APS annual report: a busy year, with expectations rising


The Commonwealth’s public service commissioner sees challenges ahead in meeting the “high (and possibly rising) expectations” of government as budgets continue to contract.

Australian Public Service commissioner Stephen Sedgwick looks back over an “eventful year” which saw the new Coalition government rebuild the machinery of government, put the brakes on recruitment, demand further workforce reductions and give agencies less room to move in workplace bargaining.

In his fifth annual retrospective, Sedgwick thanks senior Commonwealth public servants for their “generous support and willingness to collaborate” with the APSC and adds that his own staff “are entitled to feel very proud about what has been achieved” over the last financial year.

Some of those achievements include piloting a scheme to give guaranteed job interviews to people with disabilities and its adoption by 14 agencies, and helping to get 111 new indigenous employees into the service. Employees from such “diversity groups” were also a special focus of new entry and exit surveys, which provide data to improve attraction and retention efforts.

Sedgwick optimistically asserts that the strict new workplace bargaining policy “will underpin productive workplace arrangements across the Commonwealth public sector”, even as it continues to seed growing industrial unrest across the APS.

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