26 September 2023

2022-23 Budget to be kind to APS ASL

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The 2022-23 Budget unveiled this week included adjustments to the Australian Public Service’s Average Staffing Levels (ASL) for the year ahead, with all but three of the major Agencies having their ASL increased.

High on the positive side are Defence with a planned increase of 4,288 extra staff entitlements; Home Affairs an extra 807; Industry, Science, Energy and Resources 572 more; Prime Minister and Cabinet up 434; and the Attorney-General’s Agencies up 225.

On the other side, the three main Agencies to lose staff levels are Services Australia down 2,719; Australian Bureau of Statistics down 732 and the Department of Health 381.

All in all, 78 Agencies are to receive increases, 66 remain unmoved and 28 go down.

Commenting on the ASL staff levels, Minister for Finance, Senator Simon Birmingham (pictured) said that while the increase in 2022-23 ASL was slightly above the 2021-22 estimate, it was 718 below the original expected peak forecast in the 2021-22 Budget.

“All decisions have been taken in line with the Government’s policy to manage the size of Government administration through careful assessment of any specific needs for additional staff,” Senator Birmingham said.

He said the Department of Health’s extra 51 were to continue to support the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine program and extend the National Incident Centre; the Social Services’ extra 144 is to continue to respond to the impacts of the 2022 flood event in Queensland and northern New South Wales; and the Defence portfolios faced increases in workforce to deliver the Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise, the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise and the AUKUS trilateral security pact.

“The Government has announced a long term plan to increase Defence’s total permanent workforce to over 101,000 by 2040, representing an increase of 18,500 over baseline growth already agreed in the 2020 Force Structure Plan,” Senator Birmingham said.

“This includes taking the total permanent ADF to almost 80,000 personnel”.

Senator Birmingham’s comments, including a full rundown of Agencies and their new ASL resources can be accessed in full in Budget Paper No. 4 at this PS News link.

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