Commonwealth tweaks diversity hires, transfers to fast track

It’s not a freeze, the public service commissioner says, but the recruitment arrangement is being streamlined for internal transfers anyway. Affirmative action hires are also in the fast lane.

Just days after the Australian Public Service Commission said it would “streamline” internal transfers and diversity hires during the interim hiring freeze on Commonwealth agencies, the federal government has released how much the redundancies are costing.

While the government is keen to reduce the size of the public service by prioritising transfers for displaced staff, last week it agreed to a few measures to help fill roles quickly when no displaced employee is appropriate. There was initially some confusion as to what specifically had changed, but The Mandarin has learned the tweaks are intended to reduce roadblocks to filling positions due to needing commission approval for all vacancy advertisements.

The modified arrangements — which are not a freeze, Commissioner Stephen Sedgwick reminded earlier this month — outline additional ways to fill vacancies without the need to seek the Commissioner’s consent. The new guidelines to agencies state:

“Agency heads may advertise vacancies internally, open only to ongoing APS employees, without the prior approval of the APS Commissioner provided the agency head is satisfied that the vacancy is essential to the operations of the agency and there are no suitable employees on the APS Redeployment Registers.”

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