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Capability review: Department of Finance and Deregulation


The 2010 report Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration recommended that the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) undertake regular and systemic reviews to promote improved capability in the key agencies and to assess the institutional capability of the service as a whole.

The methodology used by the APSC to conduct these reviews drew significantly on the United Kingdom Capability Review Programme. Through the knowledge gained from the first tranche of reviews (the three pilots), the United Kingdom methodology has been gradually refined to more closely reflect the Australian context in which the review program is being conducted.

I thank the Department of Finance and Deregulation for participating in the capability review. Its support and commitment to the review and capability review program objectives is evident in the time the Secretary and his senior staff have given to the review.

I was also greatly encouraged to see the highly collaborative approach taken by the senior reviewers to their task and in this regard would like to thank Dr Jeff Harmer AO, the chair of the review team, and the other senior members, Ms Helen Williams AO and Dr Steven Kennedy.

Stephen Sedgwick AO
Australian Public Service Commissioner

1 About the review

A capability review is a forward-looking, whole-of-agency review that assesses an agency’s ability to meet future objectives and challenges.

This review focuses on leadership, strategy and delivery capabilities in the Department of Finance and Deregulation (DoFD). It highlights the department’s internal management strengths and weaknesses using the model set out in Figure 1. A set of 39 questions is used to guide the assessment of each of the 10 elements of the model. Those assessments are included in Section 4 of this report.

Capability reviews are designed to be relatively short and sharp and to take a high-level view of the strategic operations of the agency. They focus primarily on its senior leadership, but are also informed by the views of its middle management, who attend a series of workshops.

External stakeholders are also interviewed, including relevant ministers, private sector companies, state delivery organisations, peak bodies, interest groups, citizens, clients and central agencies.

The fieldwork for the capability review of DoFD was undertaken betweent 13 August 2012 and 19 October 2012.

Figure 1 – Model of capability

Last reviewed: 
22 May 2018