The major review of the federal bureaucracy will recommend "ambitious" reform, and it is up to agencies to adapt to change, the public service commission says.
A new report on the Australian Public Service released on Tuesday has urged the bureaucracy to build momentum for "transformative" rather than "incremental" change.
It flagged the Thodey review's final report, sitting with the Coalition government, made recommendations that were "ambitious in nature" and "transformational in scope".
"It is not yet known which recommendations the government will accept," the public service commission's latest State of the Service report said.
"However, what is known is that the public service and its leadership are already working towards the changes that the current and future operating context requires."
The secretaries board, the main APS-wide governance body, is looking at the Thodey report together with Prime Minister Scott Morrison's "guideposts" setting out his vision for the public service.
The board is expected to take a central role in driving changes to the public service recommended by the report and accepted by the government.
Among the "broad themes" for changes recommended in the review was the need for better collaboration within and outside the public service, the APS commission report said.
It would also urge more focus on technology in service delivery, and investment in the workforce's capabilities, it said.
Public service commissioner Peter Woolcott said change in the APS needed greater momentum, and should be "transformative, not incremental".
"This is not an indictment on the institution of the APS," he said.
"Rather, it is a recognition that the definition of an effective public sector is changing in tandem with the world and society around it."
Mr Woolcott said change was already under way in the public service and that the time had come for it to adapt to a more connected world.
Challenges ahead for the public service were "pretty significant", but it was in good shape, he said.
The public service looks set to reform the model that followed the Coombs Royal Commission in the 1970s granting agencies greater autonomy and control in managing their workforce.
Reforms from the royal commission had made agencies responsive to the government and improved service delivery, the State of the Service report said.
"However, with the benefit of hindsight it is possible to see that agency autonomy has also worked against system-wide perspectives and longer-term management of issues across the APS," it said.
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Reviews since the landmark Coombs recommendations had found the public service needed to work in "a more united and cohesive manner".
Mr Morrison in his August speech to public servants also urged them to have a "clear line of sight" between their work and the Australian public.
The secretaries board is overseeing short- and medium-term reform projects to equip the bureaucracy in meeting the public's needs, the State of the Service report said.