Agency report cards: Health, A-G’s, Veterans’ Affairs review

The APSC has run the rule over five federal agencies, finding plenty of committed staff but deficiencies in some important capabilities. The Health Department rates poorly in most.

The presence of skilled and committed staff is a common theme across five Australian Public Service Commission capability reviews, published today. But there’s plenty of room for improvement, especially at the Department of Health which rated poorly for nine of ten capabilities.

The reviews help chart the way ahead for the three departments and two agencies they concern by providing valuable outside perspectives on their strengths and weaknesses. It is now up to their respective leadership teams to implement them, along with everything else on their plates.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Attorney-General’s Department both rate as “strong” in one capability and “well-placed” for five. IP Australia is “well-placed” in five capabilities, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in three, but neither scored the elusive top rating for any of the ten competencies.

While noting strong individual capability among Health’s highly motivated, committed and proud staff, as well as “rich data repositories” and a good track record of delivering on the reforms and initiatives it has been tasked with, the capability review team found the colossal department needs nothing short of “transformational change”:

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.