About the Australian Public Service Commissioner
Mr Stephen Sedgwick AO
Public Service Commissioner
Mr Stephen Sedgwick AO
Mr Stephen Sedgwick AO was appointed as Public Service Commissioner under section 45 of the Public Service Act 1999. His five year term began on 14 December 2009.
Mr Sedgwick has had a long and distinguished career in the public sector, having served in a number of departments beginning in 1972. He was Secretary to the Commonwealth Departments of Finance, Employment and Education between 1992 and 2002, and was a member of the Board of the Asian Development Bank for five years until 2007. He became Australian Public Service Commissioner in December 2009 after a period as Professor and Director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne. He was awarded the Centenary Medal in January 2001 and was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in June 2012.
Mr Sedgwick graduated with Honours in Economics from the University of Sydney and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of London (LSE).
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU), and is a member of a number of Boards and Advisory Groups. These include the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation, the Advisory Council of the ANU Crawford School of Economics and Government, the Advisory Board for the Australian National Institute for Public Policy, the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management, the Advisory Group for the Australian Human Rights Commission Male Champions of Change Research Project, the Jawun Board, the Parliamentary ICT Advisory Board, and the Board for the Centre for Excellence in Public Sector Design.
Commission media releases are available from the Media releases page.
Speeches and presentations from the Commissioner are available from the Speeches page.
Role of the Public Service Commissioner
The Public Service Commissioner occupies an important central role within the APS promoting the APS Values, evaluating performance and compliance, and helping to build the capability of the Australian Public Service.
The Public Service Commissioner has both statutory powers (under the Public Service Act 1999) and policy responsibilities. The Commissioner reports annually to Parliament on the state of the service, including an evaluation of the extent to which agencies have incorporated the APS Values and the adequacy of their systems and procedures for ensuring compliance with the Code of Conduct.
Section 41 of the Public Service Act 1999 set out the Commissioner’s functions which include the following functions:
- to evaluate the extent to which Agencies incorporate and uphold the APS Values;
- to evaluate the adequacy of systems and procedures in Agencies for ensuring compliance with the Code of Conduct;
- to inquire into reports made to the Commissioner (or to a person authorised by the Commissioner) as mentioned in section 16;
- to consider and report to the Public Service Minister on any matter relating to the APS (including such a matter referred to the Commissioner by the Public Service Minister);
- to promote the APS Values and the Code of Conduct;
- to inquire into alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct by Agency Heads and to report to the appropriate authority on the results of such enquiries (including, where relevant, recommendations for sanctions);
- to develop, promote, review and evaluate APS employment policies and practices;
- to facilitate continuous improvement in people management throughout the APS;
- to co‑ordinate and support APS‑wide training and career development opportunities in the APS;
- to contribute to, and foster, leadership in the APS;
- to provide advice and assistance on public service matters to Agencies on request;
- any function prescribed by the regulations.
Other powers, responsibilities and functions are set out in the Public Service Act 1999.