'No one to learn from' Henry's problem with the APS

Jacob Greber   Bureaucracy has become free of serious policy creation, says Ken Henry


Latest Public Service news

The lands that democracy forgot

The Commonwealth recently closed down Norfolk Island's elected Legislative Assembly.

Roger Wettenhall   The Commonwealth is smothering the distinctive cultures and societies of these communities.

APS devoid of policy? 'Crap'

Human Services and Veterans Affairs Minister Stuart Robert rubbished claims the federal public service lacked serious policy making ability.

Phillip Thomson   Minister slams comment that federal bureaucracy is a policy-free zone and calls for shared services revolution.

Comments 13

Parliament House cleaners call strike for 'party week'

The wages of cleaners at Parliament House have been frozen at 2012 levels - $21.10 a hour -  after the Abbott government scrapped Commonwealth cleaning services guidelines.

Heath Aston   It's shaping as The Hangover: Canberra for partying politicians and their staff.

Public service money makers

Defence minister Senator Marise Payne

Phillip Thomson   They walk out one door with a redundancy package, and waltz back in as contractors. The impact has been "devastating".

Comments 28

What Parkinson means for the APS

Former Treasury head Martin Parkinson is set to return as head of PM&C.

Phillip Thomson   The return of the former treasury secretary means three things for public servants. But one question remains.

Comments 10

Turnbull shakes up public service leadership

DFAT boss Peter Varghese will resign next year.

Henry Belot   Malcolm Turnbull has announced a shake-up of the public service after department secretaries Michael Thawley and Peter Varghese resigned.

Comments 19

Parkinson to return after Abbott exile

Former Treasury boss Martin Parkinson

Latika Bourke   The top Treasury official sacked under the former Abbott-Credlin regime looks set to be returned from the cold and promoted to the public service's top job and made Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 

APS departments told where to improve

Public service departments have been told where to lift their game.

Henry Belot   An annual review of the federal bureaucracy has identified what areas departments need to improve.

ASIO on recruitment drive in fight against terrorism

ASIO has launched a recruitment drive and is looking to universities.

Henry Belot   Australia's intelligence agency aims to increase its surveillance capacity in coming months.

Public service flextime isn't fair

Illustration: Simon Letch

Heckler   You don't know how easy you've got it until it's gone, writes Oliver Jacques

CSIRO staff to launch strike action on Thursday morning

CSIRO staff will strike on Thursday morning.

Henry Belot   Hundreds of scientists and researchers at the government's peak science agency will walk of the job on Thursday morning

Stressed public servants continue to seek compensation of psychological injuries

The cost of psychological injuries in the Australian public service continues to increase.

Henry Belot   The cost of psychological injuries in the Australian public service continues to increase.

ATO public servants offered revised pay deal

Our tax regime is plainly uncompetitive compared to many jurisdictions and actually encourages money to flow overseas.

Henry Belot   Public servants at the Australian Tax Office have been offered a pay increase.

Another APS pay deal rejected

Another public service department has rejected a proposed pay deal.

Henry Belot   Agency rejected proposed pay deal, despite offer being one of the highest in the federal bureaucracy.

Plans for public service hot desking hub

Hot-desking is becoming increasingly popular in private and public sector offices.

Ross Peake   'The value of work is measured by what we do irrespective of where we do it'.

Woden given a public service lifeline

Woden Town Centre will get a boost from the announcement.

Tom McIlroy and Kirsten Lawson   Woden town centre has been losing public servants in recent years. But plans are afoot to change that in 2016. 

Public service departments fighting an ongoing 'disclosure burden'

Government departments are searching for new ways to reduce a 'disclosure burden'.

Henry Belot   Financial disclosure is tying the public service up in red tape. And some departments are feeling it more than others.

Sinodinos outlines public service vision

Arthur Sinodinos says public servants should not get in the way of politics.

Phillip Thomson   Political advisors aren't there to duplicate the public service, cabinet secretary says.

Defence hands out 500 redundancies

Department secretary Dennis Richardson, who is involved in deciding who will be given redundancy.

Phillip Thomson   The Department of Defence is working out the precise breakdown, team by team, of who will be included among the 10 per cent of middle managers who are to be laid off.

Project Tetris hits commercial property market as federal government minimises costs

Government cost saving measures are having an impact on the commercial property market.

Henry Belot   A federal government commitment to reduce vacant office space is hurting the market.

Geneva talks under threat

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has sent dozens of staff to the world radio communications conference in Switzerland in the middle of an industrial dispute.

Phillip Thomson   A federal government agency's critical talks in Geneva are under the threat of disruption caused by industrial action.

$60,000 John Gorton dispute

A subcontractor is chasing nearly $60,000 owed for work undertaken at the John Gorton Building.

Phillip Thomson   Just because it's a government job, doesn't mean payment is assured, subcontractor says.

CSIRO to continue to trim staff

CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall.

Henry Belot   The peak science body is pressing ahead with plans to trim its workforce despite reports the federal government is planning to restore funding.

APS falling behind on Indigenous representation

Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash is aiming for three per cent Indigenous representation across the bureaucracy by 2018.

Henry Belot   Government renews commitment to boost Indigenous representation in the APS, as almost all departments miss their targets.

Police union tries to poach public servants

Australian Border Force officers are represented by the Community and Public Sector Union but the Australian Federal Police Association would like to poach them.

Michael Inman and Megan Gorrey   Border Force staff aren't police, but the police union still wants them.

DHA leadership change raises questions

Defence Minister Marise Payne.

Phillip Thomson   Ex-Finance Department public servant Jan Mason's background with Telstra sell-off raised.

Muir calls for paper-pushers to change paper

Ricky Muir wants the APS to use Australian made paper.

Phillip Thomson   As Commonwealth bureaucracy's war on paper continues, Ricky Muir wants the APS to look at the paper in use.

Two per cent offer: "You'd have to be a mug"

New offers trickle through: MDBA puts 2 per cent annual increases on the table.

Phillip Thomson   Another agency has offered staff the new maximum pay increase allowed by the federal government's revised bargaining policy.

At work with Phil

Are our workplaces killing us?

Journalist Phillip Thomson digs into the everyday issues plaguing our workplaces. In this episode he asks whether our work stations are sending us to an early grave.

Can I get a promotion in these clothes?

Can clothes get me promoted? And a look at Bill Shorten and Tony Abbott's image.

How to do chair yoga in the office

Forget the yoga mats. Reporter Phillip Thomson finds out how to do yoga at a desk.

@work with Phil: Office of the future

Will the office of tomorrow be one of treadmill desks, or are we doomed to a future of cubicle farms? Phillip Thomson investigates.

In depth

Meet the Public Service's best-paid employee

Flamboyant and fabulously well-paid, but is he the right man?

Doomed culture wars

Even the ability to redirect funds has little effect in battles over 'bias'.

'Hidden' APS job cuts

Thousands more govt jobs are likely to be lost in coming years.

Ebbs and flows of staffing

Which parts of the bureaucracy are likely to start hiring?

ACT's slow bleed goes on

This 'good news' federal budget contains a sting for Canberra.

Intergenerational Report

The Treasury has weakened the entire public service's integrity.

SBS sacking is contestable

An industrial tribunal will care little for the broadcaster's political woes.

Discounting future lives

We can't afford to miscalculate the costs of runaway climate change.

A mockery of due process

Cormann needs to think more deeply about independence.

Are bureaucrats overpaid?

Time for a systemic review of the value of public servants' labour.

ACT's asbestos secrecy

The bizarre approach to telling people which houses may be toxic.

Ludicrous APS pay policy

Linking salaries to productivity at the agency level is bad economics.