Under the Westminster system, Ministers and the Australian Public Service (APS) have distinct, but complementary roles and responsibilities to the Australian public. Ensuring these roles and our priorities are clear supports effective relationships between Ministers and the public service and focuses thier collective efforts on the most pressing needs of Australians.
Government sets the policy direction for our nation, and is accountable to the public for the difference it makes. The APS provides advice to the Government and implements its policies through projects, programs, regulation and services. They are often the face of Government helping Australians through important milestones in their lives: starting a family, finding a job or starting a business.
The support given to regional families affected by drought and floods, for example, saw the public service rally around the Government’s national response to support farmers and their communities to give confidence, encouragement and hope at a time of need – making a meaningful impact on the lives of Australians.
To succeed, there must be a clear line of sight from what everyone in the APS does, to the Australian people.
To achieve this, the federal government will:
- focus on priorities – the Prime Minister has set a targeted number of significant priorities for each Minister, to ensure Ministers and their portfolios are focused on the things that matter most to Australians
- ensure a line of sight to Australians – with the Secretaries Board and the APS to embed a shared vision across the APS so everyone understands the impact their work has on Australians, and
- clarify the respective roles of Ministers and the APS – using guidance, induction and other training to reinforce the core responsibilities of the APS.