In my report last year I noted the Australian Public Service initiatives flowing from the report Ahead of the game: Blueprint for the reform of Australian Government administration (the Blueprint) and my discussions with the heads of the parliamentary departments about how these might translate into or flow on to the Parliamentary Service.
One of the significant reforms arising from the Blueprint was a series of proposed amendments to the Public Service Act 1999 (the Public Service Act). These amendments have been embodied in the Public Service Amendment Bill 2012 (the Public Service bill) which was introduced into the House of Representatives on 1 March 2012.
Many of the Public Service Act amendments are relevant to the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 (the Parliamentary Service Act). A bill to amend the Parliamentary Service Act to adopt relevant changes in the Public Service bill has been prepared for introduction. The primary amendments include more concise Parliamentary Service Values that will be complemented in the legislation by a set of employment principles, expanded roles and responsibilities of secretaries and power for the Parliamentary Service Commissioner (the Commissioner) to investigate whistleblower complaints.
I provided advice to the Presiding Officers about candidates for the recently-established office of Parliamentary Budget Officer and the Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS). The Presiding Officers subsequently appointed Mr Phil Bowen as Parliamentary Budget Officer and Ms Carol Mills as Secretary, DPS.
This report presents information covering the four parliamentary departments collectively. Detailed information about the individual departments can be found in their respective annual reports.
Stephen Sedgwick AO
Parliamentary Service Commissioner