Page 3929 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013

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In relation to who was the instigator of that report, it was the minister for education at the time, Dr Chris Bourke, who led the government’s response to the issues being raised at CIT.

Mr Doszpot: It was a good response.

MS GALLAGHER: It was a good response, and credit should go where credit is due. As one of the territory’s largest employers, the ACT public service is leading by example, fostering a positive workplace culture by exposing unacceptable behaviour and taking fresh steps to drive cultural change where needed.

The public service has developed and implemented a robust framework supported by whole-of-government policies, programs and safe systems of work so that, to the extent possible, it is able to protect its employees from bullying.

The two key statements which guide the framework are the respect, equity and diversity framework and the ACT public service code of conduct. The RED framework was developed through extensive research and consultation with ACT public service agencies to support the principles of respect, equity and diversity, and create a positive work environment. RED provides guidance to all ACT public service staff in meeting their obligations under the Public Sector Management Act and other relevant legislation, policies and guidelines.

Given the importance of leadership in creating positive and respectful workplace culture, the RED framework is championed by senior public service managers. RED contact officers also play an important role, raising awareness by promoting activities in the workplace and acting as points of contact for concerned staff. More than 7½ thousand ACT public servants have now had RED training.

Following the creation of the single ACT public service under the Head of Service in mid-2011, significant effort has been made to foster an ongoing discussion about values and behaviour in the ACT public service. This means not only having policies, procedures and messaging in place to make clear that bullying is not tolerated, but looking more comprehensively to ensure that ACT government has workplaces where exemplary workplace behaviour is encouraged and rewarded.

An increasing focus is being placed on quick and early resolution of workplace issues before they escalate to bullying. Recognising that leadership from the top is vital to the successful implementation of the new code, a series of executive workshops has been conducted, attended by over 95 per cent of executives.

To assist with the implementation of the new performance framework, the Head of Service and the Commissioner for Public Administration have been presenting to directorates, staff forums and other events on the benefits and implementation of the performance framework. A key focus of this framework is on how people behave, not just on what they deliver. It provides a forum and a language in which meaningful conversations about behaviour can be held.

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