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Broadbanding across EL2 and senior executive bands - vacancy VN-0703389 published on pages 420 - 422 in Public Service Gazette PS 14 Weekly Gazette - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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Dear Attorney-General's Department,

I refer to vacancy VN-0703389 published on pages 420 - 422 in Public Service Gazette PS 14 Weekly Gazette - Thursday, 7 April 2022, which can be accessed here: https://www.apsjobs.gov.au/s/all-gazette...

The vacancy notification is for Senior Judicial Registrar positions in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

According to the classification information for vacancy NN-0703389 the vacancy is classified across 3 classification levels: Executive Level 2, Senior Executive Service Band 1; and Senior Executive Service Band 2.

I draw the prospective decision maker's attention to Assistant Secretary Bridie Dawson's letter of decision (https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/s...). In that letter, Ms Dawson states:

Duties cannot be classified over more than one classification, as per the Public Service Classification Rules which states the following:

9 Classification of duties

(4) If a group of duties to be performed in an Agency involves work value applying to more than one classification, the Agency Head may allocate more than one classification (called a broadband) to the group of duties.

(5) However, subrule (4) does not apply to a group of duties to be performed by an SES employee.

Under the FOI Act, I request access to any document that the AGD has that sets out how it is that a single role (in this instance the Senior Judicial Registrar role in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia) is capable of bearing those three classifications (i.e. EL2, SES1 and SES2) when the Public Service Classification Rules make it explicit that it is unlawful to broadband a role if it bears an SES band classification (see Public Service Classification Rules 2000, rr 9(4) and 9(5)).

Contextual information

While perusing the website of the Federal Court of Australia I came across a vacancy notice that piqued my interest. The vacancy notification was about Senior Judicial Registrar positions in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. The vacancy has been published here: https://www.fedcourt.gov.au/about/employ...

There is a position description for the role on the Federal Court website. That position description has been reproduced in the annotation to this request.

The following salary information is provided in the position description of the website of the Federal Court:

A suitable remuneration package commensurate with experience will be negotiated for successful candidates, which will include base salary, and superannuation of 15.4% of base salary, and may include Executive Vehicle Allowance.

In the position description there is the following comment in relation to the classifications for the Senior Judicial Registrar role:

Senior Executive Service Band 2 or Senior Executive Service Band 1 or Executive Level 2 depending on the scope and complexity of the position and operational requirements.

As you know “[t]he option to broadband is available under rule 9(4) of the Public Service Classification Rules 2000 (the Classification Rules) which states that if a group of duties involves work requirements applying to more than one classification, the agency head may allocate more than one classification (a broadband) to the group of duties.

In practice, this means that where there are elements of work at two or more classifications that are very similar in nature, but vary in complexity, then an agency head may choose to broadband those classifications …

It should be noted that a broadband is allocated to the group of duties and not to the individual employee. Within the group of duties, agencies must ensure that there are discrete jobs at each classification level within the broadband, and that these jobs are aligned to the work value requirement of the relevant work level standards.
Rule 6(1) of the Classification Rules requires each employee in an agency to be allocated an approved classification. This means all employees performing duties in a broadband must still be allocated a single classification within that broadband. Agencies should ensure that as each employee advances through a broadband, the employee’s APS classification is adjusted to reflect the work value of the duties being performed.

Additionally, the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2013 (the Directions) state that the advancement within a broadband is not considered a promotion.

A local title can be given to a broadband in addition to the approved APS classifications being broadbanded. Agencies are required to ensure that broadbands in their enterprise agreement clearly identify the approved APS classifications contained in the broadband.

SES classifications are excluded from broadbanding arrangements.”

(See pages 29 and 30 of the Australian Public Service Classification Guide on the website of the APSC at https://www.apsc.gov.au/working-aps/aps-...).

So that it is not lost on anybody, broadbanding MEANS THAT WHERE THERE ARE ELEMENTS OR WORK AT TWO OR MORE CLASSIFICATIONS THAT ARE VERY SIMILAR IN NATURE, BUT VARY IN COMPLEXITY, THEN AN AGENCY HEAD MAY CHOOSE TO BROADBAND THOSE CLASSIFICATIONS. The Senior Judicial Registrar role in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia has been broadbanded.

How, then, is it possible that the Senior Judicial Registrar role in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia is classified so that the role bears “Senior Executive Service Band 2 or Senior Executive Service Band 1 or Executive Level 2 depending on the scope and complexity of the position and operational requirements?” The broadbanding contravenes the Public Service Classifications Rules 2000.

I would like it on the record that this information was drawn to the attention of the Attorney-General's Department, even if it was done so in a collateral fashion.

Perhaps somebody in the Court's section of the Department would like to draw this issue to the attention of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. We wouldn't want another article about an agency cheating the SES cap in the Australian again.

Yours faithfully,

raphael

raphael left an annotation ()

Position Overview

Senior Judicial Registrars exercising the judicial power of the Commonwealth pursuant to delegations, are responsible to the Chief Justice of the FCFCOA (Division 1)/Chief Judge of the FCFCOA (Division 2) and the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Registrar (CEO/PR) of the Courts. They will work closely with the CEO/PR in administering relevant family law legislation. They will support the CEO/PR through a key leadership role in exercising their powers, including hearing and determining defended interim hearings, interlocutory disputes, conducting complex conciliations and mediations and case management and contributing to national support arrangements for judges and registrars.

Senior Judicial Registrars will play a key role in implementing and achieving the intended aims of the Courts’ reforms and in delivering a range of important initiatives required by Government. They will also contribute to various Court Committees and registrar training and development.

Candidates for the role of Senior Judicial Registrar may also be considered for a leadership role in the implementation of initiatives to enhance culturally responsive support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, through assisting with the management of the Indigenous Family Liaison Officers. They may also be considered for a leadership role relating to the national management of the implementation of the expanded Lighthouse model to family law registries nationally under the new case management pathway.

Key responsibilities and duties of the position

 Performing the delegated judicial functions at a high level, exercising delegated judicial power in family law matters in the FCFCOA (Division 1) and the FCFCOA (Division 2) pursuant to sections 98 and 254 of the FCFCOA Act, respectively and other legislative instruments;
 Carrying out delegated judicial functions locally and nationally by way of:
o presiding over Court hearings;
o carrying out high level and complex case management support for judges; and
o conducting various forms of high level and complex ADR in both property and parenting matters;
 Providing professional leadership to Judicial Registrars, including assisting to promote the professional development, mentoring and training of Judicial Registrars;
 Assisting the Courts with national operational matters in support of the Chief Justice/Chief Judge and the CEO/PR, as may be required; and
 Liaising with relevant community, government and professional stakeholders.

Reporting lines and key relationships

The position of Senior Judicial Registrar reports to the CEO/PR. Senior Judicial Registrars will work with the following: Chief Justice/Chief Judge, judges, the CEO/PR, the Deputy Principal Registrar, registrars and support staff, and key national operations staff. Senior Judicial Registrars will also liaise with the legal profession and Court users.

Professional qualifications, competencies and experience

Legal qualifications and admission as a practitioner of the High Court and/or the Supreme Court of a State or Territory of Australia are essential. Applicants should also have:

• a minimum of 7 years’ post admission experience;
• the ability to exercise delegated judicial powers and functions at a high level in family law matters in the FCFCOA (Division 1) and the FCFCOA (Division 2) pursuant to sections 98 and 254 of the FCFCOA Act, respectively, including the ability to preside over Court hearings and exercise judicial discretion;
• significant experience in the family law jurisdiction and related areas of law, including experience in parenting and financial matters;
• extensive experience in civil litigation in superior Courts of Australia, with a thorough understanding of litigation processes and strategies, including key steps in the high level case management of matters;
• a comprehensive understanding of ADR and negotiation frameworks generally, including how complex mediations and conciliations are undertaken. Training as a mediator with experience in conducting mediations, or experience participating in mediations or other dispute resolution processes, will be considered favourably;
 detailed knowledge and extensive understanding of relevant family law legislation, the jurisdiction of the FCFCOA (Division 1) and family law jurisdiction of the FCFCOA (Division 2), including the practices and procedures of both Courts;
 experience in leading and managing staff. Senior Judicial Registrars will have the ability to provide professional leadership to Judicial Registrars and Deputy Registrars and will lead through demonstrating their excellence in legal skills and their commitment to the Courts’ objectives and reforms;
 ability to identify and implement improved and innovative case management initiatives, and to participate in the development and implementation of national policies and procedures;
 a proven ability to:
- work autonomously and with the necessary authority and accountability in a senior managerial role;
- manage multiple responsibilities effectively and prioritise matters appropriately; and
- build and sustain positive relationships with a network of key stakeholders internally and externally.

Selection Criteria

1. Shapes Strategic Thinking

Relevant capabilities include:
• Inspires a sense of purpose and direction
• Focuses strategically
• Harnesses information and recognises opportunities
• Shows judgement, intelligence and common sense.

2. Achieves Results

Relevant capabilities include:
• Builds organisational capability and responsiveness
• Marshals professional expertise
• Steers and implements change and deals with uncertainty
• Ensures closure and delivers on intended results.

3. Exemplifies Personal Drive and Integrity

Relevant capabilities include:
• Demonstrates public service professionalism and probity
• Engages with risk and shows personal courage
• Commits to action
• Displays resilience
• Demonstrates self-awareness and a commitment to personal development.

4. Cultivates Productive Working Relationships

Relevant capabilities include:
• Nurtures internal and external relationships
• Facilitates cooperation and partnerships
• Values individual differences and diversity
• Guides, mentors and develops people.

5. Communicates with Influence

Relevant capabilities include:
• Communicates clearly
• Listens, understands and adapts to different audiences
• Negotiates persuasively.

Agency Overview

The Federal Court of Australia entity is the administrative organisation that engages employees under the Public Service Act 1999 to work in roles sitting in one or more of the following courts or Tribunal: FCFCOA (Division 1); FCFCOA (Division 2); Federal Court of Australia, and the National Native Title Tribunal. The Courts Administration Legislation Amendment Act 2016 established the Federal Court entity however, each court continues to maintain its distinct statutory identity, with separate functions and judicial independence. Employees engaged by the entity and working in roles in the FCFCOA are covered by the Federal Court of Australia Enterprise Agreement 2018–2021.
Recruitment Process

To apply, please complete the application form on the Court’s careers portal. If you have any issues with applying please email hr@fedcourt.gov.au

Applications close Wednesday, 27 April 2022.

Contact Officer

For more information, confidential enquiries can be made to Catherine Bull, National Executive Coordinator; Judicial and Registrar Support at catherine.bull@fcfcoa.gov.au.

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

OFFICIAL

 

Dear Raphael

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/081

I refer to your request to the Attorney-General's Department (the
department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for access
to documents.

Your request is for:

I request access to any document that the AGD has that sets out how it is
that a single role (in this instance the Senior Judicial Registrar role in
the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia) is capable of bearing
those three classifications (i.e. EL2, SES1 and SES2) when the Public
Service Classification Rules make it explicit that it is unlawful to
broadband a role if it bears an SES band classification (see Public
Service Classification Rules 2000, rr 9(4) and 9(5)).

If you disagree with this interpretation of your request, please let me
know in writing as soon as possible.

The department received your request on 13 April 2022 and the 30 day
statutory period for processing your request commenced from the day after
that date. You should therefore expect a decision from us by 13 May 2022.
However, the period of 30 days may be extended if the department needs to
consult third parties or for other reasons. We will advise you if this
happens.

The department's practice is to not disclose personal information of staff
of the department and other government authorities, where that information
is not publicly known or routinely disclosed (e.g. names of junior
officers and contact information). The names of senior officers will
generally be disclosed. In addition, duplicates and incomplete email
chains within the scope of the FOI request will be excluded.

Please note that, with some exceptions (such as personal information),
documents released under the FOI Act may later be published online on the
department's disclosure log
[1]http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection....

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email to [2][AGD request email].

Joanna

 

 

Joanna Baker

Assistant Director

Freedom of Information and Privacy | Strategy and Governance Branch

Attorney-General’s Department

T: 02 6141 6666 | E: [3][AGD request email]

 

 

 

OFFICIAL

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-Generals Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].
If you have received this transmission in error please notify us
immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any
attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute
waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of
information in the e-mail or attachments.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection...
2. mailto:[AGD request email]
3. mailto:[AGD request email]

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

 

Dear Raphael

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/081

 

I refer to your request to the Attorney-General's Department (the
department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for access
to documents. 

 

The purpose of this email is to provide you with a decision in response to
that request. 

 

Please find attached your decision letter, including your review rights.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email to [1][AGD request email].

 

Sincerely

Joanna

 

Joanna Baker

Assistant Director

Freedom of Information and Privacy | Strategy and Governance Branch

Attorney-General’s Department

T: 02 6141 6666 | E: [2][AGD request email]

 

 

 

OFFICIAL

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-Generals Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].
If you have received this transmission in error please notify us
immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any
attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute
waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of
information in the e-mail or attachments.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[AGD request email]
2. mailto:[AGD request email]

Dear Ms Baker,

Thank you for your decision.

Thank you for also confirming that:

a) "the federal courts are separate entities from the Attorney-General’s Department";
b) "the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia is part of the Federal Court entity which also comprises the Federal Court of Australia"; and
c) "as a separate entity, the Federal Court entity is responsible for its own resourcing matters ... [including] the recruitment and employment of staff".

I hope that the persistent and systematic contraventions of law by officials in the Federal Court of Australia are taken seriously by people in the AGD.

I request an internal review of your decision.

Yours sincerely,

raphael

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

2 Attachments

Dear Raphael

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/081-IR

I refer to your request to the Attorney-General's Department (the
department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for access
to documents. 

 

The purpose of this email is to provide you with a decision in response to
that request. 

 

Please find attached decision letter, including review rights.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email to [1][AGD request email].

 

Yours sincerely

Euphrasia

FOI Officer

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are raphael please sign in and let everyone know.