Part 3: Management and Accountability (continued)


Management of human resources

In early 2012, as a result of the Strategic Review, the Corporate Services Group and the Human Resources Division were combined with the Organisational Strategy Unit to form the People and Organisational Strategy Division within the Corporate Strategy and Services Group. These changes underline the importance of delivering all corporate and governance functions in a way that supports the Treasury’s broader organisational strategy. The Corporate Strategy and Services Group also has significant responsibility for the coordination and implementation of recommendations from the Strategic Review and Progressing Women. The People and Organisational Strategy Division provides strategic and professional human resource management advice, and services that supports the Treasury to deliver on its mission.

In 2011-12, the key outcomes were:

  • facilitating behavioural, organisational and cultural change by progressing the implementation of the recommendations from the 2011 Strategic Review and the Progressing Women initiative;
  • implementing the outcomes from the Graduate Development Program review to enhance workforce capability and to strengthen talent management within the department;
  • introduction of a workforce planning framework to drive the development of strategies to attract, retain and develop a targeted, skilled and diverse workforce;
  • undertaking a consultative process with internal business groups, to determine a comprehensive risk profile for Work Health and Safety hazards and their associated risks following the implementation of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011;
  • refreshing the department’s Performance Management System to ensure it continues to support and drive individual and organisational performance;
  • a review of recruitment and staff allocation processes to optimise responsiveness to changing business and workforce planning demands; and
  • as part of a broad resource management strategy, the department offered a number of voluntary redundancies and incentives to retire to better situate the department to achieve future budgets.

People management systems

All recruitment, promotion, mobility, resource planning and development processes within the Treasury are aligned with the Treasury Management Model, and the Performance Management and Career Development Systems. Treasury regularly monitors and reviews these systems to ensure they are meeting the desired outcomes.

The Treasury Management Model

The Treasury Management Model seeks to maximise the Treasury’s effectiveness by ensuring that the department 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 that encourage open, two-way communication at all levels, clearly defined accountabilities, fair and transparent processes and the facilitation of 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 behaviours with shared corporate values and behaviours. 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 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. The underlying principles of fairness, transparency and consistency in the Performance Management System are supported in a number of ways.

  • SES context-setting meetings discuss key messages relevant to the upcoming appraisal cycle. Group and divisional context-setting meetings follow to communicate these key messages.
  • Workshops and information sessions for staff and managers delivered before each appraisal round provide information on the appraisal process and assist staff to develop skills in giving and receiving feedback.

All appraisals are subject to oversight by review panels. Review panels are held at the divisional level to examine the outcomes of appraisals to ensure consistency in the application of the framework across each division. Cross-group representatives ensure objectivity and consistency in the application of the Work Value Matrix and ratings across the department.

Feedback is sought on managers by the manager-one-removed to inform their appraisals.

Treasury’s Performance Management System was refreshed in 2011-12 to support recommendations from the Strategic Review and Progressing Women initiative. In particular, the objective of the refresh was to ensure the Performance Management System drives and supports individual and organisational performance to enable Treasury to deliver on its mission; strengthen staff understanding of the Performance Management System; and ensure consistent application of the Performance Management System. Outcomes of the Refresh, including rolling out mandatory performance training for all staff, will be implemented throughout 2012-13.

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 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 predominant factor in determining the allocation of pay points is demonstrated sustained performance.

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

Aggregate data on remuneration committee outcomes is 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.

Treasury Workplace 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 per cent from 1 July 2013. The agreement incorporates many of the
Australian Public Service Commission’s model clauses to assist in the Government’s aim of achieving consistency between agencies.

In recognition of the benefit to Treasury of employees undertaking initiatives of their own to achieve a healthy lifestyle, the agreement provides eligible non-SES staff with the option of applying for a single lifestyle contribution payment of $600 in 2012, 2013 and 2014. As at 30 June 2012, 920 staff had accessed the lifestyle contribution.

As part of a broader resource management strategy to reduce staff numbers over time, the Treasury conducted a voluntary redundancy and incentive to retire process in 2011-12. This process was undertaken with reference to relevant legislation and to the management of excess employees process outlined in the Treasury Workplace Agreement 2011-14.

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 People and Organisational Strategy 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 2011-12 included two major recruitment campaigns, selection processes for senior executives at the Band 1 level, a graduate campaign, an internship program, and an indigenous cadetship program. A total of 66 recruitment processes were advertised in 2011-12 and a total of 177 employment opportunities were filled from advertised vacancies. The Treasury recruited 53 policy and corporate graduates in 2011-12.

Graduate recruitment continues to form a major part of the Treasury’s recruitment and succession planning strategies. In 2011-12, Treasury staff attended eight university career fairs and two online virtual careers fairs. These gave potential graduates the opportunity to find out about the Treasury from anywhere in Australia. 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. During 2011-12, the Treasury introduced a Corporate Graduate Program, specifically targeting graduates with degrees in human resources, psychology, accounting, financial management, information technology, communications, marketing and web/graphic design. Treasury engaged five corporate graduates from this program.

During December 2011 and January 2012, the Treasury engaged 19 interns. The Treasury Internship Program targets disciplines including 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 non-ongoing employment, and former staff to register as alumni for short-term employment and project work.

The Treasury continues to utilise the recruitment service provider’s panel for scribing services, placement of non-ongoing staff and executive search functions.

Information and guidelines for secondees to the Treasury were revised in June 2012. Staff were seconded to the Treasury for various policy initiatives, such as the review of GST Distribution Taskforce and in specialist taxation areas. Secondees from the Treasury continue to work on a variety of initiatives across a number of agencies both within the APS and private sectors.

Learning and development

The Treasury implements a number of learning and development strategies to develop staff in their current and future roles. Strategies incorporate a broad range of elements including the APS values, whole-of-government initiatives, 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 $1.8 million in 2011-12, representing an average of three days of development per staff member. This figure represents registration fees for internal and external training courses, financial studies assistance, external providers’ development, delivery and evaluation costs, and overheads relating to off-the-job professional development, such as venue hire.

Learning and development strategies

The Treasury provides extensive learning and development opportunities designed to develop and enhance individual and organisational capabilities. These include in-house one or two-day workshops, leadership and development programs, as well as external opportunities such as studies assistance, postgraduate study awards and participation in broader public sector development initiatives.

A range of professional development workshops were offered through the Treasury’s learning and development calendar throughout 2011-12, 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 hypotheticals to develop policy advising capabilities of analysts and executive level staff. All workshops were tailored to the Treasury’s current operating environment and evaluated to ensure programs are effective in delivering the desired outcomes and objectives.

The Treasury continues to support and provide input to the development and implementation of reform initiatives that are critical to the Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration agenda. During 2011-12, Treasury staff participated in programs that were established under strategic partnerships between the Commonwealth Government and the Australian National University, such as courses offered by the Australian National Institute for Public Policy and the National Security College. The Treasury also participated in the inaugural Sir Roland Wilson Foundation Scholarship scheme. The Treasury maintains close relationships with the APSC on the development and direction for the establishment of the Strategic Centre for Leadership including participation in the pilot SESB2 Talent Development Program and the Jawun Secondment Program.

Several in-house postgraduate courses were managed by the Treasury during 2011-12. The two-year Graduate Diploma in Economic Studies, which commenced in March 2011, continued with 25 participants, including 14 participants from other agencies. The course is delivered by Monash University and is tailored to public sector agencies, with a focus on public policy. The course is designed for 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 are delivered in-house by the Australian National University. The aim of these programs is to provide an understanding of the fundamental principles of law and economics to staff without tertiary qualifications in these fields. Evaluations for Introduction to Law reflect high levels of satisfaction with the quality of teaching and impact of the courses on staff knowledge and understanding.

The Treasury offers a number of prog
rams to support 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 and provide the necessary skills to fulfil their leadership roles under the Treasury Management Model. In 2011, 18 staff participated in the program over 13 contact days. 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 fulfil their roles under the Treasury Management Model and assist in building their capability for future advancement. Twenty four staff participated in the seven day program during 2011. Ninety-five per cent of participants considered that the course had a positive impact on their skills development, 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. The review of the graduate program that focused on graduate recruitment, retention and development strategies was completed. A number of improvements have been implemented from this review including improved feedback mechanisms, a graduate manager’s toolkit and the introduction of work rotations to provide graduates with broader exposure to the department. These enhancements will be evaluated with an ongoing focus on improving the program to meet the workforce planning needs of the department.

Treasury SES staff are offered access to an SES Executive Coaching Panel which is designed to provide staff with the opportunity to access confidential, targeted and expert guidance on specific issues or to assist in longer-term skills development. The Treasury liaises with coaches to oversee the program and to identify any systemic issues of importance to the department.

Induction seminars for new staff were offered in October 2011 and March 2012. 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 26 prominent external guest speakers presenting perspectives on current economic and public policy issues. The Treasury’s policy groups also continued to offer seminars on specific policy issues.

The first seminar in the Treasury Leadership Series was delivered in June 2012. The seminars are designed to provide staff with valuable perspectives and insights on leadership from high profile leaders in the public and private sectors.

One of the first strategies to be initiated as part of the Progressing Women initiative was the procurement of pilot awareness training on unrecognised bias for members of the Inclusive Workplace Committee. The aim of this program was to assist participants to identify and understand underlying and unrecognised biases on the part of men and women that may impact on judgements of management, leadership styles and the allocation of work for women in the Treasury. Phase one of the training was completed during May and June 2012 with a broader program (phase 2) expected to be rolled out to all SES and EL2 officers between September and November 2012.

IT initiatives and training

In 2011-12, internal IT training attracted 1,592 participants. It covered the Microsoft Office suite of programs such as the Office 2010 upgrade, in-house systems, record-keeping awareness, security awareness, electronic filing using TRIM, publication projects and the budgeting and reporting tool TM1. Training was also provided to staff in the use of Blackberry and remote access tokens.

Customised training in Excel and VBA catered to special needs and VOIP training was provided to assist staff with the rollout of the new telephone system.

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 2011-12, these included postgraduate qualifications and research projects, as well as attendance at Career Development Assessment Centres, Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) programs, and various conferences, seminars and workshops of relevance to the Treasury. One officer continued the ANZSOG program in Executive Masters in Public Administration in 2011-12.

The National Security College is a joint venture between the Commonwealth Government and the Australian National University. The College aims to enhance the functioning of the national security community and strengthen networks and policy capability within the APS by building partnerships with academia, research institutions, and the community and private sectors. Six Treasury staff participated in the courses offered by the National Security College in 2011-12.

During 2011-12, Treasury staff attended 208 external training courses, conferences or seminars of relevance to the department.

Studies Assistance provided financial assistance and study leave for staff undertaking approved study relevant to the Treasury. A total of 157 staff were approved for Studies Assistance in 2011-12, for study primarily undertaken in economics, law, commerce and public policy.

A one-year Treasury Scholarship in Economics was offered to one student enrolled in the Australian National University’s Bachelor of Economics Program.

In partnership with the Commonwealth Government and the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation, five inaugural scholarships were awarded to staff in the Australian Public Service. The scholarships are designed to nurture future senior leaders in the APS and strengthen ties between academia and the Australian Public Service. Two of the five scholarships were awarded to Treasury staff. These staff members commenced their PhD studies at the Australian National University in February 2012.


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 People and Organisational Strategy Division provides regular reports to the Executive Board, the People Committee, the Workplace Relations Committee, the Inclusive Workplace Committee, the Work Health and Safety Committee and staff that includes 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 continuing to be more favourable than the APS average in a number of key areas, including employee job satisfaction, immediate manager effectiveness, the 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 those for the APS. Treasury staff enjoy their work, are motivated to do the best possible work, and are more likely than the broader APS to receive a sense of being valued for their work.

An area for improvement was satisfaction with work-life balance. The Treasury results (62 per cent) were slightly lower than those recorded for the APS as a whole (67 per cent). This issue continues to be of ongoing concern to the Treasury and remains an important focus
for the Executive Board.

The Executive Director, Policy Coordination and Governance and Chief Risk Officer undertook a series of meetings with Groups to discuss the adequacy of overall management of stress and fatigue risks. These consultations focused on promoting best practice strategies that were employed by different areas of the department.

Staff opinion survey

Treasury conducted its own biennial staff opinion survey in October 2011. The survey indicated satisfaction ratings of 80 per cent and above in pride in working for the Treasury, willingness to put in effort to achieve results, respectful and supportive environment provided by managers, and in motivation to do the best job they can.

Resilience program

The Treasury seeks to identify anticipated peak work periods and offers divisions the opportunity to take part in a customised Emotional Resilience Program.

The program aims to increase individual and team resilience by enhancing the 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 resilience training course was provided to staff in the Macroeconomic Group in June 2012 as a proactive response to dealing with frequent tight deadlines and associated stress management. Attendance was high with 120 staff participating in the training sessions. The course encouraged staff to manage their own health and safety in dealing with stress and fatigue.

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 experiencing work-related or personal problems. The employee assistance service collects generic data that provides guidance for departmental wellbeing strategies. To complement this service, the employee assistance service also offers an online wellbeing resource which provides interactive and user‑friendly information and guidance on work and personal issues. Managers and executives may seek advice and support on managerial issues through a dedicated and confidential program.

The service provider conducted two staff seminars during 2011-12, one outlining the benefits of seeking counselling to assist in managing personal and professional concerns and the other on positive parenting. In 2011-12, due to contract and procurement arrangements, the Treasury utilised two separate employee assistance programs. The provider for the period July to November 2011 reported usage rates of 4.3 per cent. The second provider recorded usage rates of 1.8 per cent for the remainder of the financial year. The average APS access rate for 2011-12 was slightly higher than the Treasury usage rate, averaging 6.04 per cent.

Child care centre

In 2010-11 the Treasury built onsite childcare facilities for Treasury staff in the Abacus Childcare and Education Centre which is managed by the Department of Finance and Deregulation.

The centre offers 143 child care places with a total of 65 children from Treasury families in care at the centre at 30 June 2012. The centre recently expanded the outdoor play area and provides regular events for families, as well as excursions within the Parliamentary Triangle for children in care at the centre.

Health and wellbeing program

In 2011-12 a health and wellbeing program was delivered in recognition of the need to address wellbeing on a regular basis and provide staff with greater opportunities to access health-related activities and seminars.

The Treasury facilitated seven health and wellbeing activities during 2011-12 including 283 staff health assessments, 422 Influenza vaccinations, and health and wellbeing information seminars. A mindfulness seminar was organised with the Honourable Jeff Kennett speaking on the Beyond Blue National Depression Initiative. Approximately 300 staff participated in the health and wellbeing seminars. Staff were also offered the opportunity to participate in health and fitness training during lunch times.

Lifestyle payment and corporate gym memberships

To assist employees in undertaking initiatives towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle, an annual lifestyle payment of $500 was available in 2011 and increased to $600 in 2012. The lifestyle payment is available for activities such as gym memberships, sporting apparel and relaxation programs. The Treasury also has a corporate gym membership with Treasury employees able to access reduced memberships from five participating gyms. From 1 July to 31 December 2011, 18 lifestyle payments of $500 were made to Treasury employees and from 1 January 2012 to 30 June 2012, 920 lifestyle payments of $600 were made to Treasury employees.

Staffing information

Ongoing and non-ongoing employee numbers in the Treasury decreased from 1,053 in 2010-11 to 988 in 2011-12 (Table 2).

Voluntary redundancies were offered, and 62 employees accepted an offer. As a consequence of the voluntary redundancy process and natural attrition, there was a decrease in staff numbers across all levels, except at the APS4 level, where this figure rose from 58 to 59. The most significant decrease was at the APS3 level, where staffing numbers reduced by 18. The number of EL1 and EL2 employees decreased by 6 and 14 respectively.

Part-time employees reduced slightly from 11.68 per cent in 2010-11 to 11.03 per cent in 2011-12. Part-time females at the EL1 level increased from 23 in 2010-11 to 30 in 2011‑12. Part-time APS6 level females reduced from 17 to 11.

Table 2: Operative and paid inoperative staff by classification and gender as at 30 June 2012
  Ongoing   Non-ongoing    
  Full-time   Part-time   Full-time   Part-time    
Classification Male Female   Male Female   Male Female   Male Female   Total
Cadet   1         3           4
APS1   1         1           2
APS2 1       1               2
APS3 32 46     1               79
APS4 23 24     11   1           59
APS5 74 74   1 7               156
APS6 115 92   5 11   3           226
EL1 97 72   2 30     2   1 2   206
EL2 93 44   8 24   4 1         174
SES Band 1 40 10   1 3   1 1         56
SES Band 2 10 6     1               17
SES Band 3 6                       6
Secretary 1                       1
Total 492 370   17 89   13 4   1 2   988

Note: Staff paid by other agencies are not included.

Table 3: Staff located at overseas posts
Overseas post SES Band 2 SES Band 1 EL2 Total
Beijing 1 1
India 1 - 1
Jakarta 1 1
London 1 1
Paris 1 1
Tokyo 1 - 1
Washington 1 1
Total 1 6 7

Note: Locally engaged staff are not included.

Senior Executive Service remuneration

Remuneration and conditions for the Treasury’s Senior Executive Service (SES) 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 (Table 4). The Treasury does not offer performance pay.

Table 4: Salary scales — SES
  September 2010   September 2011
Classification Minimum
SES Band 1 173,667 201,839   180,614 209,913
SES Band 2 212,852 249,134   221,366 259,099
SES Band 3 275,842 323,054   286,876 335,976

Senior Executive Service staff are appraised using the APSC Senior Executive Leadership 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 2011-14 determines salary rates for all non-SES staff (Table 5). The Treasury does not offer performance bonuses.

Table 5: Workplace agreement salary scales — non-SES
  July 2010   July 2011
Classification Minimum
APS1 39,488 42,882   41,068 44,597
APS2 45,517 48,530   47,338 50,471
APS3 51,543 55,554   53,605 56,736
APS4 57,568 60,580   59,871 63,003
APS5 64,725 68,869   67,314 71,624
APS6 73,012 88,456   75,932 91,994
EL1 95,236 109,247   99,045 113,617
EL2 116,328 133,505   120,981 138,845

Under the Treasury Workplace Agreement 2011-14, 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 2011-12 (Table 6).

Table 6: SES commencements and cessations
Reason SES Band 3 SES Band 2 SES Band 1 Total
Engagement 1   4 5
External promotion   1   1
Internal promotion        
Resignation     1 1
Retirement 1   5 6
Transfer to another department   1 1 2
Promoted to another department        
Total 2 2 11 15

During 2011-12 six SES commenced in the Treasury, including Mr Barry Sterland who joined the Executive Board from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Mr Ste
rland replaced Mr Richard Murray who retired after 41 years in the Australian Public Service; the majority of this time was spent in the Treasury.

Mr Matt King was promoted to an SES band 2 from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as Treasury’s Chief Financial Officer.

There were five retirements at the SES band 1 level, four of whom retired under Section 37 of the Public Service Act 1999.

There were no internal promotions at the SES level during 2011-12.