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Program 1.1—component 1.1.1: APS people and organisational performance


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

The Commission’s objectives under program component 1.1.1 in 2012–13 were:

  • to enhance employment frameworks within the APS that support effective deployment and management of human capital
  • to advise government on amendments to the public service legislation and provide high-quality policy advice, and employment services, on matters covered by the Public Service Act 1999
  • to manage and provide quality policy advice on the Commissioner’s statutory responsibilities for Senior Executive Service employment and recruitment of agency heads and statutory office holders
  • to work with agencies to embed APS Values in the APS that are effective in driving performance and cultural change, and promote public service ethics and integrity
  • to ensure a more systemic approach to APS-wide human capital and workforce planning through development of a human capital framework and workforce planning framework
  • to streamline and improve APS workforce recruitment, induction, mobility and diversity strategies while upholding the merit principle and improve the employment brand of the APS
  • 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
  • through reviews conducted by the Merit Protection Commissioner, to contribute to ensuring consistent standards of decision-making and people management practices across the APS
  • to strengthen the performance management framework for the APS, providing evidence-based analysis of the current state of performance management across the APS to inform the debate
  • to ensure that APS agencies have access to leadership and guidance on strategies to enhance agency-specific capability and leadership development through networks, forums and client engagement activities
  • to develop public sector capability and capacity in partnership with developing countries on behalf of the Australian Government
  • to deliver strategies under the APS Indigenous Employment Strategy, including undertaking research and analysis to inform initiatives to improve retention of Indigenous staff in the APS.


During 2012–13, the Commission’s achievements included:

  • supporting the Minister for the Public Service and Integrity with the passage through the parliament of amendments to the Public Service Act 1999, which commenced on 1 July 2013
  • developing and advising the government on amended Public Service Regulations
  • developing the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2013
  • supporting agencies to implement the legislative changes by publishing detailed advice on action required, delivering information sessions and establishing an interactive question-and-answer page on the Commission’s website in the months before the new provisions came into effect
  • updating a range of guidance material on employment matters ready for the commencement date
  • working in partnership with agencies to develop resources to assist agencies to embed the revised APS Values and Employment Principles
  • supporting the Minister with the launch of the new APS Values and Employment Principles on 18 June 2013
  • developing best practice reasonable adjustment principles and the APS Indigenous Employment Strategy 2012–16 to support APS agencies to improve the employment outcomes of people with disability and Indigenous Australians
  • administering the 2012 APS employee census to 159,917 employees with a 55% response rate, and developing and trialling an exit and entry survey to deepen our understanding of why people join the APS and why they leave
  • completing research on performance management in the APS in partnership with several APS agencies, the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and the University of New South Wales, including the development of principles to promote a high-performance culture within agencies
  • completing eight agency capability reviews and publishing four reports
  • publishing the APS strategic workforce analysis and reporting guide developed in consultation with approximately 70 agencies
  • completing the APS Classification Review and commencing work to address its recommendations, including the development of work-level standards applicable to classifications below the Senior Executive Service.

Key performance indicators

Table 3 summarises the Commission’s performance under program component 1.1.1 against its key performance indicator for 2012–13 and the previous two years.

Table 3: Summary of performance under program component 1.1.1 against key performance indicator, 2010–11 to 2012–13
Key performance indicator 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13
Actual Actual Target Actual
Note: 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.
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 90% 84% 75% 85%

The 2012–13 Portfolio Budget Statements included two additional key performance indicators for the program component:

  • 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
  • development of programs and strategies to assist APS agencies with recruitment, training and retention to reach at least 2.7% of Indigenous representation across the APS workforce by 2015.

During the year, the Commission continued to examine information technology solutions to improve the timeliness of information provided to the Minister. For performance on Indigenous representation across the APS workforce, see page 37.


The Commission’s key deliverables for program component 1.1.1 in 2012–13 were:

  • tools for embedding the APS Values
  • provision of an Ethics Advisory Service
  • human capital, workforce planning and capability frameworks, benchmarking processes and the leadership development strategy for the APS
  • best practice guidelines and strategies for recruitment, induction, mobility, diversity and improved recruitment processes through maximising the use of technology, including development of a new APSjobs online employment portal to improve search functionality, candidate experience and enhance the APS employment brand
  • introduction of a new performance management framework, development of case studies and strategies to support high performance and development of new guidelines for the management of underperformance
  • international development activities and leadership programs that build public sector capability and capacity on behalf of the Australian Government
  • policy advice on employment issues and exercise of statutory responsibilities in relation to SES employees, agency heads, statutory office holders and the integrity framework
  • agency capability reviews, reports and capability improvement plans
  • accurate, quality and timely review and employment services
  • data analysis on APS employment delivered through the State of the Service Report and other reports, including international and inter-jurisdictional comparisons where appropriate, to assist in its advice to government and the APS
  • strategies to improve and increase Indigenous representation across the APS through increased employment and targeted development of Indigenous employees in the APS, with the desired result of a positive trend in APS Indigenous employee satisfaction as reported in the State of the Service Report.

Table 4 summarises the Commission’s performance under program component 1.1.1 against its deliverables for 2012–13 and the previous two years.

Table 4: Summary of performance under program component 1.1.1 against deliverables, 2010–11 to 2012–13
Deliverables 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13
Actual Actual Target Actual

* 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.

† Completed fee-for-service employment-related services, including independent selection advisory committees, selection advisory committees and scribe assignments.

Number of reviews finalised on behalf of the Merit Protection Commissioner 151 232 235 200
Percentage of reviews conducted on behalf of the Merit Protection Commissioner completed within published timeframes* 40% 18% 70% 69.5%
Number of responses to whistleblowing reports made to the Public Service Commissioner or the Merit Protection Commissioner 25 24 20 17
Percentage of whistleblowing reports responded to within six weeks with any further investigations conducted promptly 92% 87% 70% 100%
Number of State of the Service Report and associated publications 2 2 2 2
State of the Service Report tabled in accordance with tabling requirements 100% 100% 100% 100%
Number of fee-for-service employment-related services† 530 664 500 480
Secretariat service provided to meetings of APS200 and Public Service Commissioners’ Conference 13 11 8 6
Last reviewed: 
11 May 2018