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Program 1.1: Australian Public Service Commission

This section provides details of the Commission's objectives, deliverables and achievements under program 1.1 during 2013–14 in terms of the following themes:

  • APS people and organisational performance
  • Investing in APS development and capability
  • Australian Government employment workplace relations.

Objectives

The Commission undertakes a broad range of activities related to policy, regulation, program implementation and program delivery.

The Commission's objectives under program 1.1 in 2013–14 were:

APS people and organisational performance

  • to provide high-quality policy advice to the Australian Government, the Minister and the Public Service Commissioner, and employment services, on matters covered by the Public Service Act 1999(PS Act)
  • to provide an evidence base for the alignment and quality of APS human capital planning and management to enhance APS-wide and agency capability
  • to facilitate the continuous improvement of the approach to APS-wide workforce planning that supports effective deployment and management of human capital
  • to work with agencies to implement the amended PS Act and embed the revised APS Values, and promote public service ethics and integrity
  • to manage and provide quality policy advice on the Public Service Commissioner's statutory responsibilities in relation to Senior Executive Service (SES) employees, agency heads and statutory office holders
  • to undertake agency capability reviews to assist agencies to improve institutional capabilities and strengthen accountability of agency performance
  • to support the review, inquiry and reporting functions of the Public Service Commissioner and the Merit Protection Commissioner and contribute to ensuring consistent standards of decision-making and people management practices across the APS
  • to work with agencies to build a high-performance culture across the APS
  • to ensure that APS agencies have access to leadership strategies to enhance agency-specific capability and leadership development through guidance, networks and client engagement activities
  • to deliver strategies under the APS Indigenous Employment Strategy to improve the retention of Indigenous staff in the APS and work with agencies to continue to focus on the strategies in the APS Indigenous Pathways to Employment Program
  • to contribute to the enhanced diversity of the APS to ensure it reflects and is responsive to the wider community, and to work with agencies to implement the as one—Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy, which is aimed at strengthening the APS as a progressive and sustainable employer of people with disability.

Investing in APS development and capability

  • to reinvigorate strategic leadership capability by enhancing the capability of current and future APS leaders
  • to enhance the core skills of the APS workforce
  • to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of leadership and core skills development across the APS
  • to enable agencies to enhance their approach to leadership development, talent management and core skills learning and development
  • to contribute to the increased awareness and adoption of best practice public administration by providing leadership and professional development programs
  • to assist identified international governments to build public sector capability and capacity on behalf of the Australian Government.

Australian Government employment workplace relations

  • to foster cohesive APS workplace relations to ensure employment bargaining supports a flexible and unified APS
  • to provide advice and support for workplace relations within Australian Government employment
  • to strengthen and streamline the employment bargaining framework
  • to enhance and maintain employment frameworks, including classification and work-level standards, to support cost-effective whole-of-APS delivery to government and stakeholders
  • to assist the Remuneration Tribunal and the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal to meet their respective statutory obligations.

Deliverables

The Commission's key deliverables for program 1.1 in 2013–14 were:

APS people and organisational performance

  • providing high-quality policy advice to the Australian Government, the Minister and the Public Service Commissioner on matters covered by the PS Act
  • monitoring and supporting the continuous and sustainable development of agencies' workforce planning and capability frameworks and benchmarking processes
  • supporting the review, inquiry and reporting functions of the Public Service Commissioner and the Merit Protection Commissioner, and contributing to ensuring consistent standards of decision-making and people management practices across the APS
  • working with agencies to embed the APS Values so that they are effective in driving performance and cultural change, and promoting public service ethics and integrity
  • providing agency capability reviews, reports and capability improvement plans
  • embedding an attitudinal and behavioural change in the management of performance to build a high-performance culture across the APS
  • improving retention, over time, of Indigenous staff through strategies under the APS Indigenous Employment Strategy
  • supporting the as one—Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy, which is aimed at strengthening the APS as a progressive and sustainable employer of people with disability
  • publishing the State of the Service Report and other reports to assist in advising the government and the APS
  • supporting the Ethics Advisory Service in assisting employees and agencies
  • meeting performance benchmarks in discharging statutory functions in relation to SES matters.

Investing in APS development and capability

  • developing and reviewing the APS Leadership and Core Skills Strategy to ensure that it reflects the current and emerging business needs of the APS, and drawing on evidence-based research and best practice
  • designing, developing and delivering best practice, contemporary leadership development programs and interventions
  • designing, developing and delivering intensive development for high-potential leaders
  • designing contemporary, best practice learning programs and interventions relating to management and core skills
  • assessing the quality of development providers
  • centrally procuring programs where there is a return on investment in terms of efficiency and/or cultural benefits
  • improving the evaluation of program outcomes
  • providing thought leadership, support and advice on agency best practice in the areas of leadership, learning and development
  • providing a range of leadership and professional development programs that build knowledge and skills to improve capability
  • strengthening the capability of partner governments to develop and implement strategic initiatives that improve their public sector effectiveness and efficiency and the quality of services to citizens.

Australian Government employment workplace relations

  • providing high-quality advice to agencies and the Minister on workplace employment arrangements
  • administering enterprise bargaining arrangements
  • maintaining and supporting the policy and employment frameworks, including the APS-wide work-level standards and classifications, to ensure that these arrangements support a united APS
  • providing high-quality advisory and administrative support to the Remuneration Tribunal and the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal.

Key performance indicators

Table 2 summarises the Commission's performance under program 1.1 against its key performance indicators for 2013–14 and the previous two years.

Table 2: Summary of performance under program 1.1 against key performance indicators, 2011–12 to 2013–14
Key performance indicator 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
Actual Actual Target Actual
nm = new measure
* The Merit Protection Commissioner's annual report addresses the performance of the review function against timeliness targets and measures to address challenges in meeting targets
† This is the combined caseload of the Commissioner and the Merit Protection Commissioner.
** Results refer to the financial year in which the State of the Service Report was tabled, not the reporting period on which the report is based.
Degree of satisfaction of Minister and agency heads, as expressed through feedback about the quality and timeliness of services and advice provided by the Commission nm Very good or above Very good or above na
Number of reviews, excluding promotion reviews, finalised on behalf of the Merit Protection Commissioner 232 200 195 227
Percentage of reviews conducted on behalf of the Merit Protection Commissioner completed within published timeframes* 18% 69.5% 70% 95%
Number of responses to whistleblower reports made† 24 17 15 11
Percentage of whistleblower reports acknowledged and assessed within six weeks, with any further investigations conducted promptly 87% 100% 70% 75%
Percentage of high level of use and satisfaction with the State of the Service Report and other research and evaluation reports by the SES, agencies and other clients** 84% 85% 75% 85%
Percentage of responding surveyed participants that attended a Commission program agreed that the program improved their knowledge and skills 90% 98% 80% 92%
Level of satisfaction of the President of the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal with the quality and timeliness of the services provided by the secretariat Very good or above Target not met Very good or above Very good or above
Level of satisfaction of the President of the Remuneration Tribunal with the quality and timeliness of the services provided by the secretariat Very good or above Very good or above Very good or above Very good or above

The 2013–14 Portfolio Budget Statements included the following additional key performance indicators for program 1.1:

  • APS has sufficient leadership capability to meet current and future business requirements—to become more citizen-centric, to be able to solve complex problems, to operate as one APS, to anticipate challenges and to implement government programs and decisions effectively
  • APS agencies have access to high-quality, contemporary, strategically aligned leadership and talent development programs that build the capability required in the APS
  • the degree to which programs improve leadership and management effectiveness
  • APS agencies have a range of means for accessing core skills development programs
  • the quality and consistency of core skills delivery across the APS is improved through agency use of quality-assured providers and learning designs
  • APS agencies have access to thought leadership and advice to support their leadership development and talent management initiatives
  • proposals align with the Australian Government's comprehensive aid policy framework, enhance regional stability and improve services of government to citizens.

The Commission's achievements in providing the APS with leadership and talent development programs and core skills programs are discussed on pages 40–7. The Commission's international assistance and engagement work is discussed on pages 51–4.

Last reviewed: 
11 May 2018