The review aims to ensure that the APS is fit-for-purpose for the coming decades, by identifying potential reforms and the capabilities needed to deliver public value.
An organisation that is fit-for-purpose is one that understands its purpose and the capabilities required to achieve that purpose.
In considering our response to the terms of reference for the APS Review, ANZSOG has reflected on the current and future challenges facing the APS, the existing capability and structures of the APS, and international research on public sector capability.
We consider capability as the ‘defining strengths’ of an organisation; the combination of skills, knowledge, systems, procedures, decision-making practices, and other factors that enable effective action towards its purpose (Leinwand and Mainardi 2011).
Much of the growth in organisational capability for the APS will come from building the skills and capacity of the public sector workforce, which is a focus for ANZSOG.
The OECD’s Directorate for Public Governance has identified four areas of capacity required in the public sector workforce – the capacity to develop policy and design for implementation, to work with citizens, to collaborate in networks, and to commission and contract for delivery (OECD 2017). We have used this OECD framework to review and improve our programs to target contemporary challenges for the Australian and New Zealand public sector, and it informed our response to this review.