25 September 2023

APS Review reports on consultation

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The independent review panel of the Australian Public Service (APS) has received almost 500 comments on its Priorities for Change consultation paper over the past six weeks with the document being downloaded 9,676 times.

In a summary of the consultation the Review said it had asked members of the APS to test the changes it was suggesting for the future with the document setting out the panel’s main priorities for change and their sense of the challenge ahead.

It said that over the consultation period it received 467 comments on how to strengthen the proposals, taking to 737 the total number of comments received on its vision and priorities

It also received 30 new submissions to the review, taking that total to 741.

“As our Chair, David Thodey stated in the Priorities for Change report ‘we believe it is only through testing our thinking, openly and iteratively, that we will come to the best answers’,” the Review’s summary says.

The Review noted that a few insights kept coming up, including the need to be clear and specific in recommendations; to build capability across the system as there was little confidence the current system could support doing things differently; and to strike a balance between standardising the way the Service worked and giving PS organisations the flexibility to carry out very different responsibilities.

“Your comments confirmed the success of most ideas is dependent on achieving a number of others,” the Review said.

“For example, you can’t have new ways of working without investing in people’s skills.”

It said it also noted an enthusiasm for change across the APS as well as a strong commitment to serving the public and frustrations about the way things were working now.

“Senior leaders understand their role in the future of the Service and say they’re committed to taking action, particularly at a personal level,” it said.

“They also see the need to develop and empower the people who work to them, building future leaders.”

The Review’s statement can be accessed on its website at this PS News link.

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