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Section 44 of the Public Service Act 1999 (Cwlth) provides that the Australian Public Service Commissioner must issue a report each year to the agency’s Minister for presentation to the Australian Parliament. The report must include a report on the state of the Australian Public Service (APS) during the year.

The State of the Service Report 2017–18 identifies the year-to-year trends in workforce participation and capability across the APS.

This is the 21st annual report on the state of the APS presented to Parliament. The report has been significantly enhanced since it was first tabled in 1998.

This year, the State of the Service report has been organised around three key agency capability themes:

  • culture
  • capability
  • leadership

The report contains an overview of the current state of play in the APS and the pressures to reform in the context of continual change. The remaining 10 chapters are grouped under the three key themes outlined above (and highlighted in Figure 1).

The 2017–18 SOSR has been structured around the themes of culture, capability and leadership. It is informed by data from the annual Australian Public Service (APS) agency survey and APS employee census, as well as the APS employment database. 

The report highlights the changing APS context and the need to adapt to ensure fitness-for-purpose into the future. It echoes the thoughts Mr David Thodey AO, Chair of the Independent Review of the APS has shared that the APS is not broken, but it does need to be ready to respond quickly to government, changing community needs and to take advantage of emerging technologies.

An expanded set of workforce data that complements the report’s findings has been included in the report’s appendices. In accordance with the Government’s policy on open data, de-identified, non-sensitive APS employee census data has been made available on 

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