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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 23 June 2011) . . Page.. 2535 ..

reports to the minister on matters relating to the directorate and implementing, at the direction of the head of service, whole-of-government strategies and responses to critical or potentially critical issues, consistent with the new single entity structure.

The Administrative (One ACT Public Service Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2011 contains the relevant and necessary consequential amendments required as a result of the introduction of the office of the head of service and the changes in terminology. Whilst largely uncontroversial, these amendments are wide reaching, affecting some 178 other pieces of legislation across the ACT public service statute book.

The miscellaneous amendments bill also contains particular transitional amendments for the Public Sector Management Act 1994 and the Children and Young People Act 2008 to ensure a smooth implementation of the single entity structure, for example by providing for matters or actions taken or commenced by a chief executive prior to 1 July 2011 to be continued or to be considered to have been taken by a director-general following commencement of the one ACT public service and miscellaneous amendment bills.

Given the importance and the extent of the chief executive’s power, in particular under the Children and Young People Act for care and protection matters, the purpose of this amendment is to prevent, as far as possible, any unintended consequences arising as a result of the transition to the new structure.

These amendments represent the government’s intentions for the future of the ACT public service. The introduction of the single entity structure is quite simply the first step or the laying of the foundations for the most significant refocusing of the ACT public service since its inception.

Fundamentally these bills provide a new model of operation for the ACT public service to meet the needs of the government and the community into the future, the implementation of which will be ongoing and will require significant ongoing operational and cultural change management.

As stated in my presentation to the Assembly on Tuesday in relation to the government’s priorities, I am confident that the new structures we have established will assist in delivering the levels of coordination and alignment of effort behind identified priorities that the government and the people of Canberra expect. They will eliminate some of the inconsistency that recipients of our services have properly criticised in the past and foster greater cohesion and coherence in what our public service does. This will be reflected in a greater consistency in the community’s dealings with the government and the public service.

If the government is to deliver its priorities for the community, we need a public service that is united in its pursuit of a common purpose and works in genuine partnership with groups in the community with whom, and to whom, it provides services. We need a public service that makes the most of its small size and works together in a genuinely agile, collaborative and cooperative way.

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