Agency performance

Targets and indicators

 

2015
Estimate
$000

2015
Actual
$000

Variance
$000

Total cost of services
(expense limit)

29 403

26 170

3 233

Net cost of service

27 754

25 574

2 180

Total equity

7 327

9 312

1 985

Net increase/(decrease) in cash held

34

(764)

798

The Public Sector Commission's (Commission) expenditure limit and net cost of services as detailed in the 2014/15 budget statements were $29.403 million and $27.754 million respectively. The variances between estimate and actual of $3.233 million and $2.180 million respectively were primarily a result of the Commission operating below funded FTE levels.

Total equity

Total equity at the end of the year was $1.985 million higher than estimated, mainly due to the reduction in the net cost of service.

Net increase/(decrease) in cash held

The decrease in the Commission's cash held is largely the result of returning $3.222 million of surplus funds to Treasury.

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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

Key effectiveness indicator

Target 2014/15

Actual 2014/15

Variance between target and actual

Actual 2013/14

Actual 2012/13

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%

97%

12%

95%

98%

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%

89%

4%

90%

95%

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

75%

75%

-

84%

78%

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 EO Act.

75%

69%

(6%)

78%

60%

Summary of key efficiency indicators

Service 1 – Public Sector leadership

Target 2014/15

Actual 2014/15

Variance between target and actual

Actual 2013/14

Actual 2012/13

Average Cost per Leadership Development Product, Program or Training Hour

$140

$109

($31)

$135

$128

Average Cost per Workforce Development Program, Product or Training Hour

$145

$118

($27)

$154

$111

Service 2 – Assistance and Support

Target 2014/15

Actual 2014/15

Variance between target and actual

Actual 2013/14

Actual 2012/13

Average Cost per Hour of Assistance and Support Provided

$93

$93

-

$108

$92

Average Cost per Public Administration, Standards and Integrity Program, Product or Training Hour

$101

$120

$19

$105

$87

Service 3 – Oversight and reporting

Target 2014/15

Actual 2014/15

Variance between target and actual

Actual 2013/14

Actual 2012/13

Average Cost per Hour Addressing Legislative and Policy Development

$93

$97

$4

$109

$94

Average Cost per Hour of Performance and Oversight Activity

$89

$102

$13

$99

$95

Percentage of Oversight Actions Completed within Target Timeframes

90%

89%

(1%)

91%

83%

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Building capacity

We understand that building the capacity and capability of human capital is crucial towards the stewardship of the sector. The Commission, through the Centre for Public Sector Excellence (the Centre), assists public sector employees, from trainees to senior executives, in both metropolitan and regional areas, by supporting and fostering professional capability and leadership development.

Consistent with the Centre's strategic priority to 'build the skill, behaviour and expertise for a capable, future-focused and sustainable public sector', it progressed work and achieved outcomes in three key areas - workforce, leadership and diversity.

Leadership essentials programAspiring leaders from across the sector take part in the inaugural 'Leadership essentials' program

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Workforce strategies

The Centre intersects with key groups of individuals across the sector including human resource, finance and policy practitioners. It is in the best interests of the Commission, public sector agencies and the individuals themselves that these employees have the appropriate skills, knowledge and abilities to provide accurate and timely advice to their senior leaders.

We administer and deliver a number of programs aimed at building the professional capability of these groups.

Foundations of Government Human Resources program

This program provides participants with foundation knowledge and skills to support them in their role. Participants are paired with an experienced practitioner, in a mentor-mentee relationship, to share knowledge, advice and support. Upon successful completion, participants receive a nationally recognised Certificate IV in Government (Human Resources).

In 2014/15, 44 practitioners from 30 agencies participated in the program, with 15 achieving the qualification, and the remainder continuing to progress.

This year, the Commission explored the feasibility of expanding the program into the regions and hope to make use of new technology, recently installed in the Centre's training facilities, to engage more efficiently with regional participants.

Human resource practitioner forums

The Centre coordinates human resource practitioner forums in collaboration with experts and industry bodies to build human resource capability across the sector. In 2014/15, we delivered three forums to 156 practitioners from 51 agencies. Through the forums, practitioners were updated on changes to redeployment and redundancy frameworks and voluntary severance regulations, Common Use Arrangements and the transfer of the minor misconduct function to the Commission.

Chief finance officer capability project

Through discussion with other central government agencies and the Centre's Advisory Board (established to provide expert advice to the Commissioner), financial services was identified as a skill set that needs to be better understood, and developed from a whole-of-sector perspective.

This year, a reference group of chief finance officers and central agency representatives was established, to explore and assist with developing initiatives to build financial capability across the sector. Over 70 agencies were involved through a survey, consultation with CEOs, and a strategic discussion attended by 50 senior officers and chief finance officers. Next year, the Commission will look to implement the recommendations arising from this project.

Policy practitioner forums

Policy practitioner forums are a co-initiative of the Commission and the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, and provide an opportunity for policy practitioners to exchange ideas, opinions and knowledge. This year, 154 practitioners from 35 agencies participated in three forums and explored two topics: 'Working towards the ideal cabinet submission' and 'Working with the media'.

Employment-based training strategy

The Commission understands the public sector is facing a number of workforce challenges into the future including loss of corporate knowledge and a competitive labour market, among others. The importance of continuous learning through undertaking further study and employment-based training, is an important investment we must make. The Centre has a number of strategies and programs in place to encourage and support continuous learning.

The Commission's Employment-based training strategy 2013-2015 (EBT) was developed following the launch of the Department of Training and Workforce Development's, Skilling WA - A Workforce Development Plan for Western Australia. The EBT strategy highlights the need for practical and targeted employment-based training, including Vocational Educational Training (VET) strategies. Employment-based training pathways include traineeships, apprenticeships, cadetships and graduate programs. Work on the 2016-2018 EBT strategy has commenced.

Cadetships

This year, in partnership with Future Skills WA and the Department of Training and Workforce Development, the Commission launched a pilot of public sector cadetships.
This new initiative was developed to enhance career pathways and opportunities through
on-the-job training, mentorship and assessment in a number of professional areas.

Upon successfully completing a cadetship, participants receive a Diploma of Government (Human Resources) or a Diploma of Government (Financial Services), both nationally accredited qualifications. In 2014/15, 34 participants from 25 agencies commenced cadetships across both human resources and financial services. In early 2015/16 a third cadetship in investigations will commence.

Study assistance scheme

The study assistance scheme encourages the development of public sector employees by supporting aspiring leaders to pursue professional development. In 2014/15, 90 public sector employees accessed this scheme.

Public sector internship program

The Commission partnered with five Western Australian universities to provide a career development opportunity for students. University students enrolled in a participating unit of study undertake a public sector internship project. Projects suitable for final year undergraduate or postgraduate university students are submitted by volunteering agencies.

The internship projects enable students to acquire work-based experience, earn credit towards their degree, and while doing so are encouraged to pursue a career in the public sector. In 2014/15, 90 project proposals were received from 33 public sector organisations. Of these, 60 were allocated an intern from one of the five Perth-based universities.

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Leadership

Leadership is required at many levels and in many forms, within the public sector. Building leadership capability is vital to ensuring the public sector responds to current and emerging challenges efficiently and effectively. The Commission, through the Centre, facilitates and delivers a range of programs aimed at developing the sector's senior leaders.

Australian and New Zealand School of Government CEO forum

These forums enable public sector leaders from Australia and New Zealand to share good practice about how to meet contemporary public sector leadership challenges. This year, five scholarships were awarded to the following CEOs:

  • Duncan Ord OAM, Department of Culture and the Arts
  • Emma White, Department for Child Protection and Family Support
  • Ralph Addis, Department of Regional Development
  • Gail McGowan, Department of Planning
  • Alan Ferris, Perth Theatre Trust

Executive Master of Public Administration

This two year post-graduate qualification program assists future leaders to develop management and policy skills. The program is developed in consultation with public sector CEOs across Australia and New Zealand, and is delivered by leading academics and guest speakers. The following five public sector employees undertook the program during the year:

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

Executive Fellows Program

This three week residential program examines the emerging trends of public sector management and enables senior executives to strengthen their core relationship, leadership and management skills. In 2014/15, the Commission awarded three full scholarships to the following members of the senior executive service:

  • Karen Dickinson, Kimberley Training Institute
  • Duncan Anderson, South West Institute of Technology
  • Raymond Challen, Department of Finance

Public Sector Management Program

The Centre provided 20 mid-level managers from across the public sector with the opportunity to participate in this national post graduate program. This is the final intake via the Commission as from 1 January 2015, Queensland University of Technology assumed full responsibility for the program.

Leadership seminar series

This seminar series provides aspiring leaders across the sector with an opportunity to meet and hear from influential speakers on current administration topics. This year, the Centre delivered three general seminars (588 attendees), one SES workshop (30 participants) and three CEO events (81 attendees).

Leadership essentials

This is the Centre's newest initiative to support the leadership and management capability of public sector leaders. We deliver this program to increase the ethical, strategic and critical thinking skills of leaders to encourage better decision making, leadership and a more innovative sector. The inaugural 'Leadership essentials' commenced in February 2015, with 22 participants representing 20 agencies.

Management essentials

This program supports grass-roots level managers across the sector. This included 11 workshops in the metropolitan area to 254 participants from 44 agencies. In addition, the Centre delivered three workshops funded by Royalties for Regions in which 48 public sector employees from 13 agencies across the Great Southern region, and 31 public sector employees from seven agencies across the Kimberley region took part.

Graduate future leaders program

Sector-wide graduates are provided with a whole-of-government perspective to assist them in understanding the complexities of the public sector. Graduates are involved in an 'action learning project' that enables them, in collaboration with agencies, to develop and present a concept paper based on topics from finalists of the Premier's Awards. During the year, 51 graduates from 16 agencies participated in the program.

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Diversity

We are committed to promoting equal opportunity in public employment, which reinforces the Government's commitment to reflect community diversity, and recognising the value of individual differences. Aligning diversity strategies to broader workforce planning is considered best practice.

Workforce and diversity planning

Section 145(1) of the EO Act requires all public authorities to prepare and implement an equal employment opportunity (EEO) management plan. The DEOPE is co-located within the Commission and is responsible for advising and assisting public authorities in preparing management plans, and for evaluating those plans.

This year, the Commission and the DEOPE continued to assist agencies to develop, implement and review workforce and diversity plans to address attraction, retention and workforce development objectives. Our online toolkit, Workforce and diversity planning: A guide for agencies, provides further information and tools on workforce planning and diversity.

As at 30 June 2015, 66 per cent of public sector agencies have integrated workforce and diversity plans which meet the requirements of the EO Act, with clear objectives linked to service outcomes and government priorities.

Disability employment strategy

The Disability Employment Strategy 2013-15: Ensuring a representative sector is a state-wide initiative. This joint initiative between the Commission and the Disability Services Commission, was developed to improve participation, inclusion and access for people with disability at all levels of employment in the public sector (see 'Highlights' for an overview of our achievements).

Supporting Aboriginal employment

The Aboriginal Employment Strategy 2011-2015: Building a diverse public sector workforce is a state-wide initiative and is part of WA's commitment to the Council of Australian Governments' Indigenous economic national partnership. There are several initiatives coming from the strategy which are discussed in more detail below (see 'Highlights' for an overview of our achievements).

Aboriginal traineeship program

The Centre's 'Aboriginal traineeship program' is an employment-based training initiative that allows young Aboriginal people to develop skills, experience and knowledge in public administration. There has been a substantial increase in the retention of trainees in the sector through the Commission's 'Aboriginal traineeship program', as shown in the table below.

Year

Metro intake

Retained in sector

Regional intake

Retained in sector

Cert II

Cert III

2012/13

47

27.4%

17

29.4%

38.6%

35.3%

2013/14

30

60%

16

50%

70%

56.2%

2014/15

41

*

20

*

*

*

*Trainees employed in 2014/15 are yet to complete the program.

The 'Supervising Aboriginal trainee talent program' was developed to increase the retention and completion rates of Aboriginal trainees. This program supports supervisors to understand what is involved in supervising, training and mentoring Aboriginal trainees within a workplace.

Aboriginal traineesAboriginal trainees Ms Roslyn Ninyette, Ms Caitlan Holley and Ms Shalise Bodney with Commissioner Mal Wauchope

Aboriginal leadership strategy

During the year, the Commission commenced work on the development of a standalone Aboriginal leadership strategy. The Centre worked collaboratively with existing senior Aboriginal employees, as well as agencies, to identify key career development strategies. The strategy will be launched in early 2015/16 and aims to address the under-representation of Aboriginal employees in senior executive service (SES) positions.

Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnership Program

Jawun is a not for profit organisation that supports innovative programs of change in Aboriginal communities. We engaged Jawun to provide non-Aboriginal public sector employees with short-term secondments into Aboriginal organisations and communities. Jawun requires participants to work and live for six weeks in remote locations within the East and West Kimberley, and promotes the sharing of expertise to assist in improved stakeholder engagement and corporate strategy for Aboriginal organisations. In 2015, we funded four public sector employees to participate in the program.

School-based traineeship program

While completing years 11 and 12 at secondary school, school-based trainees undertake employment-based training in a participating agency two days out of a regular school week. Upon successful completion of the program, trainees receive a Certificate II in Government. This year, 19 trainees from the 2014 cohort are on track to complete their traineeship at the end of 2015, and 20 trainees have commenced their traineeship in 2015.

Additionally this year, the Commission partnered with the Department of the Attorney General to support the recruitment of three African school-based trainees through its traineeship program (under sections 50D and 51D of the EO Act).

Public sector traineeship program

This 12-month program provides people under 25 years of age with an entry pathway to the public sector. Participants learn administration skills within a public sector environment, and receive a Certificate II or III in Government upon successful completion. The Centre recruits for three streams: people with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and a general stream. This year, nine full-time trainees from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stream and one trainee from the general stream, from three agencies, participated in the program.

Trainee transition to employment program

This program is designed to increase the number of trainees engaged in full-time permanent or fixed-term employment for Level 1 administrative roles. It provides agencies with a pool of candidates who have completed their traineeship and are interested and available for entry level vacancies as they arise.

Agencies have access to the pool, eliminating the need to advertise (in accordance with part 4.1.c of Commissioner's Instruction No. 2 – Filling a Public Sector Vacancy). During the year, two trainees transitioned to full time permanent employment and seven into fixed-term employment via the program.

Trainee professional development workshops

These workshops are run to support trainees to increase their skills and development. Since July 2014, 98 trainees attended seven free workshops focussing on telephone techniques, customer excellence, conflict management and emotional intelligence.

Supporting supervisors of trainees

This program supports supervisors of school-based trainees to understand what is involved in supervising, training and mentoring school-based trainees within a workplace. Thirteen supervisors from 10 different agencies attended a workshop during the year.

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Enhancing the regions

In March 2012, the Commission secured three years' of Royalties for Regions funding to enable the regional delivery of programs, information sessions and employment initiatives. In 2014/15, $959 000 was spent to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Delivery of 16 ethics and integrity workshops to 283 employees in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions. Targeted at public sector human resource practitioners, managers, supervisors and employees likely to be involved in recruitment decisions and policy development, the sessions increased public sector employee awareness of ethical codes and requirements.
  • Delivery of eight public sector reform information sessions to 163 employees in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West and Great Southern regions. The sessions communicated key legislative changes, and provided practical information for managing integrity risks affecting the public sector, and in particular, risks faced by employees in regional WA.
  • Delivery of three Management Essentials workshops to 89 public sector employees from 29 agencies in the Great Southern and Kimberley regions.
  • Delivery of information sessions promoting public sector traineeships to 56 employees in the Kimberley, Mid-West, Great Southern, South West, Pilbara, Wheatbelt and Goldfield-Esperance regions.
  • The placement of 19 Aboriginal trainees in agencies across the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West, Wheatbelt, South West, Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern regions. These trainees are due to complete their traineeships in 2015/16. Of the 17 trainees that successfully completed their traineeship in the 2013/14 intake, eight have gained ongoing employment in regional WA.
  • The installation of new technology in the Centre's training facilities allowing regional employees to use electronic mediums, including video conferencing, recorded content and online training capabilities that connect to the Commission's programs. The equipment, online from 1 July 2015, allows more efficient delivery to the regions.

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Assistance and support

Advisory and consultancy services

The Commission recognises that public authorities operate in a challenging environment and often face complex issues. Our advisory and consultancy service supports public authorities through these challenges, assisting them to interpret and apply the public sector standards in human resource management, associated instructions, regulations and applicable sections of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act). The Commission also provides advice to both the sector and the public on the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PID Act).

Throughout the year, our advisory and consultancy service assisted individuals and agencies on many issues including the application of the employment standard, the operation of breach regulations, integrity training, agency codes of conduct and public interest disclosure. Of the 2616 enquiries the Commission received, the two largest areas of contact related to human resource management issues (54 per cent) and conduct, ethics and integrity matters (20 per cent).

Over the coming year, the advisory and consultancy service will also handle enquires relating to notification obligations resulting from the transfer of the minor misconduct functions under the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003 (CCM Act). We will update our products and training programs to ensure that public sector bodies and their employees are aware of the Commission's role in relation to minor misconduct and agency reporting requirements.

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Chief Executive Officers

The Commissioner is responsible for the appointment and reappointment of chief executive officers (CEOs) of all departments, and senior executive service (SES) organisations, under s.45 and s.46 of the PSM Act. We support the Commissioner in his role as the employer of CEOs in the following areas: recruitment, transfer, acting appointments, remuneration, performance agreements, discipline and separation.

In 2014/15, ten CEOs were appointed and twelve CEOs were reappointed as outlined below.

CEO appointments 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015

Position and agency

Outcome

Commencement date

Director General, Department of Health

Dr David Russel-Weisz

3/08/2015

Executive Director, Department of the State Heritage Office

Mr Graeme Gammie

23/06/2015

Under Treasurer, Department of Treasury

Mr Michael Barnes

21/04/2015

Director General, Department of Fisheries

Ms Heather Brayford

14/04/2015

Chief Executive Officer, Lotterywest

Mr Paul Andrew

2/02/2015

Director General, Department of Regional Development

Mr David (Ralph) Addis

11/11/2014

Director, Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission

Mr Shayne Flanagan

14/10/2014

Director General, Department Environmental Regulation

Mr Jason Banks

19/08/2014

Director General, Department of Child Protection and Family Support

Ms Emma White

19/08/2014

Director General, Department of Culture and the Arts

Mr Duncan Ord OAM

1/07/2014

CEO reappointments 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015

Position and agency

CEO

Commencement date

Director General, Disability Service Commission

Dr Ron Chalmers

6/11/2015

Commissioner, Mental Health Commission

Mr Timothy Marney

20/06/2015

Chief Executive Officer of the Commissioner of Main Roads

Mr Reece Waldock (concurrent appointment)

3/05/2015

Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Authority

Mr Reece Waldock (concurrent appointment)

3/05/2015

Director General, of the Department of Transport

Mr Reece Waldock (concurrent appointment)

3/05/2015

Director, Western Australian Museum

Mr Alec Coles OBE

22/03/2015

Director General, Department of Training and Workforce Development

Dr Ruth Shean

7/12/2014

Chief Executive Officer, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority

Mr Mark Webb PSM

23/11/2014

Director General, Department of Agriculture and Food

Mr Robert Delane PSM (concurrent appointment)

2/11/2014

Chief Executive Officer, Rural Business Development Corporation

Mr Robert Delane PSM (concurrent appointment)

2/11/2014

State Librarian, State Library of Western Australia

Ms Margaret Allen

1/11/2014

Chief Executive Officer, WorkCover Western Australia

Ms Michelle Reynolds

22/09/2014

CEO performance agreement framework

In accordance with s.47 of the PSM Act, all CEOs are required to enter into a performance agreement with the Commissioner and their responsible authority. We administer the CEO performance agreement framework and provide support to CEOs, responsible authorities and ministers.

The purpose of the 2014/15 CEO performance agreement was to support high level leadership and accountability across the public sector. During the year, the framework was amended to include a new sector-wide initiative that focused on fiscal responsibilities. CEOs are now required to report against the financial targets in their agency resource agreement and outline strategies to manage agency leave liability.

In response to recommendations made by the WA Legislative Assembly Public Accounts Committee in the Report of the Inquiry into Amendments to the PSM Act 1994, the Commission commenced a review of the CEO performance agreement framework and intends to develop a new model for the 2016/17 performance agreement cycle.

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Senior Executive Service

The purpose of the SES is to provide a group of senior officers for the sector, capable of delivering high level policy advice and undertaking managerial responsibilities.
As at 30 June 2015, there were 505 members of the SES.

The Commission provides advice and guidance to agencies in relation to SES contracts of employment, creation and variation of SES positions and appointment of senior executives. We play a major role in the assessment and determination of all classifications, reclassifications and payment of temporary special allowance submissions for all public service positions above the Level 8 classification.

This year, the Commission assessed 102 SES submissions. Of these 63 were supported, 12 were not supported, two were withdrawn and 25 are yet to be finalised.

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Boards and committees

Remuneration

The Commission recommends remuneration rates for the majority of government boards and committees. We also issue the Public Sector Commissioner's Circular – Reimbursement of Travel Expenses for Members of Government Boards and Committees. The circular, which is currently under review and will soon be updated, provides guidance for board and committee members on travel reimbursement while undertaking official duties.

Supporting good governance

This year, an increasing number of accountability and governance matters related to government boards and committees were brought to the Commission's attention. Issues included:

  • limited understanding of the public sector environment and accountabilities
  • partial knowledge of government objectives
  • insufficient identification and management of conflicts of interest
  • lack of context and framework for ethical decision making
  • inadequate governance frameworks in relation to gifts, benefits, hospitality and sponsorships
  • limited expertise and competencies represented on the board.

The Commission continues to support government boards and committees by providing information and advice for establishing and maintaining good governance practices. This year, the Commissioner personally delivered good governance training to 23 government boards and committees, taking the total to 96 over the past four years. We also continue to promote our products designed specifically for boards and committees.

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Redeployment and redundancy

The Commissioner is responsible for administering the public sector's redeployment and redundancy framework. We provide advice and support to agencies on case management, registration and severance arrangements.

During the year, the Commission facilitated the Targeted Voluntary Separation Scheme, and the introduction of the new Public Sector Management (Redeployment and Redundancy) Regulations 2014 (Regulations). The public sector's redeployment and redundancy framework supports, where practicable, the retention of staff and skills within the public sector.

Between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015, there were 17 new redeployees registered for redeployment by 10 agencies. On average, 903 vacant positions were referred for deployment consideration each month. As at 30 June 2015, there were 20 registered redeployees.

Targeted Voluntary Separation Scheme

In October 2014, the Premier announced the 'Targeted voluntary separation scheme' for 1500 public sector employees. The Commission assisted in 1359 separations through voluntary severance under the provisions of the Regulations. Three Section 59 payments were made to executive officers employed under Part 3, Division 2 of the PSM Act. Two-hundred individuals participated outside the Targeted Voluntary Separation Scheme for the year ending 2014/15.

New regulations

The new redeployment and redundancy arrangements for the public sector came into effect 1 May 2015, as set out in the Regulations. The new arrangements provide more flexible redeployment and redundancy approaches to assist agencies in managing their employees who are surplus to requirements, by the end of the redeployment period. The regulations are supported by Commissioner's Instruction No. 11 – Redeployment Standard and Commissioner's Instruction No. 12 – Redeployment and Redundancy, which set out further procedural requirements.

During the year, the Commission informed the sector of the new redeployment and redundancy arrangements through:

  • consultation with CEOs
  • development and delivery of guidelines on case management
  • publication of the new regulatory framework
  • delivery of information sessions to 261 agency staff implementing the new framework, representing 62 agencies.

We will continue to provide training and support at agency level.

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Accountability and ethics

The Commissioner established the Code of Ethics under s.21 of the PSM Act. All public sector bodies and their employees must comply with this code. To support the legislative requirements, the Commissioner has issued two Commissioner's Instructions:

  • Commissioner's Instruction No. 7 – Code of Ethics, outlines the minimum standards of conduct and integrity to be complied with by all public sector bodies and employees.
  • Commissioner's Instruction No.8 – Codes of conduct and integrity training, requires all public sector bodies to develop their own code of conduct and provide training to employees and board members on accountable and ethical decision making.

The Commission supports public sector bodies to deliver the 'Accountable and ethical decision making' (AEDM) training program. During the year, the program was customised for government boards and committees, with board chairs encouraged to deliver the training themselves. We provided AEDM training to CEOs (taking the total of CEOs trained since 2008 to 153) and their corporate executives, 23 government boards and committees and 65 ministerial staff. An introduction to the AEDM program was also delivered to 40 agency officers responsible for delivering the program within their agency.

As part of the Commission's advisory and consultancy service, 18 peer reviews of agencies' codes of conduct and associated policies were completed. Peer reviews offer agencies an independent perspective on addressing risks and promoting good practice. We also provided a number of specialist reviews to agencies around integrity controls in relation to tickets and hospitality, arising from our investigation report, Acquisition and use of hospitality resources by Healthway.

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Public interest disclosure

The Commission continues to advise the sector on the PID Act, and assist and support those making disclosures. Across the year, we delivered nine 'Navigating the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003' information sessions to 100 participants. In 2014/15 we also responded to, or initiated, 149 consultations on public interest disclosures.

In partnership with Ombudsmen from a number of jurisdictions as well as Griffith University, the Commission has secured funding through the Australian Research Council to progress further research into whistleblowing. The research hopes to better understand how public authorities navigate the disclosure process and assist individuals who have made a public interest disclosure. We will contribute to this research throughout the next year.

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Workplace behaviour and performance

The Commission assists agencies to interpret and apply legislation relating to disciplinary matters and substandard performance. We support agencies by investigating matters that are particularly sensitive, complex or where an agency does not have the resources available to resolve the matter. The Commission assisted in four workplace investigations during the year.

As part of our assistance role, training is provided to the sector in relation to managing workplace behaviour, substandard performance and discipline. During the year, the Commission held two metropolitan 'Workplace behaviour: Is it discipline?' sessions that focused on the management of issues arising from problematic or unwanted workplace behaviour. The training session 'Performance management: is it discipline?' is a component of the 'Foundations of government human resources' program.

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Recruitment, advertising and management system

The Recruitment, Advertising and Management System (RAMS) is an online e-Recruitment solution that allows agencies to manage human resources activities around recruitment, severance, redeployment, traineeships, graduate programs and university internships.

The RAMS service is provided to Government via a contract arrangement and in 2013, a new three year contract was established. Enhancements implemented to the system over the last 12 months have:

  • increased the security of applicant and agency data through additional data encryption functionalities
  • enabled a shift to agency management of redeployment and severance processes
  • improved reporting capabilities through the implementation of a new reporting solution.

This year, 13 857 vacancies were posted on RAMS compared to 10 223 in 2013/14 and 13 939 in 2012/13.

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Machinery of Government

The Commissioner provides advice to ministers and CEOs on changes that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the sector, while maintaining operational responsiveness and flexibility. These machinery of government changes might involve the establishment, designation, amalgamation, division or abolition of public sector agencies.

Significant progress was made towards the machinery of government reform agenda during the year, including:

  • The establishment of the Department of the State Heritage Office with effect from
    1 July 2014. The functions were previously undertaken by the State Heritage Office as part of the Department of Local Government and Communities.
  • The amalgamation of the Mental Health Commission and the Drug and Alcohol Office effective 1 July 2015. This change 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.
  • The creation of the Road Safety Commission with effect from 1 July 2015. The formation of a stand-alone department was the key recommendation of the Browne Review into road safety governance in WA.
  • The establishment of the Government Chief Information Office as a sub-department within the Department of Finance, and the creation of WA's first Government Chief Information Officer, effective 1 July 2015. These changes were made to guide Information and Communications Technology (ICT) reform across the WA Government.

The Commission also supported the establishment of the Chief Psychiatrist as an independent statutory position reporting to the Minister for Mental Health. We have been working with the Chief Psychiatrist and relevant agencies to support the transition arrangements, with a likely proclamation date of 30 November 2015.

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Oversight and reporting

Legislative reform

Corruption and Crime Commission Amendment (Misconduct) Act 2014

Parliament passed the Corruption and Crime Commission Amendment (Misconduct) Act 2014 (Misconduct Act), with proclamation of some parts occurring in December 2014, and the remainder on 1 July 2015. As the instructing agency, we were responsible for ensuring changes to the Misconduct Act provided for the transfer of the minor misconduct, and misconduct prevention and education from the CCC to the Commission. The CCC will retain responsibility for oversight of all serious misconduct and for misconduct prevention and education in relation to WA Police.

Workforce Reform Act 2014

The Workforce Reform Act 2014 came into effect on 1 July 2014. Following extensive consultation, the Regulations were approved by the Governor and published in the Government Gazette on 30 December 2014. The Regulations repeal and replace the Public Sector Management (Redeployment and Redundancy) Regulations 1994.

The new Regulations, which came into operation on 1 May 2015, are supported by Commissioner's Instruction No. 11 – Redeployment Standard and Commissioner's Instruction No 12 – Redeployment and Redundancy, that combined provides employers with procedural guidance. The Commission consulted extensively with employers and public sector unions and issued supporting guidelines to assist in the practical application of the framework.

The Alcohol and Drug Authority Amendment Act 2015

The Commission supported the Minister for Mental Health in the drafting and passage of the Alcohol and Drug Authority Amendment Act 2015 (Amendment Act), for proclamation on 1 July 2015. The Amendment Act amalgamates the Mental Health Commission and the Drug and Alcohol Office (DAO).

The objective of the Amendment Act was to expand the purpose statement of the resulting Act, ensuring that the scope covers those people with co-occurring health issues that include mental illness. In addition, the Amendment Act:

  • establishes a ministerial body for the purpose of entering into contractual arrangements for real property
  • provides the power for the CEO to be the employing authority for all staff
  • establishes a new alcohol and other drug use advisory board
  • removes the responsibility for the functions of the existing Act from DAO to the CEO.

Integrity (Lobbyists) Bill 2014

The Commission was the instructing agency for the Integrity (Lobbyists) Bill 2014 which was introduced into Parliament in November 2014. The purpose of the Bill is to promote and enhance public confidence in dealings between government and lobbyists by creating a statutory framework for the regulation of third-party lobbyists. We currently operate a lobbyists register as an administrative arrangement. The 2014 Bill was drafted in substantially the same terms as the Integrity (Lobbyists) Bill 2011 that lapsed when Parliament was prorogued for the 2013 State election.

On proclamation, the Commission will be responsible for administering the statutory Register of Lobbyists and Code of conduct for lobbyists, and will continue to assess registration applications. As at 30 June 2015, the Register of Lobbyists contained 254 registrants and 103 listed lobbyists.

Review of organisational structures under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984

The Commissioner was requested by the Attorney General to carry out a review of the organisational structures established under the EO Act. The terms of reference for the review were to 'examine what organisational structures would enable the efficient and effective achievement of the objectives of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984'.

The review examined the role and structure of the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) and the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment (DEOPE), with a focus on how the objectives of the EO Act could best be achieved in WA today. The final report was tabled in Parliament by the Attorney General on 26 March 2015.

Commissioner's Instructions and Circulars

During the year, the Commission amended the following Commissioner's Instructions and Circulars:

  • Commissioner's Instruction No. 10 – Review of classification level of employees seconded to special offices to assist a political office holder
  • Public Sector Commissioner's Circular 2013-01 – Annual Reporting

A review of the Public Sector Commissioner's Circular on Public Sector Witnesses Appearing Before Parliamentary Committees is currently underway.

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Providing policy advice

During the year, the Commission prepared material for various Parliamentary Committees including the:

  • Joint Standing Committee on the CCC – evidence and written submission regarding the Corruption and Crime Commission (Misconduct) Amendment Act 2014
    (March-April 2015)
  • Standing Committee on Legislation – evidence and written submission regarding the Custodial Legislation (Officers Discipline) Amendment Bill 2013 (September 2014)

We also finalised a review of:

  • 'Agency use of human resource flexibilities' (June 2015)
  • 'Compliance obligations – A good practice approach' (June 2015)

Additionally, the Commission provided:

  • advice to the Government in response to the Public Accounts Committee Inquiry into Amendments to the Public Sector Management Act 1994
    (released August 2014)
  • a submission to the Economic Regulation Authority's Inquiry into the Efficiency and Performance of Western Australian Prisons (December 2014)
  • a submission to the Department of Training and Workforce Development's review of the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996.

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Assessing compliance with standards and ethical codes

Breach of standard claims

3% breach of standards confirmed (3), 4% conciliated outcomes (5), 72% dismissed as a 'no breach' (82), 8% withdrawn (9), 13% Commissioner declined to review (15)

A breach of standard claim allows a person to seek relief if they believe an agency's decision has breached a human resource standard, and they have been adversely affected by that breach. The process followed in the review or conciliation of breach claim matters is set out by the Public Sector Management (Breaches of Public Sector Standards) Regulations 2005. Employing authorities are required to notify affected individuals when decisions are made regarding human resource matters covered by the employment standard and the grievance resolution standard.

In 2014/15, 114 breach of standard cases were considered and finalised by the Commission. The outcomes of these cases are shown in the diagram to the right.

Matters of referral

78% no further action (67), 9% referred to agency (8), 9% recommendation to agency (8), 4% referred to breach process (3)

The PSM Act does not establish the Commissioner as a general complaint taking body 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 – generically called matter of referral.

In 2014/15, 86 matters of referral were finalised by the Commission. This represented a small increase on the 83 matters received on 2013/14. The outcome of matters referred to the Commission are shown in the diagram to the right.

Complexity of oversight matters finalised in 2014/15

Breach of standard claims, matters of referral and other oversight and review work have varying degrees of complexity – simple, routine and complex. These categories are defined by target timeframes. The completion of matters within these target timeframes are used as an efficiency indicator for the Commission's oversight function.

The categorisation of matters, the volume of relevant cases and the achievement of target timeframes for cases concluded in 2014/15 is shown below:

Category and timeframe target

Breach of Standard claims

Matters of referral

Oversight matters considered

Proportion completed within target timeframe 2014/15

Proportion completed within target timeframe 2013/14

Simple

(30 days)

20

29

49

94%

100%

Routine

(50 days)

84

37

121

88%

89%

Complex (120 days)

10

20

30

87%

93%

Total

114

86

200

89%

91%

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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 lodgement of public interest disclosures with the accountable authority, in some circumstances we may become involved where the authority does not have the resources to deal with the matter.

During the year, the Commissioner received five public interest disclosures matters, which were actioned under the provisions of the PID Act. This represented a substantial decline on the 14 PID matters received in 2013/14.

Thirteen PID matters were finalised in 2014/15. There were two PID matters still under consideration at the end of the reporting period.

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Collecting sector wide data

In 2014/15, the Commission's approach to data collection and analysis was changed to better measure, support and improve performance in the public sector. This involved identifying the drivers of business performance and moving to link these with measurable outcomes. This work is ongoing as we seek more effective ways to align public sector performance with priorities through improving business processes.

During the year, the Commission made de-identified workforce information available for public access on an online data portal (data.gov.au) in accordance with the Western Australian Whole of Government Open Data Policy. This provides an opportunity for the data to be used in new and diverse ways, to deliver better value and services.

State of the sector report

Under the PSM Act, the Commissioner reports annually to Parliament on the state of the public sector. This report seeks to highlight examples of best practice and identify key issues across the sector. The primary sources of information for the report are the 'Human resource minimum obligatory information requirement', 'Employee perception survey', 'Public sector entity survey' and the 'Equal employment opportunity survey'. In accordance with the PID Act, the PID survey also informs the relevant section of the report to Parliament.

The Commissioner tabled the 'State of the sector report' (SOTS report) in November 2014. Key issues emerging from the report include supporting integrity and accountability, developing capability and building partnerships through collaboration. The 2014 report includes an employee engagement model for the first time, which enabled benchmarking of public sector performance both nationally and internationally.

SOTS statistical bulletin

The SOTS statistical bulletin accompanies the main report, and is a detailed, data driven document that is published on the Commission's website only. It provides more detail on how the public sector has changed over time in response to changing capability needs and management practices. The bulletin enables public sector entities to benchmark their performance against other entities of a similar size or business function.

Human resource minimum obligatory information requirement

This data collection process supports sector-wide workforce planning, monitoring, analysis and reporting. Workforce data is collected quarterly from 105 public sector entities' human resources management information systems.

The quality of workforce diversity data improved in 2014/15 as non-response issues were identified and addressed. Greater quality assurance in collaboration with public sector entities has also facilitated better information to support evidence-based decision making.

The Commission responded to approximately 100 requests for specific information over the financial year, from within the State and across the country. Some of its activities included:

  • Department of Finance's '10-year strategic operational accommodation plan' – supporting the department to identify opportunities to better use government accommodation.
  • Department of Treasury's 'Public sector workforce renewal policy' – verifying information collected to support policy implementation.
  • Department of Commerce's 'Pay equity' reports – producing relevant statistics and information for the department.

Employee perception survey

This survey captures employee views on workplace issues such as leadership, innovation, job satisfaction and wellbeing. The survey also tests employee perceptions of workplace behaviour and awareness of ethical codes and standards.

The survey aims to cover all public sector entities once every five years. In June 2015, the survey was distributed to 37 353 employees in 20 entities for a response rate of 37 per cent. This was a significantly larger sample than the previous year (14 428 employees in 2014 for a response rate of 48 per cent), due to the participation of the North Metropolitan regions of both the Health and Education departments in 2015.

In August 2014, the Commission developed an employee engagement model enabling for the first time, a measure of employee performance and the key drivers and outcomes of this performance. We also sought to better analyse workforce performance and behaviour and link to measurable outcomes. To reduce red tape associated with administering the survey, employees were surveyed over one four-week period significantly lowering administrative duplication and overlap.

Public sector entity survey

At the end of each financial year, approximately 100 public sector entities complete a survey about their human resource management policies and practices, workplace behavioural trends and performance development activities.

Feedback indicates the survey continues to be a useful organisational assessment tool, with 52 per cent of entities reporting in July 2014 that their survey responses had been discussed at corporate executive and/or board level, and 36 per cent indicating this would occur within the next 12 months. Thirty-six per cent indicated their systems and processes had improved as a result of considering their performance in areas highlighted by the survey.

Following consultation with stakeholders, the 2015 survey will be streamlined to improve collection efficiency, with simpler reporting obligations based on organisational size. In addition, the survey will include new questions to better capture activities undertaken by entities to prevent misconduct. This will assist with our ongoing commitment to reduce the costs and burden of compliance reporting.

Equal employment opportunity survey

Under the EEO Act, public authorities provide the DEOPE with annual workforce diversity statistics. While public sector entities provide this data through the HRMOIR process, the Commission also assisted 138 local governments, four public universities and 20 government trading enterprises in meeting their reporting obligations by administering an annual Equal Employment Opportunity survey.

This survey helps target internal monitoring and planning activities but it also helps evaluate the effectiveness of diversity programs and initiatives across government. The 2014 results were published in the DEOPE Annual report in September 2014.

While self-nomination is voluntary and confidential, during the year work continued with public authorities to identify opportunities to improve staff response to requests for diversity status. This has contributed to a clearer picture of EEO representation in government employment to inform our associated programs and priorities.

To support the release of the 2015 survey to authorities, new advice and information was published on the Commission's website in May. Engagement also occurred between March and June to support local governments in improving data quality and completing the 2015 survey.

PID survey

Under the PID Act, public authorities report annually to the Commissioner on the number of public interest disclosures received, their designated PID officers and their awareness raising strategies. Some public sector entities provide this information through the 'Public sector entity survey' and others are required to respond through the annual PID survey. This year we assisted 138 local governments, four public universities, 20 government trading enterprises, one body established by Cabinet decision (WA Institute of Sport) and 98 government boards and committees to complete their PID survey.

The Commission reviewed the survey structure and supporting information provided during the year to better guide completion of the 2014 survey, particularly by boards and committees. More portfolio departments completed the PID survey in July 2014 on behalf of boards and committees, reducing the reporting burden for small authorities.

As a result of the transfer of the minor misconduct and the prevention and education functions from the CCC, the PID survey will be repurposed as an integrity and conduct survey for 2015.

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Page last updated 24 September 2015