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Position descriptions, classification evaluation and vacancy notification documents for roles at the APSC

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Dear Australian Public Service Commission,

Under the FOI Act, I request the:

a) position description document; and
b) classification evaluation document; and
c) vacancy notification document published in the Public Service Gazette;

for each of the following roles:

i) the Assistant Commissioner, Enabling Services position that Vidya Vasudevan appears to currently occupy;
ii) the Assistant Commissioner, Executive and Statutory Offices position that Martyn Hagan applied for and came to fill;
iii) the Assistant Commissioner, Professions and Pathways position that Vanessa Roarty applied for and came to fill;
iv) the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation position that Ashley Sedgwick applied for and came to fill;
v) the Assistant Commissioner, Workforce Strategy position that Katrina Purcell applied for and came to fill;
vi) the Assistant Commissioner, Leadership & Talent Development position that Kate Boxsell applied for and came to fill;
vii) the Deputy Australian Public Service Commissioner position that Rina Bruinsma appears to be acting in;
viii) the First Assistant Commissioner position that Grant Lovelock applied for and came to fill;
ix) the Chief of Staff position that Emma Rees applied for and came to fill; and
x) the Project Director position that Luke McGrath applied for and came to fill.

You may provide the requested documents to me by return email.

Yours faithfully,

raphael

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

5 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Raphael

 

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

16 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Raphael

 

A decision notice is 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.

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Sims,

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 'Position descriptions, classification evaluation and vacancy notification documents for roles at the APSC'.

I draw your attention to the Australian Public Service Classification Guide (the Guide). The Guide was prepared in 2013.

According to the Guide:

1) “The Australian Public Service (APS) classification guide has been developed by the Australian Public Service Commission (the Commission) and provides policy guidance on determining and managing classification arrangements in the APS.”

2) The Guide “provides general advice on workforce classification within the APS and replaces the 1992 publication Handbook of Australian Public Service Classification Management.”

3) The Guide “outlines the broad framework and principles underlying the system of classification management, and provides guidance and advice on techniques that agencies can use when putting these principles into practice.”

4) “The report on the APS classification review, published in November 2012, made a series of recommendations to strengthen the integrity of the classification system and to achieve greater consistency in classification decision-making across the APS.”

5) The Guide “has been developed in response to recommendations made in the APS classification review.”

6) The Guide “presents a common approach to classification management across the APS and builds on good practice already in place in many APS agencies.”

7) “The Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act) is the principal legislation that governs the employment framework for the APS employees. It enables the Australian Public Service Commissioner (the Commissioner) to make rules about the classification of APS employees (section 23(1)), which are found in the Public Service Classification Rules 2000 (the Classification Rules). Agency heads must comply with these rules (section 23(3)).

The Classification Rules is the legislative instrument that governs APS classification arrangements. It provides the foundation for mobility within the APS by specifying a system of managing ‘groups of duties’ that is common to all APS agencies. From 1 December 2014, under these rules

• approved classifications are specified (rule 5)
• an agency head must allocate an approved classification to each employee in the agency, based on the group of duties to be performed (rule 6)
• an agency head must allocate an approved classification to each group of duties to be performed in the agency, based on the work value of the group of duties (rule 9 (1) (2)) for APS, Executive Level and SES classifications, the allocation of the approved classification must be based on the work value as described in the work level standards issued, in writing, by the Australian Public Service Commissioner (the Commissioner) (rule 9(2A))
• for classifications other than APS, Executive Level or SES levels, agency heads must issue work level standards, in writing, that describe the work value of the group of duties to be performed in the agency at that classification (rule 10)
• more than one classification (called a broadband) can be allocated to a group of duties (rule 9(4)).

8) “The objectives of the APS classification system are consistency, transparency, flexibility and mobility.”

9) “Classification arrangements that are supported by clearly defined work level standards support an open and transparent classification system.”

10) “The classification system is applied and supported through legislative provisions, policy guidance and support tools.”

11) “The PS Act and the Classification Rules have already been identified as the legislative basis for the classification system, providing a common foundation for classification management across all APS agencies.”

12) “This foundation is supported by a range of policy guidance and supporting tools.”

13) “Role evaluation tools

Role evaluation is the way the work value of new and existing roles can be assessed in a structured and systematic way. The Australian Public Service Commission (the Commission) has developed role evaluation tools that can be used by agencies to assist in assessing roles for the APS Level and Executive Level classifications and the SES classifications.
APS Role evaluation tool and guidance can be found at
http://www.apsc.gov.au/publications-and-...
SES Evaluation Methodology Guidelines and Process can be found at
http://www.apsc.gov.au/aps-employment-po...

14) “Making a decision to allocate an approved classification to a job is needed when
• creating a new role
• evaluating an existing role that has undergone a substantial change in the duties to be performed (for example, machinery of government changes, a restructure or reorganisation within the agency, or a new policy)
• confirming the appropriate work value of a job prior to commencing recruitment action.”

15) “It is important to ensure that a detailed, factual and up to date picture of the role being classified is established and documented prior to making a decision on the classification level.”

16) “A record must be kept of decisions made when exercising delegated authority under the PS Act or the Classification Rules.”

17) “Documenting reasons for the decision is also necessary to safeguard the integrity and transparency of the decision outcome.”

18) “Classification decisions need to be based on a suitably thorough investigation, including:
• work analysis leading to job design
• reasons for the classification level allocated, including the job analysis and assessment of work value
• details of the assessment made regarding changes in work value where the job is reclassified.

19) “Documented reasons provide valuable historical information that will assist any subsequent review of a job, particularly where changes in work value need to be assessed.”

20) “Maintaining such records ins important to an agency’s ability to manage its classification arrangements.”

21) “Thorough information and documentation procedures relating to classification decisions are necessary elements in safeguarding the integrity of the process.”

22) “A decision to allocate a new or revised classification level to a job is made under delegated authority under the Public Service Act 1999 and the Public Service Classification Rules 2000. This means a record of the decision must be made, including the reasons for the decision.”

23) “Adequate documentation in support of classification decisions can also provide valuable information to assist any subsequent review of a job where, for example, further work value changes may need to be assessed.”

24) “Appropriate documentation includes, but is not limited to, job descriptions, completed questionnaires and interviews. Other supporting documentation may include:
• background information (who initiated the action and why)
• in the case of a new role – some evidence that the need for the new role had been established
• an assessment of the resource impact of the creation or reclassification
• an analysis leading to task and job design
• supporting reasons for the classification decision, including reference to the comparisons made with formal standards
• in the case of a reclassification – a summary and assessment of work value change, including reference to the authority for the change.”

25) “Maintaining such records is important to an agency’s ability to manage its classification arrangements effectively.”

In the light of all that has been said about the integrity of the classification system and the need to document decisions relating to roles, including the classifications assigned to roles under rule 9 of the Public Service Classification Rules, are you suggesting that the very “integrity” agency responsible for preparing this Guide does not follow its own guidance?

What difference does it make that the Assistant Commissioner of Professions and Pathways moved to the Commission from another Agency following a Machinery of Government change? What difference does it make that the Assistant Commissioner of the Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation transferred to the Commission from another Agency following a temporary secondment? What difference does it make that the Assistant Commissioner of the Leadership and Talent Development internally transferred into the role? What difference does it make that the Chief of Staff was transferred to the Commission from another agency? What difference do any of your reasons make to your refusal to provide the classification documents requested?

I do not accept that classification evaluation documents do not exist for the:

a) Assistant Commissioner, Enabling Services role;
b) Assistant Commissioner, Executive and Statutory Offices role;
c) Assistant Commissioner, Professions and Pathways role;
d) Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role;
e) Assistant Commissioner, Workforce Strategy role;
f) Assistant Commissioner, Leadership and Talent Development role;
g) Deputy Australian Public Service Commissioner role;
h) First Assistant Commissioner role;
i) Chief of Staff role;
j) Project Director / Property Director role.

How did the relevant official in the APSC determine that these roles were to bear the classifications that they do under rule 9 of the Public Service Classification Rules 2000? Did someone just pluck the classifications out of thin air? Was there no assessment of the roles against the Public Service Commissioner’s work level standards?

I want a review of your decision to deny access to the classification evaluation documents that I requested.

I hope the Australian Public Service Commissioner realises what the implications of this revelation are going to be. The last thing the Australian Public Service Commission needs right now, especially after an election that was contested on issues of integrity and transparency in the federal government, is the revelation that the standards that it insists other agencies adopt for the purposes of maintaining the integrity of the classification system in the Public Service are not followed in the very “integrity” agency that sets those standards.

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

Yours faithfully,

raphael

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

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: www.apsc.gov.au        
                           

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.

show quoted sections

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

6 Attachments

OFFICIAL

See 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 3720  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.

 

show quoted sections

raphael left an annotation ()

Reasons for IC review

I am seeking IC review of the Ms Giorgina Strangio’s decision to refuse access to classification evaluation documents for each of the following roles:

i) the Assistant Commissioner, Enabling Services position that Vidya Vasudevan appears to currently occupy;
ii) the Assistant Commissioner, Executive and Statutory Offices position that Martyn Hagan applied for and came to fill;
iii) the Assistant Commissioner, Professions and Pathways position that Vanessa Roarty applied for and came to fill;
iv) the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation position that Ashley Sedgwick applied for and came to fill;
v) the Assistant Commissioner, Workforce Strategy position that Katrina Purcell applied for and came to fill;
vi) the Assistant Commissioner, Leadership & Talent Development position that Kate Boxsell applied for and came to fill;
vii) the Deputy Australian Public Service Commissioner position that Rina Bruinsma appears to be acting in;
viii) the First Assistant Commissioner position that Grant Lovelock applied for and came to fill;
ix) the Chief of Staff position that Emma Rees applied for and came to fill; and
x) the Project Director position that Luke McGrath applied for and came to fill.

Ms Strangio states the following in her internal review decision:

After considering your request, I am affirming Ms Sims’ initial decision in relation to Part B of your request regarding classification evaluation documents.

I am satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to find any documents within scope of Part B of your request regarding classification evaluations and no documents were found.

Employees in the Commission have been allocated an approved classification based on the work value as described in the work level standards.

Some of the roles for the people who you have listed in your FOI request are established roles. Since the original creation of those roles, those roles have either remained unchanged or have remained substantially the same. As such, when those people listed in your FOI request filled those established roles, there was no need or obligation for the Commission to undertake another classification evaluation for those roles.

Of what relevance is that explanation? I did not ask for classification evaluations conducted at the time that the people identified filled the roles for which I requested classification evaluations. I asked for the classification evaluations for the identified roles.

Somebody must have conducted an evaluation for the roles. Whether the roles were established at the time the people identified filled them makes no difference to the fact that evaluations for the roles in the light of the Commissioner’s work level standards were conducted for the roles to determine the classifications for the roles. If, to adopt Ms Strangio’s choice of words, some the roles were “established roles”, then it does not follow that no classification evaluation was conducted for those “established role”. There must be a record of the classification evaluation for that “established role”. How else could there have been a determination that the roles bear the classifications that they do under section 9 of the Public Service Classification Rules?

Ms Strangio has inserted concepts into my FOI request that were not there. Accordingly, a decision was not made in respect of my FOI request (i.e. Ms Strangio has manipulated the FOI request and responded to that manipulated request – a classical fallacy).

The record of the evaluations for that “established role” fell will within the scope of my FOI request and, accordingly, the documents should be provided.

I request IC review of Ms Strangio’s internal review decision.

Australian Public Service Commission

 
 
  [1]Office of the Australian Information Reference Code:  
Commissioner ICR_10-50196676-2822
 

 
You submitted a form called: FOI Review_
 
Your form reference code is: ICR_10-50196676-2822

To check the progress of your submission and/or confirm it has been
received you should contact the agency that provides the form. These
details are displayed below.
 
 
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
[2]http://www.oaic.gov.au | [3]1300 363 992 | [4][email address]
GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001
 
 
Note: Please do not reply to this auto-generated email.
 

References

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Australian Public Service Commission

1 Attachment

Our reference: MR22/01239

 

By email: [FOI #9010 email]

Receipt of your IC review application  

Thank you for your application for Information Commissioner Review (IC
review).

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is
considering your application.

If you wish to advise the OAIC of any changes to your circumstances,
including your contact details or if your FOI request has been resolved,
please write to [email address] and quote MR22/01239.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

 

 

 

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
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OAIC - FOI DR,

5 Attachments

Our reference: MR22/01239
Agency reference: LEX 221

Mr Raphael Lucchese
By email: [1][FOI #9010 email]

Dear Mr Lucchese

Thank you for your application for review. We have today informed the
Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) that the Information
Commissioner will undertake an IC review and requested information to
assist with progressing the review.

We will provide you with an update when we have heard from the APSC.

 

Kind regards

Jennifer Zhou

[2][IMG]   Intake and Early Resolution Team

Freedom of Information Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [3]oaic.gov.au

1300 363 992 [4][email address]
[5][IMG] | [6][IMG] | [7][IMG] |   [8]Subscribe to OAICnet newsletter

 

 

 

 

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
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professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 488 064 during business hours (8:30am - 5pm Canberra
time) and delete all copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

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