26 September 2023

APSC reviewed to test capability

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The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has completed the first Capability Review Report under the Government’s re-instated pilot Capability Review program.

The Minister for the Public Service, Senator Katy Gallagher announced the program in a speech in October 2022, with the APSC to be the first agency reviewed.

The APSC Capability Review was led by a Senior Review Team made up of independent reviewer Carmel McGregor PSM and Justine Greig PSM, senior APS reviewer and Deputy Secretary, Defence People at the Department of Defence.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) supported Ms McGregor and Ms Greig with their review to ensure independence.

The Team completed its Review of the APSC in June of this year with the Secretary of PM&C endorsing the final report on 29 June.

According to the Review it took a high-level view of the APSC’s strategic operations as it was an important indicator of the APSC’s current capability and what actions it would need to take over time.

“Key findings of the review demonstrated the APSC’s capability in providing direct and practical guidance during the pandemic, the State of the Service Report as an informative and key publication, the employee engagement census as a core data driver for agencies on workforce statistics, implementation of the APS Academy, and the whole-of-APS workforce planning,” the Review said.

“The report reflects on the APSC’s position as a central agency and suggests improving key areas of internal capability, while continuing to focus on delivering for the APS,” it said.

“Areas for opportunity identified in the review include the APSC being clear around its purpose and priorities, developing its own workforce planning, looking to provide proactive assurance of workforce policies across the APS, and actively supporting the Service in implementing reform.”

It said further opportunities the APSC was looking to undertake included increasing transparency and use of data and strengthening integrity across the Australian Government public sector.

“The APSC accepts the Senior Reviewers’ assessment and looks forward to improving its processes while investing in stakeholder relationships more thoroughly, and ensuring the APSC is itself a model employer,” it said.

“The APSC will consider the Review’s findings and prepare an action plan. This will set out what actions the APSC intends to take in response to the Review.”

The APSC said it would publish its action plan on the APSC website by September.

The Commission’s 61-page Capability Review Report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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