29 June 2006, the Special
Minister of State released the first two parts of the Framework:

        the Overview and Principles module—outlining the key strategic concepts underpinning the Framework
        the Smartcard Handbook—a guidance tool on smartcards and related technologies.

The Framework is noted in the e-government strategy as forming part of the blueprint for connected government.

On 8 September 2006, the Online Communications Council agreed in principle that the Australian Government
Smartcard Framework become the national smartcard principles; and there is a need to adopt a consistent
standards-based approach to smartcard implementation across all levels of government in Australia, as set out in
the Framework.
APS e-government effectiveness

Australian Government agencies have made a range of advances in using e-government to improve levels of
service delivery.

Agencies’ ability to effectively deliver e-government services is critical in delivering the highest quality services to
the Australian community, and providing Australians with choice in service delivery channels.

The Australian Government is a leader in the use of ICT, particularly in implementing and delivering e-government
strategies and developing customer-centric models of service delivery. Australia continues to rank among the top
                                                                                   7
performing countries, ranking sixth in terms of e-government readiness by the UN.

Australia also continues to be a leader in customer service delivery. A 2006 report by Accenture observed that the
Australian Government has enacted critical technology, process and governance initiatives to increase its level of
                                                                           8
service sophistication in response to demand for quality customer service.

A UK Government report has also commended Australia, particularly in relation to its advanced integration of
                         9
information and services. The report highlights DEWR’s and Centrelink’s ability to integrate with Job Network and
other welfare agencies, and ATO’s electronic services.




ABS is providing access to the entire content of the ABS website free of charge via the Internet. This initiative
marks an important milestone in the dissemination of statistics in Australia which will ensure decision-makers
within the Australian Government and state/territory governments, business and the community have readily
available statistical information with which to make informed decisions.

APS agencies are developing innovative and practical ways of applying new technologies to benefit the
community, business and government. In recent years technology has played an instrumental role in better
connecting government agencies with the community and business. Examples of agency initiatives designed to
increase productivity, build internal capability and enhance user services include:

         DITR’s business website <http://www.business.gov.au> which offers simple and convenient access to
          government information, transactions and services for businesses
         ASIC’s ‘FIDO’ website <http://www.fido.asic.gov.au/fido/fido.nsf> which provides financial tips and safety
          checks for consumers and investors
         NNTT’s ‘Native Title Vision’ website <http://www.ntv.nntt.gov.au> which provides native title stakeholders
          with access to geospatial information through an extranet.

In 2006, DITR won a United Nations Public Service Award in the category of ‘Application of ICT in Governments:
e-Government for Improving Service Quality for the Business Community by Increasing Access to Information’.
The award was made in respect of DITR’s Business Entry Point Transaction Manager Initiative, which helps
businesses find, manage and complete government forms online without having to understand the structure of
government or individual agencies.

        Audit Report No. 29 2005–06 Integrity of Electronic Customer Records



e-government and data integrity

Many departments and agencies rely on extensive and complex IT systems to manage the workflow across
various business areas and to support the delivery of government services. Large databases hold personal and
financial information on millions of Australian citizens, residents and visitors—including details of customers’
identity, claims, entitlements, income and health records and, where they exist, customers’ obligations.

The information stored in these databases must be accurate, reliable and up to date if the various departments
and agencies are to rely on that information to effectively and efficiently administer these programmes. In order to
facilitate the vision of e-government, or joined up government, there must also be a high degree of consistency of
customer information held on various databases.
Over recent years, ANAO has examined various aspects of data integrity in a number of databases including
those operated by ATO, Medicare Australia, AEC, DVA and Centrelink. Its analysis has identified some common
risks associated with a lack of integrity in large databases.

ANAO work in this area highlights the importance of departments and agencies monitoring the accuracy and
reliability of their database holdings. Straightforward analysis can reveal a number of anomalies in data integrity.

Review and evaluation

The challenges of an emerging information society mean that agencies must embrace ICT and prepare for
increasing levels of, and faster interactions with citizens. Australia’s continued success in meeting the challenges
of e-government builds on its citizens’ high uptake of technology-enabled services and the provision of ICT
infrastructure. Australians’ Use of and Satisfaction with e-Government Service—2006, the second annual study of
citizen use of government services, showed that the uptake of e-government services is rising:

        the level of usage of e-government services has increased significantly, with the percentage of those
         who accessed government services using the Internet rising from 39% in 2004–05 to 48% in 2005–06
        the percentage of people who conducted almost all of their dealings with government over the Internet
         increased from 14% in 2004–05 to 19% in 2005–06.

The report found that overall satisfaction levels with e-government services remains high, with over 80% of
respondents indicating they were satisfied with telephone and Internet services. These results indicate that the
public is generally satisfied with e-government services, although the report also noted that some barriers remain
that limit its use, including concerns about privacy and security and not being aware that the contact could take
place online.

Reported barriers to public engagement with e-government indicate that, although ICT provides new opportunities
for government service delivery, integrating it with existing processes and maintaining choice is central to its
implementation. Agencies should be mindful that technological developments in service delivery may isolate
sections of the community based on their access to and/or preference for certain technology. Agencies will need
to ensure that they have the systems in place to support multi-channel service delivery.


Review of administrative action and decision-making
For more than two decades the APS has been operating in an environment where citizens are able to access
information that agencies hold about them, and to have government decisions affecting them reviewed. A suite of
Commonwealth administrative law mechanisms supports public scrutiny of government decision-making and
action. These mechanisms include the Ombudsman (who is also the Defence Force Ombudsman and the
Taxation Ombudsman), external review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and other specialist
tribunals, review under the Administrative Decisions ( Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cwlth), and access to
                                                         10
documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

With the exception of the Ombudsman, the focus of these mechanisms is on external scrutiny of administrative
decision-making, rather than on the broader processes of administrative action, including service delivery.
Increasingly, agencies (especially service delivery agencies such as Centrelink and the ATO) are developing their
own sophisticated complaint management systems which allow them not only to respond to individual complaints,
but to identify systemic issues that need to be addressed. Nevertheless, external scrutiny of government decision-
making is an important aspect of Australia’s democratic system of government. This section concentrates on
lessons from the Ombudsman in relation to systemic issues, freedom of information and private contractors, in
addition to the Ombudsman’s own motion investigations.


Role of the Commonwealth Ombudsman

The Ombudsman’s core activity is to handle complaints and enquiries from members of the public about
government administrative action. This objective is captured in the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s
outcome—administrative action by Australian Government agencies that is fair and accountable.

In 2005–06, the Ombudsman and staff investigated approaches and complaints made about 104 Australian
Government departments and agencies. The complaints ranged across the spectrum of government activity.
Building on the experience and insights gained from handling complaints, the Ombudsman is in a good position to
identify systemic issues affecting the overall effectiveness of service delivery in the APS, and some of the
practical issues in administration facing agencies.
Information in this section has been provided directly by the Ombudsman, and includes statistics included in the
Ombudsman’s 2005–06 annual report and additional analysis of systemic issues facing the APS.

Own motion investigations

The Ombudsman undertakes a number of own motion investigations each year. In 2005–06, the Ombudsman
published reports on seven own motion and major investigations relating to APS agencies. Four of the
investigations related to DIMA, one to ATO, one to ADF, and one to the quality of freedom of information
processing by Australian Government agencies.

Several own motion investigations currently in progress will be completed in 2006–07. These include
investigations into:

        issues relating to the implementation of the marriage-like relationship policy
        the administration of the Pension Bonus Scheme
        complaint-handling procedures available in airports
        the quality of the notification of reasons by DIMA for decisions and review rights for refused visa
         applicants.

Complaints to the Ombudsman

Many larger agencies have established effective mechanisms for reviewing decisions, handling complaints and
obtaining customer feedback to enable improvements to services. This means that for many of the approaches
made by members of the public, the Ombudsman does not initially investigate the matter but advises the person
about using agency mechanisms for complaint handling and review. Complainants may subsequently request the
Ombudsman’s assistance if the agency does not resolve the issues.

The Ombudsman is more likely to accept a complaint without the matter first being handled by the agency in the
following circumstances: the relationship between the person and the agency is difficult; the person is unable
effectively to manage their own complaint, whether because of agency resistance or the person’s inability to
articulate their problem; or it is doubtful that the complaint will be handled adequately by the agency, due to the
nature of the complaint or the effectiveness of the agency complaint mechanism.

In 2005–06, the Ombudsman received 17,384 approaches and complaints within jurisdiction (compared to 17,310
in 2004–05). Of these, 14,125 approaches and complaints were concerned with APS agencies, compared to
14,143 received in 2004–05.

The majority of approaches and complaints received about Australian Government agencies (11,687 or 83%)
related to ATO, Centrelink, CSA, and DIMA.

There was an increase in approaches and complaints received about DIMA (up 43%), DEWR (up 12% from a
small base), DVA (up 25% from a small base), and DFAT (up 66% from a small base).

In 2005–06, the Ombudsman did not initially investigate 65% of approaches and complaints received (compared
to 67% in 2004–05). The complaints that are investigated by the Ombudsman about the activities of both APS
and non-APS agencies tend to involve more complex and difficult issues.

Centrelink remains the APS agency about which the most complaints are received, due to its primary role in
delivering a large number of Australian Government programmes to the Australian public. Approaches and
complaints about Centrelink finalised during the year fell by 5% to 7338.

The Ombudsman received 1891 approaches and complaints about CSA, a decrease of 10% on last year.

DIMA was another substantial source of complaints received by the Ombudsman during the year, with 1250
approaches and complaints received within jurisdiction, an increase of 43% on last year. The Ombudsman
investigated 45% of complaint issues arising from complaints about DIMA, against the general average of 35%
across all Australian Government agencies.

The number of approaches and complaints received about ATO continued to decline (1451, down 11% on last
year). This was previously attributed to the bedding down of the new tax system and the resolution of many of the
mass-marketed schemes issues that dogged ATO in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Ombudsman believes
the continuing decline in the number of tax complaints this year, is due to improvements in ATO administration,
and particularly to the increasing effectiveness of ATO’s internal complaints process.

Systemic issues

Complaints about APS agencies continue to raise common themes. Following an established trend, the majority
(58%) of the complaint issues finalised by the Ombudsman’s office under the Ombudsman Act 1976 this year
related to the correctness or propriety of a decision or action of an agency. The remainder of the complaint issues
finalised were about procedural matters, such as the accuracy or completeness of advice given by agencies
(10%), the timeliness of agency action (8%), the application of a policy to the complainant’s circumstances (6%),
or the conduct of officers in agencies (5%).

Many complainants are concerned about agency decisions that directly affect them, and complain that they have
not been given sufficient reasons for the decision or that a decision is flawed. Investigation of such complaints is
often complicated due to poor record keeping by agencies or failure to record oral advice. This latter issue is of
particular importance given the widespread use of customer contact centres to respond to queries in large service
delivery agencies. Complaints about call centres arise particularly in relation to Centrelink, CSA and ATO.

Alleged defects in agency administration lay behind many complaints, but not all, to the Ombudsman. Many
complaints stemmed from the complexity of legislation and administrative schemes, especially when applied to
the different circumstances of thousands of government clients. The changing face of government, as
programmes and structures evolved to deal with new social challenges, also gave rise to unexpected problems.
Sometimes, government agencies were slow to adapt to unanticipated issues, did not communicate effectively
with clients, or failed to recognise the administrative burden that government requirements can impose on people.

Freedom of information

In March 2006, the Ombudsman released a report titled Scrutinising Government: Administration of the Freedom
of Information Act 1982 in Australian Government Agencies. The report examined freedom of information (FOI)
administration by undertaking a case study analysis of how FOI requests were handled in 22 Australian
Government agencies. Some major problem areas were identified, including excessive delays in processing FOI
requests, a lack of consistency among agencies in acknowledging FOI requests in a timely manner, delay in
notifying charges and inconsistencies in their application, and variable quality in the standard of decision letters,
particularly regarding the explanation of why documents were exempted from access.

The report also acknowledged that there was a clear commitment to FOI in some agencies, and a high degree of
compliance with the spirit and detailed requirements of the FOI Act. Drawing from these examples of good and
bad practice, the report set out guidelines for achieving better FOI practice. These include clear procedures on
FOI processing, close monitoring of incoming correspondence, quality control of FOI correspondence, and open
communication between the agency and FOI applicants.

Two findings stand out: there is an uneven culture of support for FOI among Australian Government agencies;
and the vitality and success of the FOI scheme depend heavily on the way the FOI Act is administered within
agencies. The report recommended that agency heads indicate a clear commitment to sound FOI practice and
the objectives of the FOI Act, having regard to the kinds of good and bad practice identified in the Ombudsman’s
report.

New Ombudsman role

During 2005–06, the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman acquired some new functions and titles. Most
relevant to the APS, the Office was designated as the Immigration Ombudsman, in relation to immigration
matters, including immigration detention. A new statutory role of the Ombudsman is to provide a report to the
Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs that is to be tabled in Parliament in relation to each person who
has been in immigration detention for two years or more (cumulative); a further report is provided at six-monthly
intervals if a person remains in detention. The Government also asked the Ombudsman to investigate 248
individual cases of people who had been held in immigration detention but later released on the basis that
continued detention had not been authorised.

Private contractors

Under changes made to the Ombudsman Act 1976 in December 2005, the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to
investigate the actions of ‘Commonwealth service providers’ as if those actions had been made by the relevant
department or authority. A Commonwealth service provider is a contractor or subcontractor that provides goods or
services for, or on behalf of, an Australian Government agency, to a person other than an agency.

This extended jurisdiction of the Ombudsman is relevant to immigration oversight, as a private company under
contract from the Government undertakes the administration of immigration detention centres.

The extended jurisdiction will also be relevant to the Welfare to Work initiatives, implemented in July 2006, that
draw together a number of Australian Government agencies as well as contracted service providers. A large
proportion of elements of Welfare to Work will be delivered by community-based agencies such as Job Network
providers, job capacity assessors, financial case managers and welfare agencies. These agencies will make
decisions and recommendations that will affect the lives of people claiming income support payments. The
complexity of the process of complaint investigation by the Ombudsman is expected to increase because of the
significant role played by non-government agencies.


Working with external stakeholders
In its activities as a policy maker and also as a provider or deliverer of services and regulator, APS agencies and
their employees work with external stakeholders in a variety of contexts. These can range from consultation to
active collaboration. Increasingly, the APS is delivering government programmes with and through a range of
non-Australian Government bodies. This trend to ‘distributed government’ is a worldwide one. It happens in a
variety of ways from outsourced service provision to partnering agreements.

In this environment, the ability to work with partners and/or external stakeholders, irrespective of whether they are
from other Australian Government agencies, the community, business, states and territories, or local government
is critical. Consequently, the skills and capabilities of APS employees, as well as the policies and protocols
employed by agencies to assist in their dealings with external stakeholders, have had to adapt to meet this aspect
of APS work.


Agency consultation with external stakeholders

Consultation with external stakeholders can have a positive impact on government policies, programmes and
regulation. As Connecting Government pointed out, a targeted approach which identifies areas where greater
                                                                                    11
consultation and communication would be appropriate is likely to be most effective.

The agency survey indicates that formal consultations on the development of government policy and government
           12
regulation, and in relation to programme delivery, are widespread across agencies.

Agencies were asked how often they consulted with the following groups: non-government organisations, industry
stakeholders, tertiary education and research groups, agencies from state/territory and/or local governments,
unions and members of the public about the development of government policy, programme delivery and
government regulation. For each option, agencies could respond usually, sometimes, no, or not applicable.

In interpreting the survey results it is important to note that relatively high proportions of agencies identified these
questions as not applicable. Thirty-five per cent indicated that formal consultation was not applicable in relation to
the development of government policy. Forty-three per cent indicated that consultation was not applicable in
regard to government regulation and 15% indicated that consultation was not applicable in relation to programme
delivery. The reasons why agencies responded that consultation was not applicable has not been explored.
However, it is likely that it is related to the nature of the agencies’ business. For example, agencies concerned
primarily with programme/service delivery tend to consult about programme delivery but not about government
policy.

Consistent with last year’s results, the survey results show that around two-thirds (62%) of all agencies usually or
sometimes consulted with one or more of the specified groups about the development of government policy, and
nearly half (45%) consulted five or more groups. The former figure (one or more specified groups) increases to
96% when only agencies that described consultation as applicable are considered.

Consistent with last year’s results, programme delivery appears to trigger greater consultation than policy
development, with 85% of all agencies, and all relevant agencies, indicating that they usually or sometimes
consult one or more of the specified groups on this issue. Around two-thirds (64%) of all agencies consulted five
or more groups.
The use of consultation in the making of government regulation is similar to that for the development of
government policy. Fifty-six per cent of all agencies usually or sometimes consulted with one or more of the
specified groups about government regulation, and 37% of these agencies consulted five or more groups. The
former figure (one or more specified groups) increases to 98% when only agencies that described consultation as
applicable are considered.

As was the case in 2004–05, ‘industry stakeholders’ were the key group usually consulted by relevant agencies
for the development of government policy, the delivery of government programmes and government regulation
(see Figures 11.4, 11.5 and 11.6).

State/territory government agencies were the second key group usually or sometimes consulted by relevant
agencies in the development of government policy, the delivery of government programmes and government
regulation.

Members of the public are also widely consulted for all three types of activities, but they are less likely to be
usually consulted and more likely to be sometimes consulted. The proportion of agencies usually consulting the
public about regulation was lower than for the other two types of consultation. NGOs also figure prominently for all
three types of consultation. Unions were the least consulted group.

Figure 11.4: Formal consultation with stakeholders on government policy development, 2005–06




Source: Agency survey


Figure 11.5: Formal consultation with stakeholders on government programme development, 2005–06
Source: Agency survey


Figure 11.6: Formal consultation with stakeholders on government regulation, 2005–06




Source: Agency survey


Across all three areas (policy, programme and regulation), the agency survey results show that large agencies
were more likely than medium and small agencies to consult with more than one group, and more likely to consult
with a wider variety of groups. Examples of consultation processes undertaken by relevant agencies include:
        DAFF’s establishment of a Drought Stakeholder Reference Group, under the direction of the Primary
         Industries Ministerial Council, as a means for seeking input on the drought and exceptional
         circumstances policy and assistance measures
        DFAT’s Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6), which supports the
         engagement of industry and represents a new model for public-private sector collaboration. It has
         already influenced international debate towards a greater focus on technological responses and practical
         action involving the private sector as an integral partner in addressing climate change.


Employee dealings with external stakeholders

The majority of APS employees have some form of direct contact with people from different levels of government
or external stakeholders (excluding the public); more than three-quarters of respondents to the employee survey
indicated that their jobs had required such dealings. Table 11.2 shows that the majority dealt with other
Commonwealth agencies, and around one-third dealt directly with state/ territory agencies, industry stakeholders
and other contractors or consultants. Of the external stakeholders listed, unions were the group with which
employees had the least dealings.


Table 11.2: Proportion of employees who deal directly with external stakeholders, 2005–
06

  During the last 12 months, did your job require you to deal directly with people                             Yes
  from any of the following levels of government or other external stakeholders?                               (%)
Commonwealth agencies                                                                                        59
State/Territory agencies                                                                                     33
Local government agencies                                                                                    19
Groups representing communities                                                                              23
Other non-government organisations                                                                           17
Industry stakeholders                                                                                        35
Tertiary education and/or research groups                                                                    19
Unions                                                                                                       8
Outsourced service providers                                                                                 21
Other contractors or consultants                                                                             31
Other                                                                                                        2
None of the above                                                                                            24

Source: Employee survey

Employees from small agencies were more likely to deal with Australian Government agencies, state/ territory
agencies, industry stakeholders and other contractors or consultants than employees from medium or large
agencies.

Employees in the ACT were more likely to have direct dealings with other Commonwealth agencies, state/territory
agencies, industry stakeholders and other contractors or consultants. Those located outside the ACT were more
likely to have direct dealings with local government agencies and groups representing the community.

Not surprisingly, there is a strong relationship between classification and the extent to which employees’ jobs
require them to have direct dealings with external stakeholders. This relationship holds for all groups of external
stakeholders, except for dealings with local government agencies. Whereas 28% of APS 1–6 employees
indicated that their job did not require them to deal directly with any of the external stakeholders listed, this was
the case for only 13% of EL employees and 1% of SES employees.
The following sample of employee comments highlights the value of, and issues associated with, consultation with
external stakeholders (comments are not necessarily representative).

Effective communication is the key. The stakeholders need to know they are being involved because you value
their input—not just because it’s required. If consultation is for forms sake, it won’t be effective and your
relationships will be damaged.

I think people from within government understand each other, but it’s so hard to deal with people externally (e.g.
NGOs), who don’t understand why/that you can’t be more helpful when faced with a perfectly reasonable position.

Early and effective consultation with industry on matters that affect them needs to be the rule into the future. On
the other hand, the APS must not be too influenced by undue corporate influence.

Having a clear idea of what is a realistically achievable outcome from a project or programme and not building up
false expectations can help in building stronger stakeholder relationships.

I believe this office has an open and cooperative relationship with external stakeholders and think we are
regarded in a positive light in this community.




In 2005–06, DCITA developed the arrangements that required public consultation and constructive interaction
between DCITA, ACCC and Telstra. The resulting operational separation framework represents an innovative and
proportionate response to a policy problem. It is designed to achieve the same benefits as more interventionist
regulatory options, but at a significantly lower level of cost and disruption.

ATO continued to make it easier for people to comply with their tax obligations through education and assistance,
including through focussing on those who do not want to comply.


Extent of involvement with external stakeholders

APS employees interact with external stakeholders in a variety of ways, from consultation to active partnerships.
In 2006, both agencies and employees were asked about the nature and extent of their involvement with external
stakeholders. The survey results for agencies are presented in Table 11.3 and for employees in Table 11.4.

Not surprisingly, the agency survey results revealed that most agencies are involved in working with external
stakeholders in a range of ways to various degrees. The most common type of involvement was attending
meetings with stakeholders to hear their views with almost all agencies indicating that they often or sometimes
undertook this type of activity. The second most common type of involvement, which was also widespread, was
manag(ing) contracts, projects and/or programmes in partnership with those stakeholders.

In relation to the other activities identified, almost three-quarters of agencies indicated that they often or
sometimes undertook these activities.


Table 11.3: Agency involvement with external stakeholders, 2005–06

                                                                                                          Not
                                                    Often     Sometimes         Rarely      Never
                   Activity                                                                            applicable
                                                     (%)         (%)             (%)         (%)
                                                                                                          (%)
Attend meetings with stakeholders to
                                                   79         17                1          0          4
hear their views
Negotiate with stakeholders to develop
                                                   51         23                6          1          19
mutually agreed policy positions
Negotiate with stakeholders to develop
mutually agreed implementation                     51         33                4          1          11
processes
Table 11.3: Agency involvement with external stakeholders, 2005–06

                                                                                                     Not
                                                 Often     Sometimes        Rarely     Never
                  Activity                                                                        applicable
                                                  (%)         (%)            (%)        (%)
                                                                                                     (%)
Develop and/or clarify roles and
responsibilities of all relevant
                                                63        21               5          0         11
stakeholders in scoping contracts,
projects and/or programmes
Establish agreed stakeholder contract,
project and/or programme deliverables           61        25               2          0         12
with relevant stakeholders
Manage contracts, projects and/or
programmes in partnership with                  61        26               0          1         12
stakeholders

Source: Agency survey

Almost all large agencies reported high levels of each type of activity. Small and medium agencies also indicate a
high level of involvement with external stakeholders, but the overall result was slightly lower.

Employees also indicated a range of involvement with external stakeholders. Involvement was highest in
traditional areas of contact such as attending meetings with stakeholders to hear their views or managing
contracts, projects and/or programmes. Involvement in areas of active participation such as negotiating with
stakeholders to develop mutually agreed policy positions tended to be lower.


Table 11.4: Employees’ greatest level of involvement in working with external
stakeholders, 2005–06

     During the last 12 months, what was your greatest level of involvement in                              Yes
                        working with external stakeholders?                                                 (%)
Liaising with stakeholders (e.g. arranging meetings, providing and/or collecting
                                                                                                        12
information, answering enquiries)
Attended meetings with stakeholders to hear their views                                                 25
Negotiated with stakeholders to develop mutually agreed policy positions                                12
Developed and/or clarified roles and responsibilities of all relevant stakeholders in
                                                                                                        10
scoping contracts, projects and/or programmes
Established agreed stakeholder contract, project and/or programme deliverables with
                                                                                                        9
relevant stakeholders
Managed contracts, projects and/or programmes in partnership with stakeholders                          22
Other                                                                                                   11

Source: Employee survey

Framework underpinning the relationship with external stakeholders

Agencies had developed a range of policies and protocols to guide and evaluate interactions with external
stakeholders.
The agency survey asked agencies about the use of four types of protocols and policies for dealing with external
stakeholders (see Table 11.5). The types of protocols and policies examined here relate to promoting consistent
and accurate contract management decisions, safeguarding access to IT systems and protecting sensitive
information, measuring and evaluating performance and protecting citizens’ interests in projects managed jointly
with stakeholders.

The use of agency policies/protocols was widespread amongst agencies. Around one-third of agencies indicated
that they had all four formal measures in place. The most common measure in place in agencies was a
policy/protocol to safeguard access to IT systems and protect private and commercially sensitive information.
Employees who had contact with external stakeholders also saw this as a widespread process. Nearly three-
quarters agreed that when working with stakeholders, processes are put in place to safeguard access to IT
systems and protect private and commercially sensitive information.

Three-quarters of agencies indicated that they had a policy/protocol in place to promote consistent and accurate
contract management decisions by staff and measure and evaluate overall performance. Employee results were
generally consistent, with more than half of relevant employees agreeing that their agency promoted consistent
and accurate contract management decisions by employees and that when working with stakeholders, processes
are put in place to measure and evaluate the overall performance.

The use of policies/protocols in place to protect citizens’ interests in projects managed jointly with stakeholders
was less common. It should be noted, of course, that agencies may protect citizens’ interests via mechanisms
other than formal policies and procedures, for example, the inclusion of clauses in contracts. The use of such
mechanisms may in part explain employees’ positive views that citizens are, in fact, protected. Nearly two-thirds
of relevant employees indicated that they were confident that citizens’ interests are protected in projects managed
jointly with stakeholders.

More than one-third of agencies indicated that policies/protocols to protect citizens’ interests in projects managed
jointly with stakeholders were not applicable to them. In some cases, it is not clear why agencies have indicated
that such policies/protocols are not applicable to them, particularly as it would appear that at least some of the
agencies that did so have managed projects where external stakeholders have delivered services to citizens. It
may be that citizens’ interests are explicitly protected in the terms of contracts (service standards or formal appeal
mechanisms, for example), and therefore policies/protocols to protect citizens’ interests were considered
unnecessary. This issue will be explored further in 2007.


Table 11.5: Composite of agency and employee survey results for agency
protocols/policies for dealing with external stakeholders, 2005–06

   Agency policy/
                                          Agency Survey                              Employee Survey
  protocol or action
                                                                                         Neither
                                   Being           Not
                             Yes                           Agree                        agree nor       Disagree
                                 developed No(%) applicabl
                             (%)                            (%)                         disagree           (%)
                                    (%)            e(%)
                                                                                           (%)
Promoting consistent
and accurate contract
                             75     10               8        7              54        19              6
management
decisions by staff
Safeguard access to
IT systems and
protect private and    88           5                2        5              72        14              3
commercially sensitive
information
Measure and evaluate
overall performance
                      75            8                10       7              53        21              8
(e.g. outcomes, value
for money)
Protecting citizens’
                             44     6                14       36             64        17              5
interests in projects
Table 11.5: Composite of agency and employee survey results for agency
protocols/policies for dealing with external stakeholders, 2005–06

   Agency policy/
                                         Agency Survey                            Employee Survey
  protocol or action
                                                                                      Neither
                                  Being           Not
                            Yes                           Agree                      agree nor      Disagree
                                developed No(%) applicabl
                            (%)                            (%)                       disagree          (%)
                                   (%)            e(%)
                                                                                        (%)
managed jointly with
stakeholders

Source: Agency and employee surveys

Employees were generally very positive about the way relationships with external stakeholders were handled in
their agency, as outlined in Table 11.6. This is a very encouraging result.

Employees’ level of agreement with the statements about the arrangements their agencies have in place for
working with external stakeholders ranged from 52% (my agency devotes adequate resources to ensure it can
meet its responsibilities to stakeholders) to 72% (when working with stakeholders, processes are put in place to
safeguard access to IT systems and protect private and commercially sensitive information). Rates of
disagreement were generally low, with, in every case, a larger proportion of respondents choosing to neither
agree nor disagree.


Table 11.6: Relevant employee views on working with external stakeholders, 2005–06

     Please rate your level of agreement with the
                                                                                Neither agree
    following statements taking into account your                    Agree                          Disagree
                                                                                nor disagree
    experience working with external stakeholders                     (%)                              (%)
                                                                                     (%)
              during the last 12 months.
My agency promotes consistent and accurate contract
                                                                     54        19                  6
management decisions by staff.
The roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in
contracts, projects, and/or programmes are clearly                   54        20                  8
outlined and understood.
Decisions relevant to the stakeholder relationship are
                                                                     55        23                  7
shared and mutually agreed.
I receive appropriate training and/or have access to
information that enables me to meet my responsibilities              60        22                  12
working with stakeholders.
My agency builds internal teams who have the skills,
knowledge and ability to collaborate effectively with                59        21                  11
stakeholders.
My agency devotes adequate resources to ensure it can
                                                                     52        24                  13
meet its responsibilities to stakeholders.
When working with stakeholders, processes are put in
place to safeguard access to IT systems and protect                  72        14                  3
private and commercially sensitive information.
When working with stakeholders, processes are put in
place to measure and evaluate the overall performance                53        21                  8
(e.g. outcomes, value for money)
Table 11.6: Relevant employee views on working with external stakeholders, 2005–06

     Please rate your level of agreement with the
                                                                                  Neither agree
    following statements taking into account your                      Agree                          Disagree
                                                                                  nor disagree
    experience working with external stakeholders                       (%)                              (%)
                                                                                       (%)
              during the last 12 months.
I am confident that citizens’ interests are protected in
                                                                      64         17                  5
projects managed jointly with stakeholders.

Source: Employee survey

Some employee comments supported the need for a framework to underpin the relationship with external
stakeholders (comments are not necessarily representative).

Successful relationships with external stakeholders are founded on trust, shared understanding and appreciation
of common objectives. However, a legal framework via MOUs or contractual agreements that clarify goals and
performance standards is often necessary to ensure that the Commonwealth achieves value for money for
services and activities it supports that are carried out by external stakeholders.

I run a program that uses funding from my agency. Most of these funds go to external agencies. There are little in
the way of safeguards and performance monitoring. This is a major flaw.

Employees whose jobs required them to deal directly with external stakeholders were also highly confident that
they are able to balance the APS Values of being fair and effective, impartial and courteous in delivering services
to the Australian public, and responsive to the Government. Ninety-three per cent of relevant respondents to the
employee survey had high (72%) or moderate (21%) levels of confidence that they could balance these values
and only 3% had low levels of confidence. SES employees were more likely to have high levels of confidence.
When high and moderate levels of confidence are combined the gap between classification groups is substantially
narrowed.

The proportion of respondents who reported a high level of confidence among large agencies ranged from 61% to
90%. When high and moderate levels of confidence are combined, the level of confidence ranged from 90% to
99%.

Employees whose jobs required them to deal directly with external stakeholders were also asked if they had faced
a challenge in the previous 12 months in balancing the need to be fair and effective, impartial and courteous in
delivering services to the Australian public, and responsive to the Government. Around one-third of relevant
employees indicated that they had faced such a challenge. More than half (55%) indicated that they had not and
10% were not sure. SES employees were most likely (42%) to have faced a challenge in the previous 12 months.
The proportion of employees from large agencies who reported having faced a challenge in the previous 12
months ranged from 18% to 55%.


Engaging with the community
Working with the community is central to the business of the APS. Effective service delivery will always be a key
part of how we measure our success in this area. Increasingly, the effectiveness of our consultation and the way
we work with external stakeholders are also critical.

In Australia and internationally, attention is now turning to areas where a more active engagement with the
community can benefit the Government in achieving successful outcomes. The extent to which involvement is
appropriate will depend on the nature of the issue, but is likely to be most beneficial in areas where the APS is
dealing with complex and seemingly intractable problems—in areas such as water, public health and Indigenous
policy.

In its 2001 report, Citizens as Partners: Information, Consultation and Public Participation in Policy-Making, the
OECD described a range of concrete measures and principles for strengthening the relationship between
governments and their citizens. The report outlines three levels of citizen involvement in policy-making:
        information—a one-way relationship, where governments produce and disseminate information to
         citizens
        consultation—a two-way relationship where citizens provide feedback to government
        active participation—a relationship based on partnership with government, where citizens engage in
                                                  13
         defining the policy content and process.




The Government Communication Network in the UK has launched ‘Engage’, a programme to enable greater
involvement by the public in the policy development process. The Engage framework will allow the Government to
better utilise and adapt well-tried principles and techniques of strategic communication in its efforts to change
community attitudes towards policy-making. Engage is supported by:

        a knowledge bank which provides the community with a practical set of principles, tools, case studies
         and training materials to create more ‘engaging’ communication
        a programme of events, training and development courses to assist the public in making the most of
         these materials
        a leadership and engagement programme that supplies a context in which government communications
         can best foster community participation in policy-making.

Engaging the community at each of these levels is appropriate in different contexts, depending on what agencies
are seeking to achieve, and taking into account the resources available and the likely impact on outcomes.

The potential benefits are significant. Engaging the community more directly can provide governments with
access to broader perspectives and potential solutions and, ultimately, better decisions. It can be particularly
effective when the policy objective is to influence community behaviour.

There are, however, also risks associated with involving the community in policy-making, or even in seeking their
feedback. Encouraging community participation, for example, where the outcome seems to have been
predetermined or where input is perceived to have not been heard or ignored, may in fact do more harm than
good.

To make the most of this aspect of its activities, the APS needs to build its capacity to effectively and successfully
engage the Australian community. This will include recruiting for and developing strong relationship management
skills, the willingness and ability to listen to the views of others, and conflict resolution and negotiation skills.

There have already been significant achievements in this area in the APS, for example, the development of
Shared Responsibility Agreements (SRAs) and Regional Partnership Agreements (RPAs) with Indigenous
communities. These agreements are an important part of the Government’s new approach in addressing
Indigenous disadvantage.

Shared Responsibility Agreements are developed voluntarily between the Government and Indigenous
communities, and can also involve state, territory and local governments, the private sector and philanthropic
organisations. In return for discretionary benefits from the Government, communities make specific commitments
to achieve their identified goals. These agreements are driven by the community—it is the community that
decides the issues or priorities it wants to address, how it would like to address them, and what it will do in return
for government investment. The agreements also outline accountabilities and set out what families, communities,
governments and other partners will contribute to address local priorities and the outcomes to be achieved. There
are currently over 150 SRAs in operation across Australia.

Regional Partnership Agreements are also an important element in engaging with Indigenous communities.
These agreements are broader in their application than SRAs and target government interventions across a
whole region. Regional Partnership Agreements are in their infancy, with the first RPA signed by the
Ngaanyatjarra Council and the Australian and Western Australian Governments and the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku
in August 2005. Through the RPA, the governments, the Council and the Ngaanyatjarra people are committed to
working together to improve services, reduce red tape and develop an investment plan for the area. As part of the
RPA, three SRAs have been signed with communities in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands.

APS agencies are likely to be increasingly looking at where they can use more direct community engagement to
add value. Almost half (47%) of APS employees already agree that their agency encourages the public to
participate in shaping and administering policy. Other employees were more likely to neither agree nor disagree
(27%) than to disagree (16%), with 10% not sure. From the employee perspective, however, there is room to
improve how agencies are perceived by the public. Only 44% of employees agreed that their agency had earned
a high level of public trust. This is an area which agencies may need to address if active engagement with the
community is to deliver high-quality outcomes.


Key chapter findings
Delivering services to the public remains one of the key forms of interaction and engagement with the Australian
community, and is an area where the APS appears to perform well. Generally, employees involved in service
delivery reported high levels of satisfaction and capability. They were very positive about the impact of their
workplace practices on service delivery, including in relation to the professionalism of employees involved in
service delivery, and the degree to which confidentiality is taken seriously. In addition, most believe employees in
their workplace are committed to providing excellent customer service and there has also been an improvement in
employee perceptions about coordination between agencies.

Agencies are focusing on the use of mechanisms to measure agency performance. In the area of service delivery
there has been an increased use of service standards and performance indicators to measure the quality of
services provided to the public. There has also been widespread use of feedback mechanisms, and information
collected through these mechanisms feeds directly into the improvement of service delivery. The increasing
uptake of e-government and high overall satisfaction levels among users is another positive indicator.

Agencies’ overall commitment to the provision of quality services appears to be paying off. A range of key service
delivery agencies report high levels of service user satisfaction.

Not surprisingly, however, there are still areas where the APS needs to improve. Information provided by the
Ombudsman suggests that agencies need to focus on improving the quality and the transparency of their
decisions, including through better record keeping. AGIMO has also pointed to the need to ensure that an
increasing reliance on e-government does not reduce access to services for some groups in the community.

Consultation in the making of policy and programme decisions continues to be widespread among APS agencies
and, in a positive development, has become more widespread in the area of government regulation.
Nevertheless, there is the potential for agencies to increase the extent to which they consult directly with the
public in a targeted way.

Reflecting the trend to ‘distributed government’, whether it be through outsourced service provision or partnering
agreements, APS employees report widespread interaction with external stakeholders. Most dealings currently
are by way of consultation or contract management rather than active partnership.

Agencies have a range of protocols and policies in place for dealing with external stakeholders, although there is
potential for agencies to develop more protocols and policies around the protection of citizens’ interests. That
said, employees were generally very positive about the way relations with stakeholders were handled in their
agencies, including in relation to the protection of citizens’ interests.

In Australia and internationally, governments are increasingly looking at ways in which working more directly with
the community can contribute to better policy and programme outcomes. Engaging the community comprehends
a range of approaches and has the potential not only to provide governments with access to broader perspectives
and potential solutions, but to influence community behaviour. Nevertheless, it needs to be undertaken in a
strategic way, at appropriate points in the policy cycle, and in areas where it has been identified as having the
potential to add value.

Of course, for some agencies engaging in this way is a new form of operating and brings with it a range of
governance and capability challenges. Nevertheless, it is increasingly likely that active participation and
engagement of citizens will be needed in areas such as employment, health, crime, education, environment,
transport and the economy. This aspect of working with the Australian community will be examined in more detail
by the Commission over the next year.




    1.   Further information on the results from the Census Survey can be found in Australian Public Service Commission
         2006, Census Report: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander APS Employees <http://www.apsc.gov.au>
    2.   It should be noted that highly independent bodies, Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and agencies closely
         linked to departments are exempt from this reporting requirement.
    3.   ANAO 2006, Better Practice Guide, User-Friendly Forms: Key Principles and Practices to Effectively Design and
         Communicate Australian Government Forms, <http://www.anao.gov.au>
4.    B. Herdan 2006, The Customer Voice in Transforming Public Services: Independent Report from the Review of the
      Charter Mark Scheme and Measurement of Customer Satisfaction with Public Services,
      <http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/publications/reports/chartermark/cm_review.pdf>
5.    The Hon. Gary Nairn MP (Speech at the launch of the Australian Government’s e-government strategy, 30 March
      2006), <http://www. agimo.gov.au/media/2006/march/50097.html>
6.    AGIMO 2006, Responsive Government: A New Service Agenda,
      <http://www.agimo.gov.au/_data/assets/pdf_file/51499/e-gov_strategy.pdf>
7.    United Nations, Global e-Government Readiness Report 2005: From E-Government to E-Inclusion, November 2005,
      <http://www.unpan.org/egovernment5.asp>
8.    Accenture, Leadership in Customer Service: Building the Trust, (2006) pp 62–63, <http://www.accenture.com>
9.    UK Government, Beyond e-Government—The World’s Most Successful Technology-Enabled Transformations, 2005
      <http://www.egov2005conference.gov.uk/publications/index.asp>
10.    The availability of review mechanisms varies depending on a range of factors, including the specific legislative
      context. For a comprehensive listing of online administrative law resources refer to the Department of the
      Parliamentary Library, <http://www.aph.gov.au/library/intguide/law/adminlaw.htm>
11.   Management Advisory Committee 2004, Connecting Government: Whole of Government Responses to Australia’s
      Priority Challenges, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
12.   Government regulators in all APS agencies are required to confer with the Office of Regulation Review on the
      requirement for a regulation impact statement (RIS) for proposals of a regulatory nature. Consultation on a proposal
      and alternative options should occur when a course of regulatory action is being considered and should occur as
      widely as possible but at the least, should include those most likely to be affected by the regulatory action.
13.   OECD 2001, Citizens as Partners: Information, Consultation and Public Participation in Policy-Making,
      <http://www.oecd.org>
Chapter 12: Agency achievements and the
way forward
The State of the Service report is a part of the vision for a modern public service—a component of the quid pro
quo for the devolution of powers and the increased flexibility that we now enjoy in the APS. At the heart of the
vision is a professional public service that is innovative and responsive, focused on its core activities of policy
advice, regulation, programme implementation and the delivery of services to the public—that is, on achieving
outcomes for the Government and for the community. Our capacity to deliver on this vision is why the State of the
Service report matters.

This year’s report shows that, overall, the APS is a healthy institution, with high levels of employee engagement,
organisational effectiveness and service delivery capability.

Nevertheless, there are challenges that the APS needs to address. These are the challenges that were outlined in
more detail in Chapter 1:

        the capability of our senior leadership
        the capability of EL employees (supporting and developing our middle management and SES feeder
         group)
        positioning ourselves as an employer of choice
        achieving excellence in our governance structures, and
        building our organisational capacity to address the challenges of the future.

                                                                   1
The focus of this chapter is the achievements that MAC agencies have made during the 2005–06 year.

This is the second year that the State of the Service report has provided an opportunity for these agenciesto
outline their key achievements and provide a more complete picture of the state of the public service, illustrating
the depth and breadth of the work that the APS performs.

We should be proud of these achievements. They cover a wide range of significant and important issuesthat
matter not only to the Australian community, but also to the broader Asia-Pacific region.

This chapter begins by highlighting some of our most important achievements in the areas of security, the
economy, enterprise and innovation, a fair and decent society, sustainability, international co-operation, and
celebration and commemoration. It also looks at some of our specific achievements in creating a more flexible,
efficient and responsive public service. The full set of responses from MAC agencies is set out in the table at the
end of this chapter and agency achievements are also highlighted at relevant points throughout this report.

The scale of these achievements, and their importance to Australia and to the region, emphasises the importance
of maintaining and enhancing the capability of the APS to deliver effective outcomes both now and into the future.
This is the context in which we need to build on our many successes, and address the challenges confronting us.


A secure nation
Counter-terrorism, border security, airport and maritime security and biosecurity form a major component of
agencies’ activities and initiatives.

Attorney-General’s has implemented the National Identity Security Strategy and is trialing one of its key
components, the Document Verification Service (DVS). The DVS prototype represents a successful collaboration
between AGD, DFAT, DIMA, Centrelink, the NSW and ACT Births, Deaths and Marriage Registries, and the NSW
Roads and Traffic Authority and the ACT Road Transport Authority.

Customs has increased airport security by expanding airport Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) capacity,
extending the SmartGate project and assisting in the development of the ADF and State police to staff the Joint
Airport Investigation Teams (JAITS).

DAFF and Customs have worked closely to increase Australia’s maritime and biosecurity with particular emphasis
on measures to reduce incursions by illegal foreign fishers.
Defence is supporting national security at a higher level of activity than at any time since the Vietnam War.

DFAT extended counter-terrorism cooperation in South-East Asia and the Pacific by assisting regional countries
to improve law enforcement, border and aviation security. The introduction of the ePassport, improvements to
travel advisories and increased capacity for consular emergency response have also increased security for
Australians at home and abroad.

PM&C, Health, DFAT and DEST have highlighted their achievements in advancing Australia’s preparedness for
an influenza pandemic with initiatives including contingency planning, expanding the National Medical Stockpile,
and increasing regional preparedness.


A strong and prosperous economy
Australia’s strong economic position continues to be supported by a range of APS agencies.

Treasury and Finance delivered on the carriage of the 2006–07 Budget processes, with a Budget containing a
greater number of capital and expense measures compared to last year’s, and one which involved a significantly
higher value of decisions over a four-year period.

DEWR led the coordination of the whole of government implementation of Welfare to Work measures across
portfolios. It also played a central role in developing and assisting in the passage of the WorkChoices legislation,
which provides for major reform to workplace relations in Australia.

DCITA developed the operational separation framework between DCITA, ACCC and Telstra, and formulated
legislative amendments designed to improve the operation of the telecommunications access and anti-competitive
conduct provisions. Together, these initiatives will promote a sustainable and competitive telecommunications
market, facilitate future investment in the industry, and produce real benefits for consumers.

DITR implemented the Cyclones Monica and Larry Business Assistance Fund, which is assisting severely
affected businesses and farmers to overcome the impacts of both cyclones. The fund represents a commitment to
the recovery and reconstruction of the Cape York region.

DOTARS is working through the Regional Partnerships and Sustainable Regions Programmes and with Area
Consultative Committees (ACCs) in regional communities to create opportunities for regional economic growth
and improved services. It progressed COAG’s National Reform Agenda with transport reforms including road and
rail productivity, national planning and investment and continued its active engagement with remote Indigenous
communities via the COAG East Kimberley Indigenous Trial.

More than 68% of visas issued by DIMA were to people in the Skill Stream, that is to people who can make a
valuable contribution to the Australian economy.


A culture of enterprise and innovation
Agencies have made major investments in various technologies and methodologies that provide considerable
benefits to business, government and the community.

ABS progressed preparations for the 2006 Census and for the first time provided the facility of eCensus which
gave people the opportunity to complete their Census form over the internet. Free access to the entire content of
the ABS website and the expansion of access and improvements to the National Statistical Service (NSS)
including the development of the National Data Network, provide researchers with valuable tools and statistical
research facilities to assist with research and informed decision-making.

The M2006 Commonwealth Games Taskforce, set up within DCITA, played a major cross-government role in
assisting the Minister for the Arts and Sport to coordinate Australian Government involvement in the Melbourne
Commonwealth Games this year. The achievements included generating business benefits by promoting
Australian businesses as world-class trade and investment partners, showcasing Australia as a premium major
event and holiday destination, and strengthening relationships within the Commonwealth.

Finance’s Gateway Unit has been set up to coordinate the implementation of Gateway (a project assurance
methodology that involves short, intensive reviews at critical stages of a project). The Unit will provide guidance
and support to review teams and agencies through Gateway reviews to improve the delivery of major projects on
time and within budget.

DITR received the 2006 United Nations Public Service Award for its business.gov.au web presence and is
developing the VANguard brokerage service which aims to provide federal, state and local government agencies
with an accredited, dedicated and consistent infrastructure to enable them to streamline communications links
and meet online audit, evidence and archive requirements. The VANguard service will be developed over the next
2–3 years.

In the first national private hospital tender, DVA achieved major cost containment, a reduced future prior approval
workload, and introduced an innovative pay for performance model.


A fair and decent society
A range of measures was implemented by agencies to strengthen the social fabric and improve the health,
education and financial situation of Australians.

Centrelink provided an emergency management response as part of the massive whole of government relief
following the devastation of Cyclone Larry and the floods in Katherine. It is now processing 9,400 Job Network
referrals per month, more than double the 2004 figure.

In reviewing the Repatriation Transport Scheme, DVA has expanded approved destinations for treatmentand
provided all veterans, war widows and widowers aged 80 or over, with access to booked car services.

ATO implemented the Child Care Tax Rebate and Super Choice and FaCSIA supported the Government’s
response to the recommendations of the Ministerial Taskforce on Child Support which included overseeing and
managing the implementation of Stage 1 of the reforms.

DCITA is well advanced in implementing a Do Not Call Register to enable residential householders to opt out of
receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls.

Health is working on initiatives to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These
include extending the provision of the non-aromatic Opal fuel to additional Aboriginal communities in Central and
Northern Australia and a new Medicare Australia funded annual health check for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander children from birth to the age of 14 years. Health also progressed a number of COAG initiatives aimed at
improving the health and well-being of Australians, including the Australian Better Health Initiative, the National
Health Call Centre Network and policies to improve outcomes for people with mental illness.

The Australian Public Service Commission conducted the first Census Survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander APS Employees and is actively pursuing strategies to foster Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
employment in the APS. The Commission also provided secretariat support for the MAC project and its report,
                                                 2
Employment of People with Disability in the APS.

DEST’s new strategic plan, Education, Science and Training—Creating Australia’s Future, drives policy solutions
in the areas of learning, skills acquisition, and building Australia’s knowledge.

DHS initiatives will ensure that those who are able to work are connected as quickly as possible with Job Network
or to other employment service providers, and that the introduction of the health and social service access card
will considerably reduce red tape and ensure greater convenience for the delivery of health and welfare
payments.


A sustainable environment
The prolonged drought and urgent need for improved water management in Australia, particularly in the Murray-
Darling Basin, have been a major focus of agency activity.

DAFF established a Drought Stakeholder Reference Group to advance reforms designed to better equip farmers
to manage severe drought conditions and reduce confusion associated with government drought relief processes.
In addition, it led the development of an Australian Government Murray River initiative to attain water recovery
targets and make the best use of water recovered for the environment. It is also working with the southern
Murray-Darling states on water trading issues with the aim of expanding permanent interstate water trade.

In relation to the critical issue of water, DAFF administered the Community Water Grants Programme which will
rehabilitate about 15,000 hectares of land and save billions of litres of water each year. DAFF also developed the
Securing our Fishing Future package to end overfishing and improve the profitability of Australia’s fisheries.

DEH and DFAT continued their efforts to develop practical, long-term solutions to climate change. They have
been instrumental in establishing the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate which is a new
way forward for countries to work together to reduce greenhouse emissions.


International cooperation
Both within the Asia-Pacific region and on the broader international front, agencies have engaged with other
nations to achieve increased cooperation, understanding and regional development.

Under a range of bilateral agreements, Treasury has provided the Governments of PNG, the Solomon Islands
and Nauru with advice on economic and fiscal matters. It also hosted the OECD Global Forum on Harmful
Taxation, and the G20 Policy Workshop on Demographic Change. DIMA is working to increase immigration
cooperation between Australia and Thailand and assisting with support for the new Immigration Training College
in Bangkok. The Commission contributed to strengthening public administration in the Asia-Pacific region by
assisting counterpart agencies in Indonesia, implementing an AusAID-funded programme to Pacific Island public
service commissions, and continuing to contribute to Australia’s Enhanced Cooperation Programme in PNG.

DFAT supported a programme of high-level visits with China and India, the two key emerging regional economic
powers. The March 2006 visit to India by the Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard MP, resulted in the signing of
six bilateral agreements or MOUs, including a Trade and Economic Framework. The visit to Australia of the
Premier of China, Wen Jiabao, gave new impetus to Australia’s Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

DFAT also strengthened the regional capacity for responding to, and preparing for, avian influenza.

DAFF has achieved access to key international markets including new and improved access to markets for
specific products in China, Europe, the USA, Taiwan and South Korea. It has also improved protocols for
governing the export of wheat to India that will facilitate hundreds of millions of dollars of trade.


The national story—celebration and commemoration
Marking key events is important to Australians’ sense of identity.

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, DVA has implemented a national
programme to salute and recognise Second World War veterans. It has also successfully coordinated a whole of
government approach to the planning and conduct of Anzac Day services at Gallipoli.

A number of Australia’s iconic sites have been progressed, by DEH, towards entry on to the World Heritage List
or the National Heritage List. These include the Sydney Opera House, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and AWM.

DIMA has played a key role in reinforcing tolerance and understanding with the celebration of the Australian
Government’s Harmony Day.


A flexible, efficient and responsive public service
A range of programmes has been implemented within the APS to extend and increase the responsiveness,
efficiency and flexibility of the public service. The response, to Cyclones Larry and Monica, in particular, and the
task forces established by PM&C to drive and coordinate COAG initiatives across the Commonwealth,
demonstrated the effectiveness of a well-coordinated whole of government approach.

To enhance leadership development and increase better practice within the public service, the Commission has
developed a new suite of leadership programmes and publications.
DCITA’s pilot School Leavers Program aimed at boosting the diminishing ongoing cohort at the APS 1–4 levels
and improving the department’s bench strength for future APS 5–6 employees, has been welcomed by
departmental employees including managers.

With the roll out of the Client Relationship Management and Case Management System, ATO is making major
advances in its change programme.

Defence is addressing the issue of resource management by delivering financial skills training to more than
14,000 people and introducing a standard financial controls framework. Finance delivered the e-Government
Strategy Response and initiated a review of red tape in internal Australian Government administration.
Subsequently, red tape has become the subject of a MAC report scheduled for release in early 2007.

                        3
Since the Palmer report was released in 2005, DIMA has done a tremendous amount of work to underpin the
reform process within the department, focusing on improved systems, processes and client services, including a
Systems for People programme to overhaul the way the Department uses a range of technology to support its
business.


Conclusion
I am very pleased to be able to conclude this year’s State of the Service report with an overview of the
achievements of MAC agencies. Our achievements provide a powerful context for understanding why the APS
needs to continue to improve and to develop the capability it requires to meet the challenges that this report has
highlighted. The scope and complexity of the work agencies have undertaken demonstrates the
interconnectedness of the APS as an institution, and the imperative for developing our capacity to work
strategically, to be innovative, creative and collaborative, now and into the future.


Management Advisory Committee agencies’ key
achievements, 2005–06
Themes

        A secure nation
        A strong and prosperous economy
        A culture of enterprise and innovation
        A fair and decent society
        A sustainable environment
        International cooperation
        The national story—celebration and commemoration
        A flexible, responsive and efficient public sector


Theme: A secure nation

  Agency/Department                                             Achievement
                               Led a cross-jurisdictional, whole of government approach to
                               increasing Australia’s security by:

                                       implementing a central component of the National Identity
                                        Security Strategy, the national Document Verification Service
                                        (DVS), to combat the misuse of stolen or assumed identities
Attorney-General’s                     developing counter-terrorism legislation in cooperation with
                                        state and territory jurisdictions in response to a review of
                                        lessons learnt from the July 2005 London bombings. The
                                        legislation involved significant new law in the area of
                                        preventative detention and control orders, demonstrating a
                                        capacity for innovation in the way these concepts were
                                        adapted to meet Australian security and accountability
                                        requirements, as well as providing a timely response
Theme: A secure nation

 Agency/Department                                    Achievement
                                enacting, in less than six months, a scheme of interlocking
                                 Commonwealth, state and territory legislation which was
                                 made available for use in the event of an actual or
                                 threatened terrorist attack in Australia.


                         Awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Sector
                         Management 2005, for the success to date of the SmartGate project.
                         The SmartGate trial was the result of a Customs vision to develop an
                         automated border processing system using biometric technology to
                         replace manual processes by Customs officers at immigration
                         processing points. The trial was launched in late 2002 at Sydney
                         International Airport with Qantas international crew. The trial has
                         expanded to include Sydney and Melbourne international airports for
                         use by operating international crew from selected airlines, selected
                         adult passengers travelling on Australian passports, and selected
                         holders of prototype Australian ePassports.

                         Expanded and modernised airport CCTV capability in response to
                         the Wheeler Review by:

                                increasing Customs CCTV capacity by over 200 cameras
                                 covering identified ‘black spots’, making a total of 1120
                                 CCTVs
                                extending digital video recording capability for these new
                                 cameras
                                providing additional control room officers at the four large
                                 airports to operate and monitor the cameras.
Australian Customs
                         Joined Australian Federal Police (AFP) and state police officers to
Service
                         comprise the Joint Airport Investigation Teams (JAITs). The teams
                         have been established at five major international airports ( Sydney,
                         Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth) to investigate serious and
                         organised crime at all 11 Counter-Terrorism First Response (CTFR)
                         airports ( Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Cairns,
                         Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Coolangatta and Alice Springs). Customs
                         is also represented on the Joint Aviation Intelligence Groups (JAIGs),
                         which will be the primary intelligence cell at each airport and will also
                         provide intelligence support to JAITs.

                         Apprehended (with Navy) 367 illegal foreign fishing vessels in
                         Australia’s northern waters—an increase of 164 vessels over the
                         previous year. Processed 2244 crew (November 2005 to 30 June
                         2006). Note: As of November 2005, Customs became responsible
                         for the on-land processing of illegal foreign fishers from their arrival
                         in port until they are handed over to DIMA.

                         Contributed to the success of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games
                         held in early 2006 by providing services that included:

                                facilitation of passengers and cargo while maintaining border
                                 security (including examinations, temporary import and
                                 enforcement activities)
Theme: A secure nation

 Agency/Department                                  Achievement
                                implementing a regulatory framework to support Games
                                 indicia protection and duty and Goods and Services Tax
                                 (GST) concessions .

                         Customs received a range of compliments regarding its services
                         from Games family members, VIPs and representatives of the
                         M2006 Corporation, the Victoria Police and other public and private
                         sector organisations.
                         Contributed to maritime security by:

                                working closely with Customs to develop a package of
                                 measures for the enhancement of Australia’s maritime
                                 security programme in northern waters and, in particular, our
                                 response to incursions by illegal foreign fishing vessels.
                                 Illegal foreign fishers breach our maritime boundaries and
                                 represent a significant biosecurity risk
                                continuing to work with Customs and the Australian Fisheries
Agriculture, Fisheries           Management Authority (AFMA), to implement Australia’s
and Forestry                     $217.2 million armed patrol programme for the Heard Island
                                 and McDonald Islands exclusive economic zone of the
                                 Southern Ocean. The patrols continue to deter incursions by
                                 illegal toothfish poachers
                                continuing Australia’s key role in the Ministerially-led Task
                                 Force on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing
                                 on the High Seas and agreeing to work with other nations to
                                 implement nine practical proposals to deal with IUU fishing
                                 on the high seas.


                         Conducted a wide range of security-related operational tasks,
                         including in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands and East Timor.
Defence
                         In support of national security, Defence is sustaining a higher tempo
                         of activity than at any time since the Vietnam War.
                        Provided, in conjunction with other Australian Government agencies,
                        disaster recovery assistance to Australians in response to the
                        London bombings, the Bali bombing, and the Dahab bombings in
                        Egypt. With the establishment of an Australian Government Disaster
Families, Community     Recovery Committee, FaCSIA played a lead role in the coordination
Services and Indigenous of Australian Government disaster recovery assistance and continue
Affairs                 to manage the new Australian Government disaster recovery website
                        at http://www.disasterassist.gov.au. This site, activated following
                        Cyclone Larry, will continue to provide information to the public in
                        response to disasters where the Australian Government provides
                        recovery assistance.
                         Progressed counter-terrorism cooperation in South-East Asia and
                         the Pacific.
Foreign Affairs and
Trade                           Coordinated a new cross-portfolio package of counter-
                                 terrorism assistance for regional countries worth $92.6
                                 million to deliver, on a whole of government basis, improved
                                 law enforcement, intelligence cooperation, export controls
Theme: A secure nation

  Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                                 and border security and initiatives to build regional
                                 awareness of the terrorist threat.
                                Commenced an international campaign to strengthen
                                 international export control standards applying to Man-
                                 Portable Air Defence Systems as part of efforts to enhance
                                 aviation security in the Asia-Pacific.
                                Expanded our regional and bilateral network of counter-
                                 terrorism memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with
                                 partners in South-East Asia, which now number 12.
                                Gave more structure and impetus to trilateral cooperation
                                 with the USA and Japan on security issues, culminating in
                                 the inaugural ministerial meeting of the Trilateral Strategic
                                 Dialogue in Sydney in March 2006.
                                Improved consular and passport services.
                                Introduced a revised format for travel advisories to make
                                 them clearer and simpler to use. This reflects the
                                 department’s urgent priority to alert Australians to possible
                                 terrorist and other security threats. In 2005–06, the
                                 department issued travel advice for 152 destinations.
                                Continued to refine already sophisticated consular crises
                                 response capabilities. This was demonstrated by the efficient
                                 deployment of consular emergency response teams to assist
                                 with crises on 12 occasions throughout the year, including for
                                 the London bombings in July 2005, the Bali bombings in
                                 October 2005, and natural disasters such as Hurricane
                                 Katrina.
                                Introduced an ePassport which uses cutting-edge biometric
                                 passport technology. The passport’s microchip technology
                                 and sophisticated facial recognition systems make it
                                 Australia’s most secure travel document yet. The ePassport
                                 provides the department with a more robust system for
                                 identity verification and an enhanced capability for the
                                 detection and prevention of passport fraud.


                         Further strengthened Australia’s preparedness for an influenza
                         pandemic through:

                                the release of the revised Australian Health Management
                                 Plan for Pandemic Influenza in May 2006
Health and Ageing               substantially increasing the range and number of items in the
                                 National Medical Stockpile for use in an emergency and
                                 developed the National Medicines Stockpile deployment plan
                                developing a national exercise for pandemic influenza
                                 (Exercise Cumpston) to be held in October 2006.


                         Made a significant contribution to the 2006 Commonwealth Games
                         by assisting thousands of international visitors, athletes and officials
                         to participate in the highly successful Melbourne Games. In total,
Immigration and
                         DIMA provided Special Purpose Visas, known as Commonwealth
Multicultural Affairs
                         Games Travel Authorities (CGTA) to 6995 Commonwealth Games
                         family members. DIMA officers conducted short-term missions to
                         Africa and the Caribbean providing visa labels to Commonwealth
Theme: A secure nation

 Agency/Department                                    Achievement
                          Games participants who required evidence of their visa for border
                          control agencies in other countries. Airline Liaison Officers stationed
                          at key transit points such as Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai
                          and Singapore provided assistance to participants en-route to
                          Australia. Additional airport inspectors were rostered to meet the
                          increase in passenger numbers arriving in Melbourne during the
                          Games period.

                          Of those who travelled on CGTAs, only 26 Commonwealth Games
                          officials and athletes overstayed their visas, while a further 34
                          Commonwealth Games athletes and officials applied for protection
                          visas. These protection visa applicants included 14 Sierra Leone
                          athletes who received considerable media attention at the time.
                          DIMA worked closely with the Victoria Police and activated a
                          compliance handling strategy that involved contact with community
                          leaders and support groups to encourage cooperation from the
                          overstayers, and regular checks of DIMA systems including the
                          Enitlements Verification Online (EVO) system and checks with other
                          agencies. The total number of Commonwealth Games overstayers at
                          3 October 2006 has been reduced to 9.
                          Provided support to the Prime Minister as Chair of the Council of
Prime Minister and        Australian Government (COAG), in addition to the COAG work
Cabinet                   undertaken on the National Reform Agenda, including counter-
                          terrorism and contingency planning for pandemic influenza.
                          Implementing the Government’s response to the Wheeler Review
                          into security and policing in Australia’s aviation security sector, and
                          enhanced maritime security arrangements and COAG directions
                          following the July 2005 London bombings. The outcome has been to
                          strengthen aviation, maritime and surface transport security
                          arrangements in line with the nature of terrorist and criminality
Transport and Regional    threats and associated risk assessments by transport operators.
Services
                          During the year the Department strengthened surface transport
                          related links with state and territory governments, commenced a
                          review of surface transport, progressed the implementation of the
                          Wheeler Review of airport security and policing recommendations
                          and commenced the rollout of the Maritime Security Identity Card
                          (MSIC).




Theme: A strong and prosperous economy

  Agency/Department                                    Achievement
                           Established the International Food and Agricultural Service to
                           enable a more coordinated and strategic approach to international
Agriculture, Fisheries and
                           work, and maintained and improved market access for products in
Forestry
                           key international markets, including China, Europe, the USA, South
                           Korea, and India.
Communications,           Played a major role in developing telecommunications competition
Theme: A strong and prosperous economy

  Agency/Department                                    Achievement
Information Technology   policy.
and the Arts
                                  Reviewed the telecommunications competition regime to
                                   ensure that the regulatory framework continued to be
                                   effective and supported ongoing competition in the
                                   telecommunications industry. A key part of the reform
                                   package was the development of regulation which required
                                   ‘operational separation’ of Telstra’s infrastructure and retail
                                   operations.
                                  Developed the arrangements that required public
                                   consultation and constructive interaction between DCITA,
                                   ACCC and Telstra. The resulting operational separation
                                   framework represents an innovative and proportionate
                                   response to a policy problem. It is designed to achieve the
                                   same benefits as more interventionist regulatory options, but
                                   at a significantly lower level of cost and disruption.
                                  Developed legislative amendments which improve the
                                   operation of the telecommunications access and anti-
                                   competitive conduct provisions in Parts XIB and XIC of the
                                   Trade Practices Act 1974 (including changes to streamline
                                   and clarify ACCC regulatory processes). Together, with the
                                   operational separation framework, these measures promote
                                   a sustainable and competitive telecommunications market,
                                   facilitate future investment in the industry, and produce real
                                   benefits for consumers.


                         Increased, by 7%, the number of international student enrolments in
                         Australia on student visas in 2005 from 2004. There were a total of
                         344,815 enrolments in 2005. The largest proportion of international
Education, Science and   students in 2005 was in the higher education sector, and
Training                 enrolments in this sector grew by 8% over 2004. The vocational and
                         technical education sector had the next largest proportion of
                         enrolments, and grew by 14%. Growth of a similar magnitude
                         continued in both sectors in the first half of 2006.
                         Played a central role in developing and assisting in the passage of
                         the Work Choices legislation which provides for major reform to
                         workplace relations in Australia. The reforms involve the repeal and
                         replacement of most of the Workplace Relations Act 1996, and a
                         shift in its constitutional underpinnings. This included developing
                         key policy parameters, identifying legal approaches, and drafting
                         instructions and providing advice during parliamentary debates and
                         the Senate inquiry into the legislation. The department was also
Employment and           responsible for developing the Workplace Relations Regulations
Workplace Relations      2006 which repealed and replaced the Workplace Relations
                         Regulations 1996 to accommodate the amendments made by the
                         Work Choices legislation.

                         Prepared for the successful implementation of Welfare to Work on 1
                         July 2006. This involved significant legislative amendment, system
                         development, policy, and programme design and communication
                         activities for job seekers, employment service providers and the
                         community. The department was also the lead agency in
Theme: A strong and prosperous economy

  Agency/Department                                Achievement
                        coordinating the whole of government implementation of Welfare to
                        Work measures across other portfolios. The Welfare to Work
                        reforms announced in the 2005–06 Budget are designed to increase
                        workforce participation and employment and reduce welfare
                        dependence for working age Australians.
                        Delivered high quality and timely advice to Ministers throughout the
                        Budget process and within a compressed Expenditure Review
                        Committee schedule. There were 110 more capital and expense
Finance
                        measures than last year (490 compared to 380) and the value of
                        this year’s Budget decisions over four years was also significantly
                        higher.
                        Successfully administered Australia’s immigration programmes.

                              The immigration target in 2005–06 was set an upper limit of
                               143,000 and 142,930 visas were issued under the
                               programme. More than 68% of visas were issued to people
                               in the Skill Stream, where these people can make a
                               valuable contribution to the Australian economy. Placing
                               skilled migrants where they meet community needs also
                               generates flow-on employment for all Australians. This can
Immigration and                lead to long-term benefits for the regions, with more than
Multicultural Affairs          75% of people who come to Australia in the Migration
                               Programme going on to gain Australian citizenship.
                              Employer sponsored migration increased by 17% in 2005–
                               06, from 13,020 to 15,230, and the number of state/territory
                               sponsored visas increased by 94%. Through cooperation
                               with state governments and businesses, such as the various
                               Skills Expos held throughout Australia and overseas, DIMA
                               achieved considerable success in matching skilled migrants
                               with regions and employers in need.


                        Worked closely with the Expert Group that undertook the review of
                        the Venture Capital Industry including the Treasury and the other
                        central agencies. In response to the review, the Australian
                        Government announced a number of measures in the 2006–07
                        Budget to stimulate greater investment in early stage innovation and
                        commercialisation of Australian products and services. DITR is
                        implementing these measures which include:

                              an early stage venture capital limited partnership (ESVCLP)
Industry Tourism and
Resources                      investment vehicle which provides flow-through tax
                               treatment with the income, both revenue and capital,
                               received by its domestic and foreign partners being exempt
                               from taxation
                              changes to enhance the effectiveness of the existing
                               venture capital limited partnerships (VCLPs) programme
                               with a further commitment of $200 million for a further round
                               of funding of the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF)
                               programme. The continuation of the IIF programme will
                               increase the number of fund managers with experience and
Theme: A strong and prosperous economy

  Agency/Department                                  Achievement
                                 expertise in the venture capital sector.

                         These measures demonstrate the Government’s ongoing support
                         for Australia’s venture capital sector.

                         Implemented the Cyclones Monica and Larry Business Assistance
                         Fund, which provides businesses and farmers with one-off tax free
                         grants of $10,000 or $25,000 for those who can demonstrate severe
                         damage, on a similar basis as the grants available under the
                         Cyclone Larry Business Assistance Fund. This follows the
                         Government’s announcement, on 26 May 2006, of an assistance
                         package to those businesses adversely affected by flooding due to
                         the combined impact of Cyclones Monica and Larry in the Cape
                         York region of Queensland. The package is assisting severely
                         affected businesses and farmers to overcome the impacts of both
                         cyclones, and represents a commitment to the recovery and
                         reconstruction of the Cape York region.
                         Worked with regional communities to create opportunities for
                         economic growth and improved services.

                                The outcome has been an effective engagement with
                                 regional communities through the Regional Partnerships
                                 and Sustainable Regions programmes, and with Area
                                 Consultative Committees (ACCs) to support economic
                                 growth and improve local services.
                                Streamlined processes were introduced in 2005–06 to
                                 improve the Regional Partnerships Programme and the
                                 Department continued its active engagement with remote
                                 Indigenous communities via the COAG East Kimberley
                                 Indigenous Trial.
                                Active involvement in relief efforts for Cyclones Larry and
                                 Monica, and has commenced a significant coordination role
                                 in addressing alternative governance arrangements for
                                 Norfolk Island.
Transport and Regional
Services
                         Continued to pursue the strategic directions outlined in the AusLink
                         white paper for the funding of Australia’s national road and railway
                         infrastructure system, including additional funding during the
                         financial year bringing the total program to $15 billion. The outcome
                         has been to significantly increase investment in key AusLink
                         transport corridors critical to national and regional economic growth.
                         Further progress regarding AusLink was achieved this year with
                         legislation proclaimed, bilateral agreements with states and
                         territories finalised and the administration of $4.5 billion in grants.

                         Implementing COAG National Reform Agenda. DOTARS
                         contributed actively to the Government’s review of National
                         Competition Policy in 2005, which culminated in COAG establishing
                         the National Reform Agenda in February 2006. The outcome is a
                         number of specific transport reform initiatives in road and rail
                         productivity and regulatory harmonisation, transport infrastructure
                         regulation, urban congestion and national infrastructure planning
Theme: A strong and prosperous economy

  Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                          and investment.

                          Implementing the Government’s aviation policy framework. The
                          outcome has been investment in the capacity of major airports and
                          increased capacity on major international and domestic aviation
                          routes.
                          Delivered the 2006–07 Australian Government Budget.

                          Completed the International Comparison of Australia’s Taxes.
Treasury
                          Established the legislative framework and governance
                          arrangements for the Future Fund.




Theme: A culture of enterprise and innovation

 Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                         Played a key role through the Bureau of Rural Sciences in developing
Agriculture, Fisheries   the Internet-based National Agricultural Monitoring System to
and Forestry             improve Exceptional Circumstances application and assessment
                         processes.
                         Progressed preparations for the 2006 Census of Population and
                         Housing (conducted on 8 August 2006). These included:

                               redevelopments in the recruitment of field staff, field
                                operations, and census processing and output systems
                               establishment of the Data Processing Centre Site in
                                Melbourne
                               eCensus implementation which, for the first time, will provide
                                people with the opportunity to complete their Census form
                                over the Internet.

                         Improved access to ABS Statistics. This initiative ensures decision-
Australian Bureau of     makers within the Australian Government and state and territory
Statistics               governments, business and the community have readily available
                         statistical information with which to make informed decisions. It
                         follows the announcement on 12 December 2005 by the Federal
                         Treasurer, the Hon. Peter Costello MP, that the entire content of the
                         ABS website would be accessible free of charge via the Internet. The
                         Treasurer recognised the importance of access to official statistics in
                         providing a reliable and up-to-date view of Australian society, the
                         economy and the environment. The ABS has also increased its
                         efforts to provide better access to data for research and analysis
                         purposes whilst maintaining the confidentiality of personal or
                         business data provided. There have been further developments in the
                         Remote Access Data Laboratory and an increase in the number of
                         research collaborations undertaken. The Census Data Enhancement
                         project and the Business Longitudinal Database are both data sets of
Theme: A culture of enterprise and innovation

 Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                         immense interest for research and analysis purposes.

                         Expanded and improved the National Statistical Service (NSS),
                         complementing various state and territory government initiatives, and
                         ensuring a whole of government approach to the management of
                         information. In February 2006, a new ABS unit was established to
                         build on associated engagement and statistical leadership strategies,
                         especially in relation to cross-cutting public policy issues. A key
                         project of the NSS is the National Data Network (a national platform
                         for acquiring, sharing and integrating data relevant to policy and
                         research). It is being developed by ABS on behalf of a consortium of
                         federal and state government agencies with the objective of
                         achieving better use, greater comparability and quality of information
                         resources by making available tools and services, and increased
                         collaborative statistical research and development.

                         Progressed developments in economic statistics including:

                               the release of the 2006 Australian and New Zealand Standard
                                Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) in February 2006, for use in
                                the compilation and analysis of industry statistics in Australia
                                and New Zealand. ABS and Statistics New Zealand jointly
                                developed this classification to improve the comparability of
                                industry statistics between the two countries and with the rest
                                of the world. ANZSIC 2006 reflects the outcome of a
                                substantial review of the classification, which included
                                extensive consultation with internal and external users and
                                alignment with the upcoming revision of the International
                                Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities
                                (ISIC, Revision 4)
                               upgrading methods for the Consumer Price Index and House
                                Price Index, new publications on wealth, the release of an ICT
                                satellite account, and the publication of the results from a new
                                Natural Resource Management Survey.


                         Played a major cross-government role in assisting the Minister for the
                         Arts and Sport to coordinate Australian Government involvement in
                         the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth (M2006) Games. The M2006
                         Commonwealth Games Taskforce, set up within DCITA:

                               supported the Minister, the M2006 Ministerial Committee and
                                Cabinet in determining the guidelines for the provision of
Communications,                 Commonwealth services to support the M2006 Games,
Information Technology          involving more than 30 Australian Government agencies
and the Arts                    providing Games-related security and non-security services
                               coordinated the identification of the national benefits and
                                legacies that could be derived from the Australian
                                Government’s involvement in the M2006 Games and assisted
                                Australian Government agencies in leveraging those benefits
                                through their involvement in Games-related activities. Key
                                outcomes included:
                                    o generating business benefits by promoting Australian
Theme: A culture of enterprise and innovation

 Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                                        businesses as world-class trade and investment
                                        partners
                                    o   showcasing Australia as a premium major event and
                                        holiday destination
                                    o   strengthening relationships within the Commonwealth
                                    o   consolidating the Commonwealth Games as a major
                                        international sporting event
                                    o   coordinating the development of the Australian
                                        Government’s omnibus assistance package
                                        comprising $112.9 million in direct financial support to
                                        Victoria and the provision of $176.9 million in M2006
                                        Games-related services and other support. It also put
                                        in place whole of government coordination
                                        mechanisms to ensure timely and efficient delivery of
                                        its security and non-security services and to
                                        effectively manage media and communications
                                        issues.
                                    o   securing recognition of the Australian Government’s
                                        involvement in the M2006 Games commensurate with
                                        the Government’s overall contribution of $289.8
                                        million and establishing a distinct Games presence
                                        through negotiation with the Victorian Government.


                        Established a Gateway Unit to coordinate the implementation of
                        Gateway (a project assurance methodology that involves short,
                        intensive reviews at critical stages of a project). In conjunction with
                        PM&C’s Cabinet Implementation Unit, policies and procedures,
                        training and publications were developed to support the
                        implementation.
Finance
                        The Gateway Unit sponsored ‘Review Team Member’ training, an
                        essential component of the assurance methodology. Reviews are
                        undertaken by a team of experienced peer reviewers not associated
                        with the project. The Unit provides guidance and support to the
                        review teams and agencies through the Gateway reviews to improve
                        the delivery of major projects on time and on budget.
                        Continued success of the business.gov.au initiative during the 2005–
                        06 financial year with:

                               the development of Smart Forms as part of the Transaction
                                Manager Suite
                               receipt of the 2006 United Nations Public Service Award for
                                the business.gov.au web presence
Industry, Tourism and          development of the VANguard brokerage service proposal.
Resources                       Funding was secured for the development of the VANguard
                                service which aims to provide federal, state and local
                                government agencies with an accredited, dedicated and
                                consistent infrastructure to streamline communications links
                                and meet online audit, evidence and archive requirements.
                                The VANguard service will be developed over the next 2–3
                                years.
Theme: A culture of enterprise and innovation

 Agency/Department                                  Achievement
                       Finalised a service delivery review which was conducted to develop
                       options and strategies to match its resources to an expected decline
                       in client numbers. A new national structure, known as oneDVA, has
                       been implemented without adverse impact on the department’s
                       clients.
Veterans’ Affairs
                       Conducted the first ever national private hospital tender which saw
                       major cost containment, the expansion of the number of contracted
                       hospitals leading to significant reduction of future prior approval
                       workload, and the introduction of an innovative pay for performance
                       model.




Theme: A fair and decent society

 Agency/Department                                  Achievement
                       Worked together with other Australian Government agencies,
                       especially the Department of Families, Community Services and
                       Indigenous Affairs, as well as community-based service providers
                       and the legal profession, to implement the New Family Law System
                       reforms.
Attorney-General’s
                       Issued new policy directions for the provision of Indigenous legal aid
                       services to improve both the quality and efficiency of service delivery,
                       to the ultimate benefit of Indigenous clients. These policy directions
                       introduce clearly defined eligibility criteria, priorities for assistance
                       and service standards within a new contract environment.
                       Developed and implemented an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
                       Employment and Capability Strategy to foster Aboriginal and Torres
                       Strait Islander employment in the APS. This included:

                              the launch of better practice publications aimed at attracting
                               and recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to
                               APS employment
Australian Public
                              the regional rollout of Career Trek 2006—career
Service Commission
                               development programmes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
                               Islander APS 1–4 and 5–6 employees, and a pilot APS-wide
                               Indigenous graduate recruitment campaign, cadetship and
                               school-to-work programme
                              conducting the first Census Survey of Aboriginal and Torres
                               Strait Islander APS Employees.


Australian Taxation    Implemented new policy measures, such as the Child Care Tax
Office                 Rebate and Super Choice.
                       Implemented strategies to increase the number of referrals of non-
                       activity tested customers, mostly Parenting Payment and Disability
Centrelink             Support Pension recipients, to the Job Network. At the time these
                       strategies were introduced, there was an average of 4100 referrals
                       per month (July to November 2004). Between November 2004 and
Theme: A fair and decent society

 Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                         May 2006 there have been almost 179,000 Job Network referrals
                         from this customer group made by Centrelink, an average of over
                         9400 per month.

                         Responded to Cyclone Larry and the Katherine floods. Provided
                         subsequent assistance with transition to recovery to 30 June 2006 as
                         an integral part of a massive whole of government relief effort.
                         Centrelink’s emergency management response included :

                               paying over $160 million in direct Government relief
                                assistance, representing more than 57,000 claims. Over
                                1460 staff from across Centrelink were involved in the
                                provision of assistance within the declared disaster area.
                               delivering Natural Disaster Relief Payments to affected
                                citizens on behalf of the NT Government (NT Dept of Health
                                & Community Services). Centrelink paid just under $400,000
                                in assistance on behalf of the NT Government, representing
                                859 claims.

                         Substantially improved, in partnership with Medicare Australia, an
                         expanded Family Assistance Office (FAO) service from Medicare
                         Australia offices. Provision of extended FAO services from Medicare
                         Australia offices means that now families will have even greater
                         choice in accessing government services.
                         Undertook primary responsibility for researching, consulting and
                         formulating a proposal for the establishment of a Do Not Call
                         Register to enable residential householders to opt out of receiving
                         unsolicited telemarketing calls. This included:

                               release of a departmental discussion paper in October 2005
                                which resulted in almost 500 submissions being received with
Communications,                 overwhelming support for a legislated Do Not Call Register
Information Technology          scheme
and the Arts                   development of a comprehensive legislative package which
                                was both introduced and approved by Parliament during the
                                winter 2006 sittings
                               working closely with the Australian Communications and
                                Media Authority (ACMA) which has responsibility for
                                operation of the Do Not Call Register. The Register is
                                expected to be operational in the first half of 2007.


                         Significant enhancements have been made to complaint
                         management processes across the Defence organisation following
                         the 2005 Senate report into The Effectiveness of Australia’s Military
                         Justice System, including:
Defence
                               establishing the Defence Fairness and Resolution Branch
                               engaging an expert to examine whether the human rights of
                                children are being respected within the ADF Cadet
                                programme
                               initiating a review of the ADF’s learning culture
Theme: A fair and decent society

 Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                                greater focus on the use of alternative dispute resolution
                                 strategies that seek to maintain and restore good working
                                 relationships within the Defence workplace.


                         Developed, through a collaborative process, a new Strategic Plan for
                         the period 2005–08. The goals and strategies are designed to give
                         effect to DEST’s vision which is Education, Science and Training—
                         Creating Australia’s Future. The plan drives DEST national
                         leadership in developing and implementing innovative policy
                         solutions in three areas: learning; skills acquisition; and building
                         Australia’s knowledge. These three foci contribute to nationwide
                         goals such as research priorities and enhancing Australia’s
                         international standing in education, science and training. The
                         Department’s work offers national leadership in areas such as driving
Education, Science and   national consistency, national standards, and encouraging
Training                 collaboration in research endeavours.

                         Delivered much needed school infrastructure to meet priorities
                         identified by school communities through the $1 billion Investing in
                         Our Schools Programme.

                         Supported improvements in Indigenous literacy and numeracy
                         results. With six years of data now available, there appears to be
                         evidence of improvement in Indigenous achievement in most areas,
                         in particular at the Year 3 level, with better national benchmark test
                         results in 2004 for Indigenous students than in previous years.
                         Further reformed the Community Development Employment Projects
                         (CDEP) programme. The Department put in place a competitive
                         purchasing process for CDEP contracts that is focused on obtaining
                         value for money for the Commonwealth in achieving outcomes for
                         Indigenous Australians. This process will support further reform of
                         the CDEP programme in 2006–07. The 2006–07 changes to the
Employment and
                         CDEP programme build on the highly successful review of CDEP in
Workplace Relations
                         2005 which has resulted in many more people moving into
                         employment off CDEP. These changes represent a response to
                         feedback about CDEP resulting from improved incentives for
                         participants to complete their education, take advantage of
                         mainstream employment service success and achieve employment
                         off CDEP.
                         Supported the Government's response to the recommendations of
                         the Ministerial Taskforce on Child Support. This included overseeing
                         and managing the implementation of Stage 1 of the reforms,
                         including development of the legislation for Stage 1, and significantly
                         progressing the bill that will enact Stages 2 and 3 of the reforms. The
Families, Community      major changes in Stage 1 were indexation of the minimum child
Service and Indigenous   support payment, a reduction in the high-income cap above which no
Affairs                  additional child support liability is incurred, and fairer rules for
                         determining whether a parent has a capacity to earn a higher
                         income.

                         Formed the Indigenous Children Program, a merger of the Aboriginal
Theme: A fair and decent society

 Agency/Department                                 Achievement
                       and Islander Child Care Agency Program and the Indigenous
                       Parenting and Family Well-Being Program. This merger built on the
                       best aspects of both to deliver better outcomes for Indigenous
                       children and families through early intervention and prevention
                       programmes and services. The Indigenous Children Program is
                       being delivered in some of Australia’s most disadvantaged
                       communities such as Elcho Island and Tangentyere in the NT, and
                       Wiluna in WA.
                       Played a major role in the development of a number of COAG
                       initiatives in 2005–06, including:

                              the Australian Better Health Initiative, which was announced
                               by COAG on 10 February 2006. The four-year national
                               programme will focus on:
                                   o promoting good health
                                   o reducing the burden of chronic disease
                                   o improving care for people in the community, including
                                       older people and those living in rural and remote
                                       health areas.
                              the National Health Call Centre Network, which will enable
                               people anywhere in Australia to ring for health triage,
                               information and advice on health matters, 24 hours a day,
                               seven days a week. The network is expected to take the first
                               calls by July 2007, with national coverage achieved within
                               four years.
                              contributing to the major COAG agreements in the areas of
                               mental health and the health workforce at its July 2006
                               meeting, working closely with PM&C, other Australian
                               Government departments and state and territory
                               governments.
Health and Ageing
                              being instrumental in developing policy advice to the
                               Australian Government on initiatives that could be introduced
                               in areas of Australian Government responsibility to improve
                               outcomes for people with mental illness. The Department
                               was a major contributor to the design of major health
                               workforce innovation agreed by COAG in July 2006 as well
                               as new higher education training places.

                       Continued to improve health initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres
                       Strait Islanders by:

                              expanding the availability of non-aromatic Opal fuel to an
                               additional 21 Aboriginal communities in Central and Northern
                               Australia during 2005–06. As part of a coordinated approach
                               to combat petrol sniffing, an eight point plan was agreed by
                               states and territories and is being implemented in a
                               designated zone in Central Australia.
                              implementing a new Medicare funded annual health check for
                               Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from birth to 14
                               years. The availability of this Medicare Benefit Schedule item
                               encourages doctors to carry out regular comprehensive
                               health checks for Indigenous children to promote healthy
Theme: A fair and decent society

 Agency/Department                                 Achievement
                               behaviours, prevent illness and improve early detection of
                               disease. This complements the Healthy for Life Program
                               announced to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal
                               and Torres Strait Islander mothers, babies, children and
                               those affected by chronic disease. Implementation of the
                               Healthy for Life Program is ahead of schedule with 53 sites
                               approved for initiatives by the end of 2005–06.

                        Managed the negotiations and development of the Fourth
                        Community Pharmacy Agreement on behalf of the Australian
                        Government, which was signed on 16 November 2005. The
                        Agreement sets out remuneration arrangements for community
                        pharmacies for the period 1 December 2005 to 30 June 2010. The
                        Fourth Agreement provides payments to community pharmacies for
                        the distribution and supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
                        and/or Schedule (PBS) medicines and provides support to
                        professional pharmacy programmes and services. This includes
                        funding for a wide range of initiatives, such as Medication Reviews,
                        rural pharmacies and their workforce, improving the access of
                        Indigenous Australians to PBS medicines, and programmes to
                        improve community health.
                        Expanding government services to Indigenous communities by
                        working with DHS agencies to improve services to Indigenous
                        communities. Centrelink has established seven Remote Area Service
                        Centres, nine Remote Customer Service Centres and three
                        Indigenous Call Centres in locations across rural and remote
                        Australia. These services include providing expanded government
                        services, particularly for Australian Hearing and Medicare Australia.
                        Between January and May 2006, over 400 customers used these
                        expanded services. Services provided for Australian Hearing include
                        drop-off points for repairs and battery exchanges for hearing aids.
                        For Medicare Australia this includes assistance with completing
                        enrolments forms, ordering replacement cards, and completion and
                        collection of claim forms.
Human Services
                        Developed and implemented a faster and more comprehensive job
                        capacity assessment and referral system, ensuring that those who
                        are able to work are connected as quickly as possible with a Job
                        Network or other employment service providers. In the first year, the
                        15 non-government and three government assessment providers are
                        expected to assist up to 372,000 customers.

                        Worked with 14 government departments and multiple agencies to
                        develop a proposal and business case for a health and social service
                        access card. The business case found an access card, based on
                        smartcard technology would reduce red tape and be a more
                        convenient way to deliver health and welfare payments. This
                        proposal received government approval to proceed in April 2006.
                        Progressed tolerance and humanitarianism.
Immigration and
Multicultural Affairs         Successfully united Business and Government to reinforce
                               tolerance and understanding.Nineteen leading business,
Theme: A fair and decent society

 Agency/Department                                     Achievement
                                  sporting and community organisations joined the Australian
                                  Government as partners in the Australian Government’s
                                  Harmony Day initiative in a campaign to reinforce Australian
                                  values that lead to tolerance and understanding. Since its
                                  inception in 1999, Harmony Day has grown in significance
                                  and importance with around 3000 events organised in 2006.
                                 Granted 14,122 visas under Australia’s Humanitarian
                                  Programme. In 2005–06, nearly 1000 vulnerable women and
                                  children found refuge in Australia through the Humanitarian
                                  Programme—with 995 refugees entering on Women at Risk
                                  visas—the largest since the category was introduced in 1989.
                                  Australia remains in the top three resettlement countries in
                                  the world.


                          Reviewed the Repatriation Transport Scheme. Now all veterans, war
                          widows and widowers, aged 80 or over, are eligible for booked car
                          services for treatment purposes. The approved destinations for
                          treatment have been expanded to include all DVA-contracted
Veterans’ Affairs         hospitals and locations for specialised treatment such as imaging,
                          radiology and pathology. Further changes in early 2007 will extend
                          the eligibility to those who are legally blind or have dementia, and
                          expand the approved locations even further to include any treatment
                          location.




Theme: A sustainable environment

 Agency/Department                                    Achievement
                         Led the development of an Australian Government initiative to
                         contribute $500 million to the Murray-Darling Basin Commission to
                         accelerate capital works over the next five years to restore the River
                         Murray to health.

                         Developed the $220 million Securing our Fishing Future package to
                         end overfishing in Commonwealth fisheries, and worked with Customs
Agriculture, Fisheries   and AFMA to strengthen Australia’s maritime security programme and
and Forestry             response to illegal foreign fishing vessel incursions in our northern
                         waters and the Southern Ocean.

                         Continued, in response to the prolonged dry conditions, to make
                         further improvements and refinements to drought and exceptional
                         circumstances policy and assistance measures in many regions,
                         including the establishment of a Drought Stakeholder Reference
                         Group under the direction of the Primary Industries Ministerial Council.
                         Continued efforts to develop practical, long-term solutions to climate
                         change, including investing in the next generation of cleaner
Environment and
                         technologies. The department has been instrumental in the formation
Heritage
                         of the Asia -Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate
                         which is a new way forward for countries to work together to reduce
Theme: A sustainable environment

 Agency/Department                                 Achievement
                      greenhouse emissions.

                      Administered the $55 million Community Water Grants programme
                      which provided funding for 1750 community-based projects, to
                      rehabilitate about 15,000 hectares of land and save approximately
                      18.5 billion litres of water each year .

                      Supported world-class research and assisted collaborative
                      environmental research in Australia through the $100 million
                      Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities.

                      Played a key role in developing the first integrated network of marine
                      parks in Australia’s South-East. Thirteen new marine protected areas
                      were announced for the South-East Marine Region.
                      Through innovative design, the new headquarters building at RAAF
                      Richmond has reduced energy consumption by 25% compared with
Defence
                      the previous facilities. Defence was awarded a ‘5 Green Star’ rating for
                      the design by the Green Building Council of Australia.
                      Contributed to a major development for Australia on climate change
                      by:

                             supporting the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on
                              Clean Development and Climate (AP6) in January 2006.
                              Working with other agencies, the department supported the
                              agreement by Ministers of AP6 partner countries— Australia,
                              China, India, Japan, South Korea and the USA—to promote
                              practical cooperation on the low and zero-carbon technologies
Foreign Affairs and
                              needed to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Trade
                             supporting the engagement of industry in AP6 and actively
                              setting the direction of eight public-private taskforces
                              established to accelerate clean technology deployment. AP6
                              represents a new model for public-private sector collaboration
                              and has already influenced international debate towards a
                              greater focus on technological responses and practical action
                              involving the private sector as an integral partner in addressing
                              climate change.




Theme: International cooperation

 Agency/Department                                 Achievement
                      Undertook a range of international engagement in areas including
                      security and counter-terrorism (CT), extradition, mutual assistance
                      and the international transfer of sentenced persons, and emergency
Attorney-General’s    management. Major achievements include:

                             assisted Cambodia to draft a comprehensive CT law and
                              worked with Vietnam on extradition, mutual assistance and
Theme: International cooperation

 Agency/Department                                 Achievement
                              international transfer of prisoners legislation
                             provided assistance to several Pacific Island countries
                              including the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Fiji, and ran a
                              regional workshop for Pacific financial intelligence units
                             played a key role in the Ready Pasifika exercise, which
                              challenged Pacific island countries to address CT response
                              issues and possible capacity gaps. The Protective Security
                              Coordination Centre (PSCC) has developed a template CT
                              security plan to assist Pacific island countries
                             chaired the Drafting Committee of the Diplomatic Conference
                              adopting protocols to the 1988 Convention for the Suppression
                              of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and
                              the associated 1988 Protocol dealing with fixed platforms,
                              such as oil rigs
                             negotiated treaties with Malaysia on mutual legal assistance
                              and extradition, and with China on mutual legal assistance,
                              and working to progress ratification of the three treaties as
                              soon as possible
                             successfully negotiated an agreement with the Hong Kong
                              Government for the transfer of sentenced persons between
                              the two countries for humanitarian reasons, which came into
                              force in April 2006
                             coordinated the deployment of two teams of medical
                              personnel to provide much needed medical and public health
                              assistance to the devastated area in response to the
                              Yogyakarta earthquake in May 2006
                             supported DFAT following unrest in the Solomon Islands and
                              East Timor by coordinating the reception into Darwin,
                              Townsville and Brisbane of Australians evacuated or assisted
                              to leave from those areas.


                      Actively contributed to strengthening public administration in the Asia-
                      Pacific region. Following detailed scoping missions, AusAID funding
                      has been secured for a multi-year programme comprising the
                      deployment of a Commission officer to provide assistance to
Australian Public     counterpart agencies in Indonesia on governance and public sector
Service Commission    reform. The Commission also completed the implementation of an
                      AusAID-funded programme of governance and reform assistance to
                      Pacific Island Public Services, and continued to contribute to
                      Australia’s Enhanced Cooperation Programme in PNG through the
                      deployment of two Commission staff .
                      Contributed to Australia’s significantly stronger relations with two key
                      emerging regional economic powers— China and India. The
                      department supported a sustained programme of high-level visits with
                      these two countries over the past 12 months. The Prime Minister’s
                      visit to India in March 2006 resulted in the signing of six bilateral
Foreign Affairs and   agreements, including a Trade and Economic Framework. The
Trade                 Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao’s visit to Australia in April 2006 gave
                      new impetus to our Free Trade Agreement negotiations and resulted
                      in the signing of eight bilateral agreements.

                      Contributed to regional response and preparedness on avian
Theme: International cooperation

 Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                         influenza by:

                               leading, as co-chair of the APEC Task Force on Emergency
                                Preparedness, the 2006 APEC Pandemic Response Exercise,
                                which tested regional communications across all 21 APEC
                                member economies in the event of a human-to-human
                                outbreak
                               establishing a contact list of emergency and pandemic
                                management coordinators for APEC economies and assisting
                                the APEC Secretariat develop a website as an online platform
                                for coordinating emergency preparedness activities
                               contributing to the establishment of a regional register of
                                experts in APEC economies
                               developing, in cooperation with other agencies and
                                governments, an overarching avian influenza consular
                                contingency plan for our overseas posts.


                         Increased immigration cooperation between Australia and Thailand.
                         This is important for Australia’s border security and for the Thai
                         economy. Australia and Thailand also worked together on a pilot to
                         strengthen identity and border pass management at key land border
Immigration and          checkpoints. In June 2006, Australia announced new and
Multicultural Affairs    strengthened counter-terrorism and identity fraud measures for
                         Thailand and increased levels of training cooperation to assist Thai
                         document examiners. Australia is assisting Thailand in a very practical
                         way by providing support for the newly established Immigration
                         Training College in Bangkok.
                         Provided economic, fiscal and technical advice to the Governments of
                         PNG, the Solomon Islands and Nauru under a range of bilateral
                         agreements.
Treasury
                         Hosted the OECD Global Forum on Harmful Taxation, the G20 Policy
                         Workshop on Demographic Change and Migration and the G20
                         Deputies Meeting as part of Australia’s role as chair of the Group of
                         20 Finance Ministers and Reserve Bank Governors in 2006.




Theme: The national story—celebration and commemoration

  Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                           Celebrated the ABS Centenary on 8 December 2005—a time to
Australian Bureau of       mark the key role that the ABS has played in encouraging informed
Statistics                 decision-making for the benefit of Australia, serving also to
                           strengthen community trust in, and support for, the ABS.
                           Led the negotiations over funding arrangements for the symphony
Communications,            orchestras with the relevant state governments and worked with
Information Technology     other Commonwealth agencies, including the ABC, and with the
and the Arts               boards and management of the orchestras to coordinate
                           implementation of the Orchestras Review Panel ’s
Theme: The national story—celebration and commemoration

  Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                           recommendations. In addition, an examination conducted, in late
                           2005, of Australia’s two opera and ballet orchestras (the Australian
                           Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria) led to the
                           Government responding with a commitment of additional funding of
                           $10.6 million over four years to ensure the future sustainability of
                           these specialist orchestras.
                         Played a key role in having a number of Australia’s iconic sites
                         nominated for, or added, to heritage lists, including the Sydney
Environment and Heritage Opera House (nominated for the World Heritage List), the
                         Melbourne Cricket Ground, and the Australian War Memorial and
                         Memorial Parade which were added to the National Heritage List.
                           Implemented a national programme to salute and recognise
                           Second World War veterans during the 60th anniversary of the end
                           of the Second World War.
Veterans’ Affairs
                           Successfully coordinated and implemented a whole of government
                           approach to the planning and conduct of Anzac Day services at
                           Gallipoli.




Theme: A flexible, responsive and efficient public sector

  Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                           Implemented a new suite of leadership development and support
                           programmes to increase the capability of the APS. This included:

                                 new SES Band 2 and 3 residential programmes
                                 three highly successful ‘Ministerial Conversations’ series for
                                  SES officers with the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and the
                                  Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
                                 two successful Leading Australia’s Future in the Asia-Pacific
                                  (LAFIA) programmes for senior SES officers
                                 updated EL and APS 1–6 development programmes to align
                                  with the Integrated Leadership System (ILS).

Australian Public Service Produced an impressive suite of better practice publications for use
Commission                by APS agencies, including Supporting Ministers, Upholding the
                          Values; Foundations of Governance in the APS; APS Values Kit:
                          Being Professional in the APS—Values Resources for Facilitators;
                          Turned Up and Tuned In—A Manager’s Guide to Maximising Staff
                          Attendance; Sharpening the Focus—Managing Performance in the
                          APS; Fostering an Attendance Culture and Building Business
                          Capability through Workforce Planning .

                           Partnered with agencies new to the APS, such as Medicare
                           Australia, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), and
                           the Australian Trade Commission to prepare for and manage the
                           new governance arrangements resulting from the machinery of
                           government changes following the Uhrig assessment.
Theme: A flexible, responsive and efficient public sector

  Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                          Reached significant milestones in our change programme with the
                          rollout of the client relationship management and case management
                          systems.

                           Continued to make it easier for people to comply with their tax
Australian Taxation Office obligations through education and assistance, while focusing on
                           those who don’t want to comply.

                          Made further service and administrative improvements through the
                          implementation of the Burges Review and the Review of Self-
                          Assessment.
                          Implemented Welfare to Work reforms, announced in the 2005
                          Budget, including changes related to policies and programmes and
                          administered predominantly by DEWR, but also by FaCSIA, DEST
                          and DHS. These changes represent an investment of over $600
                          million in Centrelink over four years, impact on 43% of current
                          Centrelink IT systems and involve adjustments to current processes
                          as well as new business.

                          Improved working conditions and employment arrangements for
                          staff.

                                 Introduced the Single User Workspace to improve the
                                  conceptual and physical environment for marshalling
                                  workflows for Centrelink Customer Service employees.
                                  Centrelink staff are faced with a broad array of tools to
                                  support their work and these multiple applications and
Centrelink                        workflow tools present differing user interfaces with
                                  overlapping functionality. The Single User Workspace
                                  represents a convergence of existing technologies into a
                                  single framework. It strengthens and unifies the service
                                  delivery environment to support the introduction of new
                                  government initiatives like Welfare to Work. Staff will be able
                                  to focus more on the customer rather than on the system in
                                  the way they do their work.
                                 Created the Centrelink Alumni programme as a way for
                                  former Centrelink employees to maintain contact with
                                  Centrelink. In addition, the programme offers former
                                  employees opportunities to register their interest in short-
                                  term employment opportunities, should they become
                                  available. The programme was launched on 9 December
                                  2005 and, as at 30 June 2006, had 449 members and had
                                  been successful in filling 46 short-term employment
                                  positions.


                          Introduced a pilot School Leavers Program in response to both the
                          findings of the MAC project on Managing and Sustaining the APS
Communications,
                          Workforce and from observed trends in the department’s workforce
Information Technology
                          data which showed a very high level of turnover at the APS 1–4
and the Arts
                          levels, that the feeder group for APS 4 roles had been eroded, and
                          the department had increasingly to rely on non-ongoing employees
Theme: A flexible, responsive and efficient public sector

  Agency/Department                                   Achievement
                         at these levels. The School Leaver Program is primarily aimed at
                         boosting the diminishing ongoing cohort at the APS 1–4 levels and
                         improving the department’s bench strength for future APS 5–6
                         employees. Eight school leavers (selected from 150 applicants)
                         commenced with the department in early 2006. It is envisaged that
                         the combination of mentoring, workplace rotations, internal and
                         external training and development, and access to StudyBank for
                         programme participants will greatly assist building the internal
                         capability in the APS 1–4 cohort. The programme has been a great
                         success and has been welcomed by departmental staff, including
                         managers.
                         Is pursuing a number of initiatives to enhance resource
                         management within the organisation. These include:

                                very actively addressing the issue of financial skill levels in
                                 the organisation by delivering training tailored for all levels of
                                 staff up to and including Star Ranks and the SES. In 2005–
                                 06, in excess of 14,000 places were provided for Defence
                                 employees on financial training courses.
                                enhancing Defence’s reputation as a respected financial
                                 manager by introducing a comprehensive programme of 16
                                 remediation plans, including the implementation of a
                                 structured financial controls framework which will underpin
                                 financial management in Defence, has been instituted and is
                                 now well underway. These plans are supported by 26
Defence                          ‘position papers’ on key issues relating to Defence’s
                                 financial management. This work is path-breaking in the
                                 Commonwealth public sector.
                                developing a program to reduce the incidence and impact of
                                 occupational injury and illness, to improve Defence civilian
                                 workers’ compensation performance and to address all
                                 unplanned absences due to injury or illness, work-related or
                                 otherwise. While the program’s full benefits will only be
                                 realised in the long-term, there are already positive results:
                                 the civilian workers’ compensation premium rate has
                                 declined by 4.1% for 2006–07, which is a direct saving to
                                 Defence of $1.1 million; and the number of days lost through
                                 unscheduled absences, excluding lost time due to work-
                                 related injury or illness, has declined by 10.5%.


                         Reduced, since 2003, in-year slippage in major capital expenditure
                         from 20% to 14%. There was significantly increased spending on
                         major acquisitions and sustainment with only small increases to
Defence Materiel
                         staffing levels. This improvement was achieved by more effective
Organisation (DMO)
                         project and activity management, with a strong focus on schedule
                         performance, the professionalisation and upskilling of staff, and
                         more efficient business processes.
                         Developed comprehensive business continuity plans to respond to a
Education, Science and
                         wide range of possible incidents including an influenza pandemic,
Training
                         other natural disasters, and extended loss of buildings or utilities.
Employment and           Implementation of the Government’s workplace relations and
Theme: A flexible, responsive and efficient public sector

  Agency/Department                                  Achievement
Workplace Relations       building and construction industry reforms involved the
                          establishment of a number of new bodies, specifically:

                                the Australian Fair Pay Commission was established when
                                 the Work Choices legislation received Royal Assent in mid-
                                 December 2005—the Fair Pay Commission is chaired by
                                 Professor Ian Harper and is responsible for setting federal
                                 minimum and classification wages to promote the economic
                                 prosperity of the people of Australia.
                                the Office of Workplace Services (OWS) was established as
                                 an executive agency on 27 March 2006—the role of the
                                 OWS is to ensure that the rights and obligations of workers
                                 and employers under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 are
                                 understood and enforced fairly. The OWS was previously
                                 part of the department.
                                the Australian Building and Construction Commission
                                 (ABCC) was established on 1 October 2005 to ensure that
                                 workplace relations laws are enforced in building and
                                 construction industry workplaces and to educate industry
                                 participants on their rights and obligations under relevant
                                 legislation. The ABCC replaced the Building Industry
                                 Taskforce, which was previously part of the department.

                          Conducted an extremely large and complex procurement process to
                          purchase services worth $6 billion over three years relating to
                          programme delivery across nine employment and related
                          programmes. This procurement exercise was critical to the
                          implementation of the Government’s major Welfare to Work
                          initiative, which took effect from 1 July 2006. The tendering process
                          evaluated over 450 tenders and 4200 bids for services to be
                          delivered across metropolitan, rural and remote Australia. The
                          procurement was completed successfully within the required
                          timeframes, consistent with the Commonwealth Procurement
                          Guidelines and to the satisfaction of an independent external probity
                          adviser.
                          Developed a new strategic framework and an integrated approach
                          to our business following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the
                          formation of FaCSIA. This new framework was launched on 15 May
                          2006 and seeks to increase FaCSIA’s success in delivering
                          outcomes for Australian individuals, families and communities.

                          Coordinated policy development in conjunction with other agencies
Families, Community       in response to some of the major policy challenges facing the
Services and Indigenous   Australian Government in Indigenous affairs by:
Affairs
                                developing a comprehensive eight-point strategy in
                                 partnership with other agencies and three state and territory
                                 governments to address petrol sniffing in Central Australia.
                                leading cross-government implementation of the strategy,
                                 which will be tailored to the needs of affected communities.
Theme: A flexible, responsive and efficient public sector

  Agency/Department                                 Achievement
                         Initiated and chaired an inter-departmental committee reviewing red
                         tape in internal Australian Government administration. The resulting
                         report recommended initiatives to streamline 27 areas of red tape,
                         some of which have been agreed by the Government and others
                         which are still in train. To ensure an ongoing reduction in red tape
                         within the Australian Government and to minimise new red tape,
                         MAC commissioned the development of a dynamic review
                         framework. A group of Deputy Secretaries (chaired by Finance) has
                         been established to undertake the project, supported by a small
                         taskforce of Finance officials set up on 15 May 2006. The results
                         are expected to be promulgated via a MAC Report in early 2007.

                         Instrumental in developing the new e-Government Strategy,
                         Responsive Government: A New Service Agenda. The strategy,
Finance
                         developed by the Australian Government Information Management
                         Office (AGIMO) within Finance will build on progress in e-
                         Government to date and move towards the vision of a connected
                         and responsive Government by 2010. Activities will be in four areas:
                         meeting users’ needs; establishing connected service delivery;
                         achieving value for money; and enhancing public sector capability.

                         Managed the construction of the Adelaide Law Courts project that
                         was completed in November 2005. Approved for construction by the
                         Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works in June 2001,
                         the approximately 22,500 square metre building has been
                         constructed over a four-year period at a cost of $92 million.
                         Previously, Adelaide was the only State capital without a purpose-
                         built Commonwealth Law Courts facility.
                         Managed the transition of the National Health and Medical
                         Research Council (NHMRC) to a financially independent statutory
                         agency under the Financial Management Act 1997. The new
                         agency was established on 1 July 2006. The new governance
                         arrangements provide for clearer lines of accountability and
Health and Ageing        reporting by the CEO as head of the agency to the portfolio Minister.
                         The new arrangements are expected to strengthen NHMRC’s
                         capacity to deliver better health and medical research outcomes.
                         Following these changes, the Government provided significant
                         additional funding to boost research grants, fellowships and capital
                         works at specific research facilities.
                         Established a DHS interagency working group to manage and
                         monitor employee unscheduled absenteeism. The purpose of the
                         group is to help agencies to become more productive through
                         reduced absenteeism. In less than one year the reduction in
                         unscheduled absences across the agencies equates to 33,000 extra
                         working days per year, or some 150 staff years. Absenteeism
Human Services           remains a problem in Centrelink, Child Support Agency (CSA)
                         Medicare Australia and Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service
                         (CRS). Targets have been set and will be monitored.

                         Improving service delivery to the general community by:

                                providing greater convenience to customers through a larger
Theme: A flexible, responsive and efficient public sector

  Agency/Department                                 Achievement
                                 variety of contact options, including the increasing use of
                                 online services. Centrelink, CSA and Medicare Australia
                                 have introduced and/or improved their online services. As a
                                 result, 329,000 customers have used online services to
                                 update their personal details and 634,000 customers have
                                 accessed family assistance services online.
                                providing full Family Assistance Office (FAO) services at
                                 190 Medicare Australia offices. This provides choice for
                                 customers in where to conduct their FAO transactions and
                                 150,000 customers have taken advantage of this added
                                 convenient choice.


                         Focused, since the release of the Palmer report, on three strategic
                         themes for organisational reform, which are: an open and
                         accountable organisation; fair and reasonable dealings with clients;
                         and well-trained and supported staff. Notable achievements to date
                         include:

                                a new corporate structure and governance arrangements
                                a plan for DIMA that will chart the Department’s future
Immigration and                  direction, values, leadership capabilities and strategic
Multicultural Affairs            priorities
                                a Client Service Improvement Program underpinned by a
                                 new Client Service Charter, aimed at excellence in client
                                 service
                                an enhanced case management approach and a community
                                 care pilot for vulnerable clients
                                development of a College of Immigration delivering
                                 consistent training to DIMA staff.


                         Developed and delivered the Business Cost Calculator. Design was
                         by the Office of Small Business (OSB) and eBusiness provided the
                         IT expertise. Both OSB and eBusiness are divisions of DITR. The
                         Business Cost Calculator is an interactive software package
                         designed to assist government departments and agencies to better
                         measure administrative burden and up-front and ongoing
                         compliance costs for business of government regulation. The
                         Australian Government has agreed to use the Business Cost
Industry, Tourism and    Calculator to measure the regulatory and compliance costs of
Resources                proposals. The use of the Business Cost Calculator across all levels
                         of government will promote an improved, business-friendly
                         approach to government policy development.

                         Progressed the Downstream Petroleum Reform Package which
                         includes the repeal of the Petroleum Retail Marketing Sites Act
                         1980 and the Petroleum Retail Marketing Franchise Act 1980 and
                         the introduction of a mandatory industry Code of Conduct (the
                         Oilcode) under the Trade Practices Act 1974.
                         Coordinated the Australian Government’s response to Cyclones
Prime Minister and
                         Larry and Monica. This initiative involved a number of divisions in
Cabinet
                         the Department as well as a raft of other Commonwealth
Theme: A flexible, responsive and efficient public sector

  Agency/Department                                               Achievement
                                departments. It was a fine example of a ‘flexible and efficient’ public
                                service and displayed the focus and responsiveness of all portfolios
                                in a well-coordinated effort.

                                Established taskforces to drive whole of government initiatives.
                                Numerous taskforces exemplified the department’s role in
                                coordinating across the Commonwealth. In addition to the Asia-
                                Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and various COAG
                                Taskforces, the Department has hosted a number of others,
                                including Export Infrastructure, Biofuels, National Competition
                                Policy, Uranium Mining Processing and Nuclear Energy Review,
                                and Banks Taskforce Response Review.

                                Supported the Cabinet, the National Security Committee and the
                                Expenditure Review Committee (ERC) in ensuring informed whole
                                of government decision-making.

                                Implemented a range of initiatives in response to the outcomes of
                                the PM&C Staff Survey of September 2005. Of particular note were:

                                         the introduction of a bulk recruitment process for staff
                                          recruitment
                                         the implementation of the workplace harassment policy and
                                          contact officer network
                                         development of a corporate document ‘about pm&c’ that
                                          communicates the Department’s strategic framework
                                         provision of increased funding for professional development.




   1.   These agencies were: Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Australian
        Public Service Commission, Australian Customs Service (Customs), Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Centrelink,
        Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Department of Communications, Information Technology
        and the Arts (DCITA), Department of Defence (Defence), Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST),
        Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR), Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH),
        Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA), Department of Finance (Finance),
        Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Department of Health and Ageing (Health), Department of Human
        Services (DHS), Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA), Department of Industry,Tourism and
        Resources(DITR), Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), Department of Transport and Regional
        Services (DOTARS), Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and Department of Veterans’ Affairs
        (DVA).<http://www.minister.immi. gov.au>
   2.   Management Advisory Committee 2006, Employment of People with Disability in the APS, Commonwealth of
        Australia, Canberra.
Appendix 1: APS agencies (or semi-
autonomous parts of agencies) and APS
employees as at 10 April 2006
                                                         Total APS   Responded to agency
                    Agency
                                                         employees         survey

Aboriginal Hostels Limited                         534

Administrative Appeals Tribunal                    153

Attorney-General’s Department                      1187

Australian Agency for International
                                                   698
Development

Australian Bureau of Statistics                    3265

Australian Centre for International Agricultural
                                                   50
Research

Australian Communications and Media
                                                   501
Authority

Australian Competition and Consumer
                                                   579
Commission

Australian Crime Commission                        389

Australian Customs Service                         5550

Australian Electoral Commission                    769

Australian Film Commission                         263

Australian Industrial Registry                     181

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres
                                                   121
Strait Islander Studies

Australian Institute of Family Studies             57

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare         206

Australian National Audit Office                   310

Australian National Maritime Museum                116

Australian Office of Financial Management(a)       38

Australian Public Service Commission               239

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear
                                                   135
Safety Agency

Australian Research Council                        71
Australian Securities and Investments
                                              1432
Commission

Australian Taxation Office                    22501

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis
                                              142
Centre

Australian War Memorial                       319

Bureau of Meteorology                         1487

Centrelink                                    25443

Child Support Agency                          3291

Comcare                                       382

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions 458

Commonwealth Grants Commission (a)            43

ComSuper                                      418

Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee   2

CrimTrac Agency                               55

CRS Australia                                 2024

Defence Housing Authority                     693

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and
                                              4712
Forestry

Department of Communications, Information
                                              818
Technology and the Arts

Department of Defence                         19196

Department of Education, Science and Training 2239

Department of Employment and Workplace
                                              3271
Relations

Department of the Environment and Heritage    1893

Department of Families, Community Services
                                              1891
and Indigenous Affairs

Department of Finance and Administration      1409

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade       2507

Department of Health and Ageing               4034

Department of Human Services                  73

Department of Immigration and Multicultural
                                              6263
Affairs

Department of Industry, Tourism and           1932
Resources

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet   501

Department of the Treasury                     922

Department of Transport and Regional
                                               1296
Services

Department of Veterans’ Affairs                2545

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace
                                             17
Agency

Family Court of Australia                      732

Federal Court of Australia                     391

Federal Magistrates Service                    106

Food Standards Australia New Zealand           126

Geoscience Australia                           649

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority       176

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
                                               99
Commission

Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia       273

IP Australia                                   883

Medicare Australia                             5313

National Archives of Australia                 485

National Blood Authority                       45

National Capital Authority                     93

National Competition Council                   10

National Library of Australia                  496

National Museum of Australia                   310

National Native Title Tribunal                 252

National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority   35

National Water Commission                      39

Office of Film and Literature Classification   41

Office of National Assessments                 95

Office of Parliamentary Counsel                47

Office of the Australian Building and
                                               56
Construction Commissioner
Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman                125

Office of the Employment Advocate                   226

Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner          41

Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence
                                                    5
and Security

Office of the Inspector-General of Taxation         5

Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator            12

Productivity Commission                             204

Professional Services Review                        12

National Science and Technology Centre              224

Refugee Review Tribunal/Migration Review
                                                    324
Tribunal(b)

Royal Australian Mint                               131

Social Security Appeals Tribunal(a)                 55

Torres Strait Regional Authority                    59

Total                                               141,796


Notes:

(a) For the purpose of the employee survey, these semi-autonomous parts of agencies were treated as
part of their department so as not to be excluded from the employee survey.

(b) The MRT and RRT, as semi-autonomous parts of DIMA, submitted a combined response to the
agency survey.

Source: APSED
Appendix 2: State of the Service survey
methodologies
Agency survey methodology
The scope of the agency survey was the 84 APS agencies, or semi-autonomous parts of agencies, employing at
least 20 staff under the Public Service Act 1999.

The 84 participating agencies were sent the online survey on 7 June 2006 for completion. Agencies were given
six weeks to complete and submit their response. As part of their survey return, agency heads were required to
‘sign off ’ their agency’s response. All 84 agencies responded to the online agency survey. The results of the
agency survey are one of the key sources of information which the Commission has relied on throughout the
preparation of this report.


Employee survey methodology
The employee survey was designed to establish the views of APS employees on a range of issues, including
work-life balance, leadership, working with external stakeholders, job satisfaction, and learning and development.
A particular focus of this year’s survey was employee engagement issues. The results of the employee survey are
one of the main sources of information on which the Commission has drawn during the preparation of this report.

The employee survey was also designed to complement the agency survey. The results of the employee survey
were, in part, intended to act as a ‘reality check’ in analysing responses to the agency survey. To achieve this
objective, similar questions were asked in both surveys on a range of topics. Additional questions, suitable for
employees but not for agencies (such as those on job satisfaction and increasing individual productivity), were
also included in the employee survey.


Scope and coverage

The scope of the employee survey was all APS employees (both ongoing and non-ongoing) in agencies with at
least 100 APS employees. Employees in agencies that employed fewer than 100 APS employees were excluded
on the basis that when tabulated their responses could possibly identify them.

The survey sample was drawn from APSED on 10 April 2006, at which time APSED indicated that the total
number of APS employees was 141,796. The survey sample was selected from the total population of APS
employees from agencies with at least 100 APS employees, which was 140,777. Appendix 1 provides information
on agencies’ APS employee numbers as at 10 April 2006.


Stratification

A stratified random sample of 6552 APS employees was selected from APSED. The sample was stratified by:

        level (APS 1–6, EL and SES classification groups)
        agency size (small: 100–250 APS employees; medium: 251–1000 APS employees; and large: >1000
         APS employees)
        agency (for the 23 large agencies, the three medium portfolio departments and the Commission)
        location (ACT and non-ACT).

To enable sound statistical inferences to be made about all APS employees, individuals were randomly selected
from each of the strata. Each individual within a stratum had an equal chance of selection.

The sampling rates varied between the strata to ensure that sufficient statistical accuracy would be achieved for
survey estimates from APS employees with the key characteristics captured by the stratification variables (level,
location, agency and agency size). To gain the same accuracy for estimates for a small population (such as the
SES) a much higher sampling rate was required than for a larger population (such as APS 1–6 employees).
The accuracy requirements varied between the demographic variables listed above, and this also led to differing
sampling rates for these demographic variables.

This stratification process has not introduced a bias in the population estimates because the responses are
appropriately weighted to take these differing sample rates into account (see the section ‘Weighting and
estimation’ below for further details).


Reporting of large agency results

The survey was designed to enable the 23 large agencies, the three medium portfolio departments and the
Commission to receive a copy of their own results from the employee survey for internal management purposes—
subject to the results satisfying a statistical accuracy benchmark. For this to occur, these 27 agencies were
included separately in the stratification process (see the section ‘Stratification’ above).

Where relevant, and to maintain consistency with previous years, the State of the Service report includes only
agency level results of large agencies that met the minimum number of weighted responses (see the section
‘Measures of error and accuracy’ below). The medium portfolio departments and the Commission are not included
in any agency level analysis in the report.


Privacy, anonymity and confidentiality

Maintaining confidentiality throughout the entire employee survey process was a primary concern to the
Commission.

Privacy arrangements for APSED preclude Commission staff, other than those in the APSED Team, the Group
Manager of the Evaluation Group, and the Commission’s Executive, from accessing APSED data relating to
individuals. This meant that the identity of those individuals selected in the sample from APSED was not available
to the Commission’s State of the Service Team or any other non-APSED staff involved in the survey. A small
number of ORIMA Research staff had access to the sample. All responses to the survey were anonymous so
individuals could not be identified.

Each person invited to participate in the employee survey was provided with a unique password. This prevented
multiple responses from individual respondents.


Survey design

The employee surveys conducted in previous years were used as the basis for this year’s survey. Some
questions have been included on an annual basis, other questions have been cycled through on a two- or three-
year basis, and others were included for the first time this year to address topical issues. To ensure the
Commission maintains comparable time series data, any changes to questions repeated from previous years
were kept to a minimum.

The draft employee survey was subjected to individual and paired cognitive testing involving individuals at the
APS 1–6 and EL classifications from DAFF, NAA, DCITA, DEWR, ATO, Centrelink and Health.

The majority of questions, 73 of 83, were asked of all respondents. Three questions were asked of SES
employees only. Five questions were asked of EL and SES employees only. Two questions were asked of APS
1–6 and EL employees but not of SES employees.

The employee survey was delivered using two methods. The main delivery method was online via a password-
protected Internet site. The majority of the sample was sent an email from ORIMA Research on behalf of the
Commissioner inviting them to participate in the online survey.

A secondary, paper-based delivery method was developed and implemented for employees working in agencies
that do not have access to an individual email account or do not have (or have only limited) access to the Internet.
These employees received a letter from the Commissioner inviting them to participate in the survey, as well as a
paper copy of the survey to complete and return to ORIMA Research.

The 6552 invitation emails and letters were sent out to the sample between 15 May and 19 May 2006.
Respondents were asked to complete the survey and submit or return it to ORIMA Research by Friday 9 June
2006.
An adjustment was made to the final sample size to account for those out of scope of the survey (including
repeatedly bounced emails, those ‘out of office’ for the entire survey period and those known to be no longer
                                                1
employed in the APS at the time of the survey). The final sample was reduced by 386 to 6166.


Weighting and estimation

The survey responses were re-weighted to reflect the characteristics of the underlying population of APS
employees. This was done to ensure that the overall demographic characteristics (used for sample selection) of
the survey results exactly matched the demographic characteristics of all APS employees.

The re-weighting process was based on the four demographic characteristics used for selection of the sample,
namely:

        level (APS 1–6, EL and SES classification groups)
        agency size (small: 100–250 APS employees; medium: 251–1000 APS employees; and large: >1000
         APS employees)
        agency (for the 23 large agencies, the three medium portfolio departments and the Commission)
        location (ACT and non-ACT).

There were, therefore, 174 different weights applied—level (3) multiplied by location (2) multiplied by agency size
and agency (29). For this survey, the weights were calculated by dividing the populations of each stratum by the
number of respondents to the survey in each stratum; for example, if there are 4000ELs in medium agencies in
the ACT, and 200 responded, the weight assigned to each EL working in a medium agency in the ACT is 20. If
the data were not re-weighted, some strata could be over-represented and others under-represented in the total
survey results.

The weighting approach is based on that taken in previous years. The application of a uniform approach to
sample selection and weighting will assist in the development of time series data.

The weighting approach adopted assumes that respondents respond in the same way as non-respondents for the
characteristics of interest. The weighting method above assumes that the responding persons represent the non-
responding persons.

In this survey, with a response rate of 64%, there would need to be a marked difference in the views of non-
respondents from those of the respondents to alter or bias the overall results to any significant extent. For
analysis presented in this report it was assumed that there was no significant bias between those who responded
in the survey and those who did not respond.

The results are calculated under the assumption that responding persons answer in the same way as non-
respondents. This should be considered when using the data to make inferences about the APS population.

Results have generally been presented rounded to the nearest whole percentage point (i.e. 38% not 37.7%). Due
to this rounding, the percentage results for some questions may not add up to exactly 100%.


Measures of error and accuracy

Two types of error can occur in sample surveys: sampling error and non-sampling error. Sampling error arises
because in a sample survey not all of the population are surveyed. Hence a measured sample statistic is not
usually identical with the true population behaviour. Non-sampling errors cause bias in statistical results and can
occur at any stage of a survey and can also occur with censuses (i.e. when every member of the target population
is included). Sampling error can be estimated mathematically whereas estimating non-sampling error can be
difficult. It is important to be aware of these errors, in particular non-sampling error, so that they can be either
minimised or eliminated from the survey.

Non-sampling error

The survey received a response rate of 64%. This response rate excludes responses that were received but were
insufficiently complete to provide input into the data generated. This response rate is very creditable for a
voluntary survey.
Non-sampling errors can result from imperfections in reporting by respondents, errors made in recording and
coding of responses, and errors made in processing the data. No quantifiable estimates are available on the
effect of non-sampling errors. However, every effort was made to reduce the non-sampling errors to a minimum
by careful survey design and efficient operating procedures. In particular, the online survey design minimised the
possibility of errors made in recording and coding of responses, as the respondents themselves entered the data
when responding to the survey.

In addition, identifiable errors made by respondents while completing the survey were removed from the results
database; for example, responses made by APS 1–6 employees to an EL-only question have been removed to
ensure the integrity of the data. Blank responses were generally coded to non-response categories. The
exception to this practice arose where responses were needed for demographic items for weighting purposes. In
instances where this occurred, survey responses were disregarded.

Sampling error

One measure of the sampling error of an estimate is the standard error. There are about 19 chances in 20 that a
sample estimate will be within two standard errors of the true population value. This is known as the 95%
Confidence Interval.

For instance, we are 95% confident that the estimate of the population who agree that their manager provides the
support they need to do their job is between 73.7% and 76.7% (an estimate of 75.2% and a confidence interval of
+/-1.5% based on a standard error of 0.75%).

The following table illustrates the standard errors from the sample design associated with estimates from 12 key
questions in the employee survey. Generally, the higher the sample size for a question, the lower the standard
error; for example, questions following a ‘filter’ question are more likely to have a slightly higher standard error
because the population size responding to that question is lower than for ‘non-filtered’ questions. The standard
error for the whole of government example question estimate, for example, is slightly higher than for many others
because only EL and SES employees involved in multi-agency forums or structures were asked the question,
thereby reducing the sample size.



                                                                            95% confidence           Estimate
                              Question
                                                                               interval               result
Understand how their agency’s decision-making processes
operate (e.g. relevant committee structures and how                         ±1.6%                  64.0%
committees are linked)

Agree that their manager provides the support they need to
                                                                            ±1.5%                  75.2%
do their job

Agree that in their agency, the leadership is of the highest
                                                                            ±1.6%                  37.7%
quality

Agree that their agency encourages the public to participate
                                                                            ±1.7%                  47.2%
in shaping and administering public policy

Satisfied with the overall say they have in decisions that
                                                                            ±1.7%                  48.1%
impact on their work

Considering their work and life priorities, they are satisfied
                                                                            ±1.6%                  67.6%
with the work/life balance in their current job

Agree that in multi-agency forums in the last 12 months,
participants were primarily focused on solving whole of                     ±3.5%                  54.0%
government problems

Agree that merit is routinely applied in engagements and
                                                                            ±1.6%                  53.7%
promotions resulting from a competitive selection process
Agree that agency actively encourages recruitment and
                                                                           ±1.4%                   81.5%
employment of people from all cultural backgrounds

Satisfied with own access to learning and development
                                                                           ±1.7%                   60.9%
opportunities in their organisation

Satisfied with own access to leadership development
                                                                           ±1.6%                   38.8%
opportunities in their organisation

Colleagues in their immediate work area act in accordance
                                                                           ±1.1%                   88.6%
with the APS values in their everyday work

Results have not been reported for questions where the number of unweighted responses is fewer than 20. This
approach has been adopted for two reasons: firstly, to eliminate the possible identification of individuals who
responded to these questions; secondly, to remove less reliable results from the analysis.

This approach has not affected reporting of results at the aggregate level; however, it has limited our ability to
report on disaggregated data where the sample size is small—as is sometimes the case for questions following
‘filter’ questions.

It should also be noted that estimates relating to disaggregated data where the sample size is small will have a
higher standard error because the population size responding to that question is lower than for aggregated data
or disaggregated data where the sample size is large; for example, as can be seen from the following table
illustrating the standard errors associated with estimates for disaggregated data, the standard error for Indigenous
employees is higher than other standard errors because the population size responding to that question is small.



                                                                          95% confidence            Estimate
                             Question
                                                                             interval                result

Agree that manager provides them with the support
                                                                        ±1.8%                     74.1%
needed to do their job (women)

Agree that manager provides them with the support
                                                                        ±1.9%                     76.7%
needed to do their job (men)

Agree that manager provides them with the support
                                                                        ±6.4%                     72.1%
needed to do their job (people with disability)

Agree that manager provides them with the support
                                                                        ±1.3%                     75.5%
needed to do their job (people without disability)

Agree that manager provides them with the support
                                                                        ±12.0%                    55.9%
needed to do their job (Indigenous employees)

Agree that manager provides them with the support
                                                                        ±1.3%                     75.5%
needed to do their job (non-Indigenous employees)

Interpretation of scales

Scales were included in any question that required a respondent to measure the strength or level of a theoretical
construct. In its simplest form in the survey, a scale asked a respondent to rate the level of importance,
satisfaction or effectiveness of various workplace variables on a five-point scale.

The scales used in the surveys were generally balanced—that is, they allowed the respondents to express one of
the two extremes of view (e.g. satisfaction and dissatisfaction). These scales were also designed with a midpoint
that allowed respondents to enter a ‘neutral’ response.
When interpreting scales it is important to realise that there is not an ordinal relationship between points in a
scale. That is, the strength of opinion to shift a respondent from ‘neutral’ to ‘satisfied’ may be much smaller than
the strength required to shift a respondent from ‘satisfied’ to ‘very satisfied’.


Summary indexes

Summary indexes have been used to assist analysis of results of a number of survey questions comprising
several parts. The indexes operate to condense a multiple response question into a single index for comparative
purposes; for example, in exploring respondents’ overall level of job satisfaction, a question comprising 15 factors
was summarised into a single index using a point scoring system. In this way, analysis of the 15 job satisfaction
factors can be supplemented by analysis at the summary level.


Coding of open-ended responses

The employee survey questionnaire provided specified response options for each question. It also included open-
ended response options for some questions, which enabled respondents to provide a text response to a question.
Open-ended options were commonly provided, for example, as part of a specified response question in the form
of ‘other (please specify)’.

Some open-ended responses have been coded to assist analysis. Coding involved, for example, removing
irrelevant and incidental comments from statistical outputs as well as counting relevant comments against the
appropriate response option.


Data cleaning

Every effort is made to ensure the integrity of data from the employee survey. Where inaccuracies are discovered,
or a different methodology is adopted, the historical data has been revised. For this reason, caution should be
exercised when comparing data in this report with that from earlier years.

As in previous years, survey respondents were asked to choose the five workplace factors (from among 15
factors) which contribute most to their overall job satisfaction. A different approach to the cleaning of the data was
used this year. Specifically, responses that did not conform with the directions in the question (e.g. those that
exceeded five factors) were excluded. To retain the comparability of the data, the same approach was also
applied to the job satisfaction data from previous years. While the effect of this on overall levels of job satisfaction
is small (the overall level of job satisfaction in 2004–05 was reported as being 71% but using the revised data was
72%), the effect on some smaller sub-populations is larger (e.g. the level of job satisfaction for people with
disability in 2004–05 was reported as being 65% but using the revised data was 70%).

The revised job satisfaction data for 2003–06 is included in the State of the Service Employee Survey Results
2005–06.




    1.   The sample was drawn in April 2006 and this was based on the most recent data provided by agencies, which was
         January 2006 for the majority (over 90%) of employees.
Appendix 3: Evaluation methodology
During 2005–06, the Commission conducted an evaluation of agency approaches to the attraction and retention
of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and an evaluation of APS agencies’ remuneration policies as
part of its evaluation programme. Information on the evaluation methodologies used is provided below.


Evaluation of agency approaches to attraction and retention
of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees
The evaluation of agency approaches to the attraction and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
employees was aimed at assessing existing agency measures in order to identify the strategies that are most
effective in recruitment (including the use of identified positions and special employment measures), skills
development and career advancement, and workplace support and retention, as well as identifying impediments
to the retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.

Six agencies were included in the evaluation: Centrelink, the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Fostery
(DAFF), the Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), the Department of Education Science and
Training (DEST), the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, (DEWR) and the National Archives of
Australia (NAA). These agencies were chosen to represent a range of business focuses, proportions of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander employees, size, regional presence and classification profiles. The evaluation largely
adopted a case study approach. Information was collected through interviews with key personnel, analysis of
relevant documents, particularly Indigenous employment strategies and workplace diversity programmes and
related policy documentation, and agency data on achievement against relevant performance indicators as well
as data from agency staff surveys and exit surveys. It was also obtained through analysis of APSED data at the
agency level, of State of the Service employee survey and agency survey data, and via focus groups with both
Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees from each agency.

A census survey of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees across the APS was also conducted.
Topics covered by the survey included views on agency support provided, career intentions, impediments to
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees remaining in the APS, and reasons why this group may consider
leaving the APS. Detailed information on the methodology of the census survey is available in the Aboriginal and
                                                        1
Torres Strait Islander APS Employees Census Report.


Evaluation of APS agencies’ remuneration policies
The objective of the evaluation of APS agencies’ remuneration policies was to examine the content of agencies’
written remuneration policies (explicit policy documents separate from Certified Agreements (CAs)) as they relate
to Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) for non-SES employees, and to assess the efficacy of their
interaction with other strategic corporate policy, for example, workforce planning, performance management,
productivity initiatives and certified agreements.

The evaluation focused on the guidelines determining which employees are offered AWAs and how remuneration
levels for existing and new employees are determined, where overlapping salary ranges exist between
classifications, how these are managed, links with performance pay arrangements, issues relating to productivity
initiatives, and the scope for individual tailoring of AWAs. It also focused on agency structures used to monitor the
use of AWAs, communication and consultation arrangements included in remuneration policies, if AWAs are used
to address regional differences (e.g. cost of living, job complexity), how these arrangements for AWAs broadly
compare to those under CAs in the same agency, and an assessment of how effective remuneration policies have
been in assisting agencies’ to achieve corporate objectives.

The evaluation drew on data from the 2003 and 2004 State of the Service agency and employee surveys,
together with relevant written material provided by agencies. Published data, such as remuneration surveys
conducted for the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and various earnings data published by
the Australian Bureau of Statistics were also examined. A literature search was conducted and various
publications relating to performance management and/or performance pay arrangements in the APS such as
reports prepared for Management Advisory Committee and the Australian National Audit Office audits were
examined. Interviews with five agencies, selected on the basis of the content of their written policies and agency
characteristics (eg. size, regional operations) were also conducted.
1.   Australian Public Service Commission 2006, Census Report: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander APS Employees,
     pp. 105–111, <http://www.apsc.gov.au>
Appendix 4: Factor analysis
A factor analysis was conducted on a broad range of the 2006 State of the Service employee survey questions,
                                                                               1
and the questions selected based on their relevance to employee engagement. These included most of the
general impressions questions, and the questions related to work-life balance, merit, learning and development,
                                                            2
senior leadership, immediate supervisor and agency culture. Factor analysis is a

‘data reduction’ technique, which statistically groups together highly related questions. The factor analysis
process primarily uses high correlations between question responses to group them together. For example, a high
positive correlation between two questions is where most of the responses to one question show a very similar
pattern of responses as those to the other question (i.e. across individuals, high scores on one generally
correspond to high scores on the other). Factors are considered to reflect underlying processes or relationships
                                                      3
that have created the correlations among variables.

In this case, a factor analysis was conducted to determine whether, based on the questions from the employee
survey, broader groups of engagement issues or ‘factors’ existed. Therefore, each factor represents a measure of
a broader construct than the individual employee engagement questions in the 2006 employee survey. The factor
                                                                             4
analysis for the employee engagement items resulted in a 10 factor structure. The factors were then named
based on their item content. The 10 factors were:

    1.    ‘Senior Leaders/Culture’
    2.    ‘Diversity—Recruitment and Retention’
    3.    ‘Immediate Supervisor’
    4.    ‘Governance’
    5.    ‘Diversity—Barriers’
    6.    ‘Merit’
    7.    ‘Current Job’
    8.    ‘Work Group’
    9.    ‘Understanding Current Role’
    10.   ‘Work-Life Balance/Learning and Development’


Factor content

The following tables show the question content of each factor. In the text of the report, factor names appear in
quotation marks with the first letter capitalised to distinguish them from other uses of the word(s).



Senior Leaders/Culture

             Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your work
q19g         group: My work group receives the support and assistance it needs from other areas of
             the agency.

             Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding the senior
q21a
             leaders in your agency: In my agency, the leadership is of the highest quality.

             Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding the senior
q21b
             leaders in your agency: My agency is well managed

             Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding the senior
q21c
             leaders in your agency: The SES in my agency are empowered to do their jobs.

             Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding the senior
q21d         leaders in your agency: In my agency, communication between senior leaders and
             other employees is effective.

             Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding the senior
q21e         leaders in your agency: In my agency, senior leaders are receptive to ideas put
             forward by other employees.
          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding aspects of
q23c
          your agency’s culture: Employees in my agency are valued for their contribution.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding aspects of
q23d      your agency’s culture: My agency encourages employees to examine what they do
          and find ways to do it better.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding aspects of
q23e      your agency’s culture: My agency places a high priority on the learning and
          development of employees.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding aspects of
q23f
          your agency’s culture: My agency involves employees in decisions about their work.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding aspects of
q23h
          your agency’s culture: My agency deals with underperformance effectively.

          How satisfied are you with the overall say you have in decisions that impact on your
q27
          work?

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: Generally speaking,
q35c      in my experience the most senior managers in my agency act in accordance with the
          APS Values.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: My input is
q83b
          adequately sought and considered about decisions that directly affect me.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: Senior managers in
q83d
          my organisation lead by example in ethical behaviour.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: I have confidence in
q83f
          the processes that my organisation uses to resolve employee grievances

r80index Index of q80—Satisfaction with leadership factors (0–10)

Diversity—Recruitment and Retention

       Please indicate your level of agreement that your agency actively encourages the
q59a
       recruitment and employment of: ...people from all cultural backgrounds.

       Please indicate your level of agreement that your agency actively encourages the
q59b
       recruitment and employment of: ...women.

       Please indicate your level of agreement that your agency actively encourages the
q59c
       recruitment and employment of: ...people with disability.

       Please indicate your level of agreement that your agency actively encourages the
q59d
       recruitment and employment of: ...Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

       Please indicate your level of agreement that your agency actively encourages the
q60a
       retention of: ...people from all cultural backgrounds.

       Please indicate your level of agreement that your agency actively encourages the
q60b
       retention of: ...women.

       Please indicate your level of agreement that your agency actively encourages the
q60c
       retention of: ...people with disability.

       Please indicate your level of agreement that your agency actively encourages the
q60d
       retention of: ...Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
     Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: This organisation is
q83g committed to creating a diverse workforce (for example, gender, age, cultural background,
     disability status, Indigenous status)

Immediate Supervisor

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your
q18i      current job: I receive adequate feedback on my performance to enable me to deliver
          required results.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your
q20a
          immediate manager: My manager provides me with the support I need to do my job.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your
q20b      immediate manager: My manager ensures fair access to developmental opportunities
          for employees in my work group.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your
q20c      immediate manager: My manager appropriately deals with employees that perform
          poorly.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your
q20d      immediate manager: My manager would take appropriate action if decision-making
          processes were found not to be objective.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: Generally speaking,
q35b      my immediate manager acts in accordance with the APS Values in his or her everyday
          work.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: My immediate
q83h
          supervisor is effective in managing people

r76index Index of q76—Satisfaction with people management factors (0–10).

Governance

     Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding some of the
q22a policies and procedures in your agency: My agency has procedures and systems that
     ensure objectivity in decision-making.

     Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding some of the
q22b policies and procedures in your agency: My agency has policies and procedures in place
     that assist employees manage conflicts of interest.

     Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding some of the
q22c policies and procedures in your agency: My agency has policies and procedures in place
     to ensure that appropriate assessments of risk are conducted.

     Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding some of the
q22d policies and procedures in your agency: My agency provides me with information about
     updates, changes or revisions that relate to financial and other delegations.

     Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding some of the
q22e policies and procedures in your agency: My agency provides me with information that
     clearly outlines the agency’s decision-making processes.

     Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding aspects of
q23a your agency’s culture: In general, employees in my agency effectively manage conflicts of
     interest.
        Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding aspects of
q23b
        your agency’s culture: In general, employees in my agency appropriately assess risk.

        Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding aspects of
q23g
        your agency’s culture: My agency operates with a high level of integrity.

      Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding aspects of
q23i. your agency’s culture: My agency encourages the public to participate in shaping and
      administering policy.

        Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: My organisation actively
q83c
        encourages ethical behaviour by all of its employees.

Diversity—Barriers

        Please indicate your level of agreement that each characteristic below is not a barrier to
q61a
        success in your workplace: Gender

        Please indicate your level of agreement that each characteristic below is not a barrier to
q61b
        success in your workplace: Age

        Please indicate your level of agreement that each characteristic below is not a barrier to
q61c
        success in your workplace: Cultural background

        Please indicate your level of agreement that each characteristic below is not a barrier to
q61d
        success in your workplace: Having disability

        Please indicate your level of agreement that each characteristic below is not a barrier to
q61e
        success in your workplace: Being an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

        Please indicate your level of agreement that each characteristic below is not a barrier to
q61f
        success in your workplace: Having family responsibilities

        Please indicate your level of agreement that each characteristic below is not a barrier to
q61g
        success in your workplace: Working part-time

        Please indicate your level of agreement that each characteristic below is not a barrier to
q61h
        success in your workplace: Using flexible work practices

Merit

        Based on your experience in your current agency, please rate your level of agreement that
q55a
        recruitment and selection processes in your agency: ...are fair.

     In my experience, my agency routinely applies merit (as defined in the Public Service Act)
q56a in the following types of employment decisions: Engagement and promotion resulting from
     a competitive process

     In my experience, my agency routinely applies merit (as defined in the Public Service Act)
q56b in the following types of employment decisions: Movement at level from another agency
     (i.e. transfer) resulting from a competitive process

     In my experience, my agency routinely applies merit (as defined in the Public Service Act)
q56c in the following types of employment decisions: Movement at level within my agency (i.e.
     transfer) resulting from a competitive process

     In my experience, my agency routinely applies merit (as defined in the Public Service Act)
q56d in the following types of employment decisions: Temporary assignment of ‘higher duties’
     resulting from a competitive process
       Overall, how satisfied are you with your own access to leadership development
q77
       opportunities in your organisation?

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: Recruitment and
q83e
       promotion decisions in this organisation are fair.

Current Job

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your current
q18a
       job: I enjoy the work in my current job.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your current
q18b
       job: I am motivated to do the best possible work that I can.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your current
q18c
       job: When needed, I am willing to put in the extra effort to get a job done.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your current
q18d
       job: My job allows me to utilise my skills, knowledge and abilities.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your current
q18e
       job: My current job will help my career aspirations.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your current
q18j
       job: I work with Australian people to achieve shared outcomes.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: I am proud to work in
q25a
       my current agency.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: I am proud to work in
q25b
       the Australian Public Service.

Work Group

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your work
q19a
       group: The people in my work group are valued for their contribution.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your work
q19b
       group: People in my work group use time and resources effectively.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your work
q19c
       group: The people in my work group cooperate to get the job done.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your work
q19d
       group: People in my work group are honest, open and transparent in their dealings.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your work
q19e
       group: People in my work group treat each other with respect.

       Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your work
q19f
       group: My work group resolves conflict quickly when it arises.

     Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: Generally speaking,
q35a colleagues in my immediate work area act in accordance with the APS Values in their
     everyday work.

Understanding Current Role

q18f   Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your current
          job: I have a clear understanding of how my own job contributes to my work team’s role.

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your current
q18g
          job: I clearly understand what is expected of me in this job.

     Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your current
q18h job: I have the authority (e.g. the necessary delegation(s), autonomy, level of
     responsibility) to do my job effectively.

     Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your current
q18k job: I understand how my agency’s decision-making processes operate (e.g. relevant
     committee structures and how committees are linked).

     Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements regarding your work
q19h group: I have a clear understanding of how my work team’s role contributes to my
     agency’s strategic directions.

Work-Life Balance/Learning and Development

          Considering your work and life priorities, how satisfied are you with the work/life balance in
q32
          your current job?

          Overall, how satisfied are you with your own access to learning and development
q72
          opportunities in your organisation?

          Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements: My workplace culture
q83a
          supports people to achieve a good work/life balance.


Calculation of factor scores for each factor
A factor score was calculated for each of the 10 factors. Each factor score is the average (mean) of the responses
to the questions contained in the factor. Factor scores will therefore range from 1 to 5 on a continuous scale (i.e.
they will not necessarily be whole numbers). Factor scores can be used in a similar way to question results, for
example, in cross-tabulations with other questions and other factor scores.

Each respondent to the survey has one score for each factor. For ease of interpretation, the factor scores have
been recoded as such:

         1 to 2.499 = agree/satisfied
         2.5 to 3.499 = neutral (neither agree nor disagree)
         3.5 to 5 = disagree/dissatisfied


Factor score results

The table below contains the APS-wide frequency results for the 10 factors based on the approach outlined
above.



                                                 Agree/ satisfied       Neutral             Disagree/
                    Factor
                                                        %                 %               dissatisfied %

Senior Leaders/Culture                           38                    44            18

Diversity—Recruitment and Retention              73                    24            3

Immediate Supervisor                             66                    24            10

Governance                                       65                    31            5
Diversity—Barriers                                  63                        32              6

Merit                                               43                        39              17

Current Job                                         77                        21              2

Work Group                                          74                        21              5

Understanding Current Role                          84                        13              3

Work-Life Balance/Learning and
                                                    61                        28              11
Development




   1.   The job satisfaction index was originally included in the analysis, but was removed due to significant ‘cross-loading’
        across factors (i.e. job satisfaction was highly related to multiple factors).
   2.   All of the items included in the factor analysis are listed in this appendix under each factor heading. Individual item
        results for all employee survey questions are available in the State of the Service Employee Survey Results 2005–06
        publication.
   3.   B. G. Tabachnick & L. S. Fidell 2001, Using Multivariate Statistics, 4th edn, Allyn & Bacon, Needham Heights, MA.
   4.   Extraction Method: Principal Axis Factoring. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalisation.
Glossary
2005 agency survey
The agency survey conducted in June 2005 for the State of the Service Report 2004–05

2005 employee survey
The employee survey conducted in May 2005 for the State of the Service Report 2004–05

2006 agency survey
The agency survey conducted in June–July 2006 for the State of the Service Report 2005–06

2006 employee survey
The employee survey conducted in May–June 2006 for the State of the Service Report 2005–06

AAT
Administrative Appeals Tribunal

AAWI
Average annualised wage increase

ABA
Australian Broadcasting Authority

ABC
Australian Broadcasting Corporation=

ABCC
Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

ABN
Australian Business Number

ABR
Australian Business Register

ABS
Australian Bureau of Statistics

ACA
Australian Communications Authority

ACC
Australian Crime Commission

ACCs
Area Consultative Committees

ACCC
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

ACMA
Australian Communications and Media Authority

Act
Public Service Act 1999

ACT
Australian Capital Territory

ADF
Australian Defence Force

ADR
Alternative dispute resolution

AEC
Australian Electoral Commission

AFC
Australian Film Commission

AFMA
Australian Fisheries Management Authority

AFP
Australian Federal Police

AFPCS
Australian Fair Pay Commission Secretariat

AGD
Attorney-General’s Department

Agency survey
The agency survey for the State of the Service Report 2005–06

AGIMO
Australian Government Information Management Office

AHD-MPC
Australian Health Disaster Management Policy Committee

AHL
Aboriginal Hostels Limited

AIATSIS
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

AIFS
Australian Institute of Family Studies

AIHW
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

AIPRD
Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development

AIRC
Australian Industrial Relations Commission

ANAO
Australian National Audit Office

ANTA
Australian National Training Authority

ANZSIC
Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification

ANZSOG
Australia and New Zealand School of Government

APEC
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

APS
Australian Public Service
APSED
Australian Public Service Employment Database

APSEDII
Australian Public Service Employment Database Internet Interface

AP6
Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate

ASADA
Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority

ASCC
Australian Safety and Compensation Council

ASEAN
Association of Southeast Asian Nations

ASIC
Australian Securities and Investments Commission

ATAC
Australian Telework Advisory Committee

ATO
Australian Taxation Office

AusAID
Australian Agency for International Development

AUSTRAC
Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre

AWA
Australian workplace agreement

AWM
Australian War Memorial

BoM
Bureau of Meteorology

BPTC
Business Process Transformation Committee

CA
Certified agreement

CBMS
Central Budget Management System

CCTV
Closed circuit television

CDAC
Career Development Assessment Centre

CDEP
Community Development Employment Projects Programme

CGTA
Commonwealth Games Travel Authorities

CEIs
Chief executive instructions
CEO
Chief executive officer

CIOC
Chief Information Officers’ Committee

CIS
Customer Information System

CIU
Cabinet Implementation Unit

CLC
Corporate Leadership Council

CMR
Customs Cargo Management Re-engineering (CMR) Project

COAG
Council of Australian Governments

Code
APS Code of Conduct (s.13 of the Public Service Act 1999)

Commission
Australian Public Service Commission

Commissioner
Australian Public Service Commissioner

Commissioner’s Directions
Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999

CPI
Consumer price index

CRM
Client Relationship Management

CRS
CRS Australia

CSA
Child Support Agency

CSIRO
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

CSP
Competitive selection process

CSS
Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme

CT
Counter-Terrorism

CTFR
Counter-Terrorism First Response

Customs
Australian Customs Service

Cwlth
Commonwealth
DAFF
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

DCITA
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Defence
Department of Defence

DEH
Department of the Environment and Heritage

DEST
Department of Education, Science and Training

DEWR
Department of Employment and Workplace Relations

DFAT
Department of Foreign Aff airs and Trade

DHA
Defence Housing Authority

DHS
Department of Human Services

DIMA
Department of Immigration and Multicultural Aff airs

DIMIA
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Aff airs

Directions
Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999

DITR
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources

DMO
Defence Materiel Organisation

DOTARS
Department of Transport and Regional Services

DVA
Department of Veterans’ Affairs

DVS
Document Verification Service

EEO
Equal employment opportunity

EFP
Executive Fellows Program

EL
Executive Level

EMA
Emergency Management Australia

EMPA
Executive Master of Public Administration
Employee survey
The employee survey for the State of the Service Report 2005–06

EOWA
Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency

ERC
         Expenditure Review Committee

ESVCLP
Early stage venture capital limited partnership investment vehicle

EU
European Union

EVO
Entitlements Verifi cation Online

FaCSIA
Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Family Court
Family Court of Australia

FAO
Family Assistance Office

Federal Court
Federal Court of Australia

FFMA
Future Fund Management Agency

Finance
Department of Finance and Administration

FOI
Freedom of Information

FTAs
Free Trade Agreements

FTE
Full-time equivalent

Gazette
Public Service Gazette

GBEs
Government Business Enterprises

GBRMPA
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

GSLP
Australian-Indonesian Government Sector Linkages Program

GST
Goods and Services Tax

Health
Department of Health and Ageing

HIC
Health Insurance Commission
HR
Human resources

HREOC
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

HSA
Health Services Australia

IAPSEN
Indigenous APS Employees’ Network

ICC
Indigenous Coordination Centres

ICS
Integrated Cargo System

ICT
Information and communications technology

IDETF
Interdepartmental Emergency Task Force

IES
Indigenous Employment Strategy

IIF
Innovation Investment Fund Programme

ILO
Indigenous Liaison Officer

ILS
Integrated Leadership System

IMSC
Information Management Strategy Committee

ISACs
Independent Selection Advisory Committees

ISIC
International Standard Industrial Classification All Economic Activities

IT
Information technology

IUU
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated

JAIG
Joint Aviation Intelligence Groups

JAIT
Joint Airport Investigation Teams

KPIs
Key Performance Indicators

LAFIA
Leading Australia’s Future in Asia

LALAC
Leadership and Learning Advisory Committee
LLO
Local Liaison Officers’ Programme

M2006
Commonwealth Games, 2006, Melbourne

MAC
Management Advisory Committee

MOU
Memorandum of Understanding

MRT
Migration Review Tribunal

MSIC
Maritime Security Identity Card

NAA
National Archives of Australia

NBA
National Blood Authority

NED
Nominal expiry date

NESB
Non-English speaking background

NGOs
Non-government organisations

NHMRC
National Health and Medical Research Council

NICP
National Indigenous Cadetship Programme

NIEP
National Indigenous Employees’ Plan

NLA
National Library of Australia

NMA
National Museum of Australia

NMI
National Measurement Institute

NNTT
National Native Title Tribunal

NOO
National Oceans Office

NOPSA
National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority

NSS
National Statistical Service

NT
Northern Territory
NWC
National Water Commission

NWI
National Water Initiative

NZ
New Zealand

OECD
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

OHS
Occupational health and safety

OIPC
Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination

Ombudsman
Commonwealth Ombudsman

ONA
Office of National Assessments

OPC
Office of Parliamentary Counsel

OSB
Office of Small Business

OWS
Office of Workplace Services

PAC
Promotion appeal committee

PBS
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

PECTA
Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999

PKI
Gatekeeper Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Framework

PM&C
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

PNG
Papua New Guinea

PRC
Promotion review committee

Protective Service
Australian Protective Service

PS Act
Public Service Act 1999

PSDP Act
Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act 2005

RAM
Royal Australian Mint
Regulations
Public Service Regulations 1999

RIS
Regulation impact statement

ROSA
Review of Self-Assessment

RPA
Regional Partnership Agreements

RRT
Refugee Review Tribunal

SA
South Australia

SCICT
Secretaries’ Committee on Information and Communications Technology

SDSS
Standard Defence Supply System (SDSS) Upgrade Project

SELC framework
Senior Executive Leadership Capability framework

SES
Senior Executive Service

SRAs
Shared Responsibility Agreements

TFN
Tax File Number

TR
Total remuneration

Treasury
Department of the Treasury

TRP
Total remuneration package

TSRA
Torres Strait Regional Authority

UK
United Kingdom

UN
United Nations

USA
United States of America

Values
APS Values (s.10(1) of the Public Service Act 1999)

VCLP
Venture Capital Limited Partnerships Programme

Vic
Victoria
VVCS
Vietnam Veterans’ Counselling Service

WA
Western Australia

				
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