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ACT PS doesn’t know why its hiring

By johnboy - 25 October 2012 8

The Auditor-General has announced the release of an audit report on Australian Capital Territory Public Service Recruitment Practices.

It’s not the worst report card the ACT PS has had in recent years. but does give the impression of an organisation making things up as it goes along:

There are shortcomings in agencies’ recruitment practices in that there is minimal formal consideration of agency workforce and strategic planning when undertaking recruitment activities and a common oversight in all agencies of not documenting the initial considerations as to whether or not there is a genuine need to recruit at all. Another shortcoming is the training of employees involved in recruitment processes, particularly those involved in selection committees. While agencies were found to generally comply with the legislative and better practice requirements that relate to record-keeping for recruitment there were some shortcomings in all agencies examined where documentation was found to be incomplete, lacking in detail and in some instances not existing at all.

Better practice recruitment examples exist in some ACT Government agencies but these are not widely known. These need to be considered for broader application. However it is recognised that there may be practical limitations and costs with respect to extending their implementation across the broader ACT Public Service.

Higher duties (acting) arrangements

The processes relevant to higher duties (acting) arrangements with respect to delegations and the use of standard forms and templates were appropriate. However, it was difficult to form an opinion on the appropriateness of the decision-making process due to shortcomings in documentation and record-keeping.

A significant proportion of higher duties (acting) arrangements were extended for more than six months without the mandatory merit-based selection process. There were also a significant number of instances where higher duties (acting) arrangements were approved for five or fewer days without reasons being documented

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
ACT PS doesn’t know why its hiring
GordonResidential 7:10 pm 26 Oct 12

stillflying said :

PantsMan said :

People in the ACT PS are just giving out higher duties for acting positions of as little as a week? What kind or organisation cannot live without some First Deputy Assistant Strategic Coordinator for five days?

And the engagement of people on revolving short-term contracts? No process. No scrutiny. Probably no actual job to do.

It all sounds like jobs (and money) for mates.

ACT PS – Winning!

I do hate this stereotype. Don’t get me wrong there are people in my office who get in at 8AM, clock on and then proceed to have breakfast in the common room and have their morning chat and coffee for the next half hour.

But the number of people at their desks working hard and long hours all the time to get reports done on time vastly outnumbers the few who don’t.

I’m so sick of having people throw the “Oh so you barely work then” attitude at me any time I say I’m in the public service. No. I care about my job, I care about my standards of work.

Very well put. The few bludgers ruin it for the majority.

GordonResidential 7:09 pm 26 Oct 12

Not surprising. Despite all the reforms, Hawke and earlier, it is still amateur ville. A poor cousin to the Fed PS, itself an average organisation in HR and peformance management terms.

NoImRight 12:17 pm 26 Oct 12

devils_advocate said :

NoImRight said :

Let the clichefest begin.

Your comment seems to refer to cliche’s in the perjorative, but I would just point out that often things become cliche’d for a reason.

True. Often not a good reason though.

devils_advocate 11:58 am 26 Oct 12

NoImRight said :

Let the clichefest begin.

Your comment seems to refer to cliche’s in the perjorative, but I would just point out that often things become cliche’d for a reason.

devils_advocate 11:33 am 26 Oct 12

PantsMan said :

People in the ACT PS are just giving out higher duties for acting positions of as little as a week? What kind or organisation cannot live without some First Deputy Assistant Strategic Coordinator for five days?

*sigh*

many, many things in the public service run on these things called “delegations”. Whether it’s a delegation from the agency head, or a delegation from the minister, basically it ensures that decisions are made, or at least reviewed/confirmed, by a person at a particular level, if not in a particular position. This can range from routine things like approvals to spend money or permit/deny access to documents held by an agency; to fairly serious regulatory decisions.

Often these kinds of decisions are subject to clearly specified statutory deadlines. So it’s not desirable, appropriate or even sensible to defer these decisions for a week or more because someone has gone on leave.

In these cases, people are appointed to acting positions, in part so they can carry out the role generally, but often so they can exercise these powers. This needs to be documented appropriately (even if by email – eg “I’m sick today, [name] is acting for me until I return) otherwise it can affect the validity of decisions. It’s probably relevant to note here that in the Cth APS (I can’t speak for ACT or states) people don’t actually get acting pay unless they’re acting for 2 weeks or more.

For these reasons, my view is that acting arrangements for a week or even a day are justified.

NoImRight 10:27 am 26 Oct 12

Let the clichefest begin.

stillflying 10:20 am 26 Oct 12

PantsMan said :

People in the ACT PS are just giving out higher duties for acting positions of as little as a week? What kind or organisation cannot live without some First Deputy Assistant Strategic Coordinator for five days?

And the engagement of people on revolving short-term contracts? No process. No scrutiny. Probably no actual job to do.

It all sounds like jobs (and money) for mates.

ACT PS – Winning!

I do hate this stereotype. Don’t get me wrong there are people in my office who get in at 8AM, clock on and then proceed to have breakfast in the common room and have their morning chat and coffee for the next half hour.

But the number of people at their desks working hard and long hours all the time to get reports done on time vastly outnumbers the few who don’t.

I’m so sick of having people throw the “Oh so you barely work then” attitude at me any time I say I’m in the public service. No. I care about my job, I care about my standards of work.

PantsMan 9:32 am 26 Oct 12

People in the ACT PS are just giving out higher duties for acting positions of as little as a week? What kind or organisation cannot live without some First Deputy Assistant Strategic Coordinator for five days?

And the engagement of people on revolving short-term contracts? No process. No scrutiny. Probably no actual job to do.

It all sounds like jobs (and money) for mates.

ACT PS – Winning!

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