A chance to find out what a public servant really thinks is valuable.
Glimpsing the scenes behind the walls built by savvy government media teams is not easy, especially when a pervasive fear of speaking up backs this up. But looking in is so important, given this is where the policies that affect thousands of Australians are built.
The results of the annual APS census offer this insight, providing telling data on the attitudes of staff across 104 agencies. So a decision to force agencies to publish the results of their surveys this year - when it had been voluntary in the past - is a significant step towards improving transparency.
It is worth noting, though, that it comes amid concerning trends in the public service, as senior bureaucrats speak on the chilling effect of freedom of information requests, and the Attorney-General's Department drafts a new overarching secrecy offence for public servants who reveal government information.
On Thursday, the Community and Public Sector Union declared it would not push back on the Albanese government's third pay offer, meaning public servants will vote on the 11.2 per cent increase in their enterprise agreements.
With union backing and pressure for that first pay rise in March, it will likely pass in most, if not all, agencies. And it will be much-needed, public servants told their bosses in the census, which ran throughout May, as cost of living increased and pay was front-of-mind during bargaining.
Staff satisfaction with remuneration tumbled at the Australian Taxation Office and Services Australia - the government's two key interfaces with the public - to 50 and 45, respectively.
Even at the central agencies, thought to be treated the best, only about 70 per cent of public servants say they were fairly remunerated for the work they did. Though public servants are set to green-light the pay deal, the real test will come when they return to their agency surveys next year.
But the case of Home Affairs shows publishing results doesn't necessarily mean acting on them. No one was particularly surprised to hear the agency's scorecard measured it as one of the least favourable places to work - of the departments - based on culture and leadership.
But the department can't afford to go on with more than 40 per cent of its workforce dejected. Stephanie Foster will be charged with reversing the tide of these poor results, which have been no secret for years. We'll judge the progress she's made when November rolls around again next year.