Broadbanding SES positions

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Australian Public Service Commission should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Australian Public Service Commission,

This is a request for documents.

You are welcome to provide access to the requested documents via an administrative release. Otherwise, this is a request for documents under the FOI Act.

Background

I refer to an article published in the Australian this week. It is titled “Federal Court boss warned on job rule sidestep”. It was published on 9 February 2022.

In the 9 February 2022 article, there is a reference to an APSC investigation, undertaken by the then acting assistant commissioner Kate McMullan. The article appears to be about the engagement of “national judicial registrars”. According to the article, allegations of impropriety were not substantiated in relation to “the recruitment processes which resulted in the appointment of eight registrars because there had been ‘a role review process that had resulted in certain positions being found suitable for either a Legal 2 or (SES1) position, depending on the relative complexity and workload.’”

Towards the foot of the article, there is a statement made by a spokeswoman for the Australian Public Service Commission. She said:

“A role evaluation is the method of determining the relative work value of a job through assessing the nature, impact and accountabilities of the role. It is not uncommon for positions with the same job title to be classified differently as a result of differences in one or more of the evaluation factors – for example, the scope and complexity of the role. A role evaluation which determines differing classifications for a role depending on the nature of the work involved is distinct and separate to a broadbanding arrangement.”

According to page 29 of the Australian Public Service Classification Guide (www.apsc.gov.au/working-aps/aps-employees-and-managers/classifications/aps-classification-guide):

The 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.

While not entirely clear, it would seem that Ms McMullan is claiming in her report that it was possible for the groups of duties associated with the national judicial registrar vacancies to be classified at the executive level 2 or SES Band 1 classifications because the groups of duties varied in complexity, even though the a group of duties to be performed by an SES employee cannot be broadbanded (see rule 9(5) of the Public Service Classification Rules 2000).

If that is what Ms McMullan meant, then one would assume that she came to that conclusion on the basis of some authoritative source.

I request access to any documents, other than Acts of the Commonwealth Parliament or Legislative Instruments, but including, for example, administrative or operational guidance documents, guidelines, protocols etc that Ms McMullan would have relied on to support her conclusion, which, appear to me to be captured by the following propositions (set out separately to the extent there is any difference in meaning):

a) positions can be classified at either executive level 2 or SES Band 1, depending on the relative complexity and workload; and
b) it is possible for groups of duties associated with vacancies to be classified at the executive level 2 or SES Band 1 classifications because the groups of duties vary in complexity.

You may provide digital copies of the documents by return email.

Question outside the scope of the FOI request

Separately, and if you are so inclined, you’re invited to provide a written explanation on how it is possible for:

a) positions can be classified at either executive level 2 or SES Band 1, depending on the relative complexity and workload; or
b) groups of duties associated with vacancies to be classified at the executive level 2 or SES Band 1 classifications because the groups of duties vary in complexity,

particularly in the light of rule 9(5) of the Public Service Classification Rules 2000.

By way of example, would it be permissible for the Agency Head of the Federal Court Statutory Agency to allocate more than on classification to the group of duties associated with the National Judicial Registrar role if, upon an objective assessment of the groups of duties, it was found that the less complex group of duties should be classified at the executive level 2 classification and the more complex group of duties should be classified at the Senior Executive Service Band 1 classification? If so, why and, if not, why not.

Yours faithfully,

Stephanie

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

5 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is writing to acknowledge
receipt of your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI
Act).

 

The timeframe for responding to your request is 30 days from the date of
receipt. This timeframe may be extended in certain circumstances. You will
be notified if these circumstances arise and the timeframe is extended.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

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This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

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FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

14 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

A decision notice and Documents [1] – [7] are attached.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

[2]three hexagons[3]twitter icon [4]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

 

From: FOI <[email address]>
Sent: Tuesday, 22 February 2022 8:47 AM
To: Stephanie <[FOI #8476 email]>
Cc: FOI <[email address]>
Subject: RE: SHC22-1600 Acknowledgement [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is writing to acknowledge
receipt of your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI
Act).

 

The timeframe for responding to your request is 30 days from the date of
receipt. This timeframe may be extended in certain circumstances. You will
be notified if these circumstances arise and the timeframe is extended.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500 w: [5]www.apsc.gov.au

[6]three hexagons[7]twitter icon[8]facebook icon

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

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Dear Ms Strangio,

Thank you for your email.

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Australian Public Service Commission's handling of my FOI request 'Broadbanding SES positions'.

I have carefully read the documents that you granted access to and not one of those documents supports the propositions:

a) positions can be classified at either executive level 2 or SES Band 1, depending on the relative complexity and workload; and
b) it is possible for groups of duties associated with vacancies to be classified at the executive level 2 or SES Band 1 classifications because the groups of duties vary in complexity.

On the contrary, the attached documents make it very clear that it is not legally permissible to classify groups of duties associated with vacancies at both the executive level 2 or SES Band 1 classifications because the groups of duties vary in complexity.

Therefore the documents that you have provided to not address my request.

While I appreciate that you are unable to address Ms McMullan's state of mind when making a decision to conclusively determine what documents were relied on in support of her decision making, I do expect for you to be able to produce documents that set out the permissibility of classifying groups of duties associated with vacancies at both the executive level 2 or SES Band 1 classifications because the groups of duties vary in complexity. It is reasonable for me to expect you to provide such documents because the law is written and what is legally permissible must be sourced from some state or some case law. Ms McMullan can't just make up the law. Her conclusion had to be based on something objective. That is, unless, Ms McMullan did just make up the law. But that would be very embarrassing for an acting assistant commissioner and the Australian Public Service Commission.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/b...

Yours faithfully,

Stephanie

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

5 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is writing to acknowledge
receipt of your request for internal review under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

The timeframe for responding to your internal review request is 30 days
from the date of receipt. This timeframe for internal review may be
extended in very limited circumstances. You will be notified if these
circumstances arise and the timeframe is extended.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

[2]three hexagons[3]twitter icon [4]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

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FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

7 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

Please find attached a decision notice for your internal review request.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

[2]three hexagons[3]twitter icon [4]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

From: FOI
Sent: Wednesday, 23 March 2022 5:00 PM
To: Stephanie <[FOI #8476 email]>
Cc: FOI <[email address]>
Subject: Acknowledgement: Internal review of Freedom of Information
request - Broadbanding SES positions [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is writing to acknowledge
receipt of your request for internal review under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

The timeframe for responding to your internal review request is 30 days
from the date of receipt. This timeframe for internal review may be
extended in very limited circumstances. You will be notified if these
circumstances arise and the timeframe is extended.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [5]www.apsc.gov.au        

[6]three hexagons[7]twitter icon [8]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

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