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Machinery of Government (MoG) changes: A guide

Non-APS Commonwealth agency to an APS agency

A MoG change can lead to the movement of a Commonwealth function from a Commonwealth agency that is not an Australian Public Service (APS) agency (i.e. an agency that does not operate under the Public Service Act 1999) to an APS agency.


  1. Agencies are expected to implement change in a way that is consistent with the principles outlined in the Executive Summary.
     
  2. This section provides additional information for agencies on the transfer of functions, staff and resources to an APS agency from a non-APS Commonwealth agency.
  3. Organisations moving into the APS are encouraged to consult Finance and the APSC early in the process to discuss the move.

Movement of people

Legislative basis

  1. Section 72(1) (c) of the PS Act gives the Commissioner the authority to move an employee from a non- APS Commonwealth agency to an APS agency. See People Management.
  2. Agencies should consider whether any additional legislation is required to facilitate the movement of staff into the APS, for example, in specific legislation concerning the move.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Where an employee from a non-APS Commonwealth agency moves to an APS Commonwealth agency, their terms and conditions of employment may be varied following consultation [Public Service Regulation 1999– Regulation 8.2(2)].
  2. Section 24(1) of the PS Act gives agency heads the authority to vary the terms and conditions of employment for agency employees. See Pay and Conditions.
  3. As not all moves will automatically be a transfer of business, agencies should seek legal advice.

Excess staff

  1. Where the gaining agency indicates that it will require fewer staff to perform the transferred function, agencies will negotiate the management of excess staff.

Working in the APS

The Public Service Act 1999

  1. The principal act governing the employment, management and leadership of the APS is the PS Act.
  2. More information on subordinate legislation and other relevant legislation can be found at the Legislative Framework for the APS.
  3. Section 20 of the Act gives an APS agency head, on behalf of the Commonwealth, all the rights, duties and powers of an employer in respect of APS employees in the agency. This includes engaging and promoting staff and terminating employment.

Workplace relations

  1. APS agency heads are responsible for managing workplace relations matters with their employees consistent with the provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009. Agency agreements and other instruments setting terms and conditions of employment must be consistent with the Government’s employment and workplace relations policies, including the Government’s Workplace Bargaining Policy 2018.
  2. For non-SES employees, agencies are able to adopt any form of workplace arrangement/s which suit their business needs. Where an agency is considering a change to its current arrangements, the agency should advise the Commissioner before proceeding. Agencies may implement separate workplace arrangements for Executive Level and equivalent employees that recognise their management responsibilities.
  3. For SES employees and their equivalents, terms and conditions of employment are set through individual arrangements, either common law arrangements or through a determination made under s.24(1) of the PS Act.

Other matters

  1. Gaining APS agencies are expected to conduct detailed induction program for employees new to the APS, to cover key features of working in the APS, including:
    • APS Values, Employment Principles and Code of Conduct
    • APS employment framework described in the PS Act
    • obligations under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

Governance and financial management

  1. For governance arrangements, please email, Governance.Policy [at] finance.gov.au.
  2. For funding arrangements, please email annual.appropriations [at] finance.gov.au.
  3. For banking arrangements, please email Banking.Policy [at] finance.gov.au.
  4. For financial reporting arrangements, please email accountingpolicy [at] finance.gov.au.
Last reviewed: 
4 April 2019