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Key findings

Following the APS Reform Blueprint, the Commission has implemented two methods to assess organisational capability; the capability review program and the capability maturity model. These two methods provide different perspectives on the APS and agency capability and can be seen as complementary and reliable assessments of agency capability.

In the last 12 months significant progress was made in delivering the schedule of 23 reviews

of departments and major agencies through the capability review program. Seventeen agency reviews have been completed and two are in progress. Four reviews remain to be completed in 2014. Reviews have shown some consistent areas of strength across the APS, including high levels of commitment to public service, the ability to articulate the government's policy agenda, a strong commitment to consultation, and innovative delivery. Similarly, the capability review program has identified areas for improvement, including adaptable strategic leadership, foresight and strategic risk management, business planning and the delegation of decision making.

The capability maturity model seeks to place agency capabilities into a standard and comparable structure that allows an agency's senior leadership to assess the maturity of a particular capability area, to establish priorities for improvement. Results from this model for 2011 and 2013 suggest that in the capability areas of staff performance management, strategic planning and stakeholder engagement there has been a general evolution to a higher level of maturity. However, for change management and risk management capabilities, a considerable proportion of agencies indicate they need to invest in improving the processes that support the delivery of these capabilities.

Increasing financial pressure faced by government is constraining resource levels in the APS and accentuating the need to drive greater efficiencies across the service. Similar to 2011–12, agencies reported they are managing reduced resourcing by reviewing employee costs, and business practices and processes, and by reducing domestic and international travel, the use

of consultants and contractors and printing and publication costs. A number of agencies also reported prioritising and/or ceasing work to achieve outcomes within a reduced resource environment. Agencies have also been working together and coordinating the purchase of common goods and services.