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6. Causes of SES growth

Growth in Government

The size of the SES since its inception has to a large extent been a function of the size of government, with the periods of strong growth in the SES corresponding to periods of strong growth in Australian Government real payments, as can be seen in Chart 4.1 below.

Chart 4.1: Growth in the size of the SES and Australian Government real payments (1984=100)

Source: APSED, 2010-11 Budget papers, Statement 10, table 1

On the revenue side of the Budget, there has been similar growth in the value of tax expenditures. (Tax expenditures are an alternative to direct expenditures as a method of delivering government assistance or meeting government objectives and have an impact on the budget position like direct expenditures.)

The APSC’s survey of high growth agencies identified the main driver of change in agency SES profiles over the past 10 years (both number and level of SES roles) as the expansion or creation of new functions pursuant to government policy priorities.

The growth in Government in recent years has also been apparent in the increasing number of policy measures.

The number of decisions – including tax and savings measures – announced in the Budgets and Budget updates has more than doubled, from 359 in 1997-98 to 825 in 2007-08.

The focus of budget initiatives for successive governments has varied. Under the Howard Government, national security functions received significant additional funding between 2003-04 and 2007-08; whereas the Rudd Government maintained these programs and allocated significant funding to the stimulus package including infrastructure, the environment and education.

Chart 4.2: Growth in the size of the SES and the value of tax expenditures, 1997-98 to 2008-09 (1997-98=100)

Source: APSED, Department of the Treasury

Chart 4.3 – Growth in the size of the SES and the number of budget measures 1997 98 to 2007 08

Source: APSED, Department of the Treasury

Change in programs – new programs and the substantial reworking or winding up of old ones – usually requires careful management. Risks are highest when programs are introduced or amended and new administrative systems are being put in place. This has been starkly illustrated by the Australian National Audit Office’s review of two controversial government programs – the Australian Government’s Home Insulation Program and the Green Loans Program. The report on the Green Loans Program noted that: “(f)rom the start of the program, DEWHA assigned day-to-day program management responsibility to sub- executive level officers who had little program delivery experience. As such, program delivery was devolved to too low a level within DEWHA without sufficient engagement by executive management”.19 The report on the Home Insulation Program noted in respect of involvement of DEWHA SES in its implementation, that “(t)he demands initially placed on those at the branch and division head levels to deal with a wide range of issues, including implementation of other complex programs, were unreasonable and executive level resources were added too late and only after significant problems became evident”.20

Agencies that participated in the APSC’s survey of high growth agencies reported that higher levels of external scrutiny, combined with ministerial demand for faster turn-around of advice and/or delivery of programs, has led to increased risk and a corresponding need for more senior/experienced people to mitigate that risk.

The strong growth in the number of programs – as proxied by the number of Budget measures – administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship over the last decade and the growth in real departmental expenses in these agencies, is depicted in the charts below. In each of these agencies, the number of SES more than doubled over this period.

The flow of Commonwealth legislation has grown significantly, and subordinate legislation has increased at a similar pace.

Some of this increasing flow of legislation and regulation has replaced or amended existing legislation and regulation but much is new growth.

The stock of legislation to be administered has grown commensurately – eg the Income Tax Assessment Act has grown from 120 pages in 1936 to more than 7,000 pages today.

Chart 4.4 – Growth in SES, real departmental expenses and measures, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (including DEST and DEWR) 2000-01 to 2008-09 (2000-01 = 100)

Source: APSED, Budget papers.

Chart 4.5 – Growth in SES, real departmental expenses and measures, Department of Immigration and Citizenship 2000-01 to 2008-09 (2000-01 = 100)

Source: APSED, Budget papers.

Table 4.1 – Pages of Commonwealth acts of parliament passed per year by decade
  Total pages Average per Act
Source: Chris Berg, Policy without Parliament; the growth of regulation in Australia, Institute of Public Affairs, IPA Backgrounder, Vol 19/3, November 2007
1900s 1,072 6
1910s 1,195 3
1920s 1,515 3
1930s 2,530 3
1940s 2,795 4
1950s 5,274 6
1960s 7,544 6
1970s 14,674 9
1980s 29,299 17
1990s 54,573 31
2000-2006 40,266 35

Growth of in-house legal teams

Data provided by the Office of legal Services Coordination in the Attorney-General’s Department shows that expenditure by Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 agencies on legal services grew by 117 per cent in real terms between 1995-96 and 2008-09. Expenditure on private firms grew by 456 per cent in real terms during this period and expenditure on in-house practices by 164 per cent. Fundamentally this has reflected the greater litigiousness of Australian society as well as the broader avenues for administrative or judicial review of public service decisions. Factors observed by the Report of the Review of Commonwealth Legal Services Procurement (the Blunn Krieger review) as influencing increases in demand for legal services (and the responsibilities of agencies in meeting them) include:

  • compliance with, and in some cases enforcement of, an increasing volume of legislation and legislative instruments
  • the expansion of administrative law which has made government decision-making far more transparent
  • privatisation of government owned businesses and the consequent growth in regulatory authorities; for example, in the area of telecommunications and
  • outsourcing of some functions formerly carried out within government and the associated scrutiny of procurement and tender evaluation processes21.

The demand for continuously available and agency- specific legal services, when linked with devolution of decision-making in relation to the procurement of many legal services to departments, has seen a significant increase in the number of SES staff engaged by agencies in in-house legal teams. It is not clear what the counter factual would have been – at least some of this growth in APS services must have offset growth in the Australian Government Solicitor, and increased use of private suppliers must also have reduced demand for additional positions.

Freedom of Information and other administrative law reforms

The Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 granted a statutory right to an aggrieved person to obtain a statement of reasons for an administrative decision. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal was established in 1976 to provide independent merits review of administrative decisions made by Government ministers and agencies. The Freedom of Information Act 1982 introduced a new statutory right of access to information in the possession of government. The number of freedom of information (FOI) requests (excluding requests for personal information) has increased over the last decade. The most recent changes in the FOI Act are likely to further increase the demand for access, particularly to policy related material likely to be of public interest.

Chart 4.6: FOI requests 0 excluding requests for personal information

Source: Freedom of Information Act 1982, Annual Report 2008–2009 by the Minister for Privacy and Freedom of Information to the Parliament on the Operation of the Act

Growth in the number of Australian Government agencies

Since 2002, the number of Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 agencies has increased by more than 20 per cent – from 81 in 2002 to 105 in 2011. The number of APS agencies peaked at 106 in July 2009.22 The increase in the number of agencies can be attributed to:

  • a net increase of three in the number of Departments of State – from 17 to 18 in October 2004, 18 to 19 in December 2007, and 19 to 20 in September 2010 – somewhat reversing the changes made in 1987 which had led to significant SES reductions;
  • a net increase of 13 agencies from changes in PS Act coverage – since 2002 a total of 21 agencies moved into and 8 agencies moved out of the APS23; and
  • a net increase of six new agencies
    • Some agencies were abolished with functions being subsumed into the parent department – eg the National Oceans Office and Australian Greenhouse Office (both abolished in 2004).
    • Some agencies were abolished but had successor organisations – eg the Australian Communications and Media Authority (created 2005) assumed the functions of the former Australian Broadcasting Authority and the Australian Communications Authority, both of which were abolished.
    • Some agencies were created to perform new functions or functions previously performed byan Australian Government department or State/ Territory government agencies – eg the former are the Bureau of Meteorology (2002) and Cancer Australia (2006). The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (established in 1993) centralised the registration of all agricultural and veterinary chemical products into the Australian marketplace, a function previously undertaken by each State and Territory government.

Over the same period the number of bodies under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 decreased from 113 to 87. While most CAC Act bodies are not part of the APS – that is they are not staffed under the Public Service Act 1999 – Departments of State interact with and may oversight CAC Act bodies – eg the Arts, Culture and Heritage Group of the former Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts worked closely with the national collecting institutions on a range of governance and other matters.

Changing nature of government and public service

The growth in the volume and complexity of statutory and regulatory frameworks reflects the increasing

complexity of the challenges facing government and the complexity of the responses required of senior public servants.

Many contemporary public policy challenges involve complex problems that cross organisational and government boundaries. Examples of such challenges include:

  • a radically changed national security and border protection environment
  • climate change
  • tax reform
  • water reform
  • mental health
  • indigenous disadvantage and
  • land degradation.

In delivering the 2009 John Paterson Oration, the then Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, said:

Such problems defy conventional approaches. They require new, collaborative approaches to policy making across departments, across Commonwealth, State, Territory and local governments. They often require partnerships with the private and community sectors. Increasingly they also require us to work with governments abroad. Above all, they require innovative, urgent and practical policy thinking – great ideas, but also ideas grounded in the real world.

The APS has also been required to develop whole of government responses to emergency situations – like the responses to the 2004 Boxing Day Asian Tsunami and Cyclone Larry in Queensland in 2007.

In assessing Australia’s tax/transfer system, the final report on Australia’s Future Tax System noted that:

  • “…policy and program complexity has continued to increase, such that the system remains confusing, costly and risky for people” and
  • “…the complex objectives of the tax and transfer system, the world in which it operates, and the desire to tailor its impacts to the diversity of people’s lives mean that even a simpler system has the potential to be complex, costly and risky for the people interacting with it”.24

Agencies surveyed by the APSC consistently identified two key changes to SES roles over the past 10 years – increased complexity and the volume of tasks to be managed, and an increased level of required responsiveness to stakeholders.

An IBM study – Capitalising on complexity – found that public and private sector leaders globally believe that:

  • ‘…a rapid escalation of ‘complexity’ is the biggest challenge confronting them. They expect it to continue, indeed, accelerate in the coming years’ and
  • ‘…events, threats and opportunities aren’t just coming at us faster or with less predictability; they are converging and influencing each other to create entirely unique situations’.25

Commonwealth and State / Territory relations

Evidence of the impact these complex problems and whole of government responses to emerging policy issues has had on the demands on the SES is evident in the increase in Council of Australian Governments (COAG) activity.

Policy reforms of national significance and complexity that require cooperative action by Australian governments have increasingly occurred under the auspices of the COAG established in 1992. Under COAG a number of intergovernmental agreements for substantive decisions that require legislation have been settled and signed. Currently there are 15 intergovernmental agreements.

Most of these agreements are implemented through national agreements and national partnerships. The COAG website lists six national agreements – in health care, education, skills and workforce development, disability, affordable housing and indigenous reform – and seven national partnerships (with reward payments) – on preventative health, elective surgery waiting list reduction plan, essential vaccines, improving teacher quality, literacy and numeracy, youth attainment and transitions to deliver a seamless national economy.

Chart 4.7: Number of COAG meetings

The October 2010 COAG Compendium lists 33 ministerial councils that facilitate cooperation between the Australian Government and State and Territory governments in initiating, developing and monitoring policy reform under these intergovernmental and other agreements.

COAG landmarks include:

  • National Competition Policy (1995)
  • Intergovernmental agreement on a national water initiative (2004)
  • Murray-Darling Basin intergovernmental agreement (2008)
  • National counter-terrorism strategy (2006)
  • National Reform Agenda (2006)
  • National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (2008)
  • Health professions agreement (2008)
  • Intergovernmental agreement on federal financial relations (2008)
  • Nation Building and Jobs Plan (2009).

As an example of the administrative complexity that these arrangements can entail, the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission reports directly to the Australian Government Minister for Health and Ageing,and through the Minister to COAG and the Australian Health Minister’s Conference. The latter is supported by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council which in turn is supported by six principal committees all headed by high-level departmental officials from the participating jurisdictions.

The trend towards the establishment of national frameworks has seen all States referring matters to the Commonwealth – eg the nation-wide referral of corporate matters in 2001 and terrorism related matters in 2002-03. Similarly in 2008 the Murray-Darling basin reforms saw the referral of certain powers from the Basin States to the Commonwealth and in 2009 following COAG agreement regulatory responsibility for consumer credit and finance broking transferred from the States to the Commonwealth.

In 2010 a new national industrial relations system commenced following the referral of powers to the Commonwealth by all jurisdictions, except Western Australia. This culminated earlier unsuccessful attempts. In 1996 Victoria became the first State to refer its powers over industrial relations to the Commonwealth. In 2005 the Howard Government’s Work Choices package unsuccessfully sought to create a national system through a referral of powers by the States. Consequently it relied on the corporations power to greatly extend the coverage of its Work Choices legislation.

The Parliament – inquiries

The activity of the Australian Parliament also impacts directly on the APS – particularly agency heads and the APS leadership group, the SES.

The Australian Parliament House website – Current inquiries by subject matter – lists almost 600 Senate, House and Joint current and recent inquiries for the 42nd Parliament. The subject matter for these inquiries

is extremely diverse covering the entire breadth of the Australian Government’s jurisdiction – eg inquiries into legislation before the houses of Parliament, reviews of agency annual reports, trade and investment matters, and social policy and environmental policy issues.

Executive government Ministerial staff

Section 65 of the Constitution provides for the number of Ministers:

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the Ministers of State shall not exceed seven in number, and shall hold such offices as the Parliament prescribes, or, in the absence of provision, as the Governor-General directs.

The Parliament increased the number of Ministers of State from seven to eight in 1915. Further statutory increases, including amendments in 2000 to the Ministers of State Act 1952 to allow for the appointment of 12 Parliamentary Secretaries, have brought the number up to the present limit of 42.

The number of Ministers has remained static at 42. However, the number of portfolio groupings and ministerial titles or roles – Cabinet Ministers, other Ministers, Minister Assisting roles and Parliamentary Secretaries – has varied. In successive Howard Ministries the number of Ministerial roles ranged from 45 to 49 – with some Ministers performing more than one role.

Over the 15 years to 2010 the number of ministerial roles has increased by 20 per cent, from a low of 45 (in 2001) to 60 (in 2010). Under the Rudd and Gillard Ministries the number of ministerial roles has grown from 51 in December 2007 to 60 in September 2010.

The increase in the number of ministerial roles directly impacts on the workload of the APS – in particular agency heads and the SES, the two groups with major responsibility for providing advice to Ministers and their offices. The increase in the number of ministerial roles is also likely to result in greater complexity by requiring effective co ordination within and across agencies.

Ministerial staff

The increasing complexity of government has increased the demands on Ministers to comprehend issues within their portfolios and manage the public presentation of those issues. This is likely to directly affect the work environment of the SES. It may also have indirectly affected the SES through its impact on numbers of ministerial staff. The data for the period 1983 to 2010 in Chart 4.8 below indicates that the Howard and Rudd Governments reduced the numbers of ministerial staff on election. However, with experience in government, the number of ministerial staff subsequently increased under both Governments. These increases may be indicative of the breadth and tempo of policy implementation – particularly as governments mature.

Whatever the reasons Chart 4.8 illustrates the significant growth in the number of ministerial staff between 1983 and 2010.

In relation to Cabinet processes some evidence on the changing demands on the SES was provided in the Review of Government Staffing, prepared by Alan Henderson in 2009 – see Table 4.2 below.

Chart 4.8: SES and ministerial staff - totals 1983 to 2010

Source: Source: Department of Finance and Deregulation

Table 4.2 – Number of meetings: Cabinet and committees of Cabinet
Meeting 2006 2008
Cabinet 34 45
Committees of Cabinet including National Security Committee 62 137
Cabinet and Committees of Cabinet outside Canberra (part of totals above) 5 23

Impact of information and communications technology on the demand for skills

The increase in the ratio of SES to non-SES is a reflection of a broader trend which has seen strong growth in the SES and EL levels and a decline in the numbers at the APS 1-3 levels. This trend can be attributed in large part to skill-biased technological change, or the emergence of computer technology that is a substitute for routine tasks such as sorting, filing and retrieving information, and a complement to non-routine cognitive tasks such as diagnosing and solving problems and complex communication26. By taking over routine filing, calculating and transaction processing tasks that were once performed by APS 1-3 level staff, computers have caused a large absolute drop in the number of junior staff and a corresponding increase in the share of the APS workforce that is engaged in non-routine cognitive tasks. A corollary of this trend is that the management of APS staff performing routine tasks has become a less important aspect of SES and EL roles.

Impact of information and communications technology on the SES

The substitution of computers for routine tasks has improved the productivity of SES, EL and APS employees engaged in non-routine cognitive tasks. For example, the greater availability of up to date financial information has improved the efficiency of economic policy making and advising and the capacity to search documents electronically has increased the speed and quality of legal research.

The improved productivity of public servants engaged in problem solving and complex communication has also raised expectations of stakeholders about the level of responsiveness that can be achieved and the level of complexity that can be managed.

However, it is ICT convergence and mobile high speed data, image and voice communication that is likely to have had the most dramatic impact in the last decade. High speed and mobile communications via smart phones, and the near ubiquity of access to home and office-based internet has supported the emergence of new social networking and web-based media. The result has been a rapid growth in interaction with the public and Ministers’ offices and more particularly a progressive contraction in the cycle time on which advice is requested and a response from the APS is expected.

Increasing interconnectedness through advances in communication technology is reducing the time frames available to respond to emerging issues and simultaneously broadening the range of issues current at any one time.

Table 4.3 – The changing APS classification profile
Classification % Change 2000-2010
APS 1 -34%
APS 2 -33%
APS 3 56%
APS 4 19%
APS 5 70%
APS 6 60%
EL 1 119%
EL 2 69%
SES 1 73%
SES 2 63%
SES 3 35%
TOTAL 45%
Source: APSED

Increasing interconnectedness through advances in communication technology is reducing the time frames available to respond to emerging issues and simultaneously broadening the range of issues current at any one time.

Case study – Impact of the 24/7 media cycle on the Department of Health and Ageing

The Department of Health and Ageing is a large Australian Government agency. It has four ministers and a diverse set of responsibilities. Its website – www.health.gov.au – lists seven priorities including:

  • working together with the States and Territories to reduce duplication and gaps, and to deliver efficient, value-for-money health and aged care services through an adaptable and sustainable health and aged care workforce and
  • leading a whole-of-government approach to strengthening Australia’s readiness for disease threats, national emergencies and other large scale health incidents.

An internal advice – Impact on the departmental staff and the SES of media requirements – states:

The continued expansion of the myriad channels and methods to communicate with the public and specific stakeholders, the ongoing expectation that communication materials will be highly detailed and targeted to the needs of any specific user group, and the increasing expectations of many stakeholders (including the media) that public servants will produce highly accurate information in extremely fast time frames while also doing their primary activities of producing and implementing policy, programs and services for the community, places considerable strain on the resources of departmental program areas and in particular on the senior executive service staff who must authorise the release of the information and ensure its accuracy.

Other than responding to media inquiries, departmental staff and the SES need to be responsive to a range of communications requirements including:

  • preparation of materials for draft media releases, speech notes. (The Department produced almost 2000 media releases, speeches and talking points in the last financial year)
  • event management briefs
  • weekly Prime Ministers Office high profile events and Ministers’ Office announceables lists
  • social marketing campaigns (of which the Department currently has 13 and cover a range of Divisions and outcomes) which includes the requirement for the Secretary to certify compliance with the DoFD guidelines and for SES to appear before an Independent Communication Committee to present the campaign at various stages in development prior to their consideration
  • website content across more than 50 Departmental websites – many of which are updated daily
  • communications and stakeholder engagement strategies (that outline how best to achieve an information or behavioural change objective using a range of communication and influencing channels and opportunities).

Chart 4.9: Department of Health and Ageing – SES and workflow indicators 2001-2009

The IBM study – Capitalising on Complexity27 noted that “technology is also contributing to growing complexity creating a world that is massively interconnected”.

According to the E-readiness Rankings produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Australia ranked sixth out of 70 countries for its ‘e-readiness’ in 2009 – behind Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States of America. Australia was ranked fourth in 2008.

Australia has one of the highest rates of mobile phone ownership in the world. According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), at June 2009 there were 24.22 million mobile phone services in operation, up 9.5 per cent from the previous year. Of these 12.28 million are third generation (3G) mobile services, up 43.6 per cent from June 2008.

3G mobiles or smart phones – such as Blackberries or iPhones – can be used to make telephone calls and send text (SMS) messages, but also have the capability of a personal digital assistant (eg a palm pilot) or a computer – and can send and receive e-mail, access the Web usually at higher speeds, and edit Office documents.

According to the Nielsen Company – a global marketing and advertising research company – the big rise in smartphone ownership and relaxed download caps on mobile phone plans has seen an increase in mobile social networking:

  • over one quarter of social networkers (26 per cent) participated in mobile social networking in the past year and
  • 66 per cent of mobile social networkers are under 35 years of age.

Of the networking sites accessed by mobiles, according to Nielsen:

  • Facebook is the most popular with 92 per cent of mobile social networkers having visited Facebook, followed by YouTube and Twitter (18 per cent) and MySpace (nine per cent).
  • Twitter sees the most frequent mobile usage, with half of its mobile users visiting the site daily. In comparison, Facebook saw 36 per cent of its mobile users visit the site daily, while 22 per cent of MySpace.28

At June 2009 there were 8.4 million internet subscribers, an increase of 16.2 per cent from June 2008. The average time per month spent on line at home (June quarter) was 57 hours, a 21.3 per cent increase over the previous year. Australians are downloading ever-increasing amounts of data with more Australians going online for business and personal transactions.

Wireless broad band services grew strongly increasing 162 per cent to reach 2.1 million services and accounts for 25 per cent of all internet subscribers.29

News & Media organisations

ICT developments have influenced the way news and media organisations deliver content – eg internet and satellite television enables the media to reach new audiences. It has also fed or driven demand for news – described by the ABC’s The Drum as ‘…relentless and dehumanising noise of the 24/7 media cycle’30 .

Today there are a number of dedicated 24-hour news channels – eg Sky News and the ABC. According to Ricketson: Twitter ‘…has certainly become an important element of the media mix in Canberra…’.31

Table 4.4 – Growth in the importance of ICT
Metric 1993-94 2008-09
Total ICT staff (including ICT contractors) 7,879 15,222
Total APS staff 160,900 161,837
ICT staff to total APS staff 4.9% 9.4%
PCs per staff 0.82 1.60
Metric 1993-94 2010
Number of Office Productivity Suites (FMA Act agencies) 107217 291417
Microsoft Word 66464 253070
Lotus 17627 37000
Apple 2000 252
Wordperfect 14966 220
Open Office 0 875
Other 6160 0
Total APS staff 160,900 164,596
Office Productivity Suites as proportion of total staff 67% 177%

Notes:

  1. 1993-94 data is from the Clients First report from the Information Technology Reference Group (March 1995)
  2. 2008-09 data is from the 2008-09 ICT benchmarking performed by the Department of Finance and Deregulation
  3. Total APS staff is from APSED
  4. ICT staff in 1993-94 and 2008-09 includes Information Technology Officers and other IT related staff and ICT contractors
  5. Office productivity suites 2010 from the Department of Finance and Deregulation 2010 Common Operating Environment survey April/May 2010

Source: Department of Finance and Deregulation

Finding 4.1: The reasons most frequently given for rapid SES growth are:

  • Growth in the complexity of work expected of the APS and the number of programs administered.
  • Significantly greater demands for interaction with and response to stakeholders including both Ministers and their offices, other levels of government and business and the community more broadly.
  • The impact of ICT and the 24/7 media cycle on the cycle time for requests and provision of advice including the extension of the ‘working day’.

Finding 4.2: Periods of strong growth in the SES have corresponded to periods of strong growth in Australian Government expenditures, although the 50 per cent increase in the SES since 2003 exceeded the growth in real Australian Government payments of 41 per cent over this period.

Finding 4.3: There is strong evidence for a relationship between the growth in the SES and growth in the number of programs administered by the APS – measured by the number of budget initiatives. New policy and new programs require higher levels of oversight by senior staff. Similarly significant pressures on senior skills have been driven by the growth in regulation, the increasing scope and use of administrative and judicial review, increased frequency of cabinet meetings and their location outside Canberra and the number of high level negotiations associated with an ambitious COAG reform agenda.

Finding 4.4: A heightened national security environment, deepening concerns about border security, the Global Financial Crisis, the complexity of the climate issue, greater Commonwealth involvement responsibilities shared with the States (education, health and water) and high levels of immigration have contributed to SES growth domestically and overseas.

Finding 4.5: There is considerable anecdotal evidence of the impact of the growth of ICT on the complexity, density and time sensitivity of the relationship between the APS, the Ministry, the Parliament and the community. There is a strong presumption that this has increased the demand on the Executive and SES levels.

Finding 4.6: There has been some reversal of the consolidation of Commonwealth machinery of government arrangements which took place in 1987, with increases in both the number of departments and of independent APS agencies.


19 Australian National Audit Office (2010), Performance Audit of the Green Loans Program

20 Australian National Audit Office (2010), Performance Audit of the Home Insulation Program

21 Report of the Review of Commonwealth Legal Services Procurement, 2009

22 Department of Finance and Deregulation flipcharts of FMA Act and CAC Act bodies from 2002 to 2010

23 Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin State of the Service Series 2008-09, Appendix 4

24 Commonwealth of Australia (2009) Australia’s Future Tax System, final report

25 IBM Corporation, Capitalising on complexity – Insights from the Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Study, 2010(2010:3-4)

26 David Autor, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane (2000), The Skill Content of recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration

27 IBM Corporation, Capitalising on complexity – Insights from the Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Study, 2010 (2010:16)

28 Heidi Allen, Digital Strategy, How do Australian use their mobiles, New media in health and Publishing, July 19 2010

29 ACMA media release, Mobile broadband and internet services take off, 12 January 2010

30 Mark Bahnisch, 24-hour media cycle does no favours for our democracy, The Drum, ABC, 24 July 2010 – http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2936265.htm

31 Matthew Ricketson, How the 24/7 media cycle helped kill off Rudd, Crikey, Thursday, 1 July 2010 – http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/01/how-the-247-media-cycle-helped-kill-off-rudd/)