ACT public sector reform: new governing arrangements

Twenty this year, the ACT service is getting a new governing bill creating a new senior executive service, new principles and values and a new commissioner.

A change is coming to the ACT public service. After turning 20 earlier this year, the service is getting a new governing bill creating a new senior executive service, a new framework for principles and values, and a new independent commissioner to oversee it all.

The person currently in that role, and helping shape what all that will look like, is acting commissioner Bronwen Overton-Clarke. “One of the primary reasons for the new act is to modernise it,” Overton-Clarke told The Mandarin.

The new bill will clean out redundant employment standards and regulations that have since been overtaken by enterprise agreements. Conditions, already being covered by enterprise agreements, won’t change, but compulsory values and behaviours will now explicitly apply to the whole public sector. Those values include respect, integrity, innovation, collaboration and best practice.

The new Office of Public Sector Standards Commissioner will be responsible for overseeing that practice. The role isn’t fully “nailed down yet”, Overton-Clarke says. One complication in designing the new role is that unlike the Commonwealth or the other states, the ACT position is part-time, and has switched back and forth between being independent and a current member of the public service.

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