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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2874 ..

MS FOLLETT: It says "all executive jobs will be full-time". Mr Speaker, I do have a supplementary question. You might want to examine the implications of explanatory memorandums that are clearly wrong. I ask Mrs Carnell: Given the very low representation of women at the senior levels of government everywhere - and this was particularly pointed out at a conference yesterday on women in the Australian Public Service - will you guarantee that part-time employment will be an option for executives in the ACT public service in the future?

MRS CARNELL: We will be very keen for women to seek, on a merit selection basis, all positions in the SES.

Ms Follett: "Part-time employment", I said. This is outrageous!

Government Service - Executive Development Program

MR KAINE: If the Leader of the Opposition is quite finished with her fourth supplementary question; through you, Mr Speaker, I ask a question of the Chief Minister. In October you signed an agreement between the ACT Government and the Australian National University for an executive development program. Can you advise us when this program will get under way and how it will benefit the ACT public service?

MRS CARNELL: Thank you very much, Mr Kaine, for this question, because it allows me to focus, for a change, on the many initiatives that this Government is undertaking to support the ACT public service. While debate has raged about contracts and salary packages, we have been quietly getting on with the job of enhancing opportunities for our public servants - opportunities and expertise that have been welcomed by all executives in the ACT public service.

The Government has agreed to sponsor a visiting professorial appointment to the ANU's master of business administration program for three years. We have also agreed to provide an annual scholarship for a senior executive from the ACT public service to undertake full-time study in the MBA program. From July next year, we will have a leading academic working at the ANU for three years, targeting disciplines of importance to the future of our public service. The successful applicant will undertake a major research project of strategic importance to the public sector, as well as providing research papers and seminars for public service staff. This will link in with our overall reform agenda and demonstrates our strong commitment to developing a higher quality public service.

I am pleased to report, too, that applications for the first ACT public service MBA scholarship will be called early in 1996. This will provide a unique opportunity for one SES officer each year to help broaden and refine their business and management skills. The successful officer will have the chance to go off line for up to 12 months to undertake study that is relevant both to the Executive and to the public service.

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