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Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman


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Small Business and
F a m i l y Enterprise

Australian Government

3 May 2019

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Box 6500

Canberra ACT 2600

By email: apsreview@pmc.gov.au

Dear Sir/Madam


We provide below our view on the four priorities for change as identified in the from

the Independent Review of the APS.
A strategic approach to the four priorities is critical given that The International
(InCiSE) Index Results Report 20191 now ranks Australia 5th overall2 (down

from in 2017) and Australia made the top 5 for only one measure (ie. crisis and risk

management). We therefore strongly recommend connecting in with the public

services in New Zealand (ranked 2 ) and Canada (ranked that performed

well in terms of policies and strategies relevant to our top four priorities.
To the first priority of strengthening culture, governance and leadership, New Zealand gained

the top position for integrity. The integrity indicator covers 6 themes measuring ethics,
fairness and impartiality.
To the third priority of investing in capability and talent, Canada ranked 1st for HR

management and inclusiveness. The rankings looked for systems being meritocratic;
attracting and retaining talent; management; and data collection. New Zealand

ranked 1st (Canada for capabilities taking into consideration core capabilities,
organisational skills and learning and development.
Canada ranked and New Zealand 5th for policy making which consider the quality of

advice, coordination across government and monitoring during implementation. Particular

attention should be paid to the way that New Zealand is a world leader in terms of tax policy

development that is transparent, collaborative, and inclusive through its "Generic Tax Policy

Process" (GTPP).3 The GTPP provides for public engagement throughout the

different phases of the policy process. This creates a system that is widely accepted and

able to respond to a dynamic environment.
To the priority of developing stronger internal and external New Zealand

again was number one based on the extent to which they use and the policies

in place that enable small and medium−sized enterprises to take in government

procurement. Currently, Australian small businesses are largely excluded from government

panels due to the way that they are set up (for example, requiring a full suite of legal

by each firm on the legal panel). Commonly, the best provider of a good or is a small

business yet they are excluded from consideration through not being on a panel.


2 page 32
For example, see
for a summary of the process and options to further improve the GTPP.
T 1300 650 460 E
of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
GPO Box 1791, Canberra City ACT 2601
Lastly, it is important to note that across all of the priorities for change, there is a greater

need for transparency and sharing. In an operational context, we

encounter information secrecy standing in the way of an outcome that is good for

government, business and others alike. We also encounter multiple departments seeking to

reach the same people but in an uncoordinated way.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment and we would be pleased to expand on any of the

points that we have raised. If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact Jill

Lawrence on 6121 5312 jill.lawrence@asbfeo.gov.au.
Yours sincerely

Kate Carnell AO

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

Office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman