Commissioner's overview

Mal Wauchope

This year was transformational for the Public Sector Commission as we continued our journey to deliver the Government's reform agenda to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of public administration and management. The reform package included the passing by Parliament of the Workforce Reform Act 2014 and the Corruption and Crime Commission (Misconduct) Amendment Act 2014 and the introduction of new lobbyist legislation, currently before Parliament. With our legislative and policy foundations almost in place, the time is right for a new approach to public sector renewal.

We know a clear, strategic focus on accountability and integrity is where the most impact can be made across the public sector. A significant body of work this year has been preparing for the transfer of responsibility for the oversight of minor misconduct and misconduct prevention and education. This change provides us all with an opportunity to reset how we think about, and manage integrity. I am optimistic about the opportunities the new framework offers.

We also continued to address issues impacting on public sector performance. A key component of this work was the new
Public Sector Management (Redeployment and Redundancy) Regulations 2014, which came into operation on 1 May 2015. For the first time, the regulations include the capacity for the involuntary termination of employees who cannot be redeployed within six months and provides public sector leaders with another tool in the employment framework.

These two changes will enable public sector leaders to manage issues more efficiently within their organisations. The Commission's focus will be on developing frameworks, ensuring public sector bodies have appropriate rigour in their processes, providing advice and assistance where appropriate, and reporting on these new regimes to Parliament.

Diversity and inclusiveness in public employment remain areas that require the sector's ongoing attention. While there have been achievements under the inaugural Aboriginal employment and disability employment strategies, more work needs to be done. I am committed to partnering with agencies to provide further opportunities for Aboriginal Australians and people with disability to engage in public sector employment.

There are opportunities to build stronger strategic ties with our national and international colleagues to advance significant initiatives. Among these will be interjurisdictional collaboration, directed towards a uniform national approach to the public sector human resources function to ensure the stewardship of public sectors into the future.

In terms of capability development, we will have a new focus over the next year on building the capacity of chief financial and information and communications technology practitioners. I continue to see our focus on developing our leaders, through initiatives such as 'Leadership essentials' and our partnership with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, as key to ensuring 'the tone from the top' is clear and consistent.

We will continue to challenge the way we do things, both within the Commission and in relation to our work with the broader sector, in our ongoing quest to deliver better performance and outcomes. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation of the talented staff across the Commission for their commitment to planning for, and implementing, these changes throughout the year. I look forward to bringing you an update of our first year of operation as a 'renewed' Commission in 2016.

M C Wauchope
PUBLIC SECTOR COMMISSIONER


Page last updated 24 September 2015