2019 Pacific Public Service Commissioners’ Conference
The 2019 Pacific Public Service Commissioners’ Conference was held in Wellington, New Zealand, from 25 to 27 September 2019.
The theme for the conference was public leaders delivering public value.
Australian Public Service Commissioner, Peter Woolcott, spoke led a session at the conference on leadership development, supported by Taies Sansan, Acting Secretary of the PNG Department of Personnel Management, and Nicki Eldridge of the New Zealand State Services Commission. In support of Mr Woolcott’s presentation, this webpage contains a list of resources that may be of interest to conference participants.
Australia’s short country update, presented by APS Deputy Commissioner Mary Wiley-Smith.
[Mary Wiley-Smith]Greetings, hello, and kia ora to our Pacific colleagues.
It gives me great pleasure to provide you with an update on recent developments in the Australian Public Service.
The theme for this year’s Pacific Public Service Commissioners’ conference is:
Public leaders delivering public value.
It’s a theme that strongly resonates with us here in Australia.
Last month, our Prime Minister reminded public servants that we must be delivering public value. He has set an ambitious agenda for the Australian Public Service which will guide us into the future.
The needs of our citizens must be at the centre of every policy we develop and every program we deliver.
Like public services around the world, we’re facing a period of significant change.
It’s driven by things such as:
- advances in technology
- global volatility
- new expectations from our citizens, and
- the changing nature of the way we work.
Good governance, strong and ethical leadership, effective communication, stakeholder engagement and partnerships will be the key to us delivering what will be expected of the Australian Public Service.
The role of the Australian Public Service Commission is to help prepare the Australian Public Service for the future.
I can’t list all of the activities we’ve led over the past 12 months, so I’m ganna focus briefly on three broad areas. These are:
- Leadership development
- Gender equality and social inclusion, and
- Performance management.
We’ve identified and supported talented senior executives through a range of programs focusing on their individual needs.
Our senior leaders are now going through Capability and Talent Assessments to develop them for current and future roles in the Australian Public Service.
We’ve continued to deliver leadership courses for middle managers to ensure we’re building a strong pipeline of future leaders.
One of the initiatives I’m most proud of, is our program supporting the development of talented, up and coming female leaders.
Secretaries and deputy secretaries and agency heads are actively engaged in identifying female talent across our public service. We’re starting to see great results.
We need to ensure our public sector workforce is flexible and better reflects the communities we serve.
The APS Gender Equality Strategy is promoting improved career pathways for our female employees, and promoting flexible working arrangements for female and male staff.
For the first time in Australian history, we now have equal numbers of male and female heads of departments and secretaries.
The representation of women in senior ranks has increased from 44% in 2017 to 46% in 2018.
And women are now being paid the same as their male colleagues at each classification level within the Australian Public Service.
We do, however, still have an overall gender pay gap of 7.8% - which reflects the higher number of women at lower levels within the Service.
This is still much lower than the Australian average of 14%.
Our Indigenous Employment Strategy has led to an increase in the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees within the Australian Public Service workforce.
This has increased from 2.6% 6 years ago, to 3.3%. This is, in fact, higher than the proportion of Indigenous Australians in our general population.
Almost 1 in 5 Australian public servants were born overseas and this figure has been steadily increasing.
These are good results, but of course there is much more to be done.
The Australian Public Service Commissioner recently issued new Directions regarding performance management.
These Directions apply to all Australian Public Service employees. The Directions clarify the roles and expectations of managers and their staff.
The Directions make clear that all public servants are responsible for performance management, as well as career and talent management. Not just their agency heads.
Performance management is about best practices that allow the Australian Public Service to manage talent and retain high-performing employees to support a high-performance culture.
Over the past 12 months, an Independent Review of the Australian Public Service has been looking at our structure, capabilities and culture and how we prepare for the future.
The independent Panel undertaking the Review has consulted widely to inform how we can modernise our service, to ensure we retain the confidence of Government and the Australian people.
The Review will be delivered to the Australian Government soon for its consideration.
The Australian Public Service Commission will be at the centre of reform in the Service over the next few years.
This will particularly focus on building the leadership and capability of the Australian Public Service to serve our Government and the people of Australia.
We’re currently working on some exciting initiatives over the next 12 months.
These include a whole of public service workforce strategy, and professional streams to strengthen our expertise and capabilities for the years ahead.
We look forward to updating you on our progress at next year’s conference.
Wishing you all the very best for your time together and the year ahead.
Talent Management Guide
This guide provides guidance on talent management principles and practices. A toolkit also supports best practice in talent management. Read the Talent Management Guide.
APS Framework for High Potential
Assessing whether an employee has the potential to be successful in more senior roles is one of the more difficult elements of talent management. The APS Framework for High Potential was developed to provide APS agencies with a practical understanding of the qualities that indicate high potential. Read the APS Framework for High Potential.
APS Disability Employment Strategy
About one in five Australians identify as a person with disability. Improving the representation of people with disability in the workforce will enable the APS to respond better to community needs. Read the Disability Employment Strategy.
APS Gender Equality Strategy
This sets out actions for driving high performance and boosting productivity in the Australian Public Service. It addresses gender imbalance across the APS at all levels and all agencies. Read the Gender Equality Strategy.
APS Indigenous Employment Strategy
The focus of this strategy includes expanding the range of Indigenous employment opportunities and investing in developing the capability of employees. Read more at the Indigenous Capability Agency Portal.
Commissioner’s Directions – Performance Management
The Australian Public Service Commissioner released amendments to the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions in 2019. They place a stronger focus on the obligations of agency heads, supervisors and APS employees for developing and sustaining a high-performance culture across the APS. Read the Commissioner’s Directions.
Prime Minister’s Six Guideposts for the Australian Public Service
On 19 August 2019, the Prime Minister laid out his vision and expectations for the Australian Public Service. He articulated six guideposts that touch on the role of every member of the Australian Public Service in both policy advice and implementation. Read the Prime Minister’s Six Guideposts.
Independent Review of the APS
An independent panel was formed in 2018 to ensure the APS is fit-for-purpose for the coming decades. The review has examined the capability, culture and operating model of the APS and its findings will be presented to the Government soon. Read more about the Independent Review of the APS.
For more information about any of these initiatives, email firstname.lastname@example.org