Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for Reform of Australian Government Administration
- Meets the needs of Citizens
- Provides strong leadership and strategic direction
- Contains a highly capable workforce
- Operates efficiently and at a consistently high standard
Meets the needs of citizens
1. Delivering better services for citizens
1.1 Simplify Australian Government services for citizens
- Simplify and align Australian Government service delivery.
- Implement simplified citizen focused service delivery with automated and simplified business processes.
1.2 Develop better ways to deliver services through the community and private sectors
- Provide greater flexibility to respond to local circumstances in service delivery through the community and private sectors.
- Provide simplified funding arrangements.
- Develop integrated case coordination for citizens and their families with complex needs in particular locations.
1.3 Deliver services in closer partnership with State, Territory and local governments
- Partner with State, Territory and local governments to achieve better outcomes for citizens.
- Integrate delivery teams using employees from multiple Australian Government agencies in particular locations to enable more joined up delivery.
- Share more information between all levels of government.
- Make information accessible to citizens on services provided by all levels of government.
1.4 Reduce unnecessary business regulatory burden
- Extend the Standard Business Reporting(SBR) functionality, (due for release in July 2010),to ease the regulatory burden imposed by government on business.
- Minimise reporting and compliance requirements for business and remove unnecessary or poorly designed regulation.
2. Creating more open government
2.1 Enable citizens to collaborate with government in policy and service design
- Develop and implement new approaches to collaboration and consultation with citizens on policy and service delivery issues.
- Make public sector data available to the wider public in a manner consistent with privacy principles.
2.2 Conduct a citizen survey
- Conduct a survey of citizens’ views on their satisfaction with government programs, services and regulation to inform government business.
- These surveys desirably would be expanded to include all levels of government.
Provides strong leadership and strategic direction
3. Enhancing policy capability
3.1 Strengthen strategic policy(Secretaries Board to implement)
- Every Department to strengthen strategic policy and delivery capability.
- Establish a Strategic Policy Network and create a policy tool kit to assist the development of strategic policy capability across the APS.
- Establish cross-agency strategic policy project teams.
3.2 Build partnerships with academia, research institutions and the community and private sectors(Secretaries Board to implement)
- Reinvigorate and establish new relationships with academia and research institutions.
- Strengthen links with private sector experts.
3.3 Improve policy implementation(Secretaries Board to implement)
- Provide clear guidance and standards to agencies on policy implementation, particularly in the areas of regulation, program and project management.
- Increase every Department’s capacity to oversee implementation activities.
- Establish an APS -wide forum to share best practice in regulations.
4. Reinvigorating strategic leadership
4.1 Revise and embed the APS Values
- Revise the APS Values to a smaller set of core values that are meaningful, memorable and effective in driving change.
- Embed the revised values into the work of the APS through senior leadership and learning and development and performance management frameworks.
4.2 Articulate the roles and responsibilities of Secretaries
- Amend the Public Service Act 1999 to recognise the roles and responsibilities of Secretaries and the Public Service Commissioner.
- Strengthen the performance framework to assess individual and collective performance against the above roles and responsibilities.
4.3 Revise employment arrangements for Secretaries
- Revise the processes for appointing and terminating Secretaries
- Reinforce the terms of appointment for Secretaries to provide for a five year term.
4.4 Strengthen leadership across the APS
- Establish a new APS leadership group, the Secretaries Board.
- Create a senior leadership forum, the APS 200. Require leaders at all levels to act as role models and drive reforms in their agencies.
4.5 Improve talent management across the APSSecretaries Board to implement
- Introduce APS -wide talent management programs.
- Establish a Leadership Development Centre.
5. Introducing a new APSC to drive change and provide strategic planning
5.1 New APSC with responsibilities to lead the APS
- Reposition the APSC to deliver on broad reform goals and charge it with responsibility for leading and implementing proposed recommendations agreed by Government.
- Transfer responsibility for Australian Government policies for agreement-making, classification structures, APS remuneration arrangements, work level standards and workplace relations advice from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) to the APSC.
- Revise the Public Service Act 1999 to reflect reforms to the APSC.
6. Clarifying and aligning employment conditions
6.1 Ensure employment bargaining arrangements support one APS
- Strengthen the Australian Government Employment Bargaining Framework to ensure that it supports one APS
- Identify areas where a further streamlining of existing APS bargaining arrangements would better support one APS.
- Examine the extent to which existing APS classification arrangements and work level standards continue to meet the needs of APS agencies and employees.
- Provide APS employees with appropriate career paths.
6.2 Assess the size and role of the SES
- Complete a review of the size, capability and work level standards for each level of the Senior Executive Service(SES), before any new net growth in the SES occurs.
7. Strengthening the workforce
7.1 Coordinate workforce planning(Secretaries Board to implement)
- Establish an APS -wide workforce planning framework.
- Develop a Human Capital Priority Plan that initially prioritises the reforms proposed in this Blueprint and over time will identify emerging systemic workforce issues.
7.2 Streamline recruitment and improve induction(Secretaries Board to implement)
- Develop best practice standards for recruitment that uphold the merit principle.
- Establish regular labour and demographic analyses in relation to APS employment.
- Coordinate initial graduate and trainee recruitment application processes.
- Utilise new recruitment processes, where appropriate, for SES Band 3 officers.
- Implement specific mechanisms to increase APS diversity.
7.3 Expand and strengthen learning and development(Secretaries Board to implement)
- Identify core service-wide development needs.
- Endorse a principle of annual professional development for all APS employees.
- Deliver core learning and development programs that are centrally procured.
- Evaluate a range of courses and negotiate the best rates for the APS.
7.4 Strengthen the performance framework(Secretaries Board to implement)
- Introduce a performance framework that fosters a high performance culture.
- Provide performance management training for all SES employees and managers.
- Develop common APS -wide guidelines for dealing with underperformance.
7.5 Encourage employees to expand their career experience
- Develop mobility mechanisms that encourage more APS employees to obtain diverse career experiences.
- Reinvigorate the mechanism for advertising of temporary non ongoing positions (for example, expressions of interest).
- Work with State, Territory and local governments to identify and address the barriers to jurisdictional mobility, including the recognition of State, Territory and local government public service entitlements and vice versa.
8. Ensuring agency agility, capability and effectiveness
8.1 Conduct agency capability reviews
- Conduct periodic external reviews of agencies’institutional capabilities, covering strategy, leadership, workforce capability, delivery and organisational effectiveness.
8.2 Introduce shared outcomes across portfolios
- Introduce shared cross portfolio outcomes in priority areas where more than one portfolio is responsible for achieving government outcomes.
8.3 Reduce internal red tape to promote agility
- Streamline administrative and legislative compliance in areas such as Financial Management and Corporate / Human Resources.
- Develop mechanisms that ensure red tape is minimised.
9. Improving agency efficiency
9.1 Review the measures of agency efficiency
- Review the current mechanisms used to drive agency efficiency.
9.2 Strengthen the governance framework
- Simplify governance structures for new and existing entities by consolidating the categories of entities that can be created.
- Amend the Governance Arrangements for Australian Government Bodies (Governance Guide) to ensure:
- Clear governance arrangements for inter-jurisdictional entities;
- APS employees are clear about their responsibilities when appointed to company boards; and
- All new and existing agencies are fit-for-purpose.
9.3 Small agencies to improve the efficiency of their corporate functions
- All portfolio agencies should review the most efficient way to conduct their corporate functions.
- New small agencies should obtain their corporate services from a parent agency or shared service provider.
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Last Updated: 29 March 2010