Agency performance

Financial targets

 

2014
Estimate
$000

2014
Actual
$000

Variance
$000

Total cost of services (expense limit)

29 677

27 232

2 445

Net cost of service

28 778

26 159

2 619

Total equity

5249

10 318

5 069

Net increase/(decrease) in cash held

1

1 284

1 283

Full time equivalent (FTE) staff level (number of FTEs)

149

131

18

Total and net cost of services

The Commission’s expenditure limit and net cost of services as detailed in the 2013/14 Budget statements were $29.677 million and $28 778 million respectively. The variance of $2.445 million and $2.619 million were primarily a result of the Commission operating below approved FTE levels.

Total equity

Total equity at the end of the year was $5.069 million higher than estimated, mainly due to cash asset balances being $3.736 million higher than anticipated and payables and leave provisions being $1.155 million lower than estimated.

Net increase/(decrease) in cash held

The increase in the Commission’s cash held is mainly from operating below approved FTE levels.

Summary of key performance indicators

For a more detailed explanation of the indicators and reasons for variances, please refer to the audited ‘Key performance indicators’ section of this report.

Summary of key effectiveness indicators

Outcome: An efficient and effective public sector that operates with integrity

Key effectiveness indicator

Target 2013/14

Actual 2013/14

Actual 2012/13

Actual 2011/12

The portion of core clients who indicate the Commission has delivered policy, assistance and oversight that has assisted them to enhance integrity within their agencies.

85%

95%

98%

NA

The portion of core clients who indicate the Commission has delivered policy, assistance and oversight that has assisted them to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their agencies.

85%

90%

95%

NA

The portion of core clients who indicate that assistance provided by the Commission has helped them to meet their statutory obligations under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003.

75%

84%

60%

NA

The portion of core clients who indicate assistance provided by the Commission has helped them to meet their statutory obligations under Part IX of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984.

75%

78%

78%

NA

Summary of key efficiency indicators

Service 1 – Public sector leadership

Target 2013/14

Actual 2013/14

Actual 2012/13

Actual 2011/12

Average cost per hour addressing legislative and policy development

$108

$116

$94

NA

Service 2 – Assistance and support

Target 2013/14

Actual 2013/14

Actual 2012/13

Actual 2011/12

Average cost per hour of assistance and support provided

$126

$112

$101

NA

Average cost per workforce and diversity program, product or training hour

$116

$146

$103

NA

Average cost per public administration, standards and integrity program, product or training hour

$115

$105

$85

NA

Average cost per leadership development product, program and training hour

$109

$162

$112

NA

Service 3 – Oversight and reporting

Target 2013/14

Actual 2013/14

Actual 2012/13

Actual 2011/12

Average cost per hour of performance and oversight activity

$92

$95

$74

NA

Percentage of oversight actions completed within target timeframes

90%

91%

90%

NA

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Accountability, policy and performance

Legislative reform

Workforce Reform Act 2014

The Commission undertook a leading role towards establishing the Workforce Reform Act 2014 in collaboration with the Department of Commerce and the Department of Treasury.

The Workforce Reform Act 2014 was given assent by the Governor on 20 May 2014 and proclaimed on 27 June 2014, with some provisions coming into effect on 1 July 2014.

The principal purposes of the Workforce Reform Act 2014 are to amend the Industrial Relations Act 1979, Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act), and Salaries and Allowances Act 1975 to:

  • provide the capacity to implement enhanced and more flexible redeployment arrangements that may ultimately end with the involuntary severance of employees that are surplus to an agency’s requirements or whose post, office or position has been abolished and cannot effectively be redeployed
  • ensure that decisions made by the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC) and the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal (SAT) have appropriate regard to the public sector wages policy statement, the State’s financial position and fiscal strategy, and in relation to the WAIRC, the financial position of the relevant public sector agency.

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

Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) Amendment (Misconduct) Bill 2014

On 2 April 2014, the Government introduced to Parliament the Corruption and Crime Commission Amendment (Misconduct) Bill 2014 (Bill) which will amend and rename the Corruption and Crime Commission Act 2003 to the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003. We were responsible for drafting the instructions on the Bill and will support the Government when the Bill is debated in Parliament.

The Bill transfers the CCC’s oversight of lower level misconduct (disciplinary acts warranting dismissal and offences punishable by less than two years’ imprisonment) and its corruption prevention and education function to the Commission.

The CCC will retain responsibility for oversight of all misconduct (minor and serious) and for prevention and education in relation to misconduct in the Police Service (including uniformed officers and public service officers working in that department).

Transitional arrangements will operate so that the CCC completes oversight of all misconduct allegations (including minor misconduct) that are received or initiated by the CCC prior to the commencement date (the date the Bill is proclaimed to come into effect).

Staff from the CCC that were associated with its former minor misconduct and prevention and education roles will either be redirected to other work within the CCC, or transferred to the Commission, as agreed between the two organisations.

Integrity (Lobbyists) Bill 2014 and register

In late 2011, the Government introduced to Parliament the Integrity (Lobbyists) Bill 2011 to create a statutory framework for the regulation of lobbyists. The Bill was later lapsed when Parliament was prorogued for the 2011 State election. Work has since been undertaken to prepare a new lobbyists bill. The Commission will continue responsible for administering the Register of Lobbyists and the Contact with Lobbyists Code.

As at 30 June 2014, the register contained 100 lobbying businesses.

Review of the Commissioner for Children and Young People Act 2006

Consistent with s. 64 of the Commissioner for Children and Young People Act 2006 (CCYP Act), the Attorney General, the Hon. Michael Mischin MLC, is required to undertake a review of the operation and effectiveness of the CCYP Act. The Attorney General requested that we conduct the review, which was carried out between January to May 2013. Forty submissions were received and consultation sessions were held with 163 children and young people. A reference group, chaired by the Public Sector Commissioner, also assisted the review by providing information and feedback relating to relevant fields of expertise.

At the request of the Attorney General, we provided further advice regarding the organisational or machinery options available in relation to the Commissioner for Children and Young People in September 2013.

As at 30 June 2014, the Government was finalising its response to the report.

Review of organisational structures under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984

Following a request from the Attorney General, a review to examine the role and structure of the Equal Opportunity Commission and the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment (DEOPE) commenced, with a view to making recommendations as to how the objectives of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (EO Act) can be achieved more efficiently and effectively. The review does not consider, or make recommendations about, the grounds of discrimination or the exemptions under the EO Act.

Submissions were invited from stakeholders and a total of 49 were received. An advisory reference group, comprising of representatives from key government and non-government organisations, has been established to assist us in the examination.

The review will conclude with a final report to the Attorney General by 15 August 2014.

Other legislation impacting the structure, management and administration of the public sector

We have also provided further advice and assistance in relation to the development of:

  • the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia Act 2013, which established the Minerals Research Institute in place of the former Minerals and Energy Research Institute of Western Australia, with effect from 1 February 2014
  • the Swan and Canning Rivers Management Bill 2014, which was introduced to Parliament on 7 May 2014 and will, if passed, amalgamate the roles and functions of the Swan River Trust with the Department of Parks and Wildlife
  • the Alcohol and Drug Authority Amendment Bill 2014, which was introduced to Parliament on 14 May 2014 and will, if passed, amalgamate the functions of the Mental Health Commission with the Western Australian Alcohol and Drug Authority.

Regulations

In response to a request from the Disability Services Commission (DSC), work has been undertaken to amend the Public Sector Management (General) Regulations 1994 to prescribe social trainers employed by the DSC, such that they become subject to the disciplinary and substandard performance provisions contained within Part 5 of the PSM Act.

The changes are being sought to provide greater flexibility when dealing with disciplinary and substandard performance issues and will also standardise the disciplinary framework applying to DSC’s salaried officers.

The amending regulations are expected to be submitted to the Governor in Executive Council for approval in early August 2014.

Commissioner’s Instructions and Circulars

In 2013/14, the Commission made amendments to the following Commissioner’s Instructions and Commissioner’s Circulars:

  • Commissioner’s Instruction No. 2 – Filling a Public Sector Vacancy
  • Public Sector Commissioner’s Circular 2013-02: WA Public Employees’ Involvement in a Federal Election
  • Public Sector Commissioner’s Circular 2010-03: Policy for Public Sector Witnesses Appearing Before Parliamentary Committees

A new Instruction, Commissioner’s Instruction No. 9 – Interim arrangements for the Department of Culture and the Arts to fill certain public sector vacancies, commenced from 20 June 2014.

Providing policy advice

During the year, we prepared material including appearing before and giving evidence to various Parliamentary Committees including:

  • The Legislative Council Standing Committee on Public Administration
  • The Legislative Assembly Public Accounts Committee inquiry into amendments to the Public Sector Management Act 1994
  • The Legislative Council Standing Committee on Legislation Report on the
    Workforce Reform Bill 2013
  • The Legislative Assembly Education and Health Standing Committee Inquiry into the Department of Health’s response to the challenges associated with the commissioning of Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Workforce and diversity planning

To maintain high standards of service, agencies must effectively plan, develop and lead their workforce through various challenges facing the public sector. In 2013/14, we continued to play an active role in assisting agencies to implement workforce and diversity planning.

Public Sector Commissioner’s Circular 2013-04: Equal Employment Opportunity Management Plans and Workforce Planning in the Public Sector encourages agencies to meet the requirements of the EO Act through developing and implementing an integrated workforce and diversity plan. As at June 2014, 65 per cent of public sector agencies have an integrated workforce and diversity plan and 32 per cent have separate Equal Employment Opportunity and workforce plans.

Our workforce and diversity planning toolkit is available via our website to assist agencies to develop integrated plans and our Workforce and diversity planning: A guide for agencies, product continues to be a valued resource. A number of achievements have been made in workforce planning across the public sector including an audit of workforce plans, a review of survey instruments and the development of a new integrated reporting format.

Assessing compliance with standards and ethical codes

Effective workforce management involves supporting productivity while ensuring compliance with obligations in the PSM Act. The public sector standards, issued by the Commissioner under s. 21(1)(a) of the PSM Act, set out minimum standards of merit, equity and probity required of public sector bodies when managing their workforce. Employee awareness of the standards is high, with more than 80 per cent of respondents to the 2013 Employee perception survey indicating they are aware of each standard.

Breach of standard claims

Employing authorities are required to notify affected individuals when decisions are made regarding types of human resource matters covered by the employment standard and grievance resolution standard. The process applied in the conciliation or review of breach claim matters is prescribed by the Public Sector Management (Breaches of Public Sector Standards) Regulations 2005.

In 2013/14, 105 breach of standards cases were considered and finalised by the Commission. The outcome of matters referred to the Commission are as follows:

Breach of standard claim outcomes

Breach of Standard confirmed

6

Conciliated outcome

3

Dismissed as a ‘no breach’

65

Withdrawn

11

Commissioner Declined to review

20

Total

105

Matters of referral

The PSM Act does not establish a general complaint taking role for the Commissioner in matters other than breaches of human resource standards. However, the Commissioner receives unsolicited complaints, letters of concern or referrals about a range of matters involving public sector integrity, management and administration.

In 2013/14, 83 matters of referral cases were finalised by the Commission (100 in 2012/13).

Matters of referral recommendations

No further action

64

Referred to Agency

11

Recommendation to Agency

6

Referred to Breach Process

2

Total

83

Breach of standard claims, matters of referral and other oversight and review work have varying degrees of complexity. One of three categories are applied to both breach of standard claims and matters of referral - simple, routine and complex. Target timeframes have been established for each category. These targets are used as an efficiency indicator for the oversight function within the Commission.

The categorisation of matters, the volume of relevant cases and the achievement of target timeframes for cases concluded in 2013/14 is shown below:

Complexity of oversight matters finalised in 2013/14

Category and timeframe target

Number of Breach of Standards claims

Number of Matters of referral

Total number of oversight matters considered

Proportion completed within target timeframe

2013/14

Proportion completed within target timeframe

2012/13

Simple (30 days)

12

18

30

100%

90%

Routine (50 days)

86

44

130

89%

77%

Complex

(120 days)

7

21

28

93%

88%(a)

Total

105

83

188

91%

83%

(a) The 2012/13 Annual report cited 100 days as the target for complex matters. However, the target timeframe for complex matters should have been reported as 120 days. The 88 per cent figure reported in 2012/13 was in fact based on 120 days.

Public interest disclosure

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PID Act), facilitates the disclosure of public interest information and provides protection for those who report wrongdoing. While guidelines supporting the PID Act encourage lodging of public interest disclosures with the accountable authority, a number are lodged directly with the Commission.

In 2013/14, we received 14 public interest disclosure matters which were actioned pursuant to the provisions of the PID Act. This represented a small increase on the 11 PID matters received in 2011/12.

Three PID matters were finalised in 2013/14. The others were ongoing at the end of the reporting period.

Significant reviews and examinations

Each year some matters arise, or a pattern emerges through a number of matters referred to the Commission, that warrant a more detailed examination of an issue within an agency or across a sample of agencies. Such actions are usually undertaken in the interests of supporting improvement in management practices more broadly.

In 2013/14, the following matters were undertaken in this context.

Performance management

In August 2013, we published a report of our review into how agencies conduct performance management.

The report, Performance management in the public sector - A review of how agencies conduct performance management outlined how five selected agencies developed, managed and evaluated their employee performance management systems. Each reviewed agency was assessed against a performance management framework that was developed following a literature review.

Promoting integrity

Also in August 2013, we published A review of how agencies promote integrity which examined the organisational culture, operational strategies, management environment, and review and evaluation processes of five agencies in relation to promoting integrity.

At the sector-wide level, the review found agencies are consistently working towards meeting the expectations of the Commission in relation to promoting integrity. However there are still opportunities for agencies to develop a more robust culture of accountability and integrity by:

  • meeting integrity training obligations under Commissioner’s Instruction No.8—Codes of conduct and integrity training (Commissioner’s Instruction No.8)
  • ensuring methods of assessing compliance with ethical codes are sufficiently broad
  • meeting accessible information obligations under PID Act.

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.

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. For example, the review found agency position descriptions should incorporate honesty and integrity as essential selection criteria, information provided to potential applicants and candidates should be transparent and agencies need to test and/or validate candidate claims about integrity and honesty.

Desk top review

In response to a number of matters, the Commission engaged Mr Keith Hamburger from Knowledge Consulting, to undertake a desk top review of a range of internal and external reports, policies and procedures relating to the Department of Corrective Services (DCS).

Mr Hamburger completed his report in November 2013, which provided advice about opportunities to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency operations. Since that time, we have continued to support the new Commissioner for the DCS through a substantial reform program to change the organisational culture, management and operational practices within the agency.

Collecting sector wide data

Over the last year, our monitoring and evaluation framework has been refined so data from different sources can be more easily combined to assess how the sector is performing overall. This work includes activities associated with both the collection and management of data as well as the interpretation, analysis and reporting of information about the sector.

The primary components of the 2013/14 monitoring and evaluation framework, and a description of changes and improvements made to this framework throughout the year are as follows.

Human resource minimum obligatory information requirement (HRMOIR)

On a quarterly basis, we collect and report HRMOIR workforce data from public sector bodies through the workforce analysis and collection application (WACA). HRMOIR data is based on definitions issued by the Commission and submitted according to set timeframes and other specified requirements.

The analysis of HRMOIR data supports the preparation of a range of reports, statistical bulletins and responses to Parliamentary questions as well as leave liability and full-time equivalent (FTE) ceiling requests from the Department of Treasury.

Employee perception survey program

The EPS program provides participating entities with the opportunity to gain some insight into their organisational culture and enables them to benchmark their performance. It also delivers valuable information to the Commission about the level of employee awareness and understanding of core accountability measures and policies such as the Code of Ethics and PID legislation.

In 2014, the EPS was distributed to 14 428 employees from 21 entities with an average response rate of 48 per cent. While in 2013, the EPS was distributed to 17 entities with an average response rate of 38 per cent.

Public sector entity survey program

Public sector entities are asked to complete a Public sector entity survey (previously annual agency survey) at the end of each financial year. The survey covers questions across many areas of public administration, such as ethics and integrity, human resource management, workforce development and organisational efficiency. The survey results streamline several reporting requirements providing a more efficient planning and diagnostic tool for agencies.

In 2013/14 the survey instrument was amended enabling agencies employing less than 100 staff to complete a simplified questionnaire, while those with less than 20 employees were required to complete the PID survey only.

The results from the Public sector entity survey form the Statistical bulletin the analysis of which informs and accompanies the ‘State of the sector’ (SOTS) report.

PID survey program

The PID survey enables authorities to meet their compliance obligation of reporting to the Commissioner annually on the number of PIDs received and the outcomes of any investigations undertaken. The results were reported in the SOTS 2013 report and assisted us to identify areas requiring greater focus. The PID survey is completed by a larger number of entities than are covered by the PSM Act, including public universities and local government. For many organisations, the PID survey is integrated as a section within the entity survey described above.

Equal employment opportunity data collection

As part of the reporting obligations under s. 146 of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984, all public authorities provide the DEOPE with workforce data indicating the number of employees identifying in particular equity groups by salary band.

The results for PSM Act Schedule 2 agencies are identified in the SOTS report while workforce profile information for public authorities covered by Schedules 1 and 2 are highlighted in the DEOPE annual report. All data is used to inform a range of strategies including those aimed at improving employment outcomes for women in senior leadership roles, Aboriginal people, people from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disabilities and young people who are statistically under-represented in the public sector workforce.

State of the sector (SOTS)

The Commissioner tabled the SOTS report in November 2013. The central elements of the 2013 report were integrity and ethical conduct, governance and innovation, and workforce management and planning.

Preparation of SOTS involved significant contributions from our staff, and was largely informed by surveys of public sector entities and employees, and case study information. To ensure the report was well-communicated throughout the state, a series of regional workshops were held to distribute the findings.

Planning is now well underway for the next SOTS report which is expected to be tabled in November 2014. The report will outline the state of play in the public sector, focus on key challenges facing administrators and managers, and highlight good practice across a range of public sector entities.

SOTS reportThe Commissioner reports to parliament annually on the state of administration and management across the public sector, and on compliance with standards and ethical codes.

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Agency support

Supporting boards and committees

Governance

The importance and value of the work being done by government boards and committees is significant. However, the challenges faced in relation to corporate governance and accountability can be highly complex.

Over the past year, we have provided ongoing assistance to boards and committees including advice on appropriate governance structures and examples of best practice in the conduct of meetings and information regarding the various roles and responsibilities of board and committee members.

During 2013/14, we delivered good governance training to 35 boards and committees taking the total number to 79 over the past three years.

Advice and support

Recently, there has been an increasing number of accountability and governance matters related to boards and committees brought to our attention. We identified a range of initiatives to increase the performance of boards and committees and ensure confidence without compromising their statutory duties. As a result of this review, we launched a suite of new products for boards and committees including a comprehensive induction program, governance framework and conduct guide.

Accountability and ethics

Sustaining integrity

We actively work to ensure the public sector operates within the accountability framework. The Commissioner has established the Commissioner’s Instruction No. 7 - Code of Ethics, which outlines the minimum standards of conduct and integrity to be complied with by all public sector bodies and employees.

Data collected by the Commission indicates that across the sector there is a high level of compliance with the Code of Ethics and Commissioner’s Instruction No. 8. The increased familiarity and awareness of ethical codes is an upward trend which we believe is associated with our work in promoting integrity, particularly through our advisory service.

Building accountability

Our ‘Accountable and ethical decision making (AEDM) training program’ continues to create a common understanding among public sector officers about their ethical requirements. All chief executive officers (CEOs) and board and committee chairs, are required to deliver or provide AEDM training, as articulated in Commissioner’s Instruction No.8.

The AEDM program was revised and updated in December 2013, incorporating updated material and case studies, to reflect contemporary integrity issues. To support the release of the revised program, we conducted a number of AEDM briefing sessions for representatives from public sector agencies and providers of the training through the Common use arrangement for training courses – CUATRA 2012. The sessions discussed ways to customise the program to reflect an agency’s operating context and accountability requirements, and presented tips for engaging participants.

This financial year, an AEDM refresher session was developed to ensure agencies revisit key AEDM messages and discuss any changes to their code of conduct and relevant policies and procedures.

First Steps questions: Am I doing the right thing? How would others judge my actions? How could my actions impact on others? Should I discuss this with someone else?The First Steps checklist is a key component of AEDM and is based on the guiding principles of honesty, transparency, diligence and consistency.

Public interest disclosure

Public interest disclosure training

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PID Act) is an avenue employees and members of the public can use to raise issues of wrongdoing in public authorities. The PID Act facilitates the disclosure of public interest information and provides protection for those making disclosures, as well as those who are the subject of disclosures. The PID Act requires that where an appropriate disclosure is made, it is investigated and reasonable action taken.

We have continued to assist public authorities and PID officers to comply with the PID Act through PID officer training sessions across metropolitan and regional WA. In 2013/14, we facilitated 11 general training sessions and a further four sessions for specific agencies. To promote information sharing with other jurisdictions, we also presented at two conferences in 2013/14, the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference in Sydney, and the PID Oversight Forum in Canberra.

Whistleblowing research

In March 2014, we participated in an inter-jurisdictional meeting of PID oversight agencies and other Commonwealth agencies where there was broad support to develop a new research project to examine our understanding around best practice management of whistleblowing across the public and private sectors.

One of our planned initiatives for 2014/15 includes partnering with other PID oversight agencies and Griffith University in a research project to enable public sector and corporate practice in Australia to be benchmarked against practice in other countries. This research project will assist us in exploring solutions to specific challenges arising from our oversight role.

Advisory services

Our advisory service receives calls from public sector CEOs and senior executives, human resource line managers and practitioners, public sector employees and government board and committee members, as well as members of the public. This service assists the sector to interpret and apply the public sector standards in human resource management, associated instructions, regulations and applicable sections of the PSM Act.

The service also advises public authorities, public officers and members of the public about the PID Act, as well as the disclosure process.

Assisting with performance matters

Performance management

Performance management can be particularly challenging for managers where employees are underperforming. In 2013/14, we provided ongoing advice and assistance to a range of agencies on substandard performance matters and discipline processes carried out in the public sector, particularly under Part 5 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act).

Our officers assisted in disciplinary processes and investigations where agencies were not equipped to deal with matters internally. Our officers also carried out an examination of matters raised regarding the governance arrangements at two government boards, specifically relating to the behaviour of board members and employees within organisations.

As part of our assistance role, we also conducted training for public sector managers and staff on managing inappropriate or unwanted workplace behaviour and released Managing workplace behaviour: A guide for agencies to assist agencies in identifying the most appropriate process for dealing with behavioural issues in the workplace.

Managing substandard performance: A guide for agencies was also released this year and provides assistance in identifying substandard performance, understanding possible causes and managing substandard performance processes.

Supporting our chief executive officers

Performance framework and development

Section 47 of the PSM Act requires all CEOs appointed under s. 45 of the PSM Act to enter into a performance agreement with their responsible authority in accordance with Commissioner’s Instructions. We administer the CEO performance agreement framework and provide advice and support to responsible authorities and ministers.

The usual reporting cycle for CEOs operates from 1 July to 30 June each financial year, while the reporting cycle for state training provider managing directors operates on a calendar year commencing 1 January to 31 December each year.

A review and subsequent amendments were made to the performance agreement framework in this reporting period, to include CEOs’ contribution to sector-wide initiatives supporting innovation in their organisation. In 2014/15, we plan to introduce a new sectorwide initiative focusing on fiscal responsibilities. This will include the requirement to meet resource agreement targets and outline strategies to manage agency leave liability.

Independent selection and recruitment advice

Under ss. 45 and 46 of the PSM Act, the Commissioner is responsible for the employment of CEOs of all departments and SES organisations (as defined under the PSM Act). This includes facilitating consultation with responsible authorities and ministers to ensure all relevant factors are taken into account before an appointment or reappointment is recommended to the Governor in Executive Council for approval.

In 2013/14, six CEOs were appointed and 14 CEOs were reappointed as shown in the tables below.

CEO recruitment 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014

Position at agency

Date of appointment

Outcome

Commissioner, Department of Corrective Services

30/10/13

Mr James McMahon DSC DSM appointed

Director General, Department of Lands

02/01/14

Mr Colin Slattery appointed

Chief Executive Officer and Registrar, Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

02/01/14

Ms Susan Bastian appointed

Managing Director, Pilbara Institute

13/01/14

Ms Marlene Boundy appointed

Director General, Department of Parks and Wildlife

18/03/14

Mr James Sharp appointed

Director General, Department of Planning

07/04/14

Ms Gail McGowan appointed

CEO reappointments 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014

Agency

CEO

Commencement date

Director General, Department of Finance

07/07/13

Ms Anne Nolan

Director, Art Gallery of Western Australia

22/07/13

Dr Stefano Carboni

Director General, Chief Executive Officer, General Manager, Department of Housing, Country Housing Authority and Housing Authority

21/10/13

 

Mr Grahame Searle

Managing Director, Challenger Institute of Technology

21/10/13

Ms Liz Harris PSM

Director General, Department of Fisheries

05/11/13

Mr Stuart Smith

Director General, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

28/11/13

Mr Peter Conran AM

Chief Executive Officer, Zoological Parks Authority

30/03/14

Ms Susan Hunt PSM

Chief Executive Officer, Western Australian Tourism Commission

19/04/14

Ms Stephanie Buckland

Director General, Department of Mines and Petroleum

02/06/14

Mr Richard Sellers

Director General, Department of Sport and Recreation

07/06/14

Mr Ron Alexander

Chief Executive Officer, Rottnest Island Authority

08/06/14

Mr Paolo Amaranti

Chief Executive Officer, ChemCentre

08/06/14

Mr Peter Millington

Chief Executive Officer, Land Information Authority (Landgate)

19/06/14

Mr Mike Bradford

Managing Director, Kimberley Training Institute

29/06/14

Ms Karen Dickinson

Machinery of Government

The Commissioner has functions under the PSM Act, to provide advice to ministers and CEOs on changes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector. In exercising these functions, the Commissioner may recommend to the Governor a range of machinery of government changes concerning the establishment, designation, amalgamation, division or abolition of departments.

The Commissioner has functions under the PSM Act, to provide advice to ministers and CEOs on changes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector. In exercising these functions, the Commissioner may recommend to the Governor a range of machinery of government changes concerning the establishment, designation, amalgamation, division or abolition of departments.

During 2013/14, we played a major role in the implementation of a substantial machinery of government reform agenda. The following changes were effective from 1 July 2013:

  • The Department of Local Government and Department for Communities were amalgamated by means of abolishing the Department of Local Government, and renaming the Department for Communities as the Department of Local Government and Communities.
  • The Department of Environment and Conservation was renamed the Department of Parks and Wildlife and a new Department of Environment Regulation was established.
  • The Department of Regional Development and Lands was renamed to the Department of Regional Development and a new Department of Lands was established.
  • The Office of Science commenced operating within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet following relocation from the Department of Commerce.
  • The Art Gallery of WA, WA Museum, Perth Theatre Trust and State Library of WA were delegated employing authority powers under the PSM Act along with budget appropriations arrangements.
  • The Economic Reform Division in the Department of Treasury, which consists of the Regulatory Gatekeeping Unit and the Regulatory Reform Branch, was transferred to the Department of Finance.

A number of additional changes also came into effect after this period, including:

  • The designation of the Department of Child Protection and Family Support to the Department for Child Protection and Family Support with effect on and from 23 August 2013.
  • The establishment of the Department of the State Heritage Office as a Department of State with effect on and from 1 July 2014.

Addtionally, significant progress has also been made to amalgamate the Mental Health Commission with the Drug and Alcohol Office. This decision was made to improve the integration of the State’s network of services relating to the prevention, treatment, professional education, training and research activities, in the drug and alcohol and mental health sectors.

Monitoring the recruitment, advertising and management system (RAMS)

RAMS is an online application that allows agencies to manage various human resources requirements around recruitment, severance, redeployment, traineeships, graduate programs and employment.

We provide this service to the WA public sector via a contract arrangement. In 2014, a new three year contract was established. With the commencement of the new contract, a range of additional enhancements were implemented, including providing agencies with the option to generate free automated selection reports for human resources processes. The usability of the system has improved considerably with the introduction of a cross-browser and the ability for users to access the system via mobile devices. In addition, free online training was provided to agency users across a range of topics to ensure more effective use of the system.

In 2013/14, 10 223 vacancies were posted on RAMS compared to 13 939 in the previous financial year. The decrease in vacancies posted was largely attributed to the recruitment freeze imposed from 16 April to 30 June 2014.

Managing redeployment and redundancy

The Commission is responsible for the management and maintenance of a the whole-of-government redeployment and redundancy management framework to support, where practicable, the retention of staff and skills within the public sector.

We undertake these duties under Part 6 of the PSM Act, and the Public Sector Management (Redeployment and Redundancy) Regulations 1994. To support these regulatory functions, we provide guidance to agencies on case management, redeployment registration and voluntary severance matters.

Between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014, 51 new redeployees were registered by 21 agencies. On average, 555 vacant positions were referred for redeployment consideration each month. As at 30 June there were 76 redeployees.

Enhanced voluntary severance offer

In June 2013, the availability of an enhanced voluntary separation program was announced. The offer, targeting up to 1000 surplus employees across the WA public sector, was subsequently increased to 1200 by means of appropriation funds.

Separation outcomes were achieved through two employment strategies involving voluntary severance under the provisions of the Public Sector Management (Redeployment and Redundancy) Regulations 1994 and compensation under s. 59 of the PSM Act for senior executive service (SES) officers employed under Part 3, Division 2 of the PSM Act.

In summary, we received a total of 1414 applications of which 1201 were approved by the Commission. A total of 1112 people accepted separation offers and left the sector by
31 March 2014.

Outside of the enhanced voluntary separation offer, public sector agencies reported a total of 46 employees who accepted offers or voluntary severance during 2013/214.

Recruitment freeze

In April 2014, the following corrective budgetary measures were introduced for general government sector agencies, unless otherwise approved:

  • an immediate freeze on recruitment until 30 June 2014
  • an immediate freeze on all general government agency advertising until 30 June 2014.

The recruitment freeze applied to all job vacancies, including pools, regional vacancies, fixed term, casual and permanent placements.

Throughout the freeze, the Commission provided ongoing support to agencies and managed requests for exemptions to the freeze.

Commission staffCommission staff provided support to agencies and managed requests for exemptions during the April to June recruitment freeze

Senior executive service (SES)

The SES refers to a specific group of executive officers appointed under Part 3 Division 2 of the PSM Act. The purpose of the SES is to provide the sector with executive officers, capable of delivering high level policy advice and undertaking managerial responsibilities. SES officers are deployed within and between agencies to promote the efficiency of the public sector and individual agencies. There were 510 members of the SES recorded as at 30 June 2014.

We assess and determine the classification, reclassification and payment of temporary special allowance proposals of all public services positions above the Level 8 classification. Positions that are the subject of a specified calling are outside of this process.

In undertaking an assessment of a position, we may forward a request to an independent consultant for an assessment of work value and indicative classification This year, we assessed 93 SES proposals, of these 73 proposals were supported, 19 not supported and one was withdrawn.

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Centre for Public Sector Excellence

The Centre for Public Sector Excellence (Centre) was launched in February 2014 to support our vision of a high performing public sector through building skill, expertise and behaviour for a future-focused and sustainable public sector.

The Centre is guided by the 70:20:10 principle of development and employs strategies that encourage experimental, continuous and collaborative learning. The 70:20:10 principle suggests effective development efforts should focus 70 percent of development on challenging assignments in the workplace, 20 per cent on relationships and others, and 10 per cent on formal learning and training. It recognises that some of the most effective learning and development takes place from challenging on-the-job experiences and provokes our efforts to build the capacity of the sector.

Objectives

We are informed by a range of initiatives, frameworks and stakeholder information to ensure quality workforce and organisational development initiatives for the sector.

  • A capable and sustainable workforce to meet future needs
  • Highly competent public sector leaders
  • Robust public sector governance
  • Increased representation of diversity groups
  • Sector-wide knowledge sharing

Skilling the sector

Foundations of government human resources program

The ‘Foundations of government human resources program’ is a professional development program aimed at developing human resource knowledge and skills across the sector. In 2013/14, 109 practitioners from 50 agencies participated in the program, with 42 achieving the qualification this year and the remainder continuing to progress.

A new qualification, Certificate IV in Government (HR), was introduced and included an additional session on the role of the HR Practitioner in grievance management. Given its success, we are keen to extend the program into regional areas in 2014/15.

Policy practitioner forums

In partnership with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, we delivered three policy practitioners forums throughout the year. The first two forums explored the policy journeys of the South West Settlement and Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy. The final forum, ‘Engaging with the media’, explored the relationship between the implementation of a public policy decision and the role of the media in its communication to the wider community.

Policy skills development

This year, we commenced work on learning and development initiatives to help build policy capability within the sector. The first initiative involved a collaborative initiative between Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) and the Nous Group, resulting in our participation in a metropolitan and regional pilot of the ‘Policy in practice program’. The program supports our policy capability framework and provides participants with an opportunity to trial different skills, explore emerging trends and understand a range of internal and external drivers that influence the making and delivery of policy.

Financial skills development

We have partnered with the Department of Treasury and chief financial officers to identify and confirm development issues, explore options for addressing skill gaps and recommend a range of possible initiatives to build both financial literacy and capability of practitioners who work in finance across the sector.

PSC EventsThe Commission received positive feedback from attendees to its programs and events

Developing our leaders

Australian and New Zealand School of Government CEO Forum

The Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) CEO Forum is an opportunity for CEOs to reflect, share practices with peers and develop thinking about how best to meet contemporary public sector challenges. In 2014, we awarded six scholarships to the following CEOs:

  • Mr Alan Blagaich, School Curriculum and Standards Authority
  • Mr Mike Bradford, Landgate
  • Mr Wayne Gregson APM, Department of Fire and Emergency Services
  • Ms Cheryl Gwilliam, Department of the Attorney General
  • Ms Michelle Hoad, West Coast Institute
  • Mr James McMahon DSC DSM, Department of the Corrective Services.

Executive Fellows Program

The Executive Fellows Program is a tailored three week residential program to assist our senior executives build on the core skills needed to manage public sector organisations.

In 2013, we conducted a merit selection process and awarded three full scholarships for the November 2013 program to the following members of the senior executive service:

  • Mr Richard May, Department of the Premier and Cabinet
  • Mr Michael Juliff, Challenger Institute of Technology
  • Mr Michael D’Souza, Department of Transport.

Positive feedback was received from our senior executives who considered topics such as ‘measuring public value’, ‘lean innovation’ and ‘new ways to deliver services through people and organisations external to government’, as strengths of the program.

Executive Masters of Public Administration

The Executive Masters of Public Administration is designed to assist officers broaden their management and policy skills against shifting political, economic and organisational environments.

Scholarships are awarded to public sector participants on a bi-annual basis covering all tuition fees and travel costs. The following five public sector employees were provided with the opportunity to commence the two year program in 2014:

  • Mr Justin Breeze, Department of Planning
  • Ms Nicole Eastough, Department of Treasury
  • Ms Fleur Hill, Disability Services Commission
  • Mr Shaun Hodges, Western Australia Police
  • Ms Lorissa Kelly, Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

Graduate future leaders program

The ‘Graduate future leaders program’ provides a centralised whole-of-government profession development opportunity for new graduates and assists them in developing an appreciation of the complexity, importance and breadth of the WA public sector. In 2013/14, 70 graduates from 18 agencies across the sector participated in the program.

Through interactive sessions, the program provides a broad perspective of the sector and opportunities for graduates to meet with key public sector leaders, understand parliamentary processes and procedures, build their interpersonal, networking and stakeholder management skills, understand leadership styles, and appreciate the importance of inter-agency collaboration and innovation within a whole-of-government perspective.

To achieve this, the program incorporates group action learning based on the projects of Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management winners and finalists. This action learning exposes graduates to real public sector success stories and provides them with the opportunity to present a concept paper on an innovative opportunity to a wider public sector audience at the conclusion of the program.

Commission graduate Ms Emma Storey and Commissioner Mr Mal WauchopeCommission graduate Ms Emma Storey and Commissioner Mr Mal Wauchope

Seminar Series

The ‘Leadership Seminar Series’ provides leadership development events for CEOs, senior executives and emerging leaders. In 2013/14, we delivered three CEO events in partnership with ANZSOG which were attended by 56 directors general and CEOs, as well as a further four events attended by 139 emerging leaders.

In 2013/14 we also delivered five events attended by over 330 senior leaders through our Spotlight series, featuring presentations by international key note speakers including Charles Jennings, Founder of the 70:20:10 framework, and Professor Malcolm Sparrow from Harvard University.

Foundations of leadership and Pathways to leadership programs

The ‘Foundations of leadership (Foundations) program’ provides Level 4 through to 5 officers with an opportunity to participate in learning experiences modelled on contemporary leadership and management theory and practice.

The ‘Pathways to leadership (Pathways) program’ equips Level 6 through to 8 officers with the knowledge and skills required to be committed and responsive leaders in the public sector.

Since March 2014, one cohort of Foundations and one cohort of Pathways totalling 60 participants have commenced the six month program. This represents the final cohorts of both programs as Foundations and Pathways will no longer be offered in 2014/15.

Public Sector Management Program

The Public Sector Management Program is a national post graduate program designed to enhance the management capability of mid-level managers across all tiers of the public sector. In 2013/14, three cohorts commenced with a total of 79 participants.

In WA, the current contract for delivery is with Murdoch University and the graduate certificate is articulated through Flinders University in South Australia. From 1 January 2015, Queensland University of Technology will assume responsibility for all program delivery and assessment in conjunction with the Centre.

Promoting youth employment

School-based traineeship program

The ‘School-based traineeship program’ is aimed at attracting and recruiting the next generation of public sector employees by providing public high school students with a unique opportunity to undertake employment-based training within the sector.

We have been working with our registered training organisation to improve program delivery methods, review the content of the program, identify relevant off the job training and review the assessment processes for the qualification. A pilot program also commenced in the Wheatbelt and Peel regions during 2013/14, with four trainees commencing employment.

An additional new initiative to the program will be the introduction of the ‘Supervising talent program’. This program provides supervisors of trainees with VET knowledge through the completion of three units of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Public sector government traineeship program

The ‘Public sector traineeship program’ is a youth employment strategy aimed at recruiting young people under 25 years of age to undertake a traineeship in the WA public sector. The program provides young people with the opportunity to learn administration skills and knowledge within a public sector environment over a 12 month period. Upon completion, trainees attain a nationally recognised qualification of either a Certificate II or III in Government. The program actively recruits candidates for the following three streams:

  • General
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • People with disabilities.

During 2013/14, a concentrated effort was placed on the further expansion of the program into all nine regional areas of WA. Since 1 July 2013, we have placed 48 full-time trainees into 15 agencies in the metropolitan area and an additional 16 trainees in regionally based locations. This is in addition to the ‘Aboriginal traineeship program’, where 30 trainees were appointed in the metropolitan area and 16 trainees in regional WA in July 2013.

Transition to employment program

One of our new initiatives to improve youth diversity within the public sector is the trainee ‘Transition to employment program’. This program is designed to increase the number of trainees that are engaged in full time permanent employment for Level 1 administrative job opportunities at the completion of their traineeship.

Trainees who are registered in the program are able to seek available job opportunities using part 4.1.c of Commissioner’s Instruction No. 2 – Filling a Public Sector Vacancy by being referred to contract positions until they are able to obtain permanent employment. They are able to access the program for a period of 12 months.

Aboriginal employment

In 2013/14, we continued our work to implement the Aboriginal employment strategy 2011-2015: Building a diverse public sector workforce.

The cornerstone of the strategy is the Aboriginal traineeship program, an integrated employment, training and mentoring support service for the sector, centrally coordinated and funded by the Commission. The program provides young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (aged 25 years and under) with the opportunity to develop public administration skills and competencies through the ‘Government traineeship program’.

From left: Trent Davis, Chloe Davidson, Tracey Cullen, Chris Rusden, Denika Seelander and Dwayne HaydenFrom left: Trent Davis, Chloe Davidson, Tracey Cullen, Chris Rusden, Denika Seelander and Dwayne Hayden

In 2013/14, we placed 30 young Aboriginal people in our metropolitan program to undertake a 12 month traineeship, with the possibility of ongoing employment in their host agency at the successful completion of the program. The program was expanded into regional WA and placed a further 16 trainees in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Southwest, Midwest and Goldfields regions. All Aboriginal trainees were offered mentoring and additional professional learning programs to prepare them for employment.

During 2013/14, we saw an increase in the retention rate into employment from 28 per cent to 67 per cent from the previous year in the metropolitan area, generating positive outcomes for individuals, communities and the sector as a whole.

This year, in partnership with various training providers, we delivered two ‘Supervising Aboriginal trainee talent programs’ in the metropolitan area and one in regional WA. We also provided a full scholarship for an aspiring Aboriginal leader to undertake the Public Sector Management Program and two scholarships for Aboriginal employees to undertake the ‘Foundations of government human resources program’.

The Commission also facilitated the placement of public sector employees into the Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnership Program, a not-for-profit organisation which supports innovative programs of change in Aboriginal communities. In 2013/14, there were two placements—one in the East Kimberley and one in the West Kimberley.

In order to enhance culturally inclusive workplaces, the online Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural confidence module, ‘Sharing culture’, was designed and launched to the sector in July 2013. The module was designed to complement the Office of Multicultural Interests’ ‘Diverse WA’ module. Since the launch, there has been a steady increase in the number of registered users (1835) with 13 agencies being provided with individual quarterly reports.

It is important that we remain accountable and focused on our goals. A mid-point review of the Aboriginal Employment Strategy 2011-2015: Building a diverse public sector workforce has been undertaken and recommendations from that review will be implemented during 2014/15.

Supporting the regions

In March 2012, we were successful in securing Royalties for Regions funding to support an expansion of services across regional WA. Specifically, funding of $2.425 million was approved by Cabinet to enable us to deliver programs, information sessions and employment initiatives to the regions over a three year period.

These initiatives have generated a variety of real benefits for regional employees, including an increased understanding of ethics and integrity, public sector reform, leadership development and human resource obligations, among others. In 2013/14, we delivered 40 sessions across regional WA to over 400 public sector employees, with the Commissioner also facilitating a series of workshops in Bunbury in early 2014.

We committed a component of the Royalties for Regions funding to undertake a regional leadership feasibility study. The review included an analysis of the regional employment profile and current regional leadership development offerings as well as a significant round of consultation to investigate regional leaders experiences, needs and expectations.

As a result of this work we developed and released Leading for the regions - a resource for agencies, designed to build leadership through a range of strategies and good practice examples.

Providing opportunities

Disability employment strategy

The Disability employment strategy 2013-2015: Ensuring a representative sector is a joint initiative between the Public Sector Commission and the Disability Services Commission. This strategy supports the vision of a high performing public sector which is reflective of our diverse community.

Disability awareness training and the facilitation of inclusive employment information sessions are delivered to all public sector employees. This complements our Diverse WA cultural awareness package and creates culturally appropriate and supportive working environments where people with a disability feel valued and included in the workplace.

In 2014/15, we will continue to identify opportunities to promote the importance of disability employment and the benefits to agencies. In order to achieve this, we intend to develop career and employment pathways for agencies to select, employ and retain people with a disability.

Leadership and management essentials

A key feature of our work has been the development of a new series of initiatives ‘Leadership essentials’ and ‘Management essentials’. Pilot workshops were developed and delivered targeting Level 8 officers and SES members for the Leadership series, and Levels 5 through to 8 for the management series. The pilots were very well received and we are currently considering feedback to prepare for the next phase of development.

Commissioner Mr Mal Wauchope congratulates PSM program graduate Ms Rebecca RosherCommissioner Mr Mal Wauchope congratulates PSM program graduate Ms Rebecca Rosher

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Page last updated 30 September 2014