Executive summary

About this report

Welcome to our annual report for the 2012/13 financial year. The report is designed to provide you with information about the Commission and its purpose, services and performance.

The report presents our work in the context of the priorities stated in our strategic plan, Budget papers and other strategic documents. It also outlines our contribution to broader Government-desired outcomes and compliance with various legislative and Government policy requirements.

The report is divided into five key sections.

  1. Profile of the Commission introduces our corporate executive and presents a profile of the Commission’s staff.
  2. Performance management framework provides an overview of our outcome-based management framework.
  3. Significant issues impacting the agency outlines the challenges and opportunities facing public administration and management in Western Australia and how we are currently addressing them.
  4. Agency performance presents detailed information against each priority area of our work and describes major initiatives and projects.
  5. Disclosures and legal compliance includes our key performance indicators and financial statements which provide information about our performance measures and the financial situation. It also includes other legal requirements, such as our commitment to occupational health and safety and a summary of the freedom of information applications finalised during 2012/13.

Annual report online

As only limited copies are printed, the report is also available online at www.publicsector.wa.gov.au. The report is available in full, or alternatively each section can be downloaded separately.

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The year at a glance

2 special inquiries were undertaken by the Commission

5 Commissioner’s instructions were issued

8424 public sector employees participated in our development programs

157 CEOs participated in our development opportunities

25 CEOs were appointed or reappointed to positions

86 Aboriginal trainees were placed in public sector agencies

49 regional workshops were held by the Commission

16 publications were released to assist the public sector

125 emerging leaders participated in leadership programs

71 nominations for the Premier’s Awards were received

116 breach of standard claims were finalised

38 briefings were held with government boards and committees


Significant matters

The Commission was directed to undertake special inquiries into the delivery of public health services at the Peel Health Campus and into the conduct and response of public officials and government agencies in relation to allegations of sexual abuse at St Andrew’s Hostel in Katanning.

At the request of the Attorney General, we also undertook a review of the Commissioner for Children and Young People Act 2006, involving community consultation and the consideration of 40 public submissions.

The Commission also completed 100 matters of referral, including matters relating to those to improve governance, grievance, discipline and workforce management.

Machinery of government

Following Cabinet’s approval in April 2013, we played a major role in the implementation of a substantial machinery of government reform agenda, providing direct assistance and support within the relevant departments.

The majority of this work was undertaken in this reporting period and included the establishment of an amalgamated Department of Local Government and Communities, a new stand-alone Department of Lands, and the split of the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) into a new Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Department of Environment Regulation. Several others are still being progressed, including the amalgamation of the Mental Health Commission and the Drug and Alcohol Authority, and consideration of the amalgamation of the Department of Water and the Department of Environment Regulation.

Shared perspectives

The inaugural ‘Shared perspectives’ CEO working group met for the first time in August 2012 and again each quarter throughout the reporting period. Members comprised the Commissioner and eight CEOs of public sector agencies, local government and SES organisations. Key outcomes of the group in 2012/13 were sharing issues and perspectives affecting public sector CEOs, considering integrity and management challenges, and identifying collaborative approaches to implementing solutions.

Severance scheme

With the Government’s announcement of an enhanced voluntary severance program, we have offered support to chief executive officers (CEOs) as they manage employees who are, or are likely to become, surplus to agency requirements. This has been achieved through two employment separation strategies:

  • voluntary severance under the provisions of the Public Sector Management (Redeployment and Redundancy) Regulations 1994
  • compensation under section 59 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act)for senior executive service (SES) officers employed under Part 3, Division 2 of the PSM Act.

Recent announcements regarding the introduction of involuntary severance to the sector will require legislative amendments to the PSM Act, which are now being progressed by the Commission.

Supporting accountability

Since 2008, the ‘Accountable and ethical decision making’ (AEDM) training program has been used by agencies, ministerial offices, boards and committees and, increasingly, local governments, to ensure employees understand the expected standards of conduct in the public sector. After a number of changes to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PID Act) came into effect on 21 November 2012, reporting wrongdoing was incorporated into the program and we increased our assistance to PID Officers in handling matters under the new legislation.

State of the sector 2012

The Commissioner tabled the State of the sector 2012 report in November 2012. The central elements of the 2012 report were governance and organisational performance, integrity and ethical conduct, workforce planning and leadership, and workforce management.

The report highlighted the key issues facing the sector as well as articulating how we are responding to these challenges.

State of the sector 2012State of the sector 2012

Good governance for boards and committees

The importance and value of the work being done by public sector boards and committees is significant. However, the challenges faced in relation to corporate governance and accountability are complex. In the last year, we undertook a review of governance across public sector boards and committees. The review identified a range of reforms to increase the performance of boards and committees, and ensure confidence without compromising their statutory duties. We will work with boards and committees to increase their capacity.

Aboriginal employment

We have continued to gain traction through the Aboriginal employment strategy 2011-2015, which focuses on long-term, sustainable employment opportunities and career pathways for Aboriginal people across the sector. A mid-term review of the strategy by the Commission has revealed much work has gone into placing young Aboriginal people into metropolitan and regional agencies.

Martin Jull Professional Development Centre

The Martin Jull Professional Development Centre was opened in July 2012. It comprises five modern training rooms, named after distinguished public servants who made valued contributions to the Western Australian public sector.

The facilities boast space and technology to meet the demands of training and development in the sector including a purpose-built media studio and computer laboratory.

During 2012/13, the Commission delivered 464 professional development sessions and 1041 hours of training to 8424 participants. Participants attending sessions within the centre indicated an increased awareness and understanding of public administration and management issues.

Martin Jull Professional Development CentreMartin Jull Professional Development Centre

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Page last updated 10 September 2014