Stephen Sedgwick.

Public Service Commissioner Stephen Sedgwick. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

The Australian Public Service has sent out a jobs S.O.S. to other government departments, pleading for career lifelines to be thrown to thousands of bureaucrats "displaced" by waves of cost-cutting.

But would-be bosses might find slim pickings with just 145 public servants putting their names down for the new "redeployment register" established to help excess employees find new jobs with the government.

A separate register, devoted to the elite Senior Executive Service public servants who find themselves jobless, is said to have been used by a "small number" of displaced bosses.

But Public Service Commissioner Stephen Sedgwick, pictured, is undeterred, appealing to executives in government agencies outside the public service - such as the Australian Federal Police and the CSIRO - to consider hiring bureaucrats displaced as the government work to reduce the public service ranks by 12,000.

Despite the government's revised post-election stance that it was renewing its position in relation to public service jobs, more than 3600 job losses have been announced since the election, according to public sector union the CPSU.

But few departments or agencies have finalised their redundancy programs and in most cases do not yet know who will go and who will stay.

Mr Sedgwick has sent out a bulletin to fellow bosses in the broader government sector to start casting their eyes over the resume´s of discarded public servants.

"The APSC will facilitate access by non-APS Commonwealth bodies to the redeployment register so that displaced APS employees may be considered for vacancies in the broader Commonwealth sector," the commissioner wrote.

Some agencies have established redeployment units, such as the infamous "pound" in the Health Department, to try to place excess public servant within the department or elsewhere in the service.

But according to Mr Sedgwick's spokeswoman, the commission wants to maximise the chances of public servants finding work in the broader government sector.

"The commission encourages employees to register on the APS redeployment register to increase prospects of finding employment, and not rely solely on their agency's internal procedures,'' she said.

Some departments have tried to impose job losses all the way to the top with ATO boss Chris Jordan writing to his Senior Executives Service this week offering generous "incentives to retire".

''I think we can demonstrate that we are starting at the top, creating efficiencies and ensuring we have the right cohort of senior leaders who can make our vision a reality," Mr Jordan wrote.

The commission's spokeswoman conceded that the take-up of the redeployment register among senior executives had been slow, without releasing the confidential details.