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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Governance Arrangements

State Service Review 2019

The current State Service Act 2000 was developed during the late 1990s, and is now nearly two decades old. Since that time, rapid technological, demographic and social change, has occurred and arguably the Act is increasingly irrelevant and outdated.

On 23 May 2019, government announced in it will take steps to bring the public sector framework into the 21st century through a review of the State Service to deliver a framework for a public service that is effective and efficient, and that can meet the challenges of the next 20 years. The Review will identify the structural, legislative and cultural improvements that will transform current structures, services and practices to deliver a more effective and efficient public service, fit for the 21st century. The Review will be led by a steering committee comprising representatives from the unions, the public, private and the not-for-profit sector.

State Service Amendment Act 2012

The State Service Amendment Act 2012 amended the State Service Act 2000, and consequentially the Industrial Relations Act 1984, the Integrity Commission Act 2009 and the Audit Act 2008. The amendments formed part of a State Service Structural Reform Program, and supported the implementation of a number of the recommendations stemming from the O’Farrell Report March 2012, into a review of the governance arrangements within the Tasmanian State Service; that is the roles and responsibilities of the Employer, the State Service Commissioner, and the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.

The amendments to the State Service Act came into effect from 4 February 2013. These provided changes to governance and structural arrangements for the State Service. There was minimal impact and did not change entitlements. The major changes were:

  • the Employer (the Minister Administering the State Service Act), is responsible to uphold, promote and ensure adherence to the State Service Principles and ensure that employment practices are in place to support State Service employees. This makes explicit the importance of stewardship of the Tasmanian State Service and the requirement of the Head of the State Service to uphold, promote and to implement arrangements for effective service delivery and State Service workforce management.
  • The Head of the State Service, on behalf of Minister administering the State Service Act, is responsible for ensuring that the State Service is run effectively and efficiently.
    • The Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC) was appointed as the Head of the State Service to have responsibility for the Employer role on behalf of the Minister (the Premier). The State Service Management Officer (formerly Public Sector Management Office - PSMO) undertakes this role on a day to day basis.
    • Approval for secondments, promotion without advertising and change of employment status (previously handled by the State Service Commissioner) are managed through SSMO.
    • The Head of the State Service compiles the State Service Annual Report and reports to Parliament on the performance and exercise of the Employer’s functions and powers. A key component of evaluating performance will be the Annual Employee Survey to be conducted in May/June each year.
  • The Office of the State Service Commissioner was abolished. Commissioners Directions and Ministerial Directions were replaced by Employment Directions. These are approved and signed by the Premier as the Minister responsible for the State Service Act 2000.
  • Tasmanian Industrial Relations Commission (TIC), as an independent and external body now hears and decides employee reviews. The President of the TIC issued Practices & Procedures for Employee Reviews under the State Service Act.
  • The Auditor-General, as the independent and external statutory office holder, undertakes examinations and investigations into and reports on the performance and exercise of the Employer’s functions and powers.

The amendments did not alter any existing employee provisions.