Strengthening systems to improve services

In this section:

The current fiscal climate is driving a greater focus on efficiency in the state government, with incentives to reduce staff numbers and wage costs in the last year. This has included over 1000 voluntary redundancies, a hiring freeze, a new policy limiting wage increase to the consumer price index, and a cap on public sector entity salary budgets. These measures have contributed to a decline in the workforce of 1.4 per cent in 2013/14.1

A new voluntary redundancy scheme, which targets a further 1500 employees and establishes an additional 1 per cent efficiency dividend, has recently been announced among further savings measures introduced for 2014/15.

Government actions and investments account for one third of gross domestic product across Australia.2 The majority of the WA Government's operating expenses (63 per cent) are spent providing health, education and public safety services, at an expense of almost $16 billion in 2012/13.3 Therefore, increasing government efficiency and innovation has the potential to impact the broader economy and mitigate the effect of increasing service demands.

As well as increasing fiscal constraints, the need to respond swiftly and effectively to government and community expectations are driving entities to find new and improved ways to provide services.

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Satisfaction with services

Improvements in service delivery in the private sector, largely driven by advances in technology, are increasing community expectations of public sector services. At the same time, improvements are expected to be achieved at a lower cost or with better value for money.

In 2013, the Queensland Public Service Commission conducted a community survey about satisfaction with service delivery across five states. Satisfaction with state government was highest in WA (33 per cent, compared with 22 per cent in Queensland, 18 per cent in Victoria, 18 per cent in South Australia and 14 per cent in New South Wales),4 as was reported ease of carrying out transactions with the state government (45 per cent, compared to 44 per cent in South Australia, 40 per cent in Queensland, 35 per cent in New South Wales and 34 per cent in Victoria). While WA performed well in comparison with the other states, it would seem that community expectations are often not being met across state government services.

In the WA public sector, service standards are often monitored through surveys of clients and citizens.5 Almost all entities (91 per cent) reported in the Public Sector Commission's 2014 Public sector entity survey (PSES) that they collect feedback from existing clients and customers, and 44 per cent collect feedback from the wider community or general public. Most entities use the collected feedback to improve programs and systems (97 per cent) and advise their staff (85 per cent).

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Building partnerships

Effective service delivery remains the primary goal of government, and the current fiscal climate necessitates entities finding efficiencies while maintaining high service standards and outcomes.

As one solution, the public sector is moving towards acting as a facilitator of services, rather than being a direct provider. The WA Government is committed to improving outcomes for citizens through partnering with the not-for-profit and private sectors in the funding and contracting of community services. Some examples include the Disability Services Commission's 'My way' model (external website) of delivering services to people with disability, St John of God's delivery of public health care services at the Midland Health Campus from late 2015, and the recently announced plan to build and run eight new public schools in Perth in partnership with private companies.

Collaboration

Collaboration can enhance efficiency in service delivery by enabling sharing of complementary resources (e.g. staff expertise and innovative ideas, funding and personnel, and established relationships and networks), particularly where other organisations are better placed to directly design or deliver a project.

Some examples of collaboration in the public sector, as reported in the 2014 PSES, were:

  • Small Business Development Commission worked with several departments and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA to develop the 'Aboriginal business directory WA', which now has over 200 Aboriginal businesses registered and is increasingly being used in procuring products and services.
  • WorkCover WA and WorkSafe collaborated to develop the ThinkSafe program, which promotes the prevention of accidents and injuries by introducing small businesses to hazard identification and risk reduction, safety and health policies and systems, and good injury management practice.
  • Polytechnic West pooled resources with regional training providers in order to better meet the training needs of regional industry and community.

As a member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority collaborates on conservation and restoration projects with other countries. The following case study highlights some of the work being done in Saudi Arabia.

Conservation and restoration in Saudi Arabia – Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority

The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) is a member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International and its Ecological Restoration Alliance, which aims to restore 100 degraded ecosystems worldwide as a template for improving global restoration capacity. Since 2008, BGPA has been active in the Middle East, undertaking conservation and restoration projects in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Libya, Kuwait and Oman.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an important territory of focus for BGPA. The main partner, and singular source of funding for the project, is the Arriyadh Development Authority, which coordinates and oversees the social, infrastructure and environmental development of the greater Riyadh region. For Saudi Arabia, land degradation has resulted in landscape-scale loss of plant cover, with resultant wind erosion, large scale dust storms, and negative impacts on biodiversity values.

The BGPA program draws upon its internationally recognised expertise in dryland restoration, research and horticultural practice to identify practical solutions to land degradation in the region. It focuses on the development and delivery of a nature conservation and restoration strategy that is the first of its type and scale for the Middle East, with emphasis on the use of local native plants. The initiative is using research in the Middle East to deliver adaptive management outcomes that are low cost and scalable, from a small research site to landscape-scale.

Since January 2013, the project has involved the planting of experimental materials comprising over 100 000 nursery plants, and precision sowing of 140 000 seeds into carefully designed experimental plots that aim to improve seedling establishment under the extraordinarily harsh conditions of the Saudi deserts. The program is delivering baseline knowledge to advance capacity building of environmental research and restoration skills. This includes technology transfer in respect of direct seeding, seed improvement programs and seed farming, production nursery development, and infrastructure that includes the first commercial scale seed bank for the Middle East.

At the local level, the initiative contributes towards enhancing the state's collaborative and research partnerships with the Middle East, a region of high strategic and economic importance to WA. The research project is one of the largest undertaken in dryland restoration globally, and its results have implications for restoration science and combating land degradation and desertification worldwide.

Community engagement

Engaging the community during service design and planning assists entities to offer more targeted and efficient services. The Delivering community services in partnership policy (external website) highlights the WA Government's commitment to empowering service users, reducing red tape and ensuring sustainability in the delivery of community services.

Of the respondents to the Commission's 2014 Employee perception survey (EPS), 53 per cent reported interacting with members of the public every day. Most of these frontline employees (88 per cent) indicated their workplace is committed to providing excellent customer service and making a positive difference to the community. However, only 54 per cent of EPS respondents reported their entity encourages the public to participate in the design of services and programs (17 per cent disagreed and 19 per cent were neutral). This represents an opportunity for entities to consider how best to engage citizens in designing services.

Community engagement—Kings Park Festival

The WA Country Health Service has partnered with the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council to improve renal services in Derby and Kununurra. The following case study describes the 'Kimberley Renal Services' program.

Kimberley Renal Services—Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council and WA Country Health Service

The occurrence of kidney disease in the Kimberley is one of the highest in Australia, and the demand for dialysis has increased at a much faster rate than in any other WA region. The Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council (KAMSC) and the regional Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services have developed a renal strategic plan that is directly informed by the issues and service needs of clients. Aboriginal community participation occurred through regional Aboriginal health planning, 'Norhealth 2020' planning and a regional dialysis summit. These consultations ensured community needs were understood and considered in the design and delivery of a culturally appropriate care management strategy for people with stage one kidney disease, those capable of independent home self-care through to in-centre dialysis therapy.

Kimberley Renal Services (KRS) is funded by the WA Country Health Service (WACHS). KAMSC provides in-centre dialysis therapies, renal education, early detection and management of kidney disease. The establishment of the capital infrastructure for Kununurra and Derby was funded by the Commonwealth Government under the Health and Hospitals Fund. Those patients capable of independent home self-care renal therapies are supported by the WA Home Dialysis Program—a statewide service. Regional access to dialysis services for people in the Kimberley, as well as support for those able to manage independent home self-care in their own communities, is now provided, where previously patients were treated in Perth, away from family, community and country. Increasing the number of people on home dialysis remains a priority for all service providers. Twenty-eight dialysis patients were able to return home to the Kimberley in the 12 months to June 2014, boosted by the recent rollout of two new renal units in Derby and Kununurra; and an interim unit established at Fitzroy Crossing Hospital. This brings the total number of patients receiving supported dialysis in the Kimberley to 76. KRS will build upon existing services in the next two financial years to increase the number of patients treated to 120.

KRS is a multidisciplinary service with nurses, Aboriginal health workers, social support workers and doctors. It is supported by the services of a visiting nephrologist under a service level agreement between WACHS and Royal Perth Hospital. A review is currently underway to evaluate the service. The aim is to detect and prevent kidney disease before patients reach the stage of requiring dialysis. Funding to expand renal infrastructure and dialysis and support services in WA was jointly announced in April this year by the Hon. Peter Dutton MP and the Hon. Dr Kim Hames MLA. It includes the expansion and upgrade of existing services across the Kimberley, Pilbara, Goldfield and Midwest regions.

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Fostering innovation

Leading in innovative practice helps ensure service standards are maintained during a tighter fiscal climate. Support for innovation and efficiency in government also has potentially significant effects on the broader economy and society as government funds the majority of essential services in areas such as health and education.

The Department of Commerce administers the 'WA innovator of the year' awards (external website) to promote and acknowledge the success of WA's innovators. In 2014, the award nominees included projects to develop a microscope small enough to fit in a needle for use in medical imaging, a folding boat to enable easy transportation in rescue situations, and acoustic sensors capable of identifying specific sounds to provide an early warning system to protect buildings from termites.

In a new question this year, 62 per cent of EPS respondents reported their entity encourages creativity and innovation, and 14 per cent neither agreed nor disagreed. Employees who thought innovation is encouraged were more likely to believe their workgroup achieves a high level of productivity (93 per cent, compared to 75 per cent for those who think innovation is discouraged). It is expected that an organisation that is innovative is more likely to have improved productivity.

Effective leaders create a climate that empowers staff to innovate and an organisational structure that facilitates cross-functional partnerships. Those employees who thought their senior leaders provide effective leadership were more likely to report innovation is encouraged (84 per cent) than those who thought their leaders ineffective (only 26 per cent agreed innovation is encouraged). This suggests that leaders who are considered effective are likely to promote and support an innovative culture in the workplace.

In the 2014 PSES, entities reported they experience the following barriers to innovation:

  • leadership priorities
  • time and budget constraints
  • policy and legislative environment
  • corporate culture and resistance to change
  • differing stakeholder expectations of service delivery.

However, all entities reported using innovative approaches to improve their efficiency and performance over the year, such as:

  • South West Institute of Technology introduced a virtual desktop package that allows staff to access software from any computer with an internet connection, including while conducting training in workplaces other than a campus.
  • Housing Authority developed an application for tablet computers to improve the quality and consistency of the 50 000 housing inspections their staff conduct each year. The application reduces the amount of administration, and enables better recordkeeping and collection of evidence.

Increasing availability, use and improvement of technology, such as smartphones, computer tablets and social media, provide new opportunities for service delivery and communication with the public and clients. Several entities referred in the 2014 PSES to the use of technology in delivering services, such as:

  • Metropolitan Cemeteries Board revamped the walk trails throughout Karrakatta and Fremantle Cemeteries, and included 'Quick response (QR) codes' on signage that walkers can scan with their smartphone to get more information about the point of interest.
  • Department of Fisheries announced when tagged sharks had been detected close to metropolitan beaches via Twitter and the Sharksmart website.
  • Tourism WA redeveloped its primary website, and incorporated changes that ensured the website is accessible using smartphones and tablet computers, as many travellers no longer carry laptops or access personal computers on their travels.

The WA Police has also incorporated social media into their new service delivery reform program. The following case study describes the 'Frontline 2020' program, which aims to provide more efficient, productive and locally focused policing services.

Frontline 2020 – changing frontline services at WA Police

In 2012, WA Police received more than 1.1 million phone calls for services. The introduction of the Frontline 2020 reform program aims to provide an efficient and locally-focused model of policing to reduce this demand by tackling local issues before they escalate into ongoing problems that require police attendance.

Under the new Frontline 2020 Operating Model, the metropolitan area is divided into four large Districts, equally matched with officers according to policing demand. Officers in each District are then assigned to either Local Police Teams, Response Teams or Investigation Teams, overseen by a District Control Centre. Local Police Teams are largely quarantined from the regular tasking of Response Teams, allowing them to focus on their specified allocation of suburbs. This model was trialled successfully in South East Metro from November 2013 and has now been joined by South Metro in September 2014. North West Metro and Central Metro will commence under the new model in December 2014.

Social media has been introduced to engage the community in policing and distribute accurate information quickly and effectively to locals. Every Local Police Team is issued with a smartphone with the phone numbers published on the WA Police website so community members can contact their local police directly. Twitter has been recognised as an opportunity to engage the wider public and provide important safety messages and crime prevention advice to locals through short, sharp and succinct messages. By the end of 2014, every Metropolitan police station will have an active Twitter account as a key function of Local Police Teams. Each of the four Metropolitan Districts will also have its own Facebook page, with South East Metro and South Metro already establishing strong local followings since running Facebook through the District Control Centres under the new model.

The popular WA Police Facebook site indicates a strong appetite for social media services with more than 120 000 'likes' on the page as at September 2014. Twitter has also been rolled out to regional offices, with Albany, Australind, Busselton, York and Northam among the first to join the digital revolution. As of September 2014, WA Police was operating 42 police station Twitter accounts and three District Facebook pages to go with its corporate pages.

Tourism WA has recently demonstrated innovation and creativity in the advertising campaign, 'Experience extraordinary'. The following case study highlights the current approach, which aims to increase tourism spending in the state.

'Experience extraordinary' – Tourism WA

In September 2013, Tourism WA unveiled the second phase of its advertising campaign, 'Experience extraordinary', as part of the state's 'Regional tourism marketing program'. This phase involved the launch of two new television and cinema advertisements, and striking photography for use in press and digital campaigns. The campaign aims to grow tourism spending in the state and increase the value of tourism to $12 billion by 2020.

The brand films in the campaign were created to show tourists why exploring WA is worth travelling the distance and spending the time and money. Ms Suzie Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Host Sydney, the organisation which oversaw production of the films, explains that 'persuading consumers to travel to a destination, that is perceived to be both costly and a great distance away, requires strong (and) emotional advertising'.

One film portrayed a young couple exploring the South West, while the other showed a mature couple holidaying in the North West. Internationally renowned musicians composed original music for the films, to capture both the cinematic drama of the landscape and the intimacy of the couples. The Hon. Liza Harvey MLA, Minister for Tourism, describes the advertising as aiming 'to create an emotional connection with people by focusing on getting away from everyday life and reconnecting with those who matter the most, while experiencing the magic and beauty of extraordinary WA'. The films target consumers who enjoy adventure and discovering new activities and who are willing to put in the extra effort to attain a truly unique holiday experience. There is also a focus on reconnection with family and friends, which the TNS Australia 'Domesticate 2012' study has demonstrated is a critical requirement of a domestic holiday.

The brand films were broadcast on selected free-to-air and subscription television channels, as well as in indoor and outdoor cinemas. It is estimated that 4 382 839 people across Sydney, Melbourne and Perth have seen the films, exceeding their expected reach. Almost one in two of the intrastate target market, and nearly 35 per cent of the interstate target market, were exposed to the campaign. Current figures demonstrate the campaign generated a return of $19 in visit spend for every dollar spent on media, indicating that the campaign is well on track to meet its overall return on investment target. Further evaluation is currently underway.

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Driving efficiency

There continues to be a focus on efficiency in the state government, with ongoing service delivery pressures from an increasing and ageing population. Entities are considering various ways to streamline processes and increase staff productivity to ensure that service demands continue to be effectively met.

In the 2014 EPS, respondents were asked for the first time about efficiency within their team. Perceptions of productivity were generally good, and better than other jurisdictions where comparison data was available:

  • 87 per cent reported their workgroup achieves a high level of productivity
  • 84 per cent reported their workgroup uses time and resources effectively (compared to 82 per cent in Victoria, 76 per cent in New South Wales, 67 per cent in the Northern Territory and 65 per cent in Queensland).

Of the 2014 EPS sample entities, employees at the WA Museum, WorkCover and the School Curriculum and Standards Authority were most likely to report their workgroup achieves a high level of productivity (more than 90 per cent of respondents in each entity). These results suggest that employees are aiming to maintain service delivery standards as budgetary constraints increase.

Reducing red tape

In the State of the future: A vision for WA (external website) report,6 the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry noted that as the state's focus moves from the mining industry to small business, reducing red tape will help ensure businesses maximise growth opportunities and productivity.

Where legislation is unnecessary or poorly designed, it may create a burden on citizens and business. In July 2014, the WA Government released the Economic Regulation Authority's Inquiry into microeconomic reform in Western Australia: Final report (external website).7 The report recommends the Government establish a regulatory reform program to reduce burden. This should improve coordination between entities, use technology to facilitate service delivery, and identify recurring problems faced by service users. In light of the report, the Government has agreed to further reduce regulatory burden, including through actions such as an annual 'Repeal day' to remove obsolete legislation.

Entities are increasingly focused on reducing the administrative burden associated with processes, applications and approvals for delivering services. Some red tape reduction examples reported by entities through the 2014 PSES were:

  • Department of Environmental Regulation extended licence durations from three to five years to 20 years to reduce the burden of licence renewals
  • Department of Transport removed compulsory driving tests for drivers who are 85 years and older as a result of research demonstrating that older drivers are not more likely to have accidents
  • South West Institute of Technology upgraded websites to enable new and ongoing students to undertake the enquiry and enrolment process online.

In the 2014 PSES, entities were also asked about improvements they are making to internal decision making processes. Most entities reported refining decision making processes (91 per cent) and developing target timeframes for key processes (79 per cent).

Program evaluation

Evaluation helps to identify potential improvements to programs, and their outcomes and impact. For the community, program evaluation leads to better use of public monies, improved services, and greater confidence in government.8 Determining the value of new programs can be challenging unless they are designed to include measurable outcomes.

In September 2013, the Department of Treasury established a new Program Evaluation Unit, which assists in consistent and transparent evaluation of government funded programs. The unit aims to develop a culture of evaluation as part of core business across the public sector. The Evaluation guide (external website) has been released to assist entities in the development, implementation and evaluation of programs. A new 'sunset clause' has been introduced for large programs that impact the state's net operating balance by at least $5 million. This mandates the evaluation of these programs at pre-defined intervals.

In the 2014 PSES, larger entities were asked about their audit and evaluation programs. Of these, 78 per cent had an internal audit function, and a process for regular program evaluation. Less than 10 per cent had no routine evaluation of programs in place, although all larger entities had mechanisms to audit internal systems.

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Strengthening governance

Good governance involves the establishment of appropriate organisational structures and processes to achieve service delivery and regulatory outcomes. These arrangements should be supported by strong leadership, ethical behaviour and effective partnerships in order to drive performance. Effective governance structures help to ensure community needs are met by strengthening operational efficiency and accountability, and ensuring the most appropriate use of resources.

Relationship with Government

Clear and transparent relationships across government are critical to public sector governance. These prevent any undue influence in public administration and ensure the quick and efficient design and implementation of services. The relationship with the Government is underpinned by processes to manage communication and other interaction between ministers and the entity.

Larger entities reported in the 2014 PSES that they:

  • have a team or position responsible for coordinating material sent to ministers (100 per cent)
  • collect feedback from ministers about their quality of advice and services (75 per cent)
  • train staff on how to interact with ministers (66 per cent).

This indicates the public sector is well positioned to be responsive to, and inspire confidence in the services it provides to, the Government.

Oversight role and responsibilities

Where government boards and committees exist, they are generally responsible for ensuring good governance of an entity. Boards ensure effective systems and processes are in place to oversee the entity's management.

The Commission has developed a new induction package for board and committee members, Board essentials, to assist them to understand their role and responsibilities within the government context. This is further described in the following case study.

Governance of boards and committees

On 18 June 2014, the Auditor General released Governance of public sector boards (external website).9 This report summarises an audit of the governance and operating practices of a sample of government boards and committees. The Auditor General found that the boards generally maintained policies, procedures, systems and practices that ensured effective oversight of their entity's activity and which are consistent with the Commission's good practice principles outlined in Good governance: A guide for Western Australian public sector boards and committees. However, the Auditor General observed that improvements are required in the key areas of management of conflicts of interest and the induction and performance assessment of board members, and made a number of recommendations around these areas.

In response to a number of enquiries submitted to the Commission by boards and committees regarding governance practices and procedures, the Commission has released two products, Board essentials and Conduct guide for public sector boards and committees. Board essentials outlines the roles and relationships between the responsible minister, board members, chairperson and the chief executive officer of the public sector body, over which the board has oversight, and provides an overview of board governance and accountability considerations, risk management and financial management. It will be accompanied by an induction program for new board members. The Conduct guide provides guidance for developing, implementing and promoting the board's code of conduct to assist board members in understanding the conduct expected of them in the role.

The formalised induction program will be rolled out by the Commission to government boards across the state, and will assist new board members in understanding their obligations and the scope of the task ahead. The two products and induction program will also address the recommendations made in the Auditor General's report.

Strategic and operational planning

The State planning strategy 2050 (external website)10 was released in June 2014 to inform planning policies and decisions in the state around infrastructure, environment, food security, land availability, economic development, education, training and knowledge transfer. The strategy will support entities to align their future operational and strategic planning with WA Government priorities.

At an entity level, strategic planning assists entities to plan for meeting government priorities, legislative responsibilities and service delivery objectives. In the 2014 PSES, almost all entities indicated they have strategic plans, and 78 per cent evaluate progress against the plan at least periodically.

Alignment between strategic and operational planning ensures the link between programs and strategic objectives is clear, and that adequate operational resources are directed to core business. In the 2014 PSES, 85 per cent of entities indicated they have an operational plan that is aligned with their strategic plan, and 73 per cent indicated they have common reporting and monitoring across the entity on operational plan progress.

The Department of Health is engaging in a strategic governance reform program to ensure it can meet increasing health service delivery challenges. The following case study describes the reform approach.

Reforming governance – Department of Health

In recent years, the Department of Health has faced a number of challenges. The challenges are a result of factors such as Australia's ageing population, greater community expectations of services, a skills shortage in the health sector, and burgeoning costs of providing health services to communities in central and regional WA in the context of the state's slowing revenue base. It is recognised that to sustain financial performance and to ensure clinical safety and quality, change is required.

The department has established a reform initiative for 2014 to 2015, listing specific priorities of reforming governance, improving information and communications technology governance, progressing key national reforms through activity based funding and management, and commissioning Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth Children's Hospital, and the reconfiguration of metropolitan health services.

As part of its reform program, WA Health has established the Transition and Reconfiguration Steering Committee to drive change, provide external oversight of proposed reforms, and provide advice to the Director General and the Government. The committee is made up of senior representatives from different entities, including the former head of the Victorian Department of Health as an independent advisor. The committee is tasked with ensuring the department continues to provide safe, high quality, accountable and effective health care for WA people in a financially sustainable environment. To achieve this mission, central to the committee's focus is the improvement of governance and accountability arrangements through a proposed governance model.

To this end, the committee will undertake a number of tasks. It will examine the department's legislation to ensure it fits the contemporary operating model, review and restructure roles and responsibilities to ensure clear lines of accountability, and address the issue of the Director General's current conflicting accountabilities as a purchaser and provider of health care services. The committee will also plan to balance the department's focus on strategic issues and system management, as well as short term imperatives, and to overcome the department's history of operating deficits. Ultimately, it will provide advice to the Minister and Cabinet on the proposed way forward.

Records management

In 2013, the Office of the Auditor General released Records management in the public sector (external website).11 The Auditor General reviewed recordkeeping practices in six public sector entities and found that some recordkeeping plans were not up to date and some key records were not captured in record management systems. While it was also noted that recordkeeping training could be more extensive, most respondents to the 2014 EPS reported receiving sufficient training to meet requirements (78 per cent).

Financial management

The public sector needs to provide value for money services and programs in order to meet community needs and expectations now and in the future. CEOs are required to plan for and undertake their entity's financial management and monitor financial performance and reporting.

In the 2014 EPS, respondents were asked for the first time whether their entity makes sound financial decisions. Fifty per cent of respondents agreed, and 24 per cent disagreed. This suggests that while many employees generally consider their entity uses resources efficiently, there may be opportunities to increase communication with employees in this area.

Following discussions with the Department of the Treasury and the Office of the Auditor General, the Commission has identified financial management as an occupation and skillset that needs to be better understood and developed across the sector. This work will be progressed through the Centre for Public Sector Excellence over the coming year.

A Chief Finance Officers' reference group has been assembled to help build the financial capability of the sector. This group will provide input and expertise to the identification of priority capabilities and a consultation mechanism for the identification of skill gaps across the sector and target groups for development.

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Key chapter findings

In the face of a tightening fiscal climate, the public sector continues to strive for improvements in efficiency while ensuring service delivery standards are maintained.

Entities report a wide range of innovations in service delivery, such as community engagement through social media, new partnerships with other sectors to deliver savings and benefits, and evaluation programs to improve service design. Employees who had positive perceptions of their leaders were more likely to report that innovation and creativity were encouraged in their entity.

Most employees report their workgroups are productive and use resources effectively. Entities are driving efficiency by continuing to reduce the regulatory burden and refine decision making processes.

Ongoing improvements in communication, collaboration and innovation place the sector in a good position to meet the increasing service delivery and fiscal challenges in coming years.

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1 Based on full-time equivalents from human resource minimum obligatory information requirement (HRMOIR) workforce data at June 2013 and 2014.

2 Institute of Public Administration Australia 2014, Shaping the future through co-creation, p. 4

3 Department of Treasury 2014, The structure of the Western Australian economy, p. 53

4 For information about inter-jurisdictional sources, see Appendix B.

5 Office of the Auditor General 2012, Beyond compliance: Reporting and managing KPIs in the public sector, p. 26

6 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA 2014, State of the future: A vision for WA, p. 76

7 Economic Regulation Authority 2014, Inquiry into microeconomic reform in Western Australia: Final report, pp. 11-12

8 Department of Treasury Program Evaluation Unit 2014, Evaluation guide

9 Office of the Auditor General 2014, Governance of public sector boards

10 Western Australian Planning Commission 2014, State planning strategy 2050

11 Office of the Auditor General 2013, Records management in the public sector

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Page last updated 20 November 2014