Independent Selection Advisory Committees and fee-for-service activity
Agency demand for my fee-for-service functions decreased again in 2013–14. This reflected the downward pressure on agency budgets and the overall downturn in APS recruitment. The major fee-for-service activity I provide in the APS is the establishment of Independent Selection Advisory Committees (ISACs).
Agencies may choose to use ISACs for a variety of reasons. The most common ones are to provide assurance about the fairness and integrity of their recruitment decisions and to avoid delays in placing staff resulting from review of promotion decisions. Figure M4 shows how the ISAC casework has fluctuated over the last seven years. Despite a small increase in 2009–10, the overall trend has been a steady decrease in the number of requests reviewed and the number of ISACs established.
Figure M4: Independent Selection Advisory Committee casework, 2007–08 to 2013–14
The number of requests for ISACs fell significantly in 2013–14. The four ISACs on hand at the beginning of the year were finalised. Three agencies sought to use ISACs prior to the introduction of the interim recruitment arrangements in November 2013 but the requests were subsequently withdrawn. Table M7 in the appendix provides information on ISAC activity for 2013–14 compared with 2012–13.
While the number of ISACs fell by 73%, the number of candidates considered and the number of candidates recommended only fell by 15%. For the four ISACs finalised, the size of the applicant field ranged from 104 to 1,047. The largest ISACs were in the ATO, which averaged over 700 candidates per ISAC. The average number of applications received per ISAC was 564 with an average of 84 candidates recommended. This compares with an average of 176 applications with 26 recommendations in 2012–13.
Table M8 in the appendix sets out the number of ISACs established, by agency, and the number of candidates considered and recommendations made.
Other fee-for-service work
Other fee-for-service work decreased by 40% compared to the previous year. Table M9 in the appendix provides information on these services in 2013–14, in comparison with the previous year.
The five requests on hand at the beginning of the year were finalised. Twenty-two requests for selection work were received and 17 were finalised, with four on hand at the end of June 2014.
Fee-for-service work can include staff selection services and training relevant to the Merit Protection Commissioner's functions, as well as investigating grievances and providing career advice. In recent years, this fee-for-service work has solely involved providing members of selection panels for the Australian Federal Police. Fee-for-service work is largely discretionary and other work has been given a higher priority.