Reference Panel on Strengthening Ministerial and APS Partnerships
The Australian Public Service Commission is developing guidance and training to increase understanding about the respective roles of Ministerial offices and the Australian Public Service.
This guidance and training is part of the Government’s response to the Independent Review of the APS, delivered in 2019 by an expert panel led by Mr David Thodey AO.
Development of specialised guidance and training will facilitate shared understanding across the APS and Ministers’ Offices about the respective roles of Ministerial advisers and the APS. These roles are, and need to be, separate and distinct; but they work best as a partnership, focused on working effectively together to provide Ministers with quality advice of the highest standard, and driving implementation to deliver on government priorities.
Specialised guidance and training will be devised by the APSC, in close consultation with the Department of Finance, and with assistance from a Ministerial Liaison Reference Panel involving:
- a Deputy Secretary from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Stephanie Foster PSM
- a current Ministerial Chief of Staff, Rachael Thompson
- and three former senior advisers to Prime Ministers:
- Ben Hubbard, former Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Julia Gillard;
- Tony Nutt AO, former Principal Adviser to Prime Minister John Howard; and
- Wayne Eagleson, former Chief of Staff to NZ Prime Ministers John Key and Bill English.
This diverse and experienced group will ensure the training and guidance has longevity, is suitable for a diversity of audiences, and reflects the lived experience of senior officials and Ministerial offices.
There are two components to the work:
- Guidance and training for the APS on engaging effectively with Ministers and their advisers. This will involve training programs for SES and others with close engagement with Ministerial offices; and guidance materials to help every APS employee understand their role and the role of their Minister and Ministerial advisers.
- To complement this program, guidance and training will also be provided to staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984, to strengthen their understanding of the role of the APS, and ensure a shared language across these two vital components of Australian democracy.
Initial training and guidance is anticipated for release in early 2021.
For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.