27 September 2023

APS Review heads towards 2030

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The Independent Review of the Australian Public Service (APS) has commissioned a consultant to look into the future to assist it in determining what the APS will need to deal with in the year 2030.

According to the Review it was essential for it to look ahead and think big.

“We have to come up with transformational reforms to deliver a Public Service which is fit-for-purpose many years from now,” the Review said on its website.

“There is so much existing work about how the future may look, including Government White Papers and megatrends analysis from around the world, but nothing which is specific to the Public Service.”

It said it had commissioned the consultant to look at the megatrends with the biggest impact on the Public Service and use those trends to develop possible future scenarios.

The four possible futures developed by the consultant in its report Scenarios for 2030 report were:

* #Techsplosion — a turbo-charged take up of technology;

* Devolution revolution — the shift from large institutions to community-based services;

* Wikigov — where people shape policy direct through online platforms; and

* New world (dis)order — where global instability sees us turn inward.

The Review said the consulting group’s report outlined the challenges the Public Service might face in those environments, the skills and capabilities that would be needed to navigate them, and recommendations to address gaps.

It said the work was informed by survey responses from more than 2,700 senior Public Servants.

“We use these scenarios to test and stretch our thinking, and make sure we look ahead rather than focus on the world we have today,” it said.

“There’s no telling what the future will look like, but the scenarios in this report are a tool to help the Public Service prepare for a range of possibilities.”

The Review said the aim of the exercise was to help its Review Panel build a robust understanding of the potential operating environments the APS might face in the future and enable it to test the robustness of future recommendations against the scenarios.

The consultant’s 43-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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