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Stewart Unwin

  1. I would like to see the APS restored as a single public service entity, rather than a set of competing agency-specific organisations with their own salary scales and working conditions.
  2. At the moment, there is very little incentive to move to another agency if that agency offers lower salaries, or has less attractive working conditions. If all agencies had the same salary scales, and offered genuine mobility in terms of leave balances (especially personal leave and long service leave) it would encourage moves between agencies. Currently, larger agencies who have chosen to offer higher salaries can attract staff from smaller agencies who are struggling simply to remain afloat.
  3. There are very few opportunities for school-leavers to enter the APS. I would reintroduce competitive entrance examinations to entry-level positions. This would enourage school-leavers to consider the APS as a long-term attractive career path, rather than something that they can only enter after graduating from university or drop in and out of much later in their working life. It should be a requirement for APS agencies to actually recruit and develop staff, rather than trying to poach them from other entities.
  4. A more radical twist to this would be to introduce national service, and make the APS one of the options for school-leavers, along with the ADF, health and aged care, national infrastructure building etc.
  5. One specific reform would be develop proper in-house ICT expertise. People used to join the APS to pursue a career in computer science, but now we continually read about the next ICT fiasco which seems to have occurred because management of ICT resources and projects has been handed over to external consultants. Why not develop an "ICT Corps" (for want of a better term) within the APS that is expert in computer systems and can actually make them work?