PM plans for public service

The Prime Minister today announced he plans to make immediate and sweeping reforms to the public service.

Nadine Flood, CPSU National Secretary, said:

“The most important thing the Prime Minister could do to improve our public services is remove the staffing cap, lift the wages cap and give the public service the funding and policy-settings to rebuild its eroded capacity.”

“Our ‘mandarins’ aren’t miracle-workers, you can’t expect them to deliver world-class services on one hand while cutting funding, real wages and capping jobs on the other.”

“This Government has a policy of limiting jobs in the public service to below the number we had in 2007, when there were only 20 million of us. Our APS now serves 25 million people.”

“The numbers don’t add up: we simply don’t have enough workers to deliver and implement Government policy for all Australians. More privatisation and outsourcing isn’t the answer, nor is giving billions more to consulting firms. We need to employ Australians in good, secure jobs in our public service and let them get on with it. We also need to fund our services properly.”

“The Prime Minster said today he had experienced the public service at its best and giving full and frank advice. The Prime Minister has received advice that agencies including APRA, PM&C and Home Affairs, to name just a few, will perform better if they can employ the staff they need without an arbitrary staffing cap. We think that it is advice he should follow.”

“A good government would remove arbitrary impediments to public services delivering and that means a public service with more people, more jobs, the freedom to innovate and collaborate, and the resources to get the work done.”

“Digital government needs resources to urgently invest in ICT systems and in-house capability to ensure the APS can deliver. The data and ICT disasters we have seen- Robodebt, crashes, outdated systems, data hacks, census fail- are all a symptom of chronic underinvestment in public sector ICT capacity that is meant to deliver for Australians.

“There is congestion in Centrelink, at our borders, and on visa processing. The culture that needs to change is the government’s obsession with cutting jobs, wages and resources in our APS while sending billions of dollars to contractors and consultants.”

We have also seen significant announcements on changes to APS leadership today.

“On behalf of the CPSU, I acknowledge the long and distinguished service and respected contribution of Martin Parkinson as outgoing Secretary of the Prime Ministers Department. We look forward to engaging professionally with Phil Gaetjens as he steps into this new role at a critical time for the APS.”

/Public Release. View in full here.