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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 62..


Public service

Ministerial statement

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (3.54): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to make a ministerial statement concerning the future direction of the ACT public service.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I am pleased today to outline the future direction which I have set down for the ACT public service. The ACT has a professional, honest, hardworking, collaborative, dedicated and dependable public service. It is a great asset for the people of Canberra. Through its strong record of commitment, innovation and quality of service, our public service has made a major contribution to ensuring that Canberra is the clever, caring capital.

The public service can rightly be proud of all that has been achieved and of the high standard of service that continues to be provided. But we also need to recognise that there are significant areas where performance can be improved. The outcome I am seeking is the provision of an even higher standard of service to the people of Canberra.

There are four fundamental principles that summarise my requirements for the ACT public service: accountability and openness; a commitment to innovation; a focus on performance at both the individual and agency level; and a continuing commitment to renewal. A number of initiatives are linked to each of these principles.

Accountability and openness

Within the next few weeks the government will publish the second annual State of the Territory Report. This report is a groundbreaking commitment to open government. Our aim is to provide the community with a comprehensive, warts and all assessment of the quality of government services, and other quality of life, economic and social indicators. I have instructed all public service executives and leaders of other government agencies to use this report as an agenda for action, to move quickly to assess and address those areas where we could be doing better.

To complement the State of the Territory Report, the Commissioner for Public Administration will from this year produce a state of the service report, providing key data analysis on the ACT public service itself. The implementation of the initial stage of Canberra Connect from 1 March will provide another mechanism to give effect to our commitment to openness. At shopfronts, over the phone, via the web and from kiosks, Canberra Connect will progressively provide citizens with access to a much wider range of government information services and an improvement in both the range and quality of the transaction services.

Information will be made available through a much improved and linked web presence structured from the viewpoint of the citizen rather than from the organisational perspective of government agencies. This is an openness with a citizen focus.


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