About public sector reform

The State Government is committed to building a high-performing and collaborative public sector that delivers better outcomes for Western Australia.

The reform program is about more than process and policy, it is about breaking down silos to change how agencies work together, to achieve cross-sector outcomes that deliver long-term benefits to the community.

Learn more about what has shaped this reform, what is being delivered by the reform program, and the values that are driving progress and lasting changes to the way government works.
 

Reviews of the public sector

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The reform program has been shaped by three independent reviews into the public sector commissioned by the State Government and recommendations from two CEO Working Groups.
  • Service Priority Review
    A wide-ranging review into the functions, operations and culture of the Western Australian public sector. The final report, delivered in October 2017, set down a blueprint for reform containing 17 recommendations and 37 actions.
     
  • Special Inquiry into Government Programs and Projects
    An examination of 31 government programs and projects, focusing on their governance arrangements, decision-making processes and financial consequences. The final report was delivered to the Government in February 2018.
     
  • Sustainable Health Review
    Review of the Western Australian health system with a focus on prioritising the delivery of patient-centred, high quality and financially sustainable healthcare across the State. The Interim Report was delivered in February 2018, with the Final Report released on 10 April 2019. Planning is underway to implement the findings of the Final Report. For more details refer to the State Government’s media statement.
  • Chief Executive Officer Working Groups
    CEO Working Groups reported to the Government in 2017 on ways to reduce costs, duplication and red tape across the public sector. The Working Groups comprised directors general from a number of government agencies. The two reports that have informed the public sector reform program were delivered by the Public Sector Efficiency Working Group and the Local Service Delivery Working Group.

Adjacent reforms and reviews

  • Machinery of Government changes
    The public sector reform program is separate from the Machinery of Government (MOG) changes which took effect in July 2017. Although these structural changes preceded the independent reviews into the public sector, they were an essential first step in delivering public sector renewal. By creating collaborative departments focused on whole-of-government objectives and delivering services in a more efficient and effective way, MOG laid the structural groundwork on which the public sector reform program and broader cultural change could be built.
     
  • Review of the Public Sector Commission
    The independent Review of the Public Sector Commission (PSC) considered the capability, functions and structure of the PSC to ensure it had the ability to meet the State Government's reform objectives and future challenges. The Final Report was tabled in Parliament in September 2018.

Public sector reform initiatives

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A number of reform initiatives are being undertaken to reform the public sector.

More than 300 recommendations from the Service Priority Review, the Special Inquiry into Government Programs and Projects, and two CEO working groups have been distilled into an estimated 40 whole-of-government reform initiatives.

The Roadmap for Reform outlines the program of work being undertaken to reform the public sector in response to these findings.

Committed to delivering reform

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This reform program has been designed to deliver long-term benefits and lasting change.

Feel like you have heard this before? Well you're right, the structure and capability of the WA public sector has been examined before. This includes the Economic Audit Committee's 500-page report in 2009, Putting the Public First, Partnership with the Community and Business to Deliver Outcomes, which the Service Priority Review described as only selectively implemented. What separates this reform program from previous efforts is the genuine commitment to delivering lasting changes to the way government works. In line with the findings of the Service Priority Review, this reform program is resourced, measurable and outcomes-based.


Dedicated resources

Unlike previous reform programs, this public sector reform program has a dedicated team embedded within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) that is working closely with all agencies to deliver a coordinated whole-of-sector approach to reform implementation.


Centralised leadership

Reform progress is being led by a CEO Steering Committee comprising representatives from the four central agencies (DPC, Department of Treasury, Department of Finance and the Public Sector Commission), as well as two line agencies. The line agency representatives rotate every six months.

The reform program is also advised by a Ministerial Steering Committee comprised of:

  • Hon Roger Cook MLA (chair), Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Mental Health
  • Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Environment; Disability Services; Electoral Affairs
  • Hon Bill Johnston MLA, Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Industrial Relations
  • Hon Simone McGurk MLA, Minister for Child Protection; Women’s Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services

Responsible agencies

Each reform initiative has a designated lead agency or agencies, however the successful delivery of each initiative is dependent on cross-agency collaboration and commitments on resourcing, information sharing and outcomes.


Measurable and accountable

Progress will be transparently published on this website under each initiative. To stay up-to-date with progress, access the Roadmap for Reform.


Focused on outcomes and impact

The reform program and its initiatives will create lasting changes to the way we work by:

  • Improving engagement with the community and other sectors to drive better service delivery.
  • Increasing efficiency and effectiveness through better procurement practices, digital reform and responsible information sharing.
  • Strengthening governance and accountability so both the community and public sector employees have confidence in the way we work.
  • Enabling a high-performance workforce with dynamic leadership.

For a snapshot of some of the emerging benefits of reform, refer to Reform in action. This page highlights some of the ways the sector is working differently to improve outcomes for Western Australians.

Reform values

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The Service Priority Review highlighted public sector employees’ strong spirit of public service, ethical practice and genuine desire to improve services in the community.

These strengths are reflected in the values behind the reform, with the overall program designed to bring these strengths to the fore.

Values graphic


Curious - We ask questions, define the problem, and assess a range of options to design fit-for-purpose solutions that change behaviour and minimise red tape.

Open - We share information and seek expertise, evidence and ideas from the sector and beyond.

Collaborative - We work as one sector, coordinating and aligning our efforts to deliver reform and achieve better results.

Committed - We are committed to changing the way government works to deliver better outcomes for Western Australia; our people, communities and businesses.

Responsible - We implement reform sustainably through the responsible use of resources, shifting or adjusting priorities when required.

Impactful - We continuously engage, evaluate and adjust our approach to ensure our actions drive cultural change and achieve the intended outcomes
 

Page reviewed 14 August 2019