Assistant minister Ben Morton put in charge of APS

By Shannon Jenkins

April 7, 2020

Ben Morton

Scott Morrison’s assistant minister, Ben Morton, has been made responsible for all matters involving the Australian Public Service.

Previously held by health minister Greg Hunt, the temporary transfer of responsibility would allow Hunt to focus “wholly on the coronavirus response” in his portfolio, Morrison said on Monday.

Morton was appointed assistant minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet in May 2019. Formerly an adviser to the Howard government, he has now been tasked with handling the Australian Public Service Commission.

Morrison, who will continue to hold the role of minister for the public service, noted all agencies, departments and APS employees are currently focused on “delivering the critical functions, services and needs that Australians rely on”.

“Their efforts are keeping Australians healthy, saving lives and livelihoods and ensuring our nation bounces back strongly on the other side of this global pandemic,” he said.

“The Australian Public Service Commission is engaged in the coronavirus response including managing the redeployment of public servants to support the critical and continued delivery of government services.”

Morton was elected as the federal member for the Western Australian seat of Tangney in 2016. The PM did not say how long his assistant minister would be taking over from Hunt.

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