A recipe to restore our Public Service

The Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee has released its Inquiry report into the current capability of the Australian Public Service (APS).

The report details the damage inflicted on the capability of our public services to provide for all Australians by outsourcing, job cuts, labour hire use, and bargaining policies. Australia’s public service supports us through tough times and innovates for our future. It is there for all of us, helping us create and maintain a society that is fair and equal for all Australians.

But years of cuts to secure public service jobs and unfair bargaining policies have taken their toll, while the overuse of expensive consultants, contractors and outsourcing to labour hire companies has grown to levels never seen before.

The good news is that the 36 recommendations from the senate committee report provide the recipe to restore the strong, innovative, and helpful public service that that can deliver the essential services we deserve.

The committee’s 36 recommendations call on the Morrison Government to:

  • Abolish staffing caps;
  • Ensure direct permanent employment is the principal mode of employment. Labour Hire should only ever be used where APS employment is impossible, and the principle of same job same pay should apply;
  • Identify where work has been contracted out to labour hire companies and return this work to APS employment;
  • Limit the length of rolling fixed-term labour hire contracts to 12 months, following which the job should be converted to an APS role;
  • Establish an internal APS Consultancy Hub to provide in-house consultancy services to APS departments and agencies. The Hub will be responsible for assessing and approving all requests from agencies to use external consultants; and
  • Implement genuine bargaining across the APS. This can be done by removing the WPI wage cap, the rule against no enhancement to conditions and implementing real consultation rights.

The committee’s report draws heavily on the evidence of CPSU members, academics, and independent experts. Thousands of CPSU members contributed to the CPSU submission to the inquiry, with others appearing before the committee to tell their stories.

It’s been a long year – and everyone is feeling it

We invited CPSU members to send Minister for the Public Service Ben Morton their favourite holiday recipe and to call for the report’s 36 recommendations to be implemented.

Download the recipes here