Pls see attached submission
INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SERVICE
- ANZ welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Independent Review
of the Australian Public Service (APS) (Review). We support the intent of the
Review to ensure that the APS is fit for purpose for the coming decades. We
understand that the Review extends to departments and agencies where staff is
employed under the Public Service Act 1999 (Cth) (Act).
- ANZ benefits from the skills and professionalism of the APS in many ways.1 APS
policy advice is central to a stable, strong and efficient financial system.
Regulatory supervision by APS agencies underpins public confidence in outcomes
for our consumers and business. We work with and value the diplomatic, security
and related functions in Australia and across our regional footprint. We interact
with service delivery arms of government and the Australian Tax Office.
- Under the Act, the APS is required to operate in a way that is open and
accountable to the Australian community under the law and within the framework
of Ministerial responsibility. It must be impartial, apolitical and provide the
Government with advice that is frank, honest, timely and based on the best
available evidence. It must demonstrate leadership, be trustworthy and act with
integrity, and respect all people. It is required to be professional, objective,
innovative and efficient, and work collaboratively to achieve the best results for
the Australian community and the government.
- ANZ understands that the environment in which the APS operates is complex.
While the APS provides advice, government determines policy and Parliament
legislation. The APS must fulfil its statutory obligations, but government sets
priorities, resourcing and activities. Public expectations of the role of government
and delivery of APS services are high and potentially involve conflicting aims.
Properly, there is a high level of scrutiny of government and APS activities, but
this may create incentives to reduce risk rather innovate.
Innovation and productivity
- The Review is asked to ensure that the APS is ready, over the coming decades, to
best serve Australia in driving innovation and productivity in the economy. The
private sector and market will of course be the most important driver of
innovation and productivity in the economy. The APS is responsible for advising
Refer http://shareholder.anz.com/our-company/profile for general information about ANZ
the government on the policy, legal and regulatory framework in which the
private sector operates. Its evidence based approach and continuity of experience
is important for stability that supports investment. The APS can also directly drive
innovation and productivity where it is accountable for service delivery (or
indirectly funding service delivery); for example, in much of the health, education
and social security sectors.
- Australia’s economy has grown strongly, particularly with the success of
resources, agriculture, education and tourism sectors, and as an attractive
destination for investment and skilled migration. The banking sector has played
an important role in efficiently intermediating between lenders and borrowers to
build homes, invest in business, develop infrastructure and support international
trade and investment flows.
- Governments today pursue a wide range of initiatives to improve productivity and
boost innovation. The Australian government is seeking agreement to the
National Energy Guarantee in COAG in order to put downward pressure on power
bills, while meeting goals for reliability and lower emissions.2 The Department of
Jobs and Small Business manages the government deregulation agenda. 3 The
government has placed considerable focus on innovation through the National
Innovation and Science Agenda.4 The Productivity Commission reports annually
on national productivity on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government
services; and has published a five year review of productivity priorities. 5
- Nevertheless, there are opportunities to improve outcomes. Like other nations,
Australian productivity improvement has reduced in recent years. There are likely
to be benefits from diversifying the sources of growth in the Australian economy
to take advantage of our skills base and ready access to capital. Australia’s
offshore investment continues to be focused on traditional markets rather than
regional markets.6 Research and development expenditure is below comparable
OECD nations and there is scope for better translation of publicly funded research
into commercial outcomes.7 Although there have been recent improvements in
the availability of information, in the past there has been limited focus on the
6 ABS 5352.0 - International Investment Position, Australia: Supplementary Statistics, 2017
7 https://stats.oecd.org, Main science and technology indicators. Boosting R&D Outcomes in
Australia at https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/boosting-r-d-outcomes-in-
important role of globally oriented business and Australia’s offshore investment in
- We encourage the Review to consider how to further increase the policy advisory
capability of the APS to understand innovation and productivity in the private
sector, and promote a stable and positive environment for investment. We
suggest that there should be a continued focus on APS policy advisors building
links with the private sector, increased consideration of policies adopted in
comparable jurisdictions, and how to promote the growth of internationally
capable and competitive Australian businesses.
Complex, multi-sectoral challenges
- The banking sector has wide experience in developing new services or capabilities
with government and non-government sectors, particularly in response to a policy
driver.9 Such work requires a high level of cooperation and trust between policy
advisers, regulators, private entities and not-for-profits. It requires the ability to
undertake trials and pilot projects, many of which may fail. In an environment of
high levels of scrutiny, there may be little tolerance for a ‘failure’ involving a
public sector agency. We suggest that providing frameworks for trusted
cooperation and allowing testing of new services and processes would increase
the capacity to undertake such work.
- The development of a commercial or economic model is usually important for
achieving complex, multi-sector changes. Many parties will support a positive
initiative and there will be many options. However, developing a sustainable
commercial or economic model is usually the critical step in turning aspiration
into action. The Review may wish to consider how the APS could have a greater
array of approaches available (for example, models for joint funding) and how it
can best engage the private sector to drive change where this is the best solution.
- Where the industry is required to undertake changes as a result of a regulatory
requirement, it is important for the APS to be able to provide advice on the
implications of change and implementation time-lines. Dialogue with affected
DFAT publication International Investment Australia 2016 is a helpful new publication. It shows
that the financial and insurance sector accounts for 30.7% of Australian direct investment
offshore. The last official statistics on sales generated by financial services offshore was in 2009-
10 (ABS 5485.0 Australian outward finance and insurance foreign affiliate trade)
For example, development of the New Payment Platform, external dispute resolution schemes,
and electronic conveyancing
businesses and APS capabilities to assess requirements should continue to be
Foreign, trade and security interests
- ANZ values the positive engagement of government agencies in areas such as
foreign affairs, security and trade support. We work bilaterally with government
in Australia and offshore, and contribute to working groups. We are able to
engage at senior levels of the APS. We believe that this engagement has provided
considerable benefits for the Australian community, and business, and allowed
ANZ to provide secure and trusted services.
- In our view, it is important to maintain APS openness to engage on foreign
affairs, security and trade matters. We have found the most valuable forms of
engagement have been at a working level and focused around achieving specific
outcomes or work programs. Much of the working group activity to date has
focused on security matters. There may be potential for this model based on
specific outcomes to apply to issues affecting the growth of internationally
oriented Australian businesses and related policy.
- ANZ has particular interests in promoting trade and investment flows across the
region, to benefit Australian businesses and our economy more generally.
Regulatory authorities in Hong Kong and Singapore are rapidly advancing in
moving trade processes to digital platforms and ANZ is looking to support similar
efforts in Australia. The Review may be interested in investigating offshore
approaches as a model for how government can work with the private sector.
Experience of government services
- While there are fundamental differences between the public and private sectors,
there are many common challenges for large organisations - focusing on
customer outcomes, managing complex changes and responding quickly and
flexibly. Large service providers such as ANZ or government agencies particularly
benefit from digital technologies that increase the ability to offer new services,
understand demand and enhance performance reporting.
- ANZ is making changes to become more customer focused, flexible and
productive. We are seeking to simplify our business and offer convenient and
engaging services and products, particularly through digital channels. Our New
Ways of Working initiative, is a scaled deployment of the Agile methodology and
is based around small, autonomous, multi-disciplinary teams. We are also linking
this to deployment of measuring systems of customer satisfaction. ANZ would be
happy to provide further information about these changes to the Review.
- Public sector organisations are seeking greater access to private sector data in
order to undertake advanced data processing and inform policy development.
There is a leading to a wide range of requests and there has been has been a
marked increase in the resourcing required to respond. It is likely that this trend
will continue. The Review may wish to consider what structures and principles
might assist to ensure that interactions with the private sector in the future are
well coordinated, efficient and take into account the experience of the responding
- A feature of government is that portfolio responsibilities and departmental
structures change from time to time. These changes can affect policy stability and
service delivery. The Review may wish to consider how to strike the balance
between the governments’ flexibility to make change and stability of policy and
Skills and expertise
- The APS plays an important part in providing information and informing debate
that contributes to public confidence and supports business investment. We
suggest that the Review might consider how the APS continue to strengthen its
capacity to provide experienced and skilled advice, as well as public information
to support policy stability and informed debate.
- There is considerable benchmarking and reporting on government services. It
would be valuable to continue to increase access to easy-to-understand
information on economic and employment outcomes (as well as government
service outcomes) and how these relate to departmental plans and policy
accountabilities. There will be particular interest in outcomes for consumers and
disaggregating information by regional areas.
Exchanging skills between government, business and the not-for-profit sector can
benefit all groups, noting the importance of managing conflicts of interest. It is
valuable for the APS to have access to skilled and experienced personnel from
with a private sector or non-government background. The movement of skilled
personnel from the APS to the private sector and non-government organisations
can increase those organisations’ ability to understand and respond constructive
to policy and regulation. We support change that will increase the ability to
exchange skills between the government, business and the not-for-profit sectors.
ANZ would be happy to provide further information to assist the Review. The
appropriate contact is Rob Lomdahl (email@example.com, or 03 8654 3459).