Appendix J - Glossary of terms

Aboriginal Australian

See entry under 'Indigenous Australian'.

Advisory service

The Public Sector Commission provides a daily advisory service via phone and email to public bodies covered by the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act) and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PSM Act), their employees, and members of the community. This service provides advice on a range of matters including the public sector standards in human resource management, public interest disclosure, ethical codes and integrity.

Annual agency survey (AAS)

The AAS is conducted by the Commission to collect information from departments, Senior Executive Service (SES) organisations and non-SES organisations with regard to their compliance with the general principles of human resource management, the Commissioner's Instruction No. 7 - Code of Ethics, codes of conduct, and the PSM Act; and their general state of administration and management. Further information is provided in Appendix A - Monitoring and evaluation framework.

Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)

A skill-based classification of occupations, developed as the national standard for organising occupation-related information for purposes such as policy development and evaluation, human resource management, and labour market and social research. The classification includes all jobs in the Australian workforce.

Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO)

A skill-based classification of occupations, encompassing all jobs in the Australian workforce. It has been superseded by ANZSCO.

Breach of standard claim

The Public Sector Management (Breaches of Public Sector Standards) Regulations 2005 provide for persons to make a claim that an entity has not complied with the requirements of a public sector standard where they believe they have been adversely affected by the breach. When referred to the Commission, a determination is made by the Public Sector Commissioner as to whether a breach has occurred. Information about the standards is provided in Appendix B - Public Sector Management Act 1994.

Chief employee

A chief employee is the principal officer of a non-SES organisation, or of an agency where the principal officer is not a member of the SES, as specified in s. 3 of the PSM Act.

Chief executive officer (CEO)

For the purposes of this report, CEOs are the principal officers of departments or SES organisations, as specified in s. 3 of the PSM Act. They are accountable for the efficient and effective management of their agency. A CEO is directly responsible to either a minister or a board for implementing agency services and providing policy advice. The Commissioner employs all CEOs appointed under the PSM Act.

Code of conduct

A code of conduct is a formal written policy applicable within each public sector body that expands on the principles set out in the Code of Ethics. Further information is provided in the Conduct guide and Appendix B - Public Sector Management Act 1994.

Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics outlines the minimum standards of conduct and integrity for public sector bodies and employees. Further information is provided in Appendix B - Public Sector Management Act 1994.

Commission

For the purposes of this report, the term 'Commission' refers to the Public Sector Commission, unless otherwise specified. The Commission is principally established to assist the Commissioner in the management, administration and performance of the public sector.

Commissioner

For the purposes of this report, the term 'Commissioner' refers to the Public Sector Commissioner, unless otherwise specified. The Commissioner is appointed under s. 17 of the PSM Act.

Commissioner's instruction

Commissioner's instructions are issued by the Commissioner under ss. 21 or 22A of the PSM Act and provide direction to public sector bodies and employees on matters relating to the Commissioner's functions, administration and management of the public sector, and the application of the PSM Act. Existing instructions include:

  • Commissioner's Instruction No. 1 - Employment standard
  • Commissioner's Instruction No. 2 - Filling a public sector vacancy
  • Commissioner's Instruction No. 3 - Discipline - general
  • Commissioner's Instruction No. 4 - Discipline - former employees
  • Commissioner's Instruction No. 5 - Publishing a public sector notice
  • Commissioner's Instruction No. 6 - Workforce data reporting obligations
  • Commissioner's Instruction No. 7 - Code of Ethics
  • Commissioner's Instruction No. 8 - Codes of conduct and integrity training
  • Commissioner's Instruction No. 10 - Review of classification level of employees seconded to special offices to assist a political office holder.
Council of Australian Governments (COAG)

The primary intergovernmental forum in Australia is known as COAG. The members of COAG are the Prime Minister, state and territory premiers and chief ministers, and the President of the Australian Local Government Association.

The council is currently pursuing a reform agenda aimed at improving economic and social participation, strengthening the national economy, creating a more sustainable and liveable Australia, delivering better health services and closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage.

Distribution (equity index)

The distribution of a diversity group relates to how evenly a group is dispersed through the salary profile. Distribution is determined using the equity index. An index of 100 is considered optimal; an index less than 100 suggests the group is disproportionately represented in lower salary levels. If there are less than 10 persons in a diversity group, the index may not be a good indicator of the true distribution of salary levels within the group.

For information about how to calculate the equity index, see the State of the sector statistical bulletin 2013.

Employee perception survey (EPS)

The Commission conducts the EPS across the public sector to establish employee views of the extent to which behaviour in their entity is consistent with human resource standards, the Code of Ethics, and equity and diversity principles. The survey also aims to establish employee knowledge of, and confidence in, the PSM Act. For further information, see Appendix A - Monitoring and evaluation framework and Appendix E - Employee perception survey.

Employment type

Employment type relates to whether employees are employed on a permanent, fixed term, casual or sessional basis and whether they work full or part-time.

  • Permanent
    An employee who is employed for an indefinite period of time, usually under the terms and conditions of a relevant award or agreement.
  • Fixed term
    An employee who is employed for a fixed period of time.
  • Full-time
    An employee who usually works at least the agreed or award hours for a full-time employee in his or her occupation. If the agreed or award hours do not apply, an employee is regarded as full-time if ordinarily working 35 hours or more per week.
  • Part-time
    An employee who works less than full-time hours as defined above.
  • Casual
    An employee who is paid an hourly rate and receives a loading, usually in lieu of leave entitlements. The employee may work any number of hours, and the job may be temporary or have irregular hours.
  • Sessional
    An employee who is employed to work for sessional periods (e.g. a school term or semester).
Engagement

Engagement (when used in reference to employment) refers to employees who have commenced employment in the WA public sector in the last financial year. This includes both employees who have joined from outside the sector and employees from different employing authorities within the sector, and occurs through promotions, transfers, redeployments and secondments.

Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (EO Act)

The EO Act provides for the principles of equal opportunity in WA. It addresses discrimination in the areas of employment, accommodation, education, and the provision of goods, facilities, services and activities on the following grounds:

  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • gender history
  • family responsibility or family status
  • marital status
  • race
  • religious or political conviction
  • age
  • impairment
  • pregnancy.

Part IX of the EO Act provides specifically for equal opportunity in public employment, and establishes the statutory position and functions of the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment.

Ethical codes

Ethical codes comprise the Code of Ethics, together with the individual codes of conduct of public sector bodies. Appendix B - Public Sector Management Act 1994 provides further information on the Code of Ethics and codes of conduct.

Financial Management Act 2006 (FM Act)

The FM Act provides for the management, administration and reporting of the public finances of WA.

Full-time equivalent (FTE)

One FTE is one person paid for a full-time position. The FTE for a position is calculated by dividing the number of hours the employee is paid by the standard award hours for that position.

FTE totals include all current employees apart from board members, unless they are on an entity's payroll; trainees engaged through any traineeship program, award or agreement; casuals that were not paid in the final pay period for the financial year; and any time that is not ordinary time paid such as overtime and flex time.

Human resource management principles

Section 8 of the PSM Act sets out the human resource management principles. Appendix B - Public Sector Management Act 1994 provides further information.

Human resource minimum obligatory information requirement (HRMOIR) data

On a quarterly basis, the Commission collects and reports HRMOIR workforce data through the Workforce Analysis and Collection Application (WACA). The data includes demographic information such as age, gender, diversity status and occupation. For further information, see Appendix A - Monitoring and evaluation framework.

Indigenous Australian

The terms 'Indigenous Australian' and 'Aboriginal Australian' are both used in this report.

The term 'Indigenous Australian' is respectfully used to refer to persons of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who identify as such, and are accepted as such, by the community in which they live. This term is used in recognition of the terminology used in the National partnership agreement on Indigenous economic participation, and other relevant benchmarks.

The term 'Aboriginal Australian' is used in reference to the Aboriginal community and WA Government local policy programs such as the Aboriginal employment strategy 2011-2015. This is also in line with the renaming of the Department of Indigenous Affairs to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

Integrity Coordinating Group (ICG)

The ICG seeks to achieve cooperation and consistency through public awareness, workplace education, prevention, advice and investigation activities across a range of integrity themes. The group comprises the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administrative Investigations (Ombudsman), Auditor General, Information Commissioner, Corruption and Crime Commissioner and Public Sector Commissioner.

Machinery of government (MOG)

MOG changes are those made to public sector structures or administrative arrangements, arising from a recommendation by the Commissioner to the Governor. This may occur at the direction of the Premier or as a result of a decision made by the Cabinet. MOG changes include the creation, amalgamation, abolition or division of departments or organisations, or the movement of functions between departments or organisations. Appendix G - Machinery of government changes provides further information about the MOG changes that occurred in 2012/13.

Management tiers

Tier one managers direct and are responsible for the entity, as well as its development as a whole. They have ultimate control of, and responsibility for, employees in the other management tiers. Typical titles include director general, CEO, general manager, executive director and commissioner. There is usually only one tier one manager in an entity.

Tier two managers report directly to tier one management and assist tier one management by implementing organisational plans. They are directly responsible for leading and directing the work of other managers of functional departments. They may be responsible for managing professional and specialist employees. They do not include professional and graduate staff (e.g. engineers, medical practitioners and accountants) unless they have a primary management function.

Tier three managers report to tier two management. They formulate policies and plans for their area of control, and manage a budget and employees. They are the interface between tier two management and lower level managers. They also do not include professional and graduate staff unless they have a primary management function.

The management profile of a smaller entity may comprise only one or two tiers of management.

Matters of referral

Matters may be referred to the Commission for investigation or monitoring as part of its compliance monitoring role under s. 21 of the PSM Act. This may include requests for assistance; complaints about poor management, governance or compliance with public sector standards (outside of a breach claim process); and specific allegations of unethical behaviour. A matter may result in an examination, review or special inquiry. However, investigations may also be instigated by the Commissioner without a matter being raised with the Commission by an external party.

Mature workers

Mature workers are those aged 45 years and over.

Non-SES organisations

These comprise bodies, offices, posts or positions that are established or continued for a public purpose under a written law, and are not specified in either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the PSM Act. For a list of entities, see Appendix D - Structure of the government sector.

Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (OSH Act)

The OSH Act promotes and improves standards for occupational safety and health; establishes the Commission for Occupational Safety and Health; provides for a tribunal for the determination of certain matters and claims; and facilitates coordination of the administration of laws relating to occupational safety and health.

People from culturally diverse backgrounds

These are people born in countries other than the following, which have been categorised by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as mainly English speaking countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales)
  • United States of America.
People with disability

People with disability have an ongoing employment restriction due to their disability that requires any of the following:

  • restriction in the type of work they can do
  • modified hours of work or schedules
  • adaptations to the workplace or work area
  • specialised equipment
  • extra time for mobility or for some tasks
  • ongoing assistance or supervision to carry out their duties.
Principal executive officer (PEO)

A PEO (referred to in s. 23 of the PSM Act) is the person who has general direction and control of, and overall responsibility for, the operations of an entity and the management of its staff. For example, chief executives of public sector bodies and PSM Act Schedule 1 entities, and chairpersons of boards (if there is no chief executive or staff), are PEOs of their entities.

Principles of conduct by public sector bodies

Section 9 of the PSM Act sets out the principles of conduct to be observed by public sector bodies. Appendix B - Public Sector Management Act 1994 provides further information.

Proper authority for receiving a public interest disclosure (PID)

A PID must be made to a proper authority, which includes registered PID officers and named authorities listed in s. 5(3) of the PSM Act. Appendix C - Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 provides further information.

Public administration and management principles

Section 7 of the PSM Act sets out the principles of public administration and management to be observed in relation to the public sector.

Public authority

Public authority is defined in s. 3 of the PSM Act to mean:

  • a department of the public service established under s. 35 of the PSM Act
  • an organisation specified in column 2 of Schedule 2 of the PSM Act
  • a non-SES organisation within the meaning of that term in s. 3(1) of the PSM Act
  • a local government or a regional local government
  • a body that is established or continued for a public purpose under a written law
  • a body that is established by the Governor or a minister
  • any other body or the holder of an office referred to in subsection (2) of the PSM Act that is declared by the regulations to be a public authority.
Public interest disclosure (PID)

A PID is a disclosure of public interest information made under the PSM Act. Appendix C - Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 provides further information.

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PSM Act)

The PID Act facilitates the disclosure of public interest information, and provides protection for those making disclosures and those who are the subject of disclosures. Appendix C - Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 provides further information.

Public interest disclosure (PID) officer

A person who is a PID officer occupies a position within a public authority designated to receive disclosures of public interest information. Appendix C - Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 provides further information.

Public interest disclosure survey (PID survey)

The PID survey is an annual survey conducted by the Commission to collect information about compliance with the PSM Act and the Public interest disclosure code of conduct and integrity. The PID survey asks public authorities about their PID officers, internal procedures and whether they have received any disclosures in 2012/13. Appendix A - Monitoring and evaluation framework provides further information.

Public interest information

Public interest information is defined in s. 3 of the PSM Act, and refers to information such as improper conduct, offences under state law, mismanagement of resources, and acts that may cause concerns for individual or public safety. Appendix C - Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 provides further information.

Public sector

Collectively, departments, SES organisations, non-SES organisations and ministerial offices are referred to as the public sector. For a list of entities, see Appendix D - Structure of the government sector.

Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act)

The PSM Act provides the legislative framework for the structure, administration and management of the WA public sector. The PSM Act covers areas such as:

  • public sector conduct obligations
  • the role and functions of the Commissioner
  • functions and responsibilities of CEOs
  • managing substandard performance and disciplinary matters
  • appointments to the SES.
Public sector standards

The public sector standards are issued by the Commissioner in accordance with s. 21 of the PSM Act and set out minimum levels of merit, equity and probity in relation to recruitment, selection, secondment, transfer, temporary deployment, performance management, grievance resolution, redeployment, discipline and termination. Appendix B - Public Sector Management Act 1994 provides further information.

Reporting period

This report is based on information about activities that occurred during the 2012/13 financial year unless otherwise specified.

Representation

Representation (when used in reference to diversity) is the number of employees who self-identify as belonging to a diversity group, expressed as a proportion of the number of valid responses to a voluntary diversity survey managed by public authorities.

Response rate

The response rate is the number of valid survey responses as a proportion of the valid number of persons or entities who were invited to complete a survey.

Salary ranges

Unless otherwise specified, salary ranges are based on the Public Service and Government Officers General Agreement 2011 (PSGOGA) general division salary levels, where salary range 10 combines Class 1 and above.

Salary range data includes all employees of an entity, including permanent employees, fixed term employees, casuals, trainees and others according to their current equivalent annual base wage or salary. The equivalent salary is the wage that would be paid to a full-time employee at that level including:

  • base wage or salary for employees on unpaid leave
  • equivalent annual rate of pay as specified in the award, enterprise or workplace agreement
  • salary incremental step
  • ordinary time earnings
  • higher duties allowance for ordinary time hours.

Penalty payments, overtime pay, shift and other remunerative allowances are excluded.

Schedule 1 entity

Schedule 1 entities are statutory authorities specified in Schedule 1 of the PSM Act, which do not form part of the public sector as defined in s. 3 of the PSM Act. For a list of entities, see Appendix D - Structure of the government sector.

Senior Executive Service (SES)

The SES comprises senior executive roles (including senior executive officers and CEOs) as constituted under s. 43 of the PSM Act. The purpose of the SES is to arrange for a group of executive officers capable of:

  • providing high level policy advice and undertaking managerial responsibilities
  • being deployed within, and between, agencies
  • promoting the efficiency of individual agencies.

CEOs are appointed by the Governor under s. 45 of the PSM Act. An officer may be appointed as a member of the SES in accordance with s. 53 of the PSM Act. The SES position will be higher than PSGOGA Level 8, however not all employees above Level 8 are SES members.

Separation

A separation occurs when an employee ceases to be employed by an entity. Employee movements are at an entity level i.e. if an employee resigns from one entity to join another entity, this is recorded as a separation.

Separation rate

This represents the number of permanent and fixed-term employees who ceased to be employed by an entity, divided by the total number of permanent and fixed-term employees. Employee movements are at an entity level i.e. if an employee resigns from one entity to join another entity, this is recorded as a separation.

SES organisation

SES organisations are statutory authorities specified in Schedule 2 of the PSM Act, which form part of the public sector as defined in s. 3 of the PSM Act, and which are subject to that Act. For a list of entities, see Appendix D - Structure of the government sector.

Treasurer's instruction

Treasurer's instructions are issued by the Treasurer under s. 78 of the FM Act about matters of financial administration. They prescribe minimum requirements on such matters as accounting for revenue, expenditure and property, the standards of reporting and others necessary to achieve the objects and purposes of the Act. They must be observed by all entities to which they apply.

Women in management

Women in management refers to the representation of women in the top three management tiers, including the SES. The management tiers link to decision-making responsibility, rather than salary.

Youth

Youth refers to employees under 25 years of age.

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Appendix I - Abbreviations

Appendix K - References

 


Page last updated 7 October 2014