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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Chapter 1 - Building a responsive, productive and effective State Service

Continued re-shaping is necessary to ensure that the State Service is best placed to meet the needs of the Tasmanian community within the Government’s available financial resources. During the reporting period, there was a focus on ensuring that the State Service:

  • delivers the right services to meet the needs of the community when these needs can only be satisfied by Government;
  • is lean and uses public resources as wisely and efficiently as possible to get the best return for Tasmania; and
  • has the right people, with the right skills and knowledge, in the right positions, to deliver these services.

Getting to the Right Size, Right Skills and Right Service is about optimising the use of our financial resources and the deployment of our people. Agencies are required to ensure they match positions to people with the right skill sets, and develop and recruit people for the State Service of the future, while maintaining workplace diversity.

Managing Positions in the State Service
(MPSS) was released under Section 15(1)(b) of the State Service Act 2000 in September 2014 to assist Heads of Agencies meet the Government’s commitment to have a more productive and effective State Service through reducing employment related expenses. It outlines a range of approaches available to agencies to manage their budgets through:

  • identifying essential and non-essential functions within agencies;
  • identifying where employee savings can be made in the short and long-term;
  • establishing strict controls for filling vacancies;
  • clarifying redeployment mechanisms; and
  • providing voluntary incentives to encourage specific individuals to cease employment.

A suite of tools was developed by State Service Management Office (SSMO) to assist Heads of Agencies to manage their workforces and to realise the required savings. The primary mechanisms involved whole-of-service vacancy management to facilitate redeployment of surplus employees, and the provision of incentive payments to encourage specific employees to exit the State Service.

MPSS included a number of activities such as agency-level position management, whole-of-service vacancy control, redeployment processes, targeted and negotiated voluntary redundancies, workforce renewal incentive programs (within specific Agencies). Outcomes for these activities are:

  • Positions considered by Central Vacancy Control: 1966
  • Targeted and Negotiated Voluntary Redundancies: 325 total exits between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015 (inclusive)
  • Workforce Renewal Incentive Program payments: 663 total exits between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015 (inclusive)
  • Number of suitability assessments (across agencies): 170
  • Number of placements through suitability assessments: 45 (includes fixed term placements and trial arrangements)

An evaluation into compliance with MPSS was undertaken in 2015. The overall objective of the review was to identify and assess any opportunities for improving processes and compliance with the MPSS guidelines (including TNVRs and WRIPs).

The Government also implemented wage growth restraint, with the majority of State Service employees covered by industrial agreements until the end of 2015 or mid-2016. These agreements have been negotiated and developed consistent with the Government’s commitment to an enterprise bargaining framework where wages and other employment costs are sustainable.

Generally, negotiated wage outcomes have not exceeded two per cent per annum after allowing for productivity change. There were two notable exceptions – Paramedics and Salaried Medical Practitioners.


Continue reading: Chapter 2 - Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing