Mandarins to play a central role in Close the Gap, among other government priorities – The Mandarin

Katy Gallagher has outlined how the APS’s efforts to build in shared decision-making processes with First Nations people will help achieve the government’s targets for improving outcomes for the ATSI community.
In the view of the minister for the public service, the biggest contribution to lifting health and life outcomes for First Nations people will be from policies and investments that are developed in partnership with citizens.
“Closing the Gap is transforming the way government works with First Nations peoples through an ambitious set of priority reforms, and socio-economic outcomes and targets focused on improving life outcomes for First Nations people,” the senator wrote in Budget paper number 4.
People-centred policy design will be a focus for the Albanese government, Gallagher said, with a plan for APS capability in this area to be strengthened.
At the IPAA national conference in Canberra earlier this month, the minister ​​promoted a four-year workforce strategy launched in 2021 and a Learning and Development Strategy published by the APSC in May as two important measures to ensure capability across the service was being improved.
“I want you to think deeply about your impact on the experience of all Australians — how you influence their life and how your actions can better support them; how you can make a real difference to communities facing complex problems,” Gallagher told the conference in Canberra.
It was a message reiterated in the preface to the Budget paper, which details the government’s agency resourcing plans for 2022-23.
“The government will bring services together to make interactions with government easier and outline how to design policies and programs with the people they impact,” she said.
Our first budget delivers on our promise to build a better future for all Australians.
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) October 24, 2022

Indigenous-owned, regional and other small and medium businesses in Australia will also benefit from an APS-led ‘buy Australia plan’, which is a Labor policy to reform government procurement to create opportunities for local enterprise.
A new team has been established within the Department of Finance, known as the Future Made in Australia Office, to support the uplift of procurement and contracting capability to connect the APS with the skills, resources and tools required to “buy Australian”.
“The plan will allow the government to use its buying power to help businesses to compete effectively, win more contracts, employ more people and build greater reliance in our supply chains,” Gallagher said.
The minister added the specialised office of public servants in Finance would be responsible for forging stronger relationships with businesses, industries, and communities via educative events about how to do business with the government.
“[The plan] will improve economic, social and environmental outcomes through more effective national partnerships and create more jobs,” she said.

New government spells out expectations for APS in October budget
Melissa Coade is The Mandarin’s Senior Journalist based in Canberra’s parliamentary press gallery. She has had various government, communications and legal roles, and has written for the Law Society of NSW Journal (LSJ) and Lawyers Weekly.
Tags: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander APS APS news APS Workforce Strategy Australian public service budget 2022 Buy for Australia Canberra Close the Gap Economy Future Made in Australia Office indigenous affairs Inflation IPAA national conference 2022 Labor government Learning and Development Strategy October budget procurement rules SMEs Treasurer
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