Capability review: The Treasury

Last updated: 25 Jun 2014

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Foreword

The 2010 report Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration recommended that the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) undertake reviews to assess capability in key agencies and to identify opportunities to raise the institutional capability of the service as a whole.

The methodology used by the APSC to conduct these reviews has been gradually refined to more closely reflect the Australian context in which the review program is being conducted.

Dr Martin Parkinson, his Executive Directors and the broader Treasury staff, openly and actively engaged in this review and I would like to thank them all for their commitment to the process and, in particular, for the sense of collaboration with which they approached it. Treasury’s Agency Liaison Team also deserves special mention for the very professional and helpful support they provided to the review team.

I would also like to thank Dr Michael Vertigan AC, the chair of the review team, other senior members of the team, Ms Frances Maguire and Ms Jennifer Taylor, and my own team from the APSC who supported and advised them. Once again, this review has demonstrated the advantages of bringing together a team of this calibre.

Steve Sedgwick AO
Australian Public Service Commission

 

1 About the review

A capability review is a forward-looking, whole-of-agency review that assesses an agency’s ability to meet future objectives and challenges.

This review focuses on leadership, strategy and delivery capabilities in Treasury. It highlights the department’s internal management strengths and weaknesses using the model set out in Figure 1. A set of 39 questions is used to guide the assessment of each of the 10 elements of the model. Those assessments are included in Section 4 of this report.

Capability reviews are designed to be relatively short and take a high-level view of the strategic operations of the agency. They focus primarily on its senior leadership, but are informed by the views of its middle management, who attend a series of workshops.

External stakeholders are also interviewed, including relevant ministers, private sector companies, state delivery organisations, peak bodies, interest groups, citizens, clients and central agencies.

The fieldwork for the capability review of Treasury was undertaken between 17 June and 23 August 2013.

Chart: The relationships between the elements of capability - leadership, strategy and delivery

Figure 1 – Model of capability