The Hon John Lloyd PSM
speech to the Institute of Internal Auditors
3 August 2015
The Australian Public Service (APS) is a resilient and effective institution. Its operating environment is complex and challenging. The digital revolution, an ageing population, the end of the resources boom and the need to balance forward budgets are among the long list of contemporary challenges the APS must address. Australians want services from government with similar features to those they receive from the private sector: fast, online, personalised, competitively priced and open to feedback. My view is that the APS is well positioned to meet the priorities for 2016 and beyond but it cannot be complacent about its success.
The APS will respond to its challenges by improving capability, performance and productivity. Much is being done by agencies individually and in collaboration.
It is important to equip our human resource (HR) professionals to play a strategic role in the leadership of the APS. Historically, the focus of HR has been on the delivery of transactional and operational services. While these remain important, increasingly public sector agencies look for a strategic contribution from HR. This includes a heightened focus on talent management and development. Strategic workforce planning is also required to align people with changing organisational requirements.
Moving into 2016 and beyond there are a number of areas where the APS will need to focus its efforts. Some of these are addressed in this report.
The format of the report has changed. I am keen to ensure it has the capacity to reach a wider audience than it has in the past. Much of the evidence base for the assessments of the 2014-15 State of the Service report has already been provided on the State of the Service website1. Since August, short targeted content updates have been published once or twice a week. These updates covered issues such as leadership in the APS, diversity, employee engagement, staff mobility, APS workforce numbers, integrity and the Code of Conduct. A list of these content updates is at the end of the report.
The release of data and information on a continuous cycle has enabled APS employees and agencies to use analyses and findings in their own work earlier than in previous years. It has also enabled the Australian Public Service Commission (the Commission) to facilitate discussion on issues relevant to the state of the service. As a result, this year's report is shorter than in previous years. The report, therefore, focuses more on contemporary challenges and opportunities. It identifies the strategically important issues which have to be addressed for the APS to enhance its performance.
I encourage feedback on the new approach to the report and how it can be made more relevant and useful in future.
The Honourable John Lloyd PSM
Australian Public Service Commissioner
30 November 2015