APS employment drop: Abetz will now ‘review’ hiring freeze


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The recruitment freeze is working, new APS workforce figures show, with an accelerating decline in public servants. Eric Abetz is crowing about reaching the cull target well ahead of schedule.

The Commonwealth’s interim recruitment freeze is under review, the government confirms, and Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd has also weighed in saying he’s been tinkering with the freeze’s “red tape” to ease the pressure on agencies.

Employment minister Eric Abetz seized on the latest snapshot of Commonwealth employees which shows the freeze has worked, reducing headcount of 14,414 public servants since the Abbott government came to power, declaring a success for the government’s promise to reduce the public service.

The original promise was a reduction of 16,500 from average staff level, and clarified shortly after taking office that 12,000 public servants would go though “natural attrition” with the aid of an interim recruitment freeze.

Abetz confirmed a review of that recruitment freeze was now underway, issuing a statement Wednesday:

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  • Adam

    Strange that AGD seems to have increased in size – the only Department to have done so? Perhaps they needed more people in the Security Divisions to draft all of those anti-terror laws….