CPSU/CSA response to PSC Review

The latest review into the Public Sector Commission shows some positive steps to organisational and cultural improvement, but there are still some significant gaps in the report.

The report disclosed major internal, cultural and management changes, but failed to address the role of the PSC in the public sector as a whole.

A positive step forward for the PSC is the recommendation of making Diversity & Inclusion part of its key responsibilities.

Under previous governments, the reporting of equity and diversity targets was abandoned, but CPSU/CSA members see this recommendation as a new opportunity to lessen the gender pay gap and make the public sector more inclusive for all West Australians.

We also welcome the recommendation to strengthen misconduct dealings, with members pushing for the Corruption and Crime Commission to be responsible for management of all misconduct, not just a redesign how the PSC fulfils the function. 

As outlined in the CPSU/CSA submission there are a number of issues, that have not been addressed by the PSC, that could make a significant difference to the working lives of public sector workers including;

  1. Improvements and modernisation of the Public Interest Disclosure Act: The Act is an archaic system of reporting, that needs to be amended in to keep with the modern workplace.
  2. A simplified and all-encompassing code of conduct, HR and IR policy: This must be immediately reviewed, to make the public sector a fairer and more easily navigated employer. 

Rikki Hendon, CPSU/CSA Assistant Secretary says most importantly PSC needs to be accountable.

“The changes laid out in today’s report are a good step forward for the PSC, but we still want to see more.

“The review identified internal and cultural changes but didn’t address the role of the PSC for the whole public sector.

“Whistle-blower legislation needs to be modernised and further protections must be put in place for workers who report wrong-doing. It’s a critical part of keeping the government accountable and workers need to have the law on their side.  

“Secondly, a whole of sector Code of Conduct, HR and IR policy is the right move forward. It takes away agency interpretation and brings clarity for workers.

“The introduction of a Chief People Officer and a new set of protocols to work with the PSLR, works towards this but does not go far enough.

“We welcome the plan for a newly invigorated, more accountable and independent PSC,” she said.

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