Part 2: Staffing of Agencies
A Smaller More Agile Public Service
Reducing the Public Sector Workforce
In around 18 months, the Government has reversed an eight-year peak in staffing levels, bringing the Commonwealth public sector back to a more affordable and sustainable size.
Last year's Budget forecast that in 2014‑15 the net reduction in total Average Staffing Levels (ASL) excluding military and reserves would be 10,031 ASL from 2012‑13. Based on figures collected for the current Budget, the latest projections in fact show a net reduction of 12,542 ASL.
Over the period from 1 September 2013 to 28 February 2015 over 17,300 public servants left the Australian Public Service. Around half of this reduction was achieved through natural attrition and the overwhelming majority of redundancies have been voluntary. Natural attrition has helped to lessen the number of redundancies required across the Commonwealth public sector.
The Government has provided $212 million to 38 agencies to assist with redundancies, where there had been insufficient provision made by the previous Government to meet the costs of planned workforce reductions.
Interim recruitment arrangements which the Government commenced from November 2013 have also helped reduce the size of the Australian Public Service in an orderly way. From 1 July 2015, new controls will afford agency heads the flexibility to manage recruitment, including graduate recruitment, without the need for external approval. This will be subject to functional requirements and ongoing monitoring by the Australian Public Service Commission.
Shifts in staffing investment
The 2015‑16 Budget includes outcomes from the independent functional and efficiency review of the Department of Health and the first stage of outcomes from the equivalent review of the Department of Education and Training. These reviews are contributing to the realignment of agency capabilities to the Government's priorities and will be followed by reviews of other departments throughout 2015‑16.
The integration of the Defence Materiel Organisation into the Department of Defence is expected to provide additional staffing reductions, with savings to be worked through in a methodical way later in 2015.
Strong progress toward staffing reductions has enabled some limited reinvestment by the Government into higher priority areas, such as access to high quality affordable childcare and the My Health Record Strategy. The Government is committed to a sustainable Public Service, where size is based on functional requirements and the highest standards of efficiency.
Some of the overall reductions in staffing levels will be offset by temporary increases in particular areas to manage implementation of policy change or to build infrastructure required to achieve future automation and efficiencies. This includes investment in the information technology systems of the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the first tranche of the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation Programme.
Other areas of targeted or transitory ASL growth within the 2015‑16 Budget support a smaller role for government, including welfare compliance resources to help to control administered spending and reduce dependency on the Government.
Simpler structures of Government
The Government has been methodically reducing the number of government bodies, to reduce the level of inefficiency, duplication and over-governance. More cohesive government structures are better able to work flexibly across shifting areas of need and deal with new or emerging issues.
The Government is actively identifying opportunities to outsource activities that can be better delivered using non-government sector expertise, technology, or capital.
Smaller Government reforms announced in the 2015‑16 Budget include: market testing the capacity of a private operator to upgrade and operate the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) Registry; disbanding the Defence Materiel Organisation by folding its functions into the Department of Defence; abolition of the Administrative Review Council through shifting its functions to the Attorney‑General's Department; and consolidation of the Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics into the Department of Industry and Science.
The Government will also undertake a scoping study in 2015‑16 on options for the future management, operations and ownership of the Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd.
The Government will continue to focus on ensuring that the resources and staff it deploys are the right people, undertaking necessary work, as efficiently as is achievable anywhere in the market.
Trends in average staffing levels
Trends in the estimated annual ASL for all agencies in the GGS are reported in Table 2.1, including all Defence Force personnel. ASL figures reflect the average number of employees receiving salary or wages over the financial year, with adjustments for casual and part-time staff, to show the average full-time equivalent. ASL numbers are one factor in determining wages and salary figures shown in the budget estimates. The other main factors include the classification of staff and the level of wages and salaries in each agency.
The estimated ASL for 2014‑15, excluding military personnel and reserves, as reported in the 2014‑15 Budget papers (Budget Paper No. 4) was 169,922. The current estimate by agencies for their 2014‑15 ASL has reduced to 167,411. The ASL estimated for 2015‑16 is 167,340, although final ASL for 2015‑16 may be lower as a result of additional Functional and Efficiency Reviews and further targeted efficiency measures due to be considered by the Government later in 2015.
ASL in 2015‑16 will be 15,165 lower than the ASL peak of 182,505 in 2011‑12.
The Budget forecasts for the 2015‑16 year will see total staffing return to the level last recorded in 2006‑07, as measured across the GGS excluding military personnel and reserves.
|ASL Excluding military and reserves||Military and reserves||Total ASL|
Table 2.2 provides details of ASL at the portfolio and agency level.
Following the issuing of Administrative Arrangements Orders on 23 December 2014, there were a number of machinery of government changes including transfers of functions between agencies, movements of agencies between portfolios, mergers of agencies, and the establishment and abolition of agencies. Comparison of ASL at portfolio and agency level between years should take into consideration that the related ASL would have a part‑year effect in 2014‑15 and a full‑year effect in 2015‑16.
|Average staffing levels #|
|2014‑15 ASL||2015‑16 ASL||Change|
|Department of Agriculture||4,108||4,179||71|
|Australian Grape and Wine Authority||54||53||-2|
|Australian Fisheries Management Authority||182||185||3|
|Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority||171||171||0|
|Cotton Research and Development Corporation||13||13||0|
|Fisheries Research and Development Corporation||12||13||0|
|Grains Research and Development Corporation||75||79||4|
|Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation||19||19||0|
|Administrative Appeals Tribunal(c)||163||723||560|
|Australia Business Arts Foundation Limited||16||17||1|
|Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity(d)||38||52||14|
|Australian Crime Commission||535||518||-17|
|Australian Federal Police(e)||6,402||6,287||-115|
|Australian Film, Television and Radio School||140||140||0|
|Australian Financial Security Authority||464||487||23|
|Australian Human Rights Commission||120||111||-9|
|Australian Institute of Criminology||50||47||-3|
|Australian Law Reform Commission||13||13||0|
|Australian National Maritime Museum||115||115||0|
|Australian Security Intelligence Organisation||1,693||1,768||75|
|Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre||265||285||20|
|Family Court and Federal Circuit Court||778||780||2|
|Federal Court of Australia||406||400||-6|
|High Court of Australia||79||76||-3|
|National Archives of Australia||405||403||-2|
|National Film & Sound Archive||178||173||-5|
|National Gallery of Australia||243||237||-6|
|National Library of Australia||427||421||-6|
|National Museum of Australia||218||213||-5|
|National Portrait Gallery of Australia||52||51||-1|
|Office of Parliamentary Counsel||92||97||5|
|Office of the Australian Information Commissioner(f)||64||72||8|
|Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions||398||413||15|
|Old Parliament House||70||70||0|
|Department of Communications(g)||430||408||-22|
|Australian Broadcasting Corporation(h)||4,540||4,350||-190|
|Australian Communications and Media Authority||451||417||-34|
|Special Broadcasting Service Corporation||1,045||1,020||-25|
|Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency(i)||11||0||-11|
|Department of Defence — Civilian(k)||14,472||18,380||3,908|
|Department of Defence — Military(l)||57,588||57,982||394|
|Department of Defence — Reserves(m)||19,260||18,860||-400|
|Department of Veterans' Affairs||1,935||1,894||-41|
|Australian War Memorial||301||278||-23|
|Defence Housing Australia||664||676||12|
|Defence Materiel Organisation(n)||4,888||0||-4,888|
|Departments of the Parliament|
|Department of Parliamentary Services||743||739||-4|
|Department of the House of Representatives||158||158||0|
|Department of the Senate||150||155||5|
|Parliamentary Budget Office||39||39||0|
|Education and Training|
|Department of Education and Training(o)||1,651||1,601||-50|
|Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority||96||93||-3|
|Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Limited||62||56||-6|
|Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies||134||143||9|
|Australian Research Council||120||120||0|
|Australian Skills Quality Authority(p)||205||213||8|
|Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency(q)||71||60||-11|
|Department of Employment||1,695||1,791||96|
|Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency(r)||9||12||3|
|Fair Work Commission||339||336||-3|
|Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate(s)||139||155||16|
|Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman||710||685||-25|
|Safe Work Australia||95||101||6|
|Workplace Gender Equality Agency||29||29||0|
|Department of the Environment||1,945||1,910||-35|
|Bureau of Meteorology(t)||1,481||1,379||-102|
|Clean Energy Regulator||318||324||6|
|Climate Change Authority(u)||21||18||-3|
|Director of National Parks||262||260||-2|
|Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority||200||195||-5|
|Murray-Darling Basin Authority||299||316||17|
|National Water Commission(v)||12||0||-12|
|Sydney Harbour Federation Trust||62||64||2|
|Department of Finance||1,347||1,350||3|
|Australian Electoral Commission||801||788||-13|
|Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation(w)||81||476||395|
|Future Fund Management Agency(x)||104||122||18|
|Foreign Affairs and Trade|
|Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade||5,722||5,734||12|
|Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research||74||74||0|
|Australian Secret Intelligence Service*||*||*||*|
|Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)||1,010||1,018||9|
|Export Finance and Insurance Corporation - National Interest Account||3||3||0|
|Department of Health||3,196||3,202||6|
|Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care(y)||82||92||10|
|Australian Institute of Health and Welfare||298||285||-13|
|Australian National Preventive Health Agency(z)||1||0||-1|
|Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority||28||28||0|
|Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency||127||135||8|
|Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority||60||57||-3|
|Australian Sports Commission||610||584||-26|
|Australian Sports Foundation Limited(aa)||5||11||6|
|Food Standards Australia and New Zealand||102||109||7|
|General Practice Education and Training Limited(ab)||28||0||-28|
|Health Workforce Australia(ac)||8||0||-8|
|Independent Hospital Pricing Authority||54||59||5|
|National Blood Authority||53||53||0|
|National Health and Medical Research Council||200||190||-10|
|National Health Funding Body||19||19||0|
|National Health Performance Authority||51||54||3|
|National Mental Health Commission||13||14||1|
|Private Health Insurance Administration Council||29||28||-1|
|Private Health Insurance Ombudsman(ad)||11||0||-11|
|Professional Services Review||17||17||0|
|Immigration and Border Protection|
|Department of Immigration and Border Protection(ae)||8,825||13,700||4,875|
|Australian Customs and Border Protection Service(ae)||4,905||0||-4,905|
|Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal(af)||410||0||-410|
|Industry and Science|
|Department of Industry and Science(ag)||2,807||2,538||-269|
|Australian Institute of Marine Science||210||213||3|
|Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation||1,227||1,257||31|
|Australian Renewable Energy Agency(ah)||2||0||-2|
|Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation||4,970||4,971||0|
|National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority||135||135||0|
|Infrastructure and Regional Development|
|Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development||1,141||1,144||3|
|Australian Maritime Safety Authority||374||375||1|
|Australian Transport Safety Bureau||105||100||-5|
|Civil Aviation Safety Authority||802||833||31|
|National Capital Authority||58||56||-3|
|National Transport Commission||39||39||0|
|Prime Minister and Cabinet|
|Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet(aj)||2,195||2,043||-152|
|Aboriginal Hostels Limited||418||404||-14|
|Anindilyakwa Land Council(ak)||29||34||5|
|Australian National Audit Office||338||345||7|
|Australian Public Service Commission||218||213||-5|
|Central Land Council||227||227||0|
|Indigenous Business Australia||225||236||11|
|Indigenous Land Corporation||265||265||0|
|National Australia Day Council Limited||12||12||-1|
|Northern Land Council||220||230||10|
|Office of National Assessments||132||138||6|
|Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman(al)||137||149||12|
|Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security(am)||13||16||3|
|Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General||76||75||-1|
|Outback Stores Pty Ltd||151||151||0|
|Tiwi Land Council(an)||14||16||2|
|Torres Strait Regional Authority||146||150||4|
|Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council||32||32||0|
|Department of Social Services(ao)||3,233||3,561||328|
|Department of Human Services(ap)||30,017||30,461||444|
|Australian Aged Care Quality Agency||249||244||-5|
|Australian Institute of Family Studies||83||82||-1|
|National Disability Insurance Agency(aq)||659||1,220||560|
|Department of the Treasury||815||833||18|
|Australian Bureau of Statistics||2,580||2,670||90|
|Australian Competition and Consumer Commission||715||725||10|
|Australian Office of Financial Management||42||41||-1|
|Australian Prudential Regulation Authority||589||590||1|
|Australian Securities and Investments Commission||1,573||1,569||-4|
|Australian Taxation Office(ar)||18,439||18,482||43|
|Clean Energy Finance Corporation(as)||54||30||-24|
|Commonwealth Grants Commission||36||36||0|
|Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee(at)||2||0||-2|
|Inspector-General of Taxation(au)||14||34||20|
|National Competition Council(av)||2||1||-1|
|Office of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board||7||7||0|
|Office of the Australian Accounting Standards Board||22||22||0|
|Royal Australian Mint||228||219||-9|
|TOTAL (for all general government sector agencies)||244,259||244,182||-76|
# Any discrepancies in totals are due to rounding of partial ASL
* Not disclosed
(a) This table includes estimates of ASL provided by GGS agencies. ASL figures reflect the average number of employees receiving salary or wages over the financial year, with adjustments for casual and part time staff to show the full-time equivalent. It also includes uniformed staff and overseas personnel. The ASL figures exclude contractors.
(b) The projected departmental total does not reflect the amalgamation of the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) into the Attorney-General's Department to ensure accurate comparison at the GGS level between 2014‑15 and 2015‑16, noting that prior to 1 July 2015 the AGS was outside the GGS. Refer the 2014‑15 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook measure (Smaller Government — Australian Government Solicitor).
(c) The projected increase reflects the amalgamation of all Commonwealth merits review tribunals, with the exception of the Veterans Review Board, from 1 July 2015.
(d) The projected increase reflects the impact of 2015‑16 Budget measures.
(e) The projected decrease is due to terminating measures and the implementation of efficiency measures.
(f) The projected increase reflects the implementation of the 2015‑16 Budget measures (National Security — Implementation of Mandatory Telecommunications Data Retention) and (Smaller Government)— Attorney-General's Portfolio).
(g) The projected decrease reflects the implementation of the 2015‑16 Budget measure (Digital Transformation Agenda — Portfolio Contributions) and the 2014‑15 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook measure (Enhancing Online Safety for Children — support).
(h) The projected decrease reflects the implementation of the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Special Broadcasting Service Corporation — efficiency savings) and the 2014‑15 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook measure (Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Special Broadcasting Service Corporation — additional efficiency savings).
(i) Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency will be transitioned into the Department of Communications from 1 July 2015 — refer the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Smaller Government — Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency — abolition and transfer to the Department of Communications).
(j) This does not include the Digital Transformation Office. ASL yet to be determined.
(k) The projected change reflects that the Defence Materiel Organisation will be disbanded and its function reintegrated into the Department of Defence with effect from 1 July 2015 — refer the 2015‑16 Budget measure (Smaller Government — Defence Materiel Organisation — reintegration into the Department of Defence).
(l) The projected change reflects lower than expected separation rates and increased recruiting targets.
(m) A lower number of reservists will be required due to an expected increase in the average number of days of military service performed.
(n) The projected change reflects that the Defence Materiel Organisation will be reintegrated into the Department of Defence from 1 July 2015 — refer the 2015‑16 Budget measure (Smaller Government — Defence Materiel Organisation — reintegration into the Department of Defence).
(o) The projected decrease reflects the net impact of efficiency measures and the machinery of government changes of 23 December 2014. Staff transferred from the Department of Industry and Science and to the Department of Social Services.
(p) Australian Skills Quality Authority transferred from the Industry and Science portfolio to the Education and Training portfolio as a result of the machinery of government changes of 23 December 2014.
(q) The projected decrease reflects the implementation of the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Upholding Quality — Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency — revised funding arrangements).
(r) The projected increase reflects improved workforce planning and estimates.
(s) The projected increase reflects delays in the recruitment of additional staff.
(t) The projected decrease reflects the impact of efficiency measures and declining external revenue projections.
(u) The Government has agreed to extend the operations of the Climate Change Authority until 31 December 2016 — refer the 2015‑16 Budget measure (Climate Change Authority — extension).
(v) The National Water Commission is to be abolished — refer the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Smaller Government — National Water Commission — cessation).
(w) The projected change reflects the proposed merger of ComSuper and Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation from 1 July 2015 — refer the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Smaller Government — additional reductions in the number of Australian Government bodies).
(x) The projected increase reflects the additional resourcing required to support the operations, growth and management of the Future Fund.
(y) The projected increase reflects the implementation of several funded projects, including the Anti‑Microbial Resistance AURA project, the Patient Blood management collaborative and the GP Accreditation projects, and the development of the Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation.
(z) The agency will be abolished — refer the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Smaller Government — Australian National Preventive Health Agency — abolish).
(aa) Australian Sports Foundation Limited separated its operational functions from the Australian Sports Commission as a result of the Government's response to the Independent Sport panel, 'Australian Sport: The pathway to success'. The projected increase reflects the implementation of this transition.
(ab) General Practice Education and Training Limited was abolished in April 2015 — refer the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Rebuilding general practice education and training to deliver more GPs).
(ac) Health Workforce Australia was abolished — refer the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Smaller Government — More Efficient Health Workforce Development).
(ad) The projected decrease reflects the integration of the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman into the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman from 1 July 2015 — refer the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Smaller Government — additional reductions in the number of Australian Government bodies).
(ae) The projected change reflects the proposed merger of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service from 1 July 2015 — refer the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Smaller Government — strengthen and enhance Australia's border protection services).
(af) The projected decrease reflects the amalgamation of all Commonwealth merits review tribunals, with the exception of the Veterans Review Board, from 1 July 2015.
(ag) The projected decrease reflects the net impact of Budget measures and the machinery of government changes of 23 December 2014. Staff transferred to the Department of Education and Training.
(ah) Australian Renewable Energy Agency is to be abolished — refer the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Australian Renewable Energy Agency — cessation).
(ai) Infrastructure Australia was established on 1 September 2014 following the amendment of the Infrastructure Australia Act 2008. The projected increase reflects additional resourcing to support statutory functions.
(aj) The projected decrease reflects the completion of the G20 Leaders' Summit and the impact of the 2014‑15 Budget measure (Indigenous Affairs Programmes — rationalisation).
(ak) The projected increase reflects the implementation of the proposed Community Development Unit.
(al) The projected increase reflects the implementation of the 2015‑16 Budget measure (National Security — Implementation of Mandatory Telecommunications Data Retention) and the 2014‑15 Budget measures (Inspector-General of Taxation — transfer of tax complaints handling) and (Smaller Government — additional reductions in the number of Australian Government bodies).
(am) The projected increase reflects the implementation of the 2014‑15 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook measure (National Security — additional counter-terrorism funding).
(an) The projected increase reflects the engagement of executive management.
(ao) The projected increase reflects the impact of the machinery of government changes of 23 December 2014 (staff transferred from the Department of Education and Training) and implementation of 2015‑16 Budget measures.
(ap) The projected increase reflects the implementation of 2015‑16 Budget measures.
(aq) The projected increase reflects the resourcing required for the expansion of trial sites and the growth in the number of participants.
(ar) The projected marginal increase reflects the implementation of measures announced in the 2014‑15 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook and the 2015‑16 Budget. The ATO resourcing after 2015‑16 will provide for additional staff for GST compliance that will be funded by the states and territories, although the employees will be part of the Commonwealth employment arrangements. The Australian Government administers the GST on behalf of the states and territories, which receive GST revenues.
(as) The projected decrease reflects the impact of the abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation from 31 December 2015 — refer the 2013‑14 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook measure (Repeal of the Carbon Tax — abolishing other measures).
(at) The Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee ceased as an entity as at 19 December 2014.
(au) The projected increase reflects the staffing required to establish a complaints handling function — refer the 2015‑16 Budget measure (Inspector-General of Taxation — additional funding).
(av) The projected decrease reflects a staff redundancy at the SES level.