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11.2 Opportunities to improve public sector management

Deficiencies in the quality of public service leadership and management were raised in a number of the Commission’s consultations.

A recent survey published by the Australian Institute of Management shows a higher level of disengagement among public sector managers when compared to the private sector and that public sector managers should be playing a stronger role in increasing organisational performance.

There is widespread recognition of the importance effective performance management and human resources systems can make to an organisation. One of the more pressing issues facing the public service today is how to develop a culture that is open to regular constructive feedback, mentoring, assessment and ongoing professional development.

The Commission is yet to determine whether there are legislative barriers that impede the effective management of individual performance or underperformance in the public sector. This will be a focus of its Phase Two work.

However, the Commission’s preliminary consideration of the matter suggests attention needs to be given to improving management capabilities among senior public sector staff.