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Review of the Public Service Act 1994—Terms of reference

The task group should review the Public Service Act and make recommendations for changes in order to provide a modern and flexible management framework, ensuring that the Public Service:

  • provides governments with responsive service and frank and comprehensive advice;
  • is efficient and effective in producing the results specified by Ministers and governments;
  • has staffing principles and practices based clearly on merit, ensuring equality of opportunity with fair rewards as an incentive to high performance;
  • is based on the highest standards of probity, integrity and conduct;
  • is fully accountable; and
  • is able continuously to improve its performance and that of its members.

In the course of the review, the Committee should specifically consider:

  1. what is expected of the Public Service, and individual public servants, in terms of responsiveness, performance and conduct;
  2. the legislative provisions necessary to preserve and reinforce the values listed above;
  3. the coverage of the Public Service Act beyond staff employed directly by departments of State;
  4. the appropriate boundaries between the new Act and alternative regulatory instruments (e.g. awards and workplace bargaining agreements);
  5. what is required of the Public Service to ensure:
    • merit-based selection for appointment and promotion, such that the Public Service is accessible to all sections of the Australian population and attracts and retains a fair share of the best available talent in the Australian community;
    • flexibility in employment, such that the Public Service can respond promptly to changing circumstances and requirements;
    • staffing mobility across the Public Service;
    • adequate training and development of staff;
    • that issues of performance, discipline and conduct are dealt with effectively, consistent with equity and fairness; and
  6. any requirements for ensuring the effective implementation of the new Act.
Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018