The Commission provides support to a number of high-level APS strategic leadership groups: the Secretaries Board, the APS200 and the Public Service Commissioners’ Conference.
The Secretaries Board continued to meet in 2012–13 and considered a range of whole-of-APS topics.
The APS200 comprises heads and deputy heads of departments and other agencies that employ staff under the PS Act. The members of the senior leadership group aim to build a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the APS, and a shared commitment to adopting long-term, strategic and collaborative approaches for responding to those challenges.
In 2012–13, the Commission facilitated four APS200 events in partnership with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet:
- an address by Dr Ken Henry AC, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, on Australia in the Asian century (September 2012)
- an address by writers and commentators Mr George Megalogenis and Ms Laura Tingle on citizen expectations (November 2012)
- a workshop on building APS capability for the Asian century (February 2013)
- a panel discussion and workshop on citizen expectations (May 2013).
Secretaries’ performance framework
The Commission continued to work with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to develop a strengthened performance management framework for secretaries. The establishment of a framework is now a statutory requirement. The framework operates on a calendar year performance cycle and includes an assessment against the APS-wide stewardship responsibilities and 270-degree feedback (that is, feedback from workplace superiors and peers as well as a self-assessment).
Public Service Commissioners’ Conference
The Public Service Commissioners’ Conference is held twice a year. The conference is a cross-jurisdictional forum for Commonwealth, state and territory public service commissioners and New Zealand’s State Services Commissioner. The conference provides opportunities for commissioners to discuss contemporary challenges in public administration. It also serves as a forum for exchanging information and sharing experience. The Commission provides secretariat and research support to the conference.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Commission continued to support the work of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and in particular Australia’s participation in the OECD Public Governance Committee. In 2012–13, the Australian delegates to the committee were Ms Carmel McGregor, Deputy Secretary, Department of Defence, until 30 December 2012, and Ms Penny Weir, Acting Deputy Public Service Commissioner, from 1 January 2013.
The Commission works collaboratively with other agencies to provide Australian responses to a range of OECD requests for information or validation of Australian data. In 2012–13, this included:
- contributing to a survey on compensation of employees in central/federal governments of OECD countries
- validating survey findings on gender trends in public sector employment, and validating Australian input to the draft public governance review of Poland
- providing comments on the OECD accession process of the Russian Federation.
The Commission also responded to OECD-related requests from other APS agencies.