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Queensland public sector reviews

The Queensland Government may request reviews into matters such as the Queensland public sector employment framework or a public sector agency’s handling of a work performance matter.

Learn more about the background and outcomes of recent public sector reviews.

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The Queensland public sector has a crucial role in ensuring the Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities are achieved, and its workforce needs to be responsive to ensure this happens.

The public sector ‘workforce of tomorrow’ needs to be defined, agreed and accepted which is why a review into the reporting of the Queensland public sector workforce was commissioned.

The purpose of the review was to provide recommendations to:

  • further increase the transparency of public sector workforce data
  • provide options for access to improved and consistent data
  • allow better budgeting and planning for public sector workforce need.

Read the review into Queensland public sector workforce reporting Terms of Reference

Read the review documents:

Read the Government’s response to the review recommendations.

Review of public sector employment laws — A Fair and Responsive Public Service for All

Queensland’s public services are essential to the delivery of services to the community, and to meeting the Government’s priorities set out in Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities.

The A Fair and Responsive Public Service for All report (the Bridgman Review) (PDF) is the outcome of an extensive independent review of the Public Service Act 2008 and other Queensland public employment laws (including the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011). The review was undertaken by Mr Peter Bridgman and is the first review of public sector laws since the late 1980s.

The review was commissioned by the Government to ensure Queenslanders have the most responsive, consistent and reliable public service possible: a public service that is fair, an employer of choice, and a leader in public administration.

The review provides 99 recommendations and outlines how the laws should be changed to meet the objectives of:

  • Fairness in the employment relationship
  • Responsiveness of employees to the community and to the government
  • Inclusiveness of public sector employment.

The review also reports on how the employment relationship is formed and managed, and how the public services are organised.

Read the Bridgman Review Terms of Reference (PDF, 235 KB) | (DOC, 64 KB).

The review has involved wide-ranging discussions with stakeholders inside government, trade unions and other stakeholders.

An Issues Paper (PDF, 1.63 MB) | (DOC, 1.77 MB) was made available to assist with further input. The review did not publish the input received, but emails are part of the public record and subject to both the Public Records Act 2002 and the Right to Information Act 2009.

The Queensland Government has acknowledged the Bridgman Review and expressly approved the establishment of the Queensland Governance Council (Recommendations 17 and 18) and the appointment of a Special Commissioner for Equity and Diversity (Recommendation 27).

The remaining Bridgman Review recommendations were placed with the Public Sector Reform Office in conjunction with the Queensland Governance Council and the Joint Advisory Committee to assess proposed legislative and policy changes. The Queensland Governance Council and the Joint Advisory Committee proposed a two-stage process to implement reforms arising from the recommendations.

Stage 1 reforms

The first stage identified priority reforms relating to employment security and positive performance management. This included recommendations: 3, 4, 5, 18, 20, 21, 27, 28, 29, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 71, 72, 90 and 91.

Stage 1 reforms were advanced through the Public Service and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (PDF), which was introduced into the Queensland parliament on 16 July 2020, received assent on 14 September 2020, and is now in effect.

Stage 2 reforms

The second stage of the public sector reforms is currently underway.

As part of stage 2, all of the remaining Bridgman Review recommendations were accepted or accepted in principle. Grouped into six themes, these recommendations include:

  • Purpose and principles: 1, 2, 33, 99
  • Scope: 1, 2, 77, 89
  • Governance: 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 19, 22, 23, 30, 39, 62, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 95, 96, 97
  • Employment arrangements: 12, 13, 16, 53, 64, 89, 93, 94, 98
  • Equity and diversity: 24, 25, 26, 31
  • Public sector ethics: 87, 88, 92.

These recommendations will be implemented either legislatively or non-legislatively. The legislative recommendations will be advanced through a new Public Sector Act, as recommended in Recommendation 1 of the Bridgman Review.

The new Public Sector Act represents the next step in ensuring fairness, responsiveness and inclusiveness in public sector employment. It is intended to be introduced to Parliament in the first half of 2022, with passage by the end of 2022.

The Bridgman Review (PDF) complements the Coaldrake Review, which is focused on employment data, benchmarks, definitions and related issues. The Bridgman and Coaldrake Reviews both demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the future of the Queensland public service.

For all enquiries, please contact the Public Sector Reform Office at psro@premiers.qld.gov.au.

On the 2 June 2020, the Deputy Coroner released the Findings of Inquest into the death of Mason Jet Lee (PDF).

The inquest found that the handling of Mason’s case was a failure by employees of the (then) Department of Communities, Child Safety, and Disability Services to comply with their statutory obligations, manuals, policies and procedures.

On the 3 June, the Director-General, Department of Premier and Cabinet instructed the Public Service Commission (PSC) to conduct an independent review to:

  • look closely at the conduct of the public servants involved
  • review the previous ethical standard investigation
  • advise whether there are any grounds for further disciplinary action for those public servants involved.

The Review of public servant’s conduct (PDF, 906 KB) provides the results of the independent review, providing three recommendations that have been accepted by government for action:

  • Recommendation 1 – The department delegates authority to the PSC to commence a disciplinary process against Manager 1 for the failures noted in the coroner’s report and the Ethical Standards Unit investigation.
  • Recommendation 2 – The department delegates authority to the PSC to conduct an investigation into the management decision making chain to determine whether disciplinary action should be taken against responsible officers for their role in the management of resourcing and workloads of the Caboolture Child Safety Service Centre.
  • Recommendation 3 – To improve the department’s practice with respect to discipline under the Public Service Act 2008, the department be required to seek independent expert advice from Crown Law on all disciplinary processes for the next two years, subject to periodic review by the PSC.

The Implementation summary: Review of public servants’ conduct (PDF, 402 KB), provides high-level details of the review, summary of findings, considerations, outcomes of subsequent investigations, and timeline of activity.