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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Review of the Tasmanian State Service – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Review?

The Tasmanian Government is conducting a review into the Tasmanian State Service to ensure it is best-placed to serve the Tasmanian people today and into the future.

It will identify structural and legislative improvements that will transform current structures, services and practices to deliver a more efficient and effective public service.

The Government wants to make sure that the Tasmanian State Service has employment policies and procedures that are contemporary and flexible and meet the changing workforce and business demands.

The Government also wants to ensure that it is doing everything it can to attract and retain the best possible people to the State Service and that we are identifying ways to help develop the long-term capability of all public servants.

Why is the Government conducting the Review?

The current State Service Act 2000 was developed during the late 1990s, and is now nearly two decades old. Since that time, the structure, approach, and in particular employment arrangements of the State Service, have not substantially changed.

It is therefore timely to ask whether the State Service’s capability, culture and current operating model are best suited to meet the needs of the ever-changing nature of Tasmania.

Who is responsible for the Review?

Dr Ian Watt AC will lead the Review. Dr Watt is a highly experienced former senior public servant with the Australian Government. Dr Watt will report to the Premier and Treasurer on his findings.

A six to eight member Reference Group will be established to provide advice, community views and industry best practice to inform Dr Watt’s deliberations. It will comprise members with public and private sector experience, together with a representative from public sector unions and the not-for-profit sector. Members will be appointed by the Premier.

A project team will be established in the Department of Premier and Cabinet to support the review.

What is the scope of the Review? What will be excluded?

The Review will focus primarily on the governing framework of the Tasmanian State Service. The intended scope of the Review is set out in the draft Terms of Reference.

The following is not included in the review:

  • Anything relating Tasmanian Government employees who are not covered by the State Service Act like Government Business Enterprises and State-Owned Companies ;
  • Wages policy and conditions for public sector employees that are negotiated through your awards and agreements;
  • The role of trade unions to advocate for public sector employees; and
  • The introduction of either a minimum or maximum target for the total numbers public sector employees in Tasmania.

How long will the Review take?

The draft Terms of Reference will be available for public feedback until 5pm on 29 November 2019. Formal work on the Review will commence shortly after this time.

A final report will be provided to the Government by the end of 2020. The Government will then consider the findings and recommendations of the Review and determine what will happen next.

How can I have my say on the Review?

The Government is currently inviting feedback on the nine focus areas in the draft Terms of Reference until 5pm on 29 November2019.

There will be further opportunities to provide feedback to the Review once the Terms of Reference are finalised and formal work gets underway. You can check back on the Review homepage to stay up to date.

I am currently employed in the State Service. What does this mean for me?

There will be no immediate changes to your work as a result of the Review while the Review is underway.

Once the Government has received and considered the recommendations of the Review, the Government will make further policy decisions. There will be regular updates as the Review progresses.

The Terms of Reference exclude the following matters from the scope of the Review:

  • Wages policy and conditions for public sector employees that are negotiated through awards and agreements;
  • The role of trade unions to advocate for public sector employees; and
  • The introduction of either a minimum or maximum target for the total numbers of public sector employees in Tasmania.

I am currently employed in a Government Business Enterprise or State-Owned Company. Will the Review affect me?

Employment matters relating to employees of Government Business Enterprises and State‑Owned Companies are not covered by the Review.

I am currently employed in a statutory authority. Will the Review affect me?

Employment matters relating to employees who are not covered by the State Service Act are outside the scope of the Review. This includes employees of some statutory authorities. You should discuss with your manager if you are unsure if this applies to you.

Is this just about efficiencies or cutting public service numbers?

No. The goal of the review is determine how the State Service can best meet the needs of the ever-changing nature of Tasmania not simply efficiencies.

In addition, the review will not be seeking to introduce either a minimum or maximum target for the total numbers of public sector employees in Tasmania