Stephen Sedgwick, the Australian Public Service Commissioner, announced that ‘this year’s State of the Service Report 2009–10, tabled in parliament today provides valuable insights into the workforce capability of the APS to meet future challenges’.
He said that ‘the two key messages from this year’s report are: firstly, that the Australian Public Service continues to evolve and adapt to meet changing needs and community expectations and, secondly, the conclusions reached in Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration remain sound. Specifically, while the APS performs well, like any institution keen on continuous improvement, there are opportunities available to pick up the pace to maximise our contemporary effectiveness and remain relevant to the needs of the government and the Australian community’.
This year’s report shows that APS employees are highly committed, with findings indicating that most employees enjoy their work and over 80% are prepared to go the extra mile.
The State of the Service Report indicates that the APS is capitalising on innovative technology to engage with citizens. Thirty-one per cent of APS employees reported access to social media and networking tools in the workplace.
Consistent with previous years’ findings, the greatest workforce risks APS agencies identified are those of recruiting and retaining appropriately skilled people. This year’s report indicates that agencies are having difficulty recruiting and retaining skills in the areas of Information and Communications Technology, accounting and financial management. Skill shortages can be addressed through more systematic workforce planning.
This year, 21% of agencies reported having a documented workforce plan in place and 17% of agencies had developed a risk profile for their workforce in order to strengthen succession management for critical roles and leadership positions. These findings underline the importance of developing an overarching human capital management framework for the APS – a key recommendation in Ahead of the Game.
The Commissioner commented that ‘overall, this year’s State of the Service results show that while the APS is beginning to make some real gains, further change is required before the benefits can be fully realised’. The themes for this year’s report are:
- leadership and culture
- capability, innovation and collaboration
- human capital management.
Copies of the State of the Service Report 2009–10 are available on the Australian Public Service Commission’s website.
Contact Officer: David Schmidtchen
Group Manager, APS Workforce
Tel: 02 6202 3707 or Email: david.schmidtchen [at] apsc.gov.au