The 2010 report Ahead of the game: Blueprint for the reform of Australian Government administration recommended that the Australian Public Service Commission undertake regular and systemic reviews to promote improved capability in key agencies and assess the institutional capability of the service as a whole.
The methodology used to conduct these reviews drew significantly on the United Kingdom Capability Review Programme. Through the knowledge gained from the first tranche of reviews, the United Kingdom methodology has been gradually refined to more closely reflect the Australian context in which the review program is being conducted.
I thank the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sports for its participation in the review. All interviewees engaged well with the review process, which underpinned their desire to help build on their agency's capability.
I would like to thank Dr Michael Vertigan AC, the chair of the review team, and the other senior members of the team, Dr Sue Vardon AO and Mr Rob Heferen. This review has demonstrated the advantages of bringing together a team of this calibre.
Stephen Sedgwick AO
Australian Public Service Commissioner
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 the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport. 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. These assessments are included in Section 4 of this report.
Capability reviews are designed to be relatively short and sharp and to take a high-level view of strategic operations. They focus primarily on senior leadership, but are informed by the views of middle management, who attend a series of workshops.
External stakeholders are also interviewed, including relevant ministers and their staff, private sector companies, state and territory delivery organisations, peak bodies, interest groups, clients and central agencies.
The fieldwork for the capability review of DRALGAS was undertaken between 8 October 2012 and 7 December 2012.
Figure 1 – Model of capability