COO Committee launches newsletter for public servants

By Shannon Jenkins

Sunday April 19, 2020


The Chief Operating Officers Committee has produced a newsletter in which members of the Australian Public Service can share positive stories of success and useful resources in a bid to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

Established by the Secretaries Boards and comprised of COOs from across federal departments and agencies, the COO Committee first met in February to undertake an “enterprise-wide approach to APS operations and management”.

The committee’s focus quickly turned to whole-of-APS operations related to COVID-19, and on Friday it launched Connecting Us, a newsletter for all members of the APS.

“As we adapt to our changed working arrangements, the need for the APS to connect, collaborate and communicate is more important – and challenging – than ever,” the COO Committee wrote.

Katherine Jones, chair of the COO Committee and deputy secretary business enabling services at the Department of Finance, said the newsletter would be used to share stories of the important work the APS has been doing during COVID-19.

“Operating on the ‘one APS’ principle, the COO Committee looks forward to sharing the progress and outcomes of our work with all APS staff,” she said.

“The APS is at the frontline of implementing the government’s response to COVID-19 and it’s been a real privilege to chair the COO Committee through this period.

“Our role is to provide government-wide coordination, progress business continuity planning and pivot the APS to provide the support communities and businesses most need now, at the same time supporting and caring for our workforce across the APS as we respond to this great challenge.”

The first edition of Connecting Us showcases social media posts by members of the APS workforce, local appreciation for Centrelink staff in Melbourne, and stories of redeployment. It also presents useful resources, which can be found via the Australian Public Service Commission’s COVID-19 portal.

READ MORE: How COVID-19 is driving APS reform

The COO Committee has been looking at a range of issues related to COVID-19, including leave arrangements, how to make workplaces safe, communicating with staff, and the mental health impacts of the pandemic. It currently meets on a daily basis.

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