Chapter 7 - The national perspective of the APS

The location, size and composition of the Australian Public Service (APS) have been central to commentary and discussions on the future of the service. These characteristics of the APS workforce cannot be examined independently. They can only be understood in terms of the nature and scale of the activities the Australian Government undertakes and its preferred delivery model in pursuing them. The national spread of the public service may also reflect the government's demographic and economic imperatives, either nationally or in terms of the operation of the service. For example, it might reflect regional development objectives, a requirement to reduce the operating costs of the public service, a desire to improve the connection between business and government, or capitalise on a broader labour market pool.

This chapter describes the geographic distribution of the APS. The focus is on the size and distribution of the APS workforce in the states and territories. It examines the similarities of, and differences between, the workforces located across Australia. The chapter concludes with an examination of the attitudes and opinions of APS employees based on their geographical location.