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Management of human resources



The Human Resources Division delivers strategic and professional human resource management advice and services that enable the Treasury to continue to recruit, develop and manage its staff to deliver high performance and to provide a supportive work environment.

In 2010-11, the key outcomes were to:

  • negotiate and implement a competitive and flexible workplace agreement;
  • establish Treasury specific childcare facilities for Treasury staff;
  • ensure workforce and wellbeing strategies facilitate working arrangements to support work/life balance;
  • recruit and retain sufficient skilled and motivated staff to deliver efficient and effective services, products and advice;
  • review graduate recruitment, development and retention strategies;
  • support the reform initiatives that are critical to the Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration recommendations on leadership and talent management, workplace relations and human capital;
  • provide staff with appropriate professional and career development;
  • investigate flexible delivery of training options; and
  • streamline the Performance Management System and associated administrative arrangements.

People Management Systems

The Treasury updated its People Management Systems in July 2010 releasing a new Performance Management System Handbook. The new version implemented outcomes from the Treasury Organisational Review further outlining accountabilities and governance as well as increasing flexibility around the Performance Management System and Career Development System.

All recruitment, promotion, mobility, resource planning and development processes within the Treasury are aligned with the Treasury Management Model, the Performance Management and Career Development Systems.

The Treasury Management Model

In 2010-11, the Executive Board considered the recommendations from the Treasury Organisational Review for improving the governance of the department and reaffirmed the role and function of the Executive Board. A diagram was added to the Treasury Management Model that defines the important dimensions of leadership and management of the department, with an objective of providing clearer guidance to staff on the role of the Executive Board and the committees which support it.

The Treasury Management Model seeks to maximise the Treasury’s effectiveness as a central policy agency by ensuring that the Treasury has the right people in the right jobs doing the right work. The Treasury Management Model underpins accountability and governance frameworks and incorporates the Treasury’s mission and values, the approach to organising the department to achieve desired objectives, the key people systems and the development of management capability.

The Treasury Management Model includes people management principles which encourage open, two way communication at all levels, clearly defined accountabilities, fair and transparent processes and the facilitation of an appropriate work and private life balance.

Performance Management System

The Treasury’s Performance Management System underpins the department’s capacity to achieve its mission by strengthening individual capabilities and aligning individual values and behaviors with shared corporate values and behaviors. Performance management in the Treasury provides a means for improving individual and organisational performance, as well as supporting individual skills development and career planning.

Performance is measured through a defined capability framework called the Work Value Matrix, which outlines the general set of behavioural standards expected across specified criteria at each classification level. Performance for non-SES staff is assessed against seven criteria outlined in the Work Value Matrix. Performance for SES officers is assessed against the five criteria outlined in the Senior Executive Leadership Capability Framework. These frameworks provide the basis for appraisals, and also underpin recruitment processes, the Professional Development Framework and the Career Development System.

Ratings against each capability contribute to an overall performance appraisal rating, which determines the base rate of pay for staff employed under the Treasury Workplace Agreement.

During 2010-11, a number of processes aimed at supporting the underlying principles of fairness, transparency and consistency in the Performance Management System were conducted, including:

  • SES Context Setting Meetings held to discuss key messages relevant to the upcoming appraisal cycle. Group and divisional context setting meetings followed to communicate these key messages.
  • Workshops and information sessions for staff and managers delivered before each appraisal round to provide information on the appraisal process and assist staff to develop skills in giving and receiving feedback. Case study sessions were offered to managers and staff to facilitate a shared understanding of the Work Value Matrix and its application.
  • All appraisals were subject to oversight by review panels. Review panels held at the divisional level examined the outcomes of appraisals to ensure consistency and reasonableness in the application of the framework across each division. Each group nominated a divisional review panel to host a cross-group representative to ensure objectivity and consistency in the applications of the Work Value Matrix and ratings.
  • General Managers were reminded of the importance of seeking staff feedback on managers to inform their appraisals.

Remuneration committees

Remuneration committees are established in each Group to make recommendations to the Secretary in relation to the allocation of pay points for APS6, EL1 and EL2 staff.

Each remuneration committee considers a range of relevant factors in arriving at balanced judgements about the relative value of skills and outputs of staff in their group and to the Treasury as a whole. The committees maintain robust processes in order to make these judgements. The predominant factor in determining the allocation of pay points will be demonstrated sustained performance.

Cross-group representatives and the General Manager of Human Resources Division attended group remuneration committees to facilitate consistency of remuneration committee recommendations across groups. The Human Resources Division provided the Executive Board with departmental and group data and analysis to inform departmental outcomes.

Aggregate data on remuneration committee outcomes was provided on the Treasury intranet.

Career Development System

The Career Development System is a key element of the Treasury’s people management system and seeks to foster a shared individual and organisational responsibility for career development. The system applies to all staff, including temporary employees and secondees with at least six months continuous service, and provides staff with the opportunity to consider and clarify career aspirations and receive career development guidance from their manager-one-removed.

Information on the Career Development System for both staff and managers-one-removed is provided on the intranet and in the Performance Management System booklet to assist in preparing for career development discussions.

In 2010-11, the Career Development System was adapted to create greater flexibility for divisional support staff. These changes followed the 2011 Treasury Post-Implementation Review of Executive and Administrative Support Services and provided divisional support staff with the opportunity to seek career development advice from either their manager-one-removed or other relevant staff with an aim of fostering targeted career advice and support.

Treasury Workplace Agreement

Negotiations for a new Treasury Workplace Agreement commenced in March 2011 with a staff notice providing a Notice of Employee Re
presentational Rights and information on processes for appointing bargaining representatives. Fourteen staff nominated as bargaining representatives, two of whom were Community and Public Sector Union workplace delegates. A union official also attended bargaining meetings.

The workplace agreement team met regularly with bargaining representatives and communicated and consulted with staff through information sessions, meetings, the workplace agreement intranet site, staff bulletins and staff notices.

Bargaining representatives agreed to the offer being presented to staff at information sessions in late April 2011 and following formal approval processes, the ballot was held on 15 June 2011. The Treasury Workplace Agreement 2011-14 was supported by staff with 88 per cent of staff who voted, supporting the agreement.

The Treasury Workplace Agreement 2011-14 came into operation from 1 July 2011 and nominally expires on 30 June 2014.

The new agreement provides for increased pay rates of 4 per cent from 1 July 2011, 2.5 per cent from 1 July 2012 and 2.5 percent from 1 July 2013. The agreement incorporates many of the APSC’s model clauses to assist in the government’s aim of achieving consistency between agencies.

Workplace relations

The Treasury consults extensively with staff on workplace matters, and the workplace agreement reinforces staff involvement in decision making. Consultation primarily occurs through the Workplace Relations Committee, elected by Treasury staff and comprising eight members. The committee meets regularly with Human Resources Division staff to discuss employment terms and conditions, and meetings with the Secretary encourage dialogue on issues of importance to staff. Terms of Reference for the Workplace Relations Committee reflect a principles based approach to workplace relations.

The Treasury Workplace Agreement and individual arrangements provide access to procedures to resolve disputes and directly consult with staff as appropriate.

Recruitment and succession planning

The Treasury’s recruitment activity in 2010-11 included two major recruitment campaigns, selection processes for senior executives at the Band 1, 2 and 3 levels, a graduate campaign, an internship program, an indigenous cadetship program and 71 individual recruitment processes. A total of 208 employment opportunities were filled from advertised vacancies. The Treasury recruited 63 graduates in 2010-11.

Graduate recruitment forms a major part of the Treasury’s recruitment and succession planning strategies. In 2010-11, Treasury staff attended 13 university career fairs. Brochures entitled ‘Your future. Australia’s future‘ were distributed to university careers centres and faculties. In addition, advertisements were placed in university career guides, online graduate publications and university career web pages. The program was also advertised in Indigenous media.

During December 2010 and January 2011, the Treasury engaged 18 interns. The Treasury Internship Program targets such disciplines as economics, commerce, law, finance and accounting and involves a 6 to 12 week paid placement which exposes students to public policy.

Job seekers can access selection documentation and lodge applications via the Treasury’s internet careers portal. The portal also allows candidates to register for general and non-ongoing employment, and former staff to register as alumni for short-term employment and project work.

The Treasury developed an intranet solution for advertising and managing internal vacancies in June 2010. This functionality was successfully utilised throughout the year, with 30 internal vacancies advertised.

The recruitment service provider’s panel was finalised in June 2010, and throughout the year has been utilised for scribing services, placement of non-ongoing staff and extends to executive search functions.

In May 2011, the APSC launched the online redeployment register, a new way to foster cooperation and collaboration between agencies in recruiting and redeploying change-affected APS employees. The Treasury utilises this functionality when notifying employment opportunities.

Information and guidelines for secondees to the Treasury were finalised in June 2011. Staff were seconded to the Treasury for various policy initiatives, such as the Implementation Taskforce for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and the GST Distribution Review.

Learning and development

The Treasury’s Professional Development Framework provides the basis for establishing learning and development strategies to develop staff in their current and future roles, and incorporates a broad range of elements including the APS values, whole-of-government initiatives, the labour market and skill shortages, departmental functions, priorities and organisational capabilities, and the Treasury’s people management systems.

The Treasury’s total investment in off-the-job professional development totalled over $5.2 million in 2010-11, representing an average of five days of development per staff member. This figure represents 2.9 per cent of departmental operating costs and includes participant salary and ongoing costs, registration fees for internal and external training courses and external providers’ development, delivery and evaluation costs.

Learning and development strategies

The Treasury provided an extensive array of learning and development opportunities designed to develop and enhance individual and organisational capabilities. These ranged from in-house one or two day workshops, development programs, and mentoring and coaching programs to external opportunities such as studies assistance, postgraduate study awards, short-term research projects and participation in broader public sector development initiatives.

A range of professional development workshops were offered through the Treasury’s learning and development calendar, including APS and Treasury accountabilities, writing and grammar skills, managing workloads, presentation skills, negotiation skills, representational skills, problem solving and providing oral advice. Two day policy advising workshops delivered by senior internal and external presenters used case studies and hypothetical’s to develop policy advising capabilities of analysts and executive level staff. All workshops were tailored to the Treasury’s current operating environment with detailed evaluations conducted to ensure programs were effective in delivering the desired outcomes and objectives.

The Treasury continues to support and provide input into the development of reform initiatives that are critical to the Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration agenda. During 2010-11, Treasury staff participated in programs that were established under strategic partnerships between the Government and the Australian National University such as the Australian National Institute for Public Policy. The Treasury maintains close relationships with the APSC on the development and direction for the establishment of a Strategic Centre for Leadership.

Several in-house postgraduate courses were managed by the Treasury during 2010-11. In March 2011, 26 participants, including 15 participants from other departments, commenced a two year Graduate Diploma in Economic Studies. The course is delivered by Monash University and is tailored specifically for public sector agencies, with a focus on public policy. The course is targeted at staff qualified in disciplines other than economics and facilitates an understanding of economic frameworks and public policy issues.

Semester-long Introduction to Law and Introduction to Economics courses continued to be delivered in-house by the Australian National University. The aim of these programs is to provide staff without existing tertiary qualifications in these fields an understanding of the fundamental principles of law and economics. Evaluations for both courses reflect high levels o
f satisfaction with the quality of teaching and impact of the courses on staff knowledge and understanding.

A key element of the Professional Development Framework is leadership and management development. The Executive Leadership Program, targeted at experienced EL2 staff, aims to enhance the leadership and strategic thinking skills of executive level staff within the Treasury context and provide the necessary skills to fulfil their leadership roles under the Treasury Management Model. In 2010-11, 17 staff participated in the program that consisted of 15 contact days. Final evaluation reports inform recommendations on the development of future programs.

The Management Development Program is designed to provide new and emerging managers with the practical tools and skills to equip them to fulfill their roles under the Treasury Management Model and assist in building their capacity for future advancement. Twenty four staff participated in the seven day program during 2010-11. All participants considered that the course had a positive impact on their skills development, with all indicating that the program met or exceeded their expectations.

The 12-month Graduate Development Program continued to combine on-the-job training with formal in-house courses, such as advanced writing, APS and Treasury accountabilities, presentation and negotiation skills, and economics for graduates without economics qualifications. The program also included external courses, such as Introduction to the Senate and participation in key events, such as the budget lock-up where budget material is provided under embargo to registered media officers. A review of the Treasury Graduate Program commenced in April 2011 with broad consultation across the department. The review considered the effectiveness of graduate recruitment retention and development strategies and identified possible options for improvement. The outcomes of the review were considered by the Executive Board and recommendations will be implemented during 2011-12.

The Treasury SES Executive Coaching Panel was increased in 2010-11 following a tender selection process. The panel is designed to provide Treasury SES staff with the opportunity to access confidential, targeted and expert guidance on specific issues or to assist in longer-term skills development. The Treasury seeks evaluative feedback from participants and liaises with coaches to oversight the program and to identify any systemic issues of importance to the department.

Two induction seminars were offered in October 2010 and March 2011, with a total of 87 new staff attending. The seminars incorporated a welcome from the Secretary, an overview of each of the departmental groups, and sessions on Occupational Health and Safety, the Social Committee, the Workplace Relations Committee and the Employee Assistance Program. Additional support for new staff was also provided through the New Starters Support Program and briefing sessions on other services offered by the Treasury.

The Treasury Seminar Series continued with 23 prominent guest speakers presenting perspectives on current economic and public policy issues. The Treasury’s four policy groups also continued to offer seminars on specific policy issues.

IT initiatives and training

In 2010-11, internal IT training attracted 1,889 participants. It covered the Microsoft Office suite of programs, as well as in-house systems, record-keeping, security, electronic filing using TRIM, publication projects, the financial management information system SAP, and the budgeting and reporting tool TM1. Training was also provided in the use of Blackberry and remote access tokens.

Customised training in Excel, VBA and Project catered to special needs and projects.

External learning and development opportunities

In addition to providing internal learning and development opportunities, the Treasury encourages staff to participate in a range of external learning and development activities. In 2010-11, these included postgraduate qualifications and research projects, as well as attendance at Career Development Assessment Centres, Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) programs, and various conferences, seminars and workshops of relevance to the Treasury. The ANZSOG Executive Fellows Program was completed by one senior executive officer and one officer commenced the ANZSOG program in Executive Masters in Public Administration.

One senior executive staff member participated in the National Security College SES Program while other staff attended Security College Workshops. The college is a specialist postgraduate school aimed at enhancing the functioning of the national security community, strengthening networks of cooperation between practitioners and non-government experts, contributing to the development of a new generation of strategic analysts and achieving effective outreach to business and the wider community.

During 2010-11, Treasury staff attended 601 external training courses, conferences or seminars of relevance to the department. Participants attending external training programs, conferences and seminars were asked to complete online evaluation forms which then informed attendance at future courses.

Studies assistance provided financial assistance and study leave for staff undertaking approved study relevant to the Treasury. An average of 109 staff accessed studies assistance each semester in 2010-11, with the study primarily undertaken in economics, law, commerce and public policy.

Two staff completed Short-Term Economic Research Projects at the Australian National University as part of an ongoing Memorandum of Understanding between the Treasury and the University. The projects offer 36 month research secondments to the Australian National University in which participants undertake research projects of direct relevance to the Treasury.

One year Treasury Scholarships in Economics were offered to two students enrolled in the Australian National University’s Bachelor of Economics Program.

Wellbeing

The Treasury measures and monitors staff wellbeing indicators through staff opinion surveys, exit survey reports and human resource data. Performance is also assessed against the Staff Wellbeing Framework to monitor agency health and identify potential risks to organisational capability. Performance is also benchmarked against the broader APS and similar private sector organisations. The Human Resources Division provides regular reports to the Executive Board, the Workplace Relations Committee, the Health and Safety Committee and staff on the results and strategies developed to improve performance.

State of the service results

The agency-specific employee survey results for the Treasury were strong, with satisfaction levels more favourable than the APS average in a number of key areas, including employee job satisfaction, immediate manager effectiveness, quality of senior leadership, valuing of staff contribution, satisfaction with learning and development opportunities and respect within work groups.

The Treasury’s results for employee engagement were higher than that for the APS. Treasury staff enjoy their work, are motivated to do the best possible work and are more likely to receive a sense of being valued for their work.

Work-life balance

An area for improvement is satisfaction with work-life balance. The Treasury results (68 per cent) were slightly lower than those recorded for the APS as a whole (73 per cent). This issue continues to be of ongoing concern to the Treasury and remains an important focus for the Executive Board. Key strategies to address this issue include providing flexible work arrangements, providing additional resources to priority work areas, and increasing mobility and flexibility to meet peak demands through departmental transfer rounds.

Resilience program

To respond to work-life balance concerns, the Treasury seeks to identify anticipated peak work periods and offers divisions the oppor
tunity to take part in a customised Emotional Resilience Program.

The program aims to increase resilience by enhancing people’s ability to cope with dynamic and complex work situations. The program also provides useful strategies for managing sustained pressure and deadlines, communication, resilience and team building.

A refresher resilience training course was provided to staff in the Budget Policy Division in February 2011, to assist them in the lead up to the budget cycle.

Feedback from staff was positive, particularly in the area of improved stress management capacity.

Employee assistance program

The Treasury provides staff and their immediate family members with access to an employee assistance program. The program provides a free professional, and confidential counselling service to assist staff who are experiencing work-related or personal problems. The employee assistance service also collects generic data that provides guidance for departmental wellbeing strategies. To complement this service, the eapdirectTM website offers easy access to information on stress, depression, anxiety, work-life balance, career development and management techniques. The employee assistance provider also offers managerAssist®, an advisory service that helps managers deal with work issues and personal difficulties.

During 2010-11, the service provider has undertaken three seminars for staff covering issues relating to stress management and building better relationships. In 2010-11, 8.5 per cent of Treasury staff accessed the service. This rate is down slightly from 2009-10 where the access rate was 9.3 per cent. The APS agency average access rate for 2010-11 was similar at 8.5 per cent.

Child Care Centre

In 2010-11, the Treasury built childcare facilities for Treasury staff, within the on-site Abacus Childcare and Education Centre managed by the Department of Finance and Administration. The Abacus Childcare and Education Centre is operated by Communities@Work, a community based not-for-profit organisation based in the ACT. The centre is accredited with a high quality rating through the Australian Government’s National Childcare Accreditation Council. Services offered by the centre include excursions and events for families, in addition to child care.

The centre offers 143 child care places, in total, including the additional 64 full time places made available by the expansion and renovation of the facility. A total of 59 children from Treasury families were in care at the centre at 30 June 2011. The expansion of the facility increased the educator-to-child ratio from 1:5 to 1:4. As well as expanding the childcare capacity of the centre, extensive renovations also included an upgraded kitchen facility, staff toilets and an expansion of the outdoor play areas. The renovations were completed within the recently promulgated ACT Childcare Services Standards.

The renovated childcare facility was officially opened on 10 February 2011, by Dr Ken Henry AC the former Secretary of the Treasury and Mr David Tune, Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation. In attendance were Mr Gary Rake, CEO, National Capital Authority, and representatives from the Treasury, the Department of Finance and Deregulation, Abacus Childcare and Education Centre, ACT Government Children’s Policy and Regulation Unit, the project management firm Point Project Management and the builder, SMI. As part of the celebrations, children from the Treasury and the Department of Finance and Deregulation presented their own paintings of the two departmental buildings to the Departmental Secretaries.

Health and wellbeing program

In 2010-11, the Health and Wellbeing Program was delivered throughout the year in recognition of the need to address wellbeing on an ongoing basis and provide staff with greater opportunity to access a broader range of activities and seminars.

A total of 18 activities were facilitated (including health assessments) with approximately 1,000 staff attending these sessions overall. Participation rates for activities were high, with 302 staff participating in individual health assessments, 100 staff participating in the financial planning seminar, 63 staff participating in the sleep basics seminar and 104 staff participating in the 10,000 steps challenge. A further 53 staff participated in the outdoor Treasury boot camp.

Lifestyle payment and corporate gym memberships

To assist employees in undertaking initiatives towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle, an annual lifestyle payment of $500 was made available for activities such as gym memberships, sporting apparel and relaxation programs. The Treasury has corporate gym memberships with eight participating gyms, providing Treasury employees with a reduced membership fee. In 2010-11, 939 lifestyle payments were made.

Staffing information

Ongoing and non-ongoing employee numbers in the Treasury decreased from 1,063 in 2009-10 to 1,053 in 2010-11 (refer to Table 2 below). The number of EL1 and EL2 employees decreased by 12 and 20 respectively during the year, while APS4 employees decreased by 12. Between 2009-10 and 2010-11 the number of APS6 employees increased by 31 and the number of part-time female staff increased from 90 to 95. Full-time male staff decreased from 535 to 528.

Table 2: Operative and paid inoperative staff by classification and gender as at 30 June 2011

Table 2: Operative and paid inoperative staff by classification and gender as at 30 June 2011

Note: Staff paid by other agencies are not included.

Table 3: Staff located at overseas posts as at 30 June 2011

Table 3: Staff located at overseas posts as at 30 June 2011

Note: Locally engaged staff are not included.

Senior Executive Service Remuneration

Remuneration and conditions for the Treasury’s senior executives are determined under AWAs and section 24(1) determinations, supported by a remuneration model that determines pay levels within each SES level, based on performance (refer to Table 4 below). The Treasury does not offer performance pay.

Table 4: Salary scales – SES

Table 4: Salary scales - SES

Senior executives are appraised using the APS SES Capability Framework to assess performance and rank each employee relative to their peers. An increase in relative ranking can lead to an increase in base salary.

Remuneration – non-SES employees

The Treasury Workplace Agreement 2009-11 determines salary rates for all non-SES staff (refer to Table 5 below). The Treasury does not offer performance pay.

Table 5: Workplace agreement salary scales – non-SES

Table 5: Workplace agreement salary scales - non-SES

Under the Treasury’s Workplace Agreement 2009-11, access to some pay points for APS6, EL1 and EL2 staff can only be determined by the remuneration committee process and are based on sustained performance under the Treasury’s Performance Management System.

Senior management changes

Several senior management movements occurred in 2010-11 (refer to Table 6 below).

Table 6: SES commencements and cessations

Table 6: SES commencements and cessations

During 2010-11, seven SES commenced in the Treasury.

There were ten internal promotions, half of these were EL2s promoted to the SES Band 1 level, while the other half were SES Band 1 level promoted to the SES Band 2 level.

Of the seven cessations ov
er the period, five SES transferred to other departments, one SES was promoted to another department and one SES retired. Mr Neil Hyden retired after 45 years in the Australian Public Service, the majority of this time was spent in the Treasury.

In 2010-11, the Government appointed Dr Martin Parkinson as the new Secretary to the Treasury following the departure of the former Secretary, Dr Ken Henry AC. Dr Henry spent almost 27 years at the Treasury, including 10 years as the Treasury Secretary.

Assets management

The Treasury has developed an asset management framework to manage the Treasury’s assets. The framework includes:

  • an asset register that records details of all assets held by the Treasury. Assets on the Treasury’s asset register are subject to an annual stocktake to keep records accurate and up-to-date;
  • an asset management guide that sets out the Treasury’s asset policies and asset management guidelines for the day-to-day care and custody of assets. The asset management guide is incorporated into the Treasury’s Chief Executive Instructions. Further details on the Treasury’s asset policies are in notes 1.14 to 1.18 of the Treasury’s Financial Statements on pages 176 to 179; and
  • a capital management plan that sets out the Treasury’s longer term asset requirements and funding sources for ongoing asset replacement and investment. The Treasury’s capital budget process is integrated with strategic planning and occurs prior to the beginning of each financial year, in conjunction with the Treasury’s annual operating budget process. In determining the capital budget, the Treasury considers the level of funding available for asset purchases, immediate and longer term asset replacement requirements and organisational opportunities that an investment in new assets can address.