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Machinery of Government (MoG) changes: A guide

APS agency to non-APS agency

A MoG change can lead to the movement of a Commonwealth function from an agency that is an Australian Public Service (APS) agency operating under the Public Service Act 1999 to a Commonwealth agency that is not an APS agency and operates under different legislation.

  1. Agencies are expected to implement change in a way that is consistent with the principles outlined in the Executive Summary.
  2. This page provides additional information for agencies where functions, staff and/or resources are moved from an APS agency to a non-APS Commonwealth agency.

Movement of people

Legislative basis

  1. Section 72(1)(b) of the PS Act gives the Commissioner the authority to move an APS employee to an agency that is not an APS agency. See People Management.
  2. Agencies should consider whether legislation to facilitate the movement of staff out of the APS is required.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Where an employee from an APS agency moves to a non-APS Commonwealth agency, the employee is entitled to have their pay and conditions maintained until the next amendment to the relevant industrial award or instrument [PS Act s72(3)]. See Pay and Conditions.
  2.  As not all moves will automatically be a transfer of business, agencies should seek legal advice.
  3. Agencies should be aware that the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973 (ML Act) only automatically covers APS agencies. This means that when an agency moves out of the APS, its employees are no longer covered and maternity leave provisions are conferred by the agency’s industrial instrument. Where there are compelling arguments to maintain coverage of the ML Act, there is an option for an agency to be prescribed by the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Regulations 2016 as an agency covered by the ML Act. The agency should commence discussions with the APSC and PM&C very early if it intends to explore this option, as the process to consider the request to amend the Regulations is a lengthy one.
  4. Coverage of the Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1976 (LSL Act) is not usually affected by movement out of the APS. The LSL Act generally covers persons employed under a law of the Commonwealth. If an agency is in doubt about coverage under the new arrangement, it should consult with the APSC and/or seek legal advice.

Returning to the APS

  1. Generally, employees who have moved out of the APS as the result of a MoG change cannot apply for positions in the APS advertised as available to APS employees only. Exceptions include:
    • employees who transfer to an agency operating under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 are able to re-enter the APS under mobility provisions in the PS Act—see Movement between the Parliamentary Service and the APS
    • through provisions included in enabling legislation for the gaining agency. 
  2. Agencies should note that arrangements to facilitate the re-entry of former APS employees are rare. Agencies should contact the APSC as soon as possible if considering this.

Excess staff

  1. Where the gaining agency indicates that it will require fewer staff to perform the transferred function, agencies will negotiate the management of excess staff.
  2. To maximise excess employees’ opportunity to find work in the APS it may be appropriate to facilitate redeployment to other APS agencies before the administration of the MoG change is completed.

Governance and Financial Management

  1. For governance arrangements, please email Governance.Policy [at] finance.gov.au.
  2. For funding arrangements, please email annual.appropriations [at] finance.gov.au.
  3. For banking arrangements, please email banking.policy [at] finance.gov.au.
  4. For financial reporting arrangements, please email accountingpolicy [at] finance.gov.au.
Last reviewed: 
4 April 2019