The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has announced it is developing guidance and training to increase understanding about the roles played by Ministerial offices and those played by the Australian Public Service (APS).
The Commission said the guidance and training were part of the Government’s response to David Thodey’s Independent Review of the APS, delivered in 2019.
“Development of specialised guidance and training will facilitate shared understanding across the APS and Ministers’ Offices about the respective roles of Ministerial advisers and the APS,” the APSC said.
“These roles are, and need to be, separate and distinct; but they work best as a partnership, focused on working effectively together to provide Ministers with quality advice of the highest standard, and driving implementation to deliver on Government priorities”.
It said specialised guidance and training would be devised by the APSC in close consultation with the Department of Finance, with assistance from a Ministerial Liaison Reference Panel.
The Commission said that in developing the guidance and training, two components would be at work.
These were for the APS to receive training and guidance on engaging effectively with Ministers and their advisers and for Ministerial staff to also receive guidance and training to strengthen their understanding of the role of the APS.
“This will involve training programs for SES and others with close engagement with Ministerial offices; and guidance materials to help every APS employee understand their role and the role of their Minister and Ministerial advisers,” the APSC said.
“To complement this program, guidance and training will also be provided to staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984.”
The APSC said the initial training and guidance was anticipated for release early in 2021.