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Crisis in public service leadership – report

THERE are worrying signs in the management of the public service workforce, including a lack of clear leadership, as the state’s economy grows and the labour pool shrinks, state Auditor-General Des Pearson has warned. Mr Pearson’s concerns were detailed in his latest report titled Help Wanted: Public Service Workforce Management. The auditor-general called for a debate on the approach to public service management to stem the increasing problems confronting government agencies in attracting and retaining staff. He said the biggest issue was a lack of clear leadership for management of the public service as a whole. Since 1996 there have been 20 reviews or reports repeatedly identifying public service workforce issues, but little action in responding to them. In particular, Mr Pearson said there had been inadequate response to the tight labour market and changing workforce demographics and a lack of evaluation of the effectiveness of some workforce policies. This situation had resulted in serious delays in the delivery of some government services and in the implementation of critical new initiatives.

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