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Summary of 1998 administrative reforms

The administrative reforms

  • establish a new set of APS Values;
  • establish a new Code of Conduct, a breach of which will be grounds for misconduct proceedings;
  • provide a scheme for protecting, from victimisation and discrimination, public servants who ‘blow the whistle’;
  • require the Public Service Commissioner to give an annual report to the Minister, for presentation to the Parliament, on the State of the Service;
  • provide agencies with more flexibility to appoint Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders to their staff;
  • extend the period during which applications for Senior Executive Service (SES) vacancies can be considered ‘active’;
  • extend the period during which recurring vacancies may be filled without readvertising the vacancy in the Gazette;
  • lengthen the non-appellable period for temporary performance;
  • exclude the majority of public servants who take up positions in the broader Commonwealth public sector from those rights currently provided by the mobility provisions of Part IV of the Public Service Act;
  • introduce Workplace Diversity Programs that subsume but are broader than the former Equal Employment Opportunity Programs;
  • allow agencies to choose the source from which they select their entry-level recruits;
  • adopt a policy that all APS vacancies may be accessed by all Australians, provided they satisfy citizenship, health, security and other requirements – unless an agency determines that on the grounds of costs and operational efficiency the vacancy should be restricted to APS applicants only;
  • remove prescription relating to the keeping of registers for temporary staff;
  • devolve to agencies the power to determine the qualifications or other conditions to be satisfied for appointment, promotion or transfer;
  • remove prescription about how cases of poor performance, including those affected by long-term illness, are managed; and
  • devolve to agencies the power to make discretionary payments to staff under s. 90(3) of the Public Service Act up to a maximum of $20,000.

None of the administrative reforms applies to the staff of the Parliamentary Departments. (PSCr AR 1998:20)