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State Service changes remove external oversight

THIS morning Public Sector unions began the fight against the State Service Act Amendment Bill 2012.

The legislation should be rejected because it excludes crucial measures for accountability and transparency.

The key elements of that recommendation of a government commissioned report into governance and Tasmanian State Service structural arrangements recommended one option. The key elements of that option were:

  1. The office of the State Service Commissioner should be abolished;
  2. Powers currently held by the State Service Commissioner should be conferred on the Premier and then exercised through a delegation by heads of agency;
  3. Power to review administrative decisions (State Service Commission Appeals) should be conferred on the Tasmanian Industrial Commission; and
  4. An independent, external person should be appointed by the Governor to undertake regular, prescribed reviews of agency performance in human resource management, service delivery and the conduct of the employer functions; and to report on this to parliament.

The legislation abolishes the State Service Commissioner, transferring the powers to the Minister, but it fails to appoint an independent person to undertake a regular review. This means there’s a risk the public sector be politicised and decisions about employment would lack fairness.

“The government has accepted all the recommendations that give them greater power but have rejected the recommendations that put external checks and balances in place”, said CPSU General Secretary Tom Lynch. “Without a regular report to parliament by an external person the government is only accountable to itself when it comes to public sector employment”, said Mr Lynch.

This morning the CPSU emailed Public Sector Members asking for their support to lobby both Lower and Upper House Members.


Read the letter to Lower House members


Read the Media Release 

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