ACT keen to take
The ACT Public Service is poised to offer a lifeline to many APS staff deemed redundant after the upcoming federal election.
APS staff aboard
Commissioner for Public Administration in the ACT, Andrew Kefford talked up the ACT Public Service as an attractive option for staff leaving the APS, citing many benefits and attractions the smaller organisation could offer.
Mr Kefford said closeness to the community was a major selling point for the ACT PS as was the breadth of experience many jobs offered, the hands-on opportunities for program development and implementation and the benefits of a speedier, less cumbersome bureaucratic structure.
The former senior APS officer said Canberra’s local Public Service offered a “different kind of challenge” and “genuine workplace flexibility.”
“I’ve had some great experiences working in the Commonwealth but you never had that sense of immediate closeness that I get sitting here,” Mr Kefford said.
“Even in a central agency you can see the kind of impact I’m having here on the city I’m choosing to raise my kids in.”
Mr Kefford said a major strength of the ACT PS was its manageable size.
“You could put all the executives in one room and talk to them,” he said.
“There is only 200 and that includes the head of the fire brigade and the rural fire service.”
He admitted ACT pay rates were not at the stratospheric level of the APS but continuing close involvement with the local community was a valuable form of compensation.
“One of my first jobs here was Director of the Cabinet Office,” he said.
“There’s only four or five officials between the Cabinet and frontline service delivery and that’s very attractive.’’
Mr Kefford said that as the city of Canberra grew and developed, more senior staff in the APS were seeing it had something to offer.
“I think people are taking us seriously.
“It’s properly seen now as a genuine job to be done.”
He said workplace flexibility was also a strength of the ACT Service.
“It’s embedded in all our agreements and executive contracts and also more importantly in behaviour because we actually do it.’’
The Commissioner said that for staff transferring from the APS to the ACT there would be more mobility in the market rather than less.
“Everybody relies on their networks,” Mr Kefford said, “but ours is small enough that you can actually do some things here that no one else can.”
A list of current vacancies in the ACT PS can be accessed from the PS News Careers Centre at this PS News link.
Edition 376, 27 August 2013