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2. Summary of recommendations

Classifications

Recommendation 1: The three level classification structure for the SES remains appropriate and should be retained.

Recommendation 2: The formal SES classification structure should be streamlined by abolishing the Senior Executive (Specialist) classifications. Roles classified as Senior Executive (Specialist) should be reclassified to the corresponding Senior Executive classification level.

Recommendation 3: The Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999 should be amended to remove the process for assignments from a Senior Executive (Specialist) classification to an SES classification

Strengthened classification management arrangements

Recommendation 4: APS-wide SES work level standards based on those at Attachment D should be issued by the Public Service Commissioner (the Commissioner) and the Public Service Classification Rules 2000 should be amended to make agency use of the SES work level standards mandatory in classifying SES positions.

Recommendation 5: A simple methodology for evaluating SES roles against the work level standards and a workbook to guide agencies in its use should be issued by the Commissioner – with training of agencies in the use of the methodology to be provided by the APSC.

Recommendation 6: Agency heads should be required to evaluate all SES roles against the proposed methodology and the work level standards

  • for established roles, at a minimum, as they become vacant; and
  • for all new SES roles – including those sought as part of a new policy proposal – evaluations to be based on the standards but include an assessment of the impact of new roles on existing roles and structures.

Recommendation 7: Agency heads certify before a vacant or new role is filled that the classification for the role is based on an evaluation against the work level standards.

Recommendation 8: A risk based audit program of the classification of SES roles be undertaken by the APSC.

Limiting the size of the SES

Recommendation 9: Agency SES caps should continue to apply for five years while strengthened classification management arrangements are put in place for the SES and any reductions in the SESflowing from agency classification reviews and program and fiscal consolidation are implemented.

Recommendation 10: Oversight of agency caps on SES numbers and assessment of agency claims should continue to be undertaken by the Commissioner with agency bids and the Commissioner’s decisions being based on the work level standards.

Downsizing the SES

Recommendation 11: Any program for overall reduction in SES numbers be linked with fiscal and/or program consolidation and be managed actively to ensure that the right people remain and the capacity of the APS is not compromised.

Recommendation 12: Savings measures or program rationalisation initiatives that result in a reduction in an agency’s SES numbers be reported to the APSC to allow a downward adjustment to the agency’s SES cap.

Recommendation 13: All agency heads report to the Commissioner each year following the Budget but before 30 June on the adjustments to agency caps necessary to reflect the impact of Budget measures and similarly following the announcement of measures outside the Budget context that affect the agency’s SES numbers.

Recommendation 14: The APSC be resourced to implement the strengthened classification management arrangements.