19 August 2019
A speech delivered by the Prime Minister of Australia the Honourable Scott Morrison in the Great Hall, Parliament House Canberra, to the Institute of Public Administration Australia ACT. The Prime Minister set out his expectations of the Australian Public Service and identified six main signposts. By way of introduction, ''My remarks today are framed by a humble recognition that modern government is hard. Change is ever-present. Expectations of the public have never been greater. And just as it is in business, the customer - and in our case, the public - is always right. The Prime Minister went onto identifying 6 signposts (1) get our relationship right between Ministers and the public service; the team where everyone knows what their jobs is, what their role is, and focus on that, those teams win. (2) It’s about the implementation; ensuring services are delivered seamlessly and efficiently, when and where they are needed, this is a key priority. (3) “look at the scoreboard”; we must have a strong emphasis on delivering outcomes, with priorities, targets and metrics across all portfolios. (4) “look beyond the bubble”; ordinary quiet Australians, these are our stakeholders, not the myriad of vested and organised interests that parade through Canberra. (5) the APS needs to evolve and adapt amidst constant change. Old ways of doing things need to be challenged and, if necessary, disrupted. We need the public service to be more open to outsiders. We need to find ways for smart, dedicated Australians to see a stint in the public service as part of their career journey and vice versa. (6) “honour the code”; it’s about governance and integrity across the service. The Prime Minister reaffirmed his Government’s and his personal commitment to an APS that is apolitical, merit-based and committed to the highest standards of integrity. In summary, the Prime Minister stressed service delivery, collaboration, innovation and importance of a professional skilled public sector to implement the Governments programs. For the third occasion the Prime Minister cited the North Queensland Livestock Reconstruction Agency (NQLIRA), headed by Shane Stone as a template of what he expects - see page 10 of the speech highlighted. The previous week in Cairns Agency CEO Shane Stone addressed the COAG lunch (leaders only) on the work of NQLIRA drawing the threads together of what can be accomplished through collaboration across departments, three tiers of Government (Federal. State and Local), and the private sector to deliver government services and support.