About this report

Welcome to our Annual report 2013/14. This report is designed to provide you with information about the Commission and its purpose, services and performance.

It presents our work in the context of the priorities stated in our strategic plan, budget papers and other significant documents and outlines our contribution to broader government desired outcomes.

The report is divided into five key sections.

  1. Profile of the Commission introduces our corporate executive team and presents an overview of the Commission’s staff.
  2. Performance management framework provides a summary of our outcome-based management framework.
  3. Significant issues impacting the agency outlines the key 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 our major initiatives and projects.
  5. Disclosures and legal compliance includes our key performance indicators and financial statements, providing information on 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 2013/14.


This report is available at www.publicsector.wa.com.au in both PDF and accessible online formats.

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The year at a glance

  • 10 223 public sector job vacancies were posted
  • 83 matters of referral were finalised
  • 2889 requests for assistance were received on our advisory line
  • 1112 people accepted enhanced voluntary separation offers
  • 70 graduates participated in the Graduate future leaders program
  • 6 public sector employees were awarded the Public Service Medal
  • 110 trainees were placed in public sector agencies
  • 7 new publications were released
  • 1051 enquiries were responded to by our online service
  • 331 whole of sector events were conducted
  • 22 751 surveys were distributed to public sector employees
  • 13 legislative and administrative instructions were progressed

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Advisory board

The chief executive officer advisory board was established by the Commission to provide assistance and support in the development and implementation of initiatives across the public sector. The board’s membership is highly diverse and brings together a variety of skills and perspectives across a range of service delivery areas including local government, environment, Aboriginal affairs and education. This year, the board was instrumental in establishing the Centre for Public Sector Excellence and developing its strategic direction and priorities.

Advisory boardAdvisory board from left: Mr Don Punch, Mr Stuart Smith, Mr Ian Cowie PSM, Ms Susan Hunt PSM, Mr Mal Wauchope, Mr Rob Delane PSM, Mr Cliff Weeks, Ms Michelle Hoad

Centre for Public Sector Excellence

Earlier this year, we launched the Centre to build the skill, behaviour and expertise required for a capable, future-focused and sustainable workforce. The Centre employs strategies that encourage experimental, continuous and collaborative learning to improve performance. Over the year ahead, we anticipate the Centre and its professional development programs will assist agencies in driving better outcomes and building a ‘pipeline’ of future leaders.

Workforce reform

In 2013/14, we collaborated with ministers, agency heads, senior policy practitioners and human resource managers to develop and implement strategies and systems for an improved public sector.

A key component of this work focused upon our program of legislative reform which commenced with the Workforce Reform Act 2014. The principal purposes of the Workforce Reform Act 2014 are to amend the Industrial Relations Act 1979, Public Sector Management Act 1994 and Salaries and Allowances Act 1975.

Work has since commenced in preparing the regulatory framework for the legislation. The content of the regulations will be subject to appropriate consultation and will also be considered by Parliament through its Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation.

Board essentials

Over the past year there has been an increase in the number of requests for assistance from boards and committees, particularly in regards to accountability and governance matters. In response to this, the Commissioner has continued to strengthen our relationship with boards and committees through a comprehensive professional development series.

Over the past three years, the Commissioner has personally met with 79 boards and committees. These sessions have informed our new board induction guide, Board essentials. This resource is framed by seven core principles to guide boards in their application of good governance and to assist members to understand their obligations and the scope of their role. Board essentials is complemented by another newly launched resource, Conduct for public sector boards and committees: Developing your code of conduct, designed to assist boards and committees to develop, implement and promote their code of conduct.

More than a matter of trust

In 2013, the Commissioner initiated an examination to consider current arrangements in place for the recruitment and induction of staff into ‘positions of trust’ such as chief financial officers and procurement managers. Due to the nature of the work undertaken, the level of integrity expected of employees in these positions is considered to be particularly high.

The findings of More than a matter of trust: An examination of integrity checking controls in recruitment and employee induction processes indicated that the sample entities effectively incorporated conduct and integrity elements into induction processes. However key aspects of recruitment, selection and appointment processes could be improved. A number of recommendations were made and we continue to work with agencies to strengthen integrity checking controls.

Recognising achievement across the sector

The Australian Honours System, established in 1975, represents the highest level of recognition accorded by the nation for outstanding achievement and service by Australians. The Commissioner is Western Australia’s representative on the Council for the Order of Australia and the Chair of the State selection panel for the Public Service Medal. In 2013/14, there were 60 WA recipients in the Australia Day Honour List and 44 WA recipients in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, including six public sector employees (Ms Liz Harris, Mr William Preston, Mr Ian Smith, Mr Ian Cowie, Ms Melissa Vernon and Mr Zbigniew Wilk) who received the award of a Public Service Medal (PSM). The medal recognises outstanding contribution to the public service. We extend our congratulations to all nominees and winners this year.

The Commission collaborates with the Office of the Premier and acts on the Premier’s behalf in the promotion, coordination and management of the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management (Premier’s Awards). This year, 62 nominations were received for the Premier’s Awards. All nominations clearly illustrated the high level of commitment to public service delivery and excellence in public sector management. We extend our congratulations to the Department of Education, which received the 2013 ‘Improving government category’ and overall winner’s trophy.

Premier’s AwardsThe Premier’s Awards recognise exceptional performance and outstanding service delivery to the WA community.

We also sponsor the Commission Award for Good Governance as part of the annual Institute of Public Administration WA (IPAA WA) WS Lonnie Awards, and extend our congratulations to the winner for 2013, the Office of the Auditor General.

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Page last updated 30 September 2014