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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
Kenneth Coghill & David Spratt No answer Comment on Proposal 1, APS Review Priorities for change by Ken Coghill & David Spratt PDF icon Download (571.69 KB)
National Archives of Australia No answer File Download (269.08 KB)
Australian Evaluation Society No answer 00 Australian Evaluation Society Limited (AES) ACN 606 044 624 File Download (485.52 KB)
Andrew Podger & Helen Williams No answer RESPONSE TO APS REVIEW ‘PRIORITIES FOR CHANGE’ Andrew Podger AO File Download (456.97 KB)
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman No answer Australian Small Business and F a m i l y Enterprise Ombudsman PDF icon Download (1.18 MB)
Queensland University of Technology No answer Queensland University of Technology File Download (42.98 KB)
The Governance Institute of Australia No answer 6 May 2019 Mr David Thodey AO Chair PDF icon Download (189.04 KB)
The Smith Family No answer Review of the Australian Public Service Response to Interim Report May 2019 PDF icon Download (189.04 KB)
Attorney-General's Department No answer 2 May 2019 Submission to the Independent Review of PDF icon Download (635.49 KB)
Australian Institute of Company Directors No answer 18 Jamison Street Sydney NSW 2000 PDF icon Download (124.75 KB)
UNSW Canberra, Public Service Research Group No answer PDF icon Download (246.13 KB)
Ian McAuley No answer Comments on “Independent Review of the APS: Priorities for PDF icon Download (374.97 KB)
CPSU (PSU Group) No answer Community and Public Sector Union Response to Interim Report: PDF icon Download (93.22 KB)
Karin Fisher No answer SUBMISSION ON PRIORITIES FOR CHANGE File Download (39.91 KB)
Australian Council of Social Service No answer 2 May 2019 Mr. David Thodey AO, PDF icon Download (630.01 KB)
Austrade No answer 1 May 2019 Mr David Thodey Chair, Independent Review of the APS PDF icon Download (277.81 KB)
Zachary Neulinger No answer File Download (56.7 KB)
Madeline Ogilvie Please see the attached submission PDF icon Download (677.84 KB)
Martin Hoffman No answer Submission to the Independent Review of the APS File Download (26.2 KB)
Information and Privacy Commission NSW No answer Mr David Thodey Chair Independent Review of the APS PDF icon Download (749.87 KB)
George O'Farrell No answer Review of the Australian Public Service PDF icon Download (80.63 KB)
Graham Bailey No answer PDF icon Download (467.04 KB)
Australian Bureau of Statistics Please see the attached PDF PDF icon Download (1.78 MB)
Peter Henneken No answer Submission to the Independent Review of Queensland Public Employment File Download (144.72 KB)
Dr Maria Maley No answer SUBMISSION TO THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE APS PDF icon Download (217.09 KB)