Management and Accountability

Management of human resources

Human resource strategy

The Department places a high priority on its people, and remains focused on people management to ensure that it has the necessary capability to deliver outcomes for the Australian Government and achieve its goals.

The Department seeks to be regarded as a public sector employer that is professional, has integrity and offers a rewarding place to work. The Human Resource Strategy for 2010 to 2015 highlights four priority areas-positive work culture, recruitment, development and retention-and outlines the key initiatives that will be undertaken to position the Department to continue to meet its human resource requirements now and into the future.

One of the key initiatives is workforce management and planning. Workforce planning was successfully piloted in three business divisions in 2009–10, and is currently being rolled out across the Department.

Learning and development

The Department's learning and development program includes a range of staff development activities shaped by the Department's business priorities, the broader public service direction and individual development needs identified through the Department's performance management system. It is further informed through executive forums and learning activity evaluation reports.

In 2009–10 there was a strong focus on developing specific capabilities to assist in the delivery of the Department's outcomes. The identified capability areas, which are being addressed by high-priority training programs, include project management; regulation and legislation; strategic policy process and analysis; stakeholder engagement; and organisational leadership skills. Initiatives were put in place to meet these skill needs in 2009–10.

Graduate development program

Secretary Mike Mrdak with 2009 Graduates

In November 2009, 28 graduates successfully completed the Department's graduate program. In January 2010, 28 new graduates commenced.

Graduates were drawn from a variety of academic disciplines, reflecting the Department's need for specialist skills and qualifications in, for example, engineering and IT, as well as more generalist skills such as the capacity for analytical and critical thinking.

In 2009, the formal learning and development program for graduates included the Diploma of Government course conducted by the Australian Institute of Management, as well as on-the-job experience.

Performance management

The Department's performance management framework provides an effective means for managers and employees to share and develop a common understanding of the deliverables and performance levels required of each employee.

With their manager, each employee develops a ‘Plan on a Page’; and performance is assessed against that plan at least twice a year through their ‘Results on a Page’. The assessment focuses on recognising what has been achieved and what lessons have been learned, and is complemented by the personal ‘Development on a Page’, which identifies individual capability needs and how they will be developed.

A performance management review was undertaken during 2009–10. Recommendations of the review-such as introducing career planning into development plans and streamlining the management process for underperformance-are being implemented progressively.

The Department also rewards and recognises the contributions of individuals and teams through two formal awards: the Australia Day Achievement Awards and the Awards for Excellence.

Remuneration policies

The Secretary's remuneration is determined by the Prime Minister, taking into account the recommendations of the Remuneration Tribunal.

Remuneration for SES employees in the Department is set through determinations under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999.

Conditions of employment for non-SES employees are determined through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Enterprise Agreement 2009–2011, which commenced on 14 September 2009. The agreement provided for a 3 per cent salary increase from the date of commencement of the agreement and a further 3 per cent salary increase on 1 July 2010. The total remuneration for SES employees also increased by 3 per cent on 14 September 2009 and further increased by 3 per cent on 1 July 2010. In 2009–10 the Department made no performance payments to non-SES employees. At 30 June 2010 two employees remained on AWAs.

Table 7.4 provides information on the number of staff employed under each type of employment agreement.

Table 7.4 Number of staff employed, by type of employment agreement, at 30 June 2010
  Australian workplace Agreement Section 24(1) determination under the Public Service Act 1999 Enterprise agreement Total staff
Senior Executive Service (SES) 1 48 0 49
Non-SES 1 0 1,018 1,019

Staffing statistics

At 30 June 2010, the Department employed 1,068 employees, a decrease of 176 employees or 14.15 per cent since 30 June 2009. The majority of this decrease occurred with the transition of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to an independent portfolio agency from 1 July 2009.

Table 7.5 shows staff recruitment and retention statistics for 2009–10. More information about the Department's staffing profile is located at Appendix H.

Table 7.5 Staff recruitment and retention in 2009–10
Recruitmenta
Graduates recruited externally 28
Other external recruits 74
Total external recruits 102
Retentionb
Retention rate (%) 85.72
Seperations
Transfers/promotions to another Australian Public Service agency 88
Resignations and retirements 58
Retrenchments 6
Other 3
Total seperations 155

a Non-ongoing employees are excluded from recruitment numbers, and retention and separation data

b Retention statistics refer to ongoing operative employees only. Separation of inoperative employees, who have been on leave without pay for more than three months, are not included in this calculation.

Workplace diversity

The Department respects and values the diversity of its workforce. In 2009–10, the Department:

  • offered flexible working conditions to help attract, recruit and retain employees
  • continued to deliver outcomes set out by the Disability Support Strategy 2008–10
  • supported and enabled the activities of the Diversity and Equity Network through events supporting disabled, disadvantaged and diverse volunteering groups in the community
  • reviewed its internal diversity policy and the Reconciliation Action Plan to meet its commitment to reconciliation objectives
  • celebrated NAIDOC Week
  • recruited Indigenous employees-one trainee and two cadets-through initiatives of the Australian Public Service Commission and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and
  • supported the Indigenous Professional Development Network, which provides a forum for Indigenous employees to connect and build relations with each other.

Table 7.6 summarises the diversity profile of the Department's workforce.

Table 7.6 Workforce diversity at 30 June 2010
Women 508
People from non-English speaking backgrounds 158
People with a disability 22
Indigenous peoplea 17
All employees 1,068

a During their trainee year, the Department's Indigenous trainees are Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations employees who have been placed with the Department and, therefore, they are not included in these figures.

Note: These statistics focus on staff employed under the Public Service Act 1999. Of those staff, 98 per cent volunteered diversity information.

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Last Updated: 24 October, 2014