Statement by the Australian Public Service Commissioner

Last updated: 27 Feb 2018

This page is: current

26 February 2018

The Australian Public Service in 1901 comprised seven departments and 11,000 employees. Today it is comprised of 18 departments, 87 agencies and 152,000 employees. The employees serve in hundreds of locations across Australia and overseas. They perform a staggering variety of tasks.

The APS has been instrumental in the success of our nation.

The APS has been effective and steadfast throughout wars, recessions and social upheaval. In times of national emergency it comes together quickly to help those in need and to restore government services.

The Public Service Act since 1902 has reinforced the key notions of a professional APS that is effective, efficient and impartial. The Act sets out a Code of Conduct complimented by APS Values and APS Employment Principles. These are grounded in common sense, decency, integrity and professionalism.

I am proud of the men and women who serve in the APS. As I have stated they stand up in times of national emergency. But just as important is their enduring commitment to do their jobs thoroughly, conscientiously and with pride. I frequently come across examples of employees applying their knowledge with flair to test new ideas to improve the service offered to the public and the Government.

In an APS of 152,000 people mistakes and mis-judgements will occur. Thankfully, these are the exception and not the rule.

The challenges for the APS will continue.The APS will continue to adapt, change and improve. Today citizens rightly demand services that are responsive to their needs using modern digital platforms. Today we all want a prosperous and secure nation.

In this pursuit the APS is not beyond criticism. We are accountable. However, some commentary on the APS, like our national discourse, is intemperate, ill informed and insulting.

I can assure you that this will not deter the men and women of the APS. We will continue to work efficiently, effectively, professionally and impartially in the national interest.

John Lloyd PSM