Workplace culture, management systems and recruitment processes are holding Chinese-Australians back from making meaningful contributions to China policy.
The Australian Public Service is one of the country’s most powerful institutions. Yet Indigenous people make up just 1.2% of its senior ranks.
Public servants are supposed to be apolitical. But there is a difficult line to walk between their freedom of speech as citizens and impartiality as government officials.
Andrew Metcalfe, sacked by prime minister Tony Abbott, has done a full circle and is being appointed to head the new department of agriculture, water and the environment by Morrison.
Morrison said the shrinking of the number of departments was “to ensure the services that Australians rely on are delivered more efficiently and effectively”.
Delivering the Parliamentary Library Lecture on Tuesday, Podger said the incentives for senior public servants had changed, and this had affected the way they acted.
The former public service commissioner said the relationship between ministers and the Australian public service has transformed from a partnership to one more like “master-servant”.
Morrison describes the “the bacon and eggs principle” where “the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed”.
Ahead of the formal receipt of the Thodey report on the public service, Morrison stresses the service must be responsive to both its ministers and the “quiet Australians”.
Beth Noveck and Rod Glover argue that to reverse the ‘creeping crisis’ faced by the public service, the government must train public servants to use creative problem-solving methods.
On the ‘creeping crisis’ in the public service.
The Conversation, CC BY 28.8 MB (download)
A timely study of the public service, titled Today's problems, Yesterday's toolkit discusses the ‘creeping crisis’ of effectiveness and legitimacy the Australian public service is facing.
Selection panels interrupt women more than men and ask them more follow-up questions, subtly questioning their competence.
The vast majority of managers said they wanted “the best person for the job”. They had less idea of just who that might be, or how to ensure appointments on merit and equity targets co-exist.
The public service union has welcomed the new Public Service Commissioner Peter Woolcott as “a much needed change” from his controversial predecessor.
Woolcott is a public servant with a career in diplomacy. While in the Turnbull office he has been on leave from his position as a deputy secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Australia’s public service has gradually become more politicised in recent times.
The public service is meant to be independent and bipartisan. But “political” appointments and funding arrangements can hamstring their ability to give fair and frank advice.
The public sector of the future will need to embrace a new way of thinking.
Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com
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AAP Image/Alan Porritt
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