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Budget 2013: A more efficient Australian Public Service

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Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Australia  Tel: (02) 6277 7400 Fax: (02) 6273 4110

PW Budget/13

14 May 2013


Improving the efficiency of the Australian public service will deliver around $600 million in savings over the next four years, improving the sector and helping to deliver the Gillard Government’s important investments in DisabilityCare Australia and the National Plan for School Improvement.

And, for the second year in a row, the Budget shows a small decrease in the number of core public servants, not including military and reservists.

Since December 2007, the Labor Government has achieved over $14 billion in public sector efficiencies and better government practices.

We have driven efficiency reforms across government, including in travel, advertising, property management and IT.

Our approach is in stark contrast to the Opposition, who would slash public service jobs by 20,000, and threaten the services Australians rely on.

Savings in this year’s Budget include:

$148.4 million through better management of staff numbers in the public service. These savings will be achieved by introducing more sustainable management structures that particularly target expenditure in the Executive Level 1 and 2 bands and in the Senior Executive Service.

$63.8 million by tightening the Commonwealth property occupational density target. The floor space for all new leases of government offices will be reduced, with the density target tightened from 16sqm to 14sqm.

$151.8 million through changes to government procurement. These changes will result in better price outcomes for agencies through the expansion of AusTender and standard terms and conditions for procurements contracts under $200,000. Part of these savings will contribute towards the $550 million targeted save announced in the 2012-13 MYEFO, with $32.7 million returning to the budget.

$14.6 million through the transfer of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency’s administrative functions.

In addition, around $300 million in savings will be realised through internal efficiencies found by a number of departments. Changes include streamlining administrative functions and continuing to make better use of consultancies and travel services.

The introduction of paid parking on National Land in the Canberra suburbs of Barton, Parkes, Acton and Russell from 1 July 2014 will also contribute $73.3 million over three years to the budget.

To assist agencies in becoming more efficient, the Government is also making a number of investments that will improve productivity over the longer term.

The National Telepresence System will be expanded, with additional funding of $19.3 million over five years provided in this Budget. To date, the system has delivered considerable savings of $51 million by reducing the amount of air travel required by agencies.

This Budget also provides $9.1 million over four years to implement an online ‘one-stop shop’ for a grants advertising and reporting system.

This builds on the revised Commonwealth Grant Guidelines that take effect from 1 June 2013 and will be the first time information about Commonwealth grants will be collated in one place. This will enable increased public transparency and will reduce the amount of paperwork required by businesses when applying for government grants.

The Gillard Government is introducing these changes to improve the public service and so that government plays its part in funding important investments in the future such as DisabilityCare Australia and the National Plan for School Improvement.

The savings announced today are on top of the annual efficiency dividend which will reduce to 1.25 per cent in 2013-14.

Media contact: Sarika Thach 0457 815 454