Public sector board review to end ‘jobs for mates’
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- The federal government is launching a review of public sector board appointments.
- Finance and Public Service Minister Katy Gallagher said she wants appointments to be made on merit rather than politics.
- The review will be led by Lynelle Briggs AO, a former Australian public service commissioner.
The federal government is launching a review of public sector board appointments to ensure they are based on merit rather than politics and “jobs for mates”.
Finance and Public Service Minister Katy Gallagher announced the review in an address to the Chifley 2023 Conference in Canberra on Sunday as part of the Albanese government’s integrity agenda it took to the last election.
The review will be led by Lynelle Briggs AO, a former Australian public service commissioner, CEO of Medicare and Commissioner on the Aged Care Royal Commission.
Her review will focus on clarifying the role of public sector boards and the skills and standards required and making board recruitment more transparent.
It will also examine how ministers are advised on the selection of board members and measures to improve the diversity of board membership.
The review will not look at current appointments or processes related to appointing specific individuals.
Ms Gallagher said the former government’s approach to political appointments “made a mockery of the process and were exploited for political purposes instead of being based on merit”.
“We know that half of the Productivity Commission’s Board members have a political connection to the Coalition and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal was stacked with appointments with clear Liberal Party links,” she said.
“This review would be about putting an end to the “jobs for mates culture” that defined the previous Morrison government’s public sector appointments.”
Ms Gallagher said being on a government board should be about what you know, not who you know.
She said recommendations would help put merit and integrity at the centre of the public sector appointment process.
A report will be published after the review is finalised in mid-2023.
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