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Circular 2002/4 - Management Advisory Committee: Project on building organisational capabilities

The purpose of this circular is to advise agencies of the work being undertaken by the APS Management Advisory Committee (MAC) in order to understand and meet the challenge of building organisational capability and to correct recent press reports suggesting an inquiry is being conducted into the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS).

Organisational Renewal Project

The MAC has established a Sub-Committee on Organisational Renewal, comprising a project team of Agency Heads including the Public Service Commissioner, to examine the challenges of building organisational capabilities by APS agencies against the background of changing workforce trends.

Research being undertaken by the project team includes the likely employment and retirement patterns of mature age workers in the APS. One aspect of this is the possible imminent departure of increasing numbers of CSS members who are approaching age 55, to better understand the demographics and to consider appropriate strategies by agencies to reduce and manage any possible loss of skills and knowledge. The project is also looking at the career intentions and employment patterns of graduate recruits and strategies for their development and retention.

The project methodology includes an analysis of relevant trends using the Commission’s APS Employment Database in order to provide an overview of the changing APS workforce and an examination of how agencies are responding to these critical issues through a survey of sample agencies, including the identification of workforce planning strategies that are being developed or are in place.

The report to MAC is expected to be completed early in 2003. A copy of the Terms of Reference for the project is overleaf.

Questions regarding this project may be directed to 02 6202 3708.

Peter Miller

Acting Group Manager

Policy and Employment Group

8 July 2002

Management Advisory Committee

Terms of reference for the Organisational Renewal Project

Focus: To understand and meet the challenge of building organisational capability. The hypotheses to be tested are that the APS is facing:

  • the imminent departure of increasing numbers of staff with an incentive to retire prior to the age of 55, which may affect corporate knowledge; and
  • a move from a predominantly career Service to a labour market increasingly interested in APS employment of five to ten years within a broader career.

(1) Undertake quantitative and qualitative research to determine:

  • the rate of overall ageing of the APS workforce and whether its impact is significant at particular levels or in particular career streams;
  • career expectations of the "baby boomer generation" identifying intentions to retire at or near 55 and post-retirement options;
  • career expectations of newer members of the APS and how this might differ from the past;
  • agency views of skills gaps in their current workforce, particularly having regard to expected future requirements.

(2) Addressing the implications of the analysis in (1) for Strategic Workforce Planning including the identification of:

  • retention and retirement strategies for those approaching 55;
  • recruitment strategies including graduate recruitment strategies;
  • strategies to identify and develop potential replacement staff;
  • knowledge management/transfer programs;
  • skills retention and transfer programs.
Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018