Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he has a very clear direction for the public service that is about "respect and expect".
He made the comments while announcing the appointment of Phil Gaetjens to take over from Martin Parkinson as secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
"When it comes to the public service, that is the engine room through which a government implements its agenda, and I have always had the good experience of working with the public service in providing very clear direction and leadership to the agencies I have worked with that enable them to get on with the job," he said.
"And I have always seen the public service at its best when it is really getting on with things. I have had that experience in multiple portfolios, and as Prime Minister, I have seen it in the eyes of our public service officials when they are responding to difficult challenges.
"The North Queensland floods, I think, was a very good example of our public service at its best, responding to people's needs, understanding what needed to be done, getting rid of barriers that were in the way of them helping people.
"So when it comes to the public service, my view is to respect and expect. Respect their professionalism, respect their capability, respect what they can bring to the table and what they can do, and expect them to get on with the job of implementing the government's agenda.
"That has always been my approach in working with the public service, across many portfolios, including as Prime Minister."
Mr Morrison said the Thodey review of the bureaucracy was in its final stages.
"But I have already made it clear in speaking to all the secretaries of all departments, in fact, even before I swore my ministry in, what my expectations were."
He said he wanted the public service to be "able, equipped, supported ... respected, to do job that I expect them to do".
Mr Morrison said he wanted a "very public facing public service ... very focused on the delivery of programs" and that "practices of administration within the bureaucracy" frustrated public servants as much as people waiting on services.
"So that's the culture of service that I want to see in the public sector, and that is the approach I'll be taking and working closely in partnership with the secretaries," he said.