Collecting and reporting data

Collecting sector-wide data

The Commission monitors the sectors through annual surveys and quarterly workforce data collection. We rely on public authorities to provide accurate and timely data to ensure the integrity of our reporting to Parliament and the broader community, as we do with other advice, support and assurance activities. 

Employee perception survey

The Commission administers an annual Employee perception survey (EPS) to a sample of public sector agencies on a rotational basis. By asking views about integrity, diversity, job satisfaction and agency culture, an indication of employee engagement and productivity in the public sector can be determined.

This year the EPS was shortened and contemporised with amended questions relating to integrity, innovation, values and collaboration. A core group of questions were retained to enable a continued time series analysis. 

In 2016/17, 15 agencies employing 10 802 employees participated in the EPS, with a response rate of 54 per cent. The results show the public sector has a relatively engaged workforce, with the overall engagement index increasing from 62 to 70 since last year.

Public sector entity survey

The Public sector entity survey (PSES) collects data on ethical codes, public interest disclosures, discipline and prevention and education activities undertaken by public sector entities. The PSES also collects information on workforce management strategies such as leadership and diversity planning.

Each year, the PSES is administered in July to seek information about the previous financial year. This reporting period, the PSES was conducted twice – the first in July 2016 and the second in May 2017. 

Due to the changes occurring in the sector in the latter part of the year, the Commissioner decided to launch the 2017 PSES early, requiring agencies to report data for the period 1 July 2016 to 31 March 2017. This was to ensure data was collected from all agencies before any Machinery of Government changes took effect. The 2017 survey design focused on the resource burden on agencies in a climate of change. We had a 100 per cent response rate to both surveys.

Integrity and conduct survey

The Integrity and conduct survey (ICS) asks local governments, public universities, GTEs and government boards and committees for information about their policies and processes around public interest disclosure, conduct, and prevention and education related activities. We had a 61 per cent response rate to the ICS in July 2016. 

Human resources minimum obligatory information requirement (HRMOIR)

On a quarterly basis, we collect and report HRMOIR workforce data from public sector entities. The data includes demographic information of employees such as age, gender, diversity status and occupation.

In 2016/17, we moved our HRMOIR collection to a new platform that is more user friendly for agency staff, provides more automated features, and has the capability to be expanded in the future. The change was well received by users.

Equal employment opportunity survey 

The Equal employment opportunity (EEO) survey is administered on behalf of the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment (DEOPE) and collects workforce information from public authorities that do not participate in the HRMOIR collection. These include, local governments, public universities and GTEs.

In 2017, the survey was reviewed and updated to better capture information for the DEOPE on activities to improve outcomes, achieve diversity targets and manage unconscious bias in the workplace. The survey also had a stronger focus on gender equality and strategies to improve workplace inclusion. 

We have started offering the option for an ‘X’ (indeterminate, intersex, unspecified) gender option in survey. This now aligns with HRMOIR which has been able to capture ‘X’ for the past 12 months. In 2016/17 we had 99 per cent response rate to the EEO survey.

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Reporting sector-wide data

In addition to the Annual report, we report the data we collect in a number of ways including:

  • State of the sectors report
  • State of the sectors statistical bulletin
  • Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment – Annual report 
  • Quarterly workforce reports and quarterly entity profiles
  • Individualised EPS reports to participating agencies.

Each year, we manage a number of ad hoc requests for data. Areas of interest from our stakeholders during the year included gender equality, innovation, leave liability and Aboriginal employment. We also continue to provide information to the Service Priority Review secretariat and respond to requests from the Government and Parliament.

Subject to confidentiality provisions and in accordance with government policy to improve transparency, de-identified data is also made available at www.data.gov.au.

Future data capture

Over the coming year, the Commission will examine how to roll out a unique identifier (Unifier) for all public sector employees to track who has been cited for conduct-related matters throughout the sector, and provide an integrity checking function as part of a robust pre-employment process. 

It is anticipated the Unifier could eventually be used for talent identification, management and capability development tracking over time. We will also work towards implementing an interactive dashboard online to allow the public to explore the Commission’s high-level conduct, and eventually workforce, data.

In addition, we are exploring options to conduct a whole-of-sector employee census to obtain a truly representative indication of the perceptions of all types of employees working in different occupations across the sector. It is anticipated the move to a census model will assist the Commission to gather more diverse perspectives and address any deficits in, or barriers to, engagement and productivity.

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Page last updated 14 September 2017