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  • Procurement strategy for Indigenous business: The Canadian experience, and lessons for Australia

    Posted 27/03/2015 by Philip Hamilton

    It has been estimated that, in 2012–13, Indigenous businesses secured only 0.001% of the overall Australian Government spend (around $6.2 million of the $39 billion spent). This is despite a specific provision in the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) to encourage procurement from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with at least 50 per cent Indigenous ownership. The ANAO will report on the administration of current procurement initiatives in support of Indigenous Australians in a performance audit to be tabled around June 2015.

    Following up on a recommendation made in Creating Parity (the Forrest Review), on 17 March the Government announced that by 2020 the Commonwealth will have three per cent of its procurement contracts with Indigenous suppliers.

    The Government has indicated that Canada has ‘successfully used procurement to significantly drive economic development for First Nations people.’ Since 1996, the Canadian Government has operated a Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business (PSAB). How does the PSAB work? What are the lessons for Australia?

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    TAGS: Canada, procurement, Australian Public Service, indigenous Australians

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  • The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013—consequential amendments

    Posted 25/06/2014 by Philip Hamilton

    On 1 July 2014, the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act) will implement a new financial management framework for the Commonwealth and Commonwealth entities. However, implementation of the PGPA framework requires the enactment of five Bills in June. The first of these was passed on 19 June 2014. The remaining four consequential and transitional Bills were introduced on 24 June and passed by the House of Representatives on 25 June.

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    TAGS: accountability, Australian Public Service, governance, public service reform, federal budget

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  • Amendments to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

    Posted 2/06/2014 by Philip Hamilton

    Since the report of the National Commission of Audit and the handing down of the government’s Budget 2014‒15, media coverage has highlighted measures that will reduce the number of government bodies and the number of public servants. Less well-known is that, from 1 July 2014, the financial and reporting framework applicable to government bodies will undergo its most comprehensive overhaul since 1998.

    The foundation of the new framework is the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act), which must come into effect on 1 July 2014, replacing the the FMA Act and the the CAC Act. However, implementation of the PGPA framework from 1 July will require the enactment in June of five bills for the purposes of: minor amendments; transitional and consequential provisions; and appropriation modifications.

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    TAGS: accountability, Australian Public Service, governance, public service reform

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  • Public Service Amendment (Employment for all of us) Bill 2014

    Posted 28/02/2014 by Deirdre McKeown

    On 26 February 2014, Greens member Adam Bandt introduced a private members’ bill to deal with ‘the high unemployment and underemployment rates amongst people from two very important groups in our society … people from non-English speaking backgrounds, and … Australians with a disability’. This fulfilled a 2013 election commitment by the Australian Greens that ‘workplaces should reflect the diversity of Australian society and that everyone should have equal access to meaningful paid employment’.

    The Public Service Amendment (Employment for all of us) Bill 2014 ‘requires the Australian Public Service (APS) to double the number of employees from each group within five years’. The Bill leaves the means of achieving these targets to the Public Service Commissioner to determine but requires the Commissioner to issue a written direction to double the number of APS employees in these two groups that exist at 1 July 2014 by 1 July 2019. The Bill also amends section 7 of the Public Service Act 1999 to give the term disability the same meaning as set out in s. 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

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    TAGS: Australian Public Service

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  • Public sector staffing reductions in the states and territories

    Posted 12/09/2012 by Nicholas Horne
    Since 2011 the state and territory governments have introduced public sector staffing reductions as savings measures (some jurisdictions also had reduction programs in place prior to 2011). A summary of the reductions is provided below; ‘FTE’ is not a headcount but refers to full-time equivalent staffing levels. For the Commonwealth Government, the 2012–13 Budget estimates a staffing reduction in the Australian Public Service of 3 074 FTE for 2012–13 to be achieved in the main by a combination ... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Public Service, employment, federal budget, Leaders of the Opposition, public service reform

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  • Australian Public Service staffing

    Posted 19/08/2011 by Nicholas Horne
    Australian Public Service (APS) staffing levels have received attention recently with the Opposition indicating the possibility of abolishing one government department if it is in government and reportedly searching for further public service expenditure reductions.The Opposition has had a policy of reducing public service staff numbers for some time as part of a broader drive to identify savings in government expenditure. In its May 2010 response to the 2010–11 Budget the Opposition stated that... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Public Service, public service reform

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  • Putting citizens first

    Posted 1/08/2011 by Brenton Holmes
     In March 2010 the Australian Government released its blueprint for reform of the Australian Public Service (APS) entitled Ahead of the Game. But rather than leading with a focus on policy and values, the blueprint makes citizens the focus. In Australia and elsewhere, concepts such ‘co-creation’ and ‘co-production’ have emerged to describe the deep collaboration needed between public servants, professionals, citizens and communities. Such approaches constitute a major shift in how the task of p... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Public Service, citizen engagement, policymaking, public service reform

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