A major independent review of the ACT Public Service has recommended it be restructured as a single department, to reflect the city-state nature of the ACT and to allow for greater coordination between areas of the bureaucracy.
A number of “Directorates” would sit within the single department, but all would ultimately report to a single Chief Executive. The single department would allow the public service to better reflect whole-of-government priorities and work as a single agency.
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Chief Minister Jon Stanhope today released in full the findings of the review, which was carried out over the past six months by former Commonwealth departmental secretary Dr Allan Hawke.
Mr Stanhope said the Government accepted the wisdom of the report in its totality and would immediately establish a high-level implementation taskforce within the ACT Public Service to work through each of the specific recommendations, advise on necessary legislative changes, timing and funding implications.
Key structural changes proposed by the Review involve:
- — combining the current Chief Minister’s Department and Department of Treasury in a deliberately powerful centre to the ACTPS, along with the Economic Development Directorate – the head of which would be called Coordinator-General and continue that function which was so successful in delivering economic stimulus measures in 2009-10 – responsible for the land release program, business and industry support, tourism, and skills and workforce development in the broader ACT economy;
— consolidating responsibility for events management within the proposed Chief Minister’s Department;
— locating Canberra Connect with whole of government communications in the proposed Chief Minister’s Department;
— transferring Shared Services to the Finance Directorate;
— refocusing the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate solely on municipal services;
— creating the Sustainable Development Directorate comprising the Department of the Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water, ACT Planning and Land Authority, and fragmented functions in the land and planning sphere including the Government Architect, the Heritage Unit, and responsibility for transport planning; and
— enhancing the role and functions of the Office of Regulatory Services to include transport regulation and occupational licensing.