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Corporate Plan 2020-21

The Australian Public Service Commission’s purpose is to strengthen the professionalism of the APS and facilitate continuous improvement in workforce management in the APS.

We support high standards of integrity and conduct in the APS and the review of employment decisions through our support for two statutory office holders, the Australian Public Service Commissioner and the Merit Protection Commissioner.

We work to be a valued, credible and trusted partner to the APS – promoting high standards of accountability, effectiveness and performance of the APS now and into the future.

Commissioner's foreword

‘Our purpose is to position the APS workforce for the future.’

As the accountable authority of the Australian Public Service Commission, I am pleased to present our 2020–21 corporate plan, as required under paragraph 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

The Commission’s purpose is to position the APS workforce for the future. This plan outlines the Commission’s priorities for the year ahead, in the context of taking forward the lessons we have learned through 2020.

We have risen to the challenges 2020 has presented. In the face of workforce and workplace upheaval, we have ensured that we continue to deliver what the Government and the APS expect of us. The Commission has also been at the forefront of efforts to foster a cohesive enterprise approach to APS leadership and operations.

The impact of COVID-19 will be felt for some time. As we look ahead, the Australian Government’s APS reform agenda outlines a pathway for supporting the post COVID-19 economy and investment, service delivery and APS performance.

In many respects, the COVID era has pushed us to ‘live the future’ now in regards to the Government’s reform priorities, with the realisation of accelerated technological and workforce management outcomes that otherwise may have been years away. In this environment, the role of the Commission in ensuring the professionalism, integrity and effectiveness of the APS remains critical.

This plan allows the Commission to take a flexible approach in delivering our priorities for Government and the Australian people. Our focus will be on a culture of continuous improvement, emphasising collaboration, partnership and managing innovation, risk and change. We will continue to work with a wide range of stakeholders – including national and international jurisdictions, the private sector and academia – to make a practical difference to the current and future effectiveness of the APS.

Individual and organisational capability will be central to ensuring that the APS is able to deliver the Government’s post COVID-19 recovery agenda. The Commission will take a service-wide approach to lifting APS capability through the implementation of a future-fit APS workforce strategy. We will also continue to invest in the governance, leadership, and integrity of the APS.

The Commission’s ongoing focus on these priorities will ensure that the APS remains a strong institution, prepared to meet both current and future challenges.

I am proud of the work we do at the Commission. There is a proven commitment from staff to support the APS and ensure it remains a world-class public service. I look forward to leading the Commission as we capitalise on the momentum we have generated over the past 12 months and carry it forward to ensure that the APS remains adaptive, responsive and effective.

Peter Woolcott AO

Australian Public Service Commissioner

28 August 2020

Our purpose

Our purpose is to position the Australian Public Service (APS) workforce for the future to ensure it meets the demands and expectations of the Australian Government and people.

Our approach

To work collaboratively and openly as a valued, credible and trusted partner to the APS.

Our role

The Australian Public Service Commission is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio.

Our statutory responsibilities are detailed in the Public Service Act 1999 and include:

  • strengthening the professionalism of the APS, and driving continuous improvement in workforce management so the APS is ready for future demands
  • promoting high standards of accountability, effectiveness, performance, integrity and conduct in the APS
  • fostering and contributing to leadership, high quality learning and development and career management in the APS
  • fostering an APS workforce that reflects the diversity of the Australian population
  • providing advice and assistance to agencies on public service matters, and partnering with secretaries in stewardship of the APS

We support two statutory office holders, the Australian Public Service Commissioner and the Merit Protection Commissioner, as well as providing policy and secretariat support to the Remuneration Tribunal and the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal.

Our outcome

Our intended outcome is to help maintain the APSC at the forefront of best practice public administration, and to do this through high quality advice and the provision of outstanding service to the APS and the Government.