The Australian public service must "look beyond the bubble" to serve the "quiet Australians" instead of lobbyists who "lunch at the Ottoman", Prime Minister Scott Morrison will warn in a major speech on the future direction of the Commonwealth bureaucracy.
Weeks out from David Thodey handing his independent review to government, Mr Morrison will lay out his own vision for the public service, in an address to the Institute of Public Administration at Parliament House on Monday.
He will urge the public service to re-focus on "Middle Australia", instead of the "highly organised and well-resourced interests" who stay at the Hyatt or "kick back in the Chairman's Lounge at Canberra Airport".
"I want the APS to have a laser-like focus on serving these quiet Australians," Mr Morrison will say.
"Those you don't meet with and never hear from. Australians who just get on with it, but who often feel their voice gets drowned out by shoutier ones in our public square."
He will also warn that the Service Australia model was not a "fancy rebranding exercise" but rather a message from the top to the bottom of the bureaucracy about what was to come.
"It's about 'doing the little things well' - everything from reducing call waiting times and turnaround on correspondence right through to improving the experience people have walking into a Centrelink office," Mr Morrison will say.
"I want to send a message to every single member of the APS, in whatever role you have - 'you can make a difference to the lives of the Australian people'."
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But the speech also leaves the door open to further structural reform of the public service.
"We need an APS that's more joined-up internally and flexible in responding to challenges and opportunities," he will say.
Mr Morrison will also warn that the public service needs to open up to outsiders, leaving the door open to an increase in external contracting.
"To succeed, government needs to tap insights, skills and energy from more points on the compass than those who have only ever worked in the public service," Mr Morrison is expected to say.
"While some of our brightest minds will want a career in the federal bureaucracy, many will not. We need to find new ways for smart, dedicated Australians to make a contribution to public service."
Departmental heads will be told to find ways to "bust congestion" in their own patch, as a deregulation taskforce is set up within Treasury to find ways to cut red tape.
The APS needs to evolve and adapt amidst constant change. Old ways of doing things need to be challenged and, if necessary, disrupted.Scott Morrison
Bosses will be told not to ask for more resources, but become "more adept" at reallocating existing resources to fit shifting priorities, in confirmation that the efficiency dividend is not going anywhere any time soon.
Mr Morrison also wants the public service to be less hierarchical, and warns that if a public servant gets a call soon from the prime minister, it may not be a prank.
"I want your input more visibly in what's coming through to me and my ministers. I want the gatekeepers who control access to ministers to ease up a bit and let you in.
"You don't have to be in the SES to have a good idea. I saw this in Treasury when I used to do budgets. I liked being down in the Treasury building, seeing people eating pizza, working hard, and taking pride in their work."
Ultimately, Mr Morrison wants to employ the "Ray Price principle" to the federal public service.
"Ray was everywhere. His work rate unmatched. The conditions, his opponents, never fazed him. He could read the play and always stayed ahead of the game," Mr Morrison will say.
"The APS needs to evolve and adapt amidst constant change. Old ways of doing things need to be challenged and, if necessary, disrupted."
Mr Thodey's interim report released in March mooted a shift towards common pay levels across the bureaucracy and greater power for department heads.
Relationships between ministerial offices and the APS needed strengthening, and there should be greater transparency around the sacking of departmental heads, the report said.
But Mr Thodey also recently noted there had been a long-term hollowing out of expertise in the public service, particularly in service delivery, which had been largely subcontracted to consultants, leaving public servants distributing funds.