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The Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin is a statistical overview of Australian Public Service (APS) employment produced on a financial year basis. It is part of the State of the Service series. It provides details of those employed under the authority of the Public Service Act 1999 (the PS Act). Employees in Commonwealth-owned companies, statutory authorities, the Australian Defence Force and government business enterprises who are not employed under the PS Act are not included. State and local government employees are also not included.

Source of data

The data source for the Bulletin is the APS Employment Database (APSED).

APSED records information for both ongoing and non-ongoing employees, including employees on leave without pay. Agencies provide data from their human resources information systems to the Commission about employee movements such as engagements, promotions and separations, as well as a 'snapshot' for all employees at 30 June and 31 December each year. This information is used to verify and, where necessary, update APSED data. Although the Commission has tried to ensure data integrity and has undertaken an extensive audit of data provided by agencies, it is not responsible for inaccuracies in the data supplied.

About the data

A headcount approach underpins the Bulletin—that is, people working part-time are aggregated with people working full-time without weighting.

Time series data reflects the APS as it was at a particular point in time. When comparing trends over time, the data may vary due to coverage changes within the PS Act. See Appendix 3 and 4 for further details on PS Act coverage changes and machinery of government changes.

Due to differences in data definitions and reporting requirements, there may be variations between data in this publication and that published by individual agencies.

Where proportions are presented, results have been rounded to the first decimal place. Due to this rounding, the percentage results for some tables may not add exactly to the total shown.

Data includes inoperative employees, unless indicated.

This Bulletin includes data about base or substantive classification, as well as temporary assignment and paid classification. Tables are clearly marked to show which classification is used.

Each year, extensive audits and error checking of APSED are undertaken, and errors in the historical data are corrected. The following points should be taken into consideration when making comparisons between data in this publication and data previously published.

  • Previously published data for both ongoing and non-ongoing employees may have been revised and therefore may not necessarily be comparable with that in previous years' publications.
  • Diversity data published by the Commission may differ from that published by some agencies. In 2001, an independent review was undertaken of the Commission's then current practice of retrospectively changing a person's diversity status if it changed during their employment. The review supported the continuation of the practice for reporting for non-English speaking background (NESB) and Indigenous status as these characteristics are likely to be constant throughout an employee's career. Disability, however, may change over time and APSED has been modified to record the status change for an individual and the date that change was loaded into APSED.
  • The provision of some diversity data by APS employees to their agency is voluntary. Therefore, as with any large voluntary data collection, APSED tends to
    under-represent the number of Indigenous Australians, people with a disability and NESB employees.
  • This report is based on data as at 30 June 2016. Since that date, there have been Machinery of Government movements; these are not reflected in this Bulletin because they occurred after 30 June 2016. They will be reported in the 2016–17 Bulletin.

The APSED Internet Interface (APSEDii)

APSEDii is a series of dashboards that allow public access to data collected by APSED. Additional data collected by the APSC will also be made available in APSEDii. The dashboards provide the ability to manipulate and drill down into the data. There are two types of access—a limited version that allows general public access and a restricted version that requires a login. The restricted version is more extensive and provides additional features to assist with workforce planning and the ability to make comparisons between agencies. The limited access version is generally available only to APS employees for HR and workforce planning purposes.

Links to the dashboards and information about APSEDii can be found at http://www.apsc.gov.au/about-the-apsc/commission-services/apsed/apsedii

APSED Services

Enquiries or suggestions about this Bulletin, or the analyses and other services we provide, are welcome and should be directed to: apsed [at] apsc.gov.au        

HTML and PDF versions of the Bulletin are available from the Commission website at http://www.apsc.gov.au/about-the-apsc/parliamentary/aps-statistical-bulletin

Production team

Workforce Information and Planning Director: Pete Mitchell

APSED Manager: David Judge

APSED Maintenance: Ray Maher, Damien Woods, Sarah McNamara, Christopher Giuliano, Gareth Thomas, Andrew Burns.

Bulletin Production: Sarah McNamara, Damien Woods, David Judge, Mark Henry.

Last reviewed: 
29 May 2018