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Thank you to everyone who has made a submission to this review of Australia’s public service. Your analysis, experiences and ideas are invaluable.

About submissions

At the close of our call for public submissions on 31 July 2018, the review had received 668 contributions over 8 weeks.

We value all input and continued to accept submissions — bringing us to well over 700.

We stopped accepting submissions on 31 May 2019. And encourage you to read more of the ideas received during this review.

Of all the submissions to this review:

  • 80% came from individuals, with the largest group being employees of the Australian Public Service, as well as people using government services and others with public sector expertise
  • 18% came from organisations including small and large business, government and industry or interest groups
  • contributions came from every Australian state and territory, as well as some international jurisdictions
  • and some entities sent in more than 1 submission

What we heard

It’s clear public servants are passionate about their work but there is a sense the service is not always reaching its potential, meeting expectations or being as proactive as it would like.

Public servants and their organisations are grappling with:

  • a lack of confidence
  • divergent priorities
  • working relationships which can be fragile and distrusting
  • structures and processes that can get in the way of doing a good job
  • getting and keeping the people they need

People told us they want:

  • a clear purpose and culture shared across the public service
  • a valued and respected institution
  • skills and capabilities that are developed, maintained and renewed among employees
  • better understanding of the changing nature of leadership and expertise
  • new ways of working embedded in the system
  • an inventive and nimble public service focused on outcomes modern structures, processes and organisations
  • a focus on the needs of the people of Australia

Publishing submissions

Authors chose if they wanted their submission to be published, and were also able to be anonymous if they wished.

Of the total submissions:

  • 77% were published
  • 23% remain private

Of the published submissions:

  • 57% were named
  • 43% were anonymous

Submissions were checked carefully against legal and privacy requirements in our terms and conditions. Some were published with personal information or third party references redacted.

The views in these submissions belong to their authors. They also provided us with insights to different experiences with the public service and help to inform a public discussion.


Title Submission Transcript Attachment
Zachary Daniel Neulinger Please see the attached submission. Dear APS Review Panel Members, File Download (34.71 KB)
Prudence Brown Please find attached a submission to the Inquiry Submission to the Independent Review of the APS Purpose File Download (44.61 KB)
Alison Beattie I would like to see the public service exam brought back for school leavers as a future career pa
Michael Hugh O'Brian Smaller and less are the key words for better APS quality.
Suzanne Flynn I started working in the APS when I was 17 years old as a youth trainee.
Adam Webber Suggestion 1: Free speech.
Adam Webber Suggestion 2: Equal pay for equal work.
Catalyst of Change Consulting The basic conceptual framework and practice platform for investigation in this review needs to be
Aus Inst Performance Sciences Submission on the potential for the application of emerging enhanced governance practices to impr SUSTAINED VALUE-CREATION OUT-PERFORMANCE PDF icon Download (181.91 KB)
Donald Cameron Richards ATO
Alex Hodges I worked for the department of Social Services/Security from 1972 to 1997.
Vision 2020 Australia Dear Mr Thodey, Mr David Thodey AO Chair, Independent Review Panel PDF icon Download (858.95 KB)
FECCA Submission from the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia attached as pdf. Redacted David Thodey AO PDF icon Download (270.83 KB)
Nicholas Godden Please see attached submission. 4000center 33000950004200017500 Independent Review of the APS File Download (202.36 KB)
Gareth Williams The funding model in the APS fundamentally drives inefficiency.
Donna Centrelink manned phones are inadequate in the service that they provide.This was never allowed t
Graeme Tunks See attached document. Since 2013, there have been over 14,000 APS jobs cut by the current PDF icon Download (19.58 KB)
Neil Stott I had a recent example of where mindless bureaucracy got in the way of common sense.
Trevor Klingner My former employment, in excess of 42 years, within the financial services sector included ongoin
Andrew Smailes Topic: The Importance of Data Design for Future Government Services.
Eddy Robert Rosenstraus Dear Sir/Madam, I am attaching my submission to you. Yours Faithfully Dear Sir/Madam, File Download (37.07 KB)
Margaret Cann I deal with Albany Centrelink. The staff are fantastic but are so overworked.
Chris Lee I would like to see fair and timely pay rises in the Enterprise Aagreements.
Bill Ruse As an APS member for roughly 10 years, preceded by over 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy, an
Robert Connor The billions wasted on the CPS system in regards to legal why is it someone with wealth by paying