Information for agencies - Implementing the APS Strategic Commissioning Framework
The framework is a principles-based APS policy document that supports agencies to prioritise APS employment, strengthen APS capability and reduce reliance on consultants, contractors and labour hire. It applies to agencies that employ staff under the Public Service Act 1999.
- A principles-based approach
- Requiring that core work be done by APS employees (not outsourced)
- Requiring that external arrangements grow the capability of the APS
- Central monitoring and reporting
- A resources toolkit to help agencies drive change
Implementing the framework
Agency heads are accountable for implementing the framework. The principles-based approach allows agencies to operationalise the framework in a way that suits their circumstances.
- Define the core work of their agency
- Set targets to reduce inappropriate outsourcing and report on progress
- Ensure core work is delivered by APS employees
- Ensure future contracts include arrangements to transfer knowledge and skills to the APS
- Embed the framework in agency policies and procedures (e.g. budgeting, recruitment, HR metrics, procurement and contract management functions)
- How your enterprise-wide workforce plan accounts for the framework’s principles
- Any adjustments required to your existing workforce footprint, to ensure core work is done in-house
- How you scope and cost future work
- How new contracts build APS capability through transfer of knowledge and capacity building
- How contracts articulate the behaviour and conduct expected of supplier personnel
- How you will track changes in your workforce composition, to support central reporting.
To support implementation, a resources toolkit will be published shortly on the APSC website. It will bring together existing guidance on how to:
- scope your work and plan your workforce
- recruit and develop your employees
- procure external labour
- manage suppliers and contracts.
The toolkit will make it easy for your staff to find advice and information as they make the changes required.
Transparency and accountability
Agency heads have the following obligations under the framework:
Determine the capabilities and functions considered ‘core work’ for the agency
This should build on the whole-of-APS list provided in the framework
Set agency-specific targets to reduce inappropriate outsourcing, informed by the list of core work
Targets must be in place by June 2024. They should specify how many roles will be affected and the anticipated reduction in outsourced expenditure
Report targets publicly in your corporate plan and provide them to the APSC via the Agency Survey
Monitor progress against your targets. Agencies are asked to report this publicly in your annual report, and must contribute to central monitoring and reporting.
The Australian Public Service Commissioner will report progress to the Minister for the Public Service.
Information on progress will also be publicly available.
What does successful implementation look like?
Successful implementation will support a fit-for-purpose, diverse, skilled and experienced APS workforce that delivers their responsibilities with integrity. Results will take time and will require commitment from APS leaders. We will see reductions in use of external labour and associated costs.
Over time, this approach will deepen system-wide capability and reduce the risks posed by excessive outsourcing regarding integrity, expertise and public trust.