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Public Services Act - Royal Commission (Mr. D. C. McLachlan) - Report of

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Presented by Command; ordered to be printed, 28th July, 1920.

[Cost of Paper :-Preparation, not given; 1,300 copies; approximate cost of printing and publishing, £90.]

Printed and Published for the GO VERNMENT of the COMMONWEALTH of AUSTRALIA by ALBERT J. MULLBT'!., Gove rnment Printer for the State of Victoria--.

No. 49.-F.18352.-PRICE 2s. 3o,


GEORGE THE FIFTH, by the Grace of Ocd, of the United King:lom of Great Britain and Ireland arid of the British Dominions beyond the Seas Kin!J, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.

TO our trusty acnd well-beloved DUNCAN CLARK McLA CHLAN, C.M.G., I.S.O.


KNOW YE that we do by the8e our L ctt.ers Patent, issued in our name by our Governor-General oj our Commonwealth of Australia, actinfl with the advice oj our Fedm·al Council, and in pursuance of the Constitution of our said Common­ wealth, the "Ruyal Commissions Act 1902_:_ 1912," and all other him th ereunto enabling, appoint you to be a Commis.,ioner t" inquire into and report upon th e t·arious Ads relating to the administration oj th e Puhlic Service of the Commonwealth, and 1JO'flicula.,.!y in ,.elation tn th e 'ff<.ct of such Acts upon the management and working of the Departments, and the .step.• nensnry to adj'!l.>l the position that has arisen by reason of the varioU8 authoriliM in existence for the regulation a11d working of the P.uUic Sen·ice.

AND WE requirr. you, with a8 little delay as possible, to report to our i• and over our 8aid

Commonwealth the re.;ult oj your inquiries into the matters intrusted to you by these our Letters Patent.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF we helVe caused these our Letters to be made Patent, and the Seal oj our said Commonwealth to be thereunto affixed.

(r..s .)

WITNESS our right try-sty well-beloved !'lrn RoNALD CRAUFURD MUNRO a Member of Majesty'.y 1 11ost Honorable Prh;y Council, Kn1g/;f Grand Gross oj th e Most Distinguished Order of S aint 1Vfichael and Saini Geome, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth of A u.'lj,·alia, thi.8 seco nd dcty of October, in th e year of our Lord One tlwu . .,an d nine hundred and eighteen, and in the ninth year oj Our

R. M. FERGUSON, Governor -General.

By Hi,, Excellen('y's Command, W. A. WAT'l' , Acting Prime llfinister.

Ent,•ed nn by mt in the of Palents, No. 6, pag! 356, 1At6 tUvtnlll day of October, One tlv.>u,and !'line hundred and e.:g.\teen. M . L. SHEPHERD,


To His Excellency the f!,ight H onorqble Sm CRAUFURD MUNRO

FERGUSON, a M ember of His Mafesty's M ost Honorable Privy (Jounci l,

Grand Cross of the Most Distingu1:shed Order of Saint Michael

and- Saint George, Governor-General and of the

Commonwealth of Australia.


In pursuance of the Commission intrusted . to me by Your Excellency directing me to inquire into and report upon the various Acts relating to the administration of the Public Service of the Commomvealt h, and particularly in relation to the effect of such Acts upon the management and working of the Departments, and the steps

necessary to adjust the position that has arisen by reason of the various authorities in existence for the regulation and of the Public Service, I have the honou:r; to furnish Your Excellency with the fo llowing Report :-


In commencing my investigation into the matters remitted to me for considera­ tion and report, it was realized that the task involved a wide survey of Public Service administration, covering not only the organization and management of the various Departments constituted under the provisions of the Public Service Act, but

also the numerous governmental activities·· for which legislative authority had from time to time been granted under special Acts of . Parliament dealing with territorial services and services established in connexion with Defence measures or matters arising out of the war. · In addition, it was seen that, in -reporting upon the

action necessary to secure a proper co-ordination of Public Service powers· and authorities, consideration must necessarily be given to the effect of legislative recognition of Public Service Associations and the issue of awards under the Arbitration (Public Service) Act upon the efficiency of the public departments and the conservation of the public interests. The Acts of the Commonwealth Parliament which have been brought. under review in the course of my inquiries are:-

Public Service Act 1902-17:

Arbitmtion (Public Service) Act 1911.

Northern T en·itory (Administration) Act 19i0.

Papua Act 1905.

Def ence Act 1903-17.

Naval Defence A ct 1910.

Commqnwealth Railways A ct 1917.

Act 1917-18.



For the purposes of this R eport the particular services requiring consideration have been grouped under the following headings:-(A) The Federal Service, covering the Departments, including the Officers of Parliament, at present administ ered under the Public Service

Act; the Comh1onwealthRailways Service; and theN a val and Military Defence Services. (B) The Territorial Service, cmnprising the services of Papua, the Northern Territory, and Norfolk Island. (C) The Provisional Service, including services specially established in

connexion with the war, or to be provisionally maintained after the war. These three Services under' 'ccH1


COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE ACT. Prior to dealing with the matters upon which I have been particularly directed to report, it is desirable that brief reference be made to the history of the administra.tion of the CQmmonwealth Public Service Act. Concurrently with the establishment of the Commonwealth on 1st January, 1901, the following Departments of the Commonwealth Public Service came into being :-The Department of External Affairs, the Attorney­ General's Department, the Department of Home Affai::_-s, the Depa.rtment of the Treasury, the Department of Defence, and the Postmast er-General's Department. On the same date the States Departments of Trade and Custom.s were transferrel to the Commonwealth, and on 1st March following the Postal and Defence Departments of the St8. t :::s were also transferred.

Pending legis] ation to regulate the Public Service of the Com.monwealth, aJl _appointments of officers were m2Jde by the Governor-General in Council under the authority of section 67 of the Cor.stitution, and continued to be so made until the· 31st December, 1902. The Public Service Act of 1902 came into operation

by procl2Jmation on the 1st J anu2Jry, 1903. In anticipation of the proclamation of the Act, 2Jnd in order that the prelim.inary work of dndting regulations and setting up the machinery for organiz2Jtion and cl r"ssification of the' Public Service m.ight be initiated, sters were t aken by the Federal Governm.ent to appoint a Commissioner and I Tspectors. My appointment as Public Service Commissioner therefore took effect as fro m 5t h Mr,y, 1902, while Inspect ors were appoint ed som.e months late:r. With the of the Act on 1st J anuary, 1903 , came the full exercise of the powers,

duti(s, 2J:1d aut horitiEs vested in m.ys31f 8 S Commissioner, and my tenure office continued until the expira,tion of m.y s 3cond t erm of appointment on 4th May, 19.16, when I ret ired from t he Commonw·erJ th Public Service a period of administrative activity t herein covering fourteen years.

In 1904 the cl r,ssific ation of t h e Commonwealth Public Service was completed by myself with the of the Ir .-_spectors appointed in the severrJ Stat Es, and

subs3quently appeals were he :?Jrd by Bm:.rds of Appe:?J and fineJly adjudicat ed upon, and t he whole received t he Governor-GenerrJ 's approval in October, 1905. The work of clLasifying the Commonwe::dth Service with its ramifications over a .continent, a S3rvice including, in addition to the new departments, the transferred ·

dep2:.rtments of six Stat es, formed a stupendous tssk, particularly when it is borne in mind that the Stat :.s systems of Public Service differed very coLsiderably, and that the confli cting int erE s) ;:.s and claims of offic ers r.s to so-called constitutional rights were many and v2:.ried. It w:::Js only by the loyal r:.ssistance of I r.spectors and the members of my st2:.:ff that the S:ICCE: SS 2.chieved in welding together the scattered element s of Public Service departm.ents ws s pcssible. Following upon the adoption of the cl r.ssification, the work of building up and recruiting the service and the solution of the m :::,ny problems of Public Service management engrcss 3d the attention of myself and I r..spectors, in 2:.ddition to which the gradually developing S·3rvice required considerable initi2:.tive and resource in de2.ling with transfers, and the

gener :::J minutia> of 2.dministrrJtion. During the period 1905-1912 inspection and reorganiz ation of departments, the consider2Jti on and adoption of systems of grading, the revisior s of s2Jary scales, and other im.portant matters affecting the well-being and economica l administration of the service occupied much of the time of myself and those associated with me.

. 1529


With the advent of the ·Arbitration (Public Service) Act of 1911, the responsi­ bilities of the Commissioner and his staff, alree.dy very heavy, became intensified, as, functions of fixing rates of prJyment and determining hours of l2Jbour and other

conditions of employment were remitted to the Arbitre.tion Court, the rEsponsibility of classification and organization of the still rest ed with the Commissioner, who was called upon from the date of the first awe.rd made by the Court in.l913 to fit into the working machinery of the S·3rvice the special conditions prescribed by the Court. The difficulties of management were seriously.increEJS3d by the issue of awards by an Arbitration Court which had no final responsibility as to the interpretation or administration of thos3 awards, and with the multiplication of awards, e.s the S3veral

associations approached the Court, the burden of Public Service administration grew gradually heavier and heavier, while the problems arising which required solution became increasingly difficult. With the outbreak of the war in 1914, and the enlistment of many officers from the permanent service of the Commonwealth and the restrictions

placed upon the permanent appointment of persons of military age, it became necessary to carry on departmental activities with the assistance of temporary employees to a greater extent than under normal conditions. It will be readily recognised that during the trying years following the introduction of the Arbitration

(Public Service) Act and the commencement of the war, the difficulties of adminis­ tration were greatly accentuated. Although in the early years of the Commonwealth the work was heavy and of a complex nature, it was not comparable with the experience of the years 1913-1916, when the obligation fell upon me of reconciling the administration of the Public Service Act with the awards of the Arbitration Court and at the same time carryjng on the management of a widely-spread and rapidly expanding Public

In May, 1916, upon the completion of my second term of office as Public Service Commissioner, the Government consented to my retirement from office, and action was taken to make a temporary appointment pendjng selection of my successor. It was anticipated at the time that the temporary appointment would be of short duration, but it was eventually considered desirable, for reasons of policy, to defer selection of a permanent Commissioner, and legislative authority was obtained for appointment of an acting Commissioner for an indefinite period. Subsequent to my retirement from the service, the term of office of three of the six Public Service Inspectors expired by effiuxion of time, but they were requested to continue in office pending determination of the future policy of the Government as to Public Service management. The Victorian Inspector was appointed as Acting Commissioner, thus leaving two Inspectors only with a definite tenure. It is hardly necessary to say that the present provisional arrangements, which have operated in part for nearLy three years, under which the positions of Commissioner and four of the six Inspectors are occupied by persons with only temporary status, are unwise and unsatisfactory from the stand-point of efficient Public Service administration. It necessarily follows that officers acting temporarily,

even although discharging the immediate duties of their offices in a proper and satisfactory manner, cannot be expected to prepare schemes of organization and make arrangements likely to extend over years, when they themselves are unlikely to take part in the future control of the service, by reason of the fact that in certain cases they have already reached statutory age for retirement, and will retire upon permanent appointments being m·ade to the respective positions. The continuance of the

present unsatisfactory arrangement of acting appointments of Commissioner and Inspectors is prejudicial to the public interest, and is certainly opposed to the ideals aimed at in the legislation dealing with the Public Service. The delay in placing the matter of future administration of the service on a sound footing appears to me to be indefensible. The Public Service cannot stand still ; it mu t either make a progressive or retrogressive movement, and the interests of good government demand prompt action to arref;lt what is certainly a backward tendency in Public Service morale.

The Commonwealth Public Service Act, as brought into operation in 1902, was largely based upon the experience of public service legisl t ion ih the several St ates, and framers of the Act, eliminating much that was undesirable and inappropriate to Commonwealth conditions in the State law.s, were able to devise a code of legislation suitable for the control of the new Public Service, and one which the test

of time has proved to have been based on sound principles . Any deficiencies in the law of 1902 as applied to present conditions are largely due to the unforeseen development


of the Public Service, rather than to any inherent de'fects in the scheme adopted for control of the service. Looking backward over the sixteen. years have elapsed since the inauguration of the Public Service Act, one notes with satiSfactiOn the absence _of-any. well-founded complaint against the manner in. which the Act has

administered,_ or against the main governing principles upon which it was based. While · in some quarters there may have-been criticism of the restrictions imposed by the. Act . in dealing with the personnel of the service in relation to app.ointments, promotions, and temporary employment, when a comparison is made with pre-Federal methods

of Public Service organization and management Inuch can be said in -favour o£ the Commonwealth methods; and the fact cannot be gainsaid that any abandonment of the system of control by an independent·Commissioner, and the exclusion of the present safeguards against political,. official, or social influence, would rapidly react against-the efficiency of the service and against fearless and impartial administration.

In pursuing my inquiries under the terms of the Commission intrusted to me- · · inquirj,es. ·made from of _ an opp?rtunity

afforded me of renewing my acquaintance with service conditiOns, after an of nearly three years from official life, has resulted in strong confirmation of the views held after 40 years of public service in State_ and Commonwealth, that successful management of the Public Service is dependent upon adherence to well-established principles, and upon control by .. one authority .in whom is vested wide and independent powers of adjudication and administration. The evidence elicited during myinquiries has been most marked in the consensus of opinion against any departure _ from these principles, or the system of control by a Commissioner . . The opinions expressed by responsible officers of Departments, and by certain Public Service organizations, have been definitely in favour, not only of retention of the present methods of management, but of extension of the Commissioner's authority in certain directions.

Al\tiENDMENTS IN PUBLIC SERVICE ACT SINCE 1902. From tiine to time since the passage of the ·principal Act in 1902, it has become necessary to secure amendments dealing with certain phases .of Pu_ blic Service adminis­ tration, but, with the notable exception of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, which seriol?-sly interfered with the cardinal principles adopted by the Parliament in 1902, none of these amendments has resulted in departure f_!om those, princ_iples. ·

Between the years 1902 and 1909 no amendment was found necessary a minor alteration extending the period of eligibility for appointment of persons qualified by examination. In 1909, amendments covered an increase in the salaries of Clerical Division officers. _ of the Fifth Class, and the retirement of messenger boys at the age of 18 years for whom there was· no prospect of advancement.

In 1911 an amendment was made in the scale of salaries for officers of the Clerical Division, the only division for which salaries were fixed by statute. Provision · was made to permit Chief Officers to allow an officer charged with an offence to continue on duty pending determination of. the charge. Previously when the offence was of such a nature as not likely to result in termination of the officer's employment, unnecessary hardships were imposed on officers by suspension, as well as inconvenience to the Department. ·A new provision was adopted for the granting to officers of payment in lieu of furlough upon their retirement, and, in the case of death of an officer who had been entitled to furlough, for payment to his dependants. In computing the service for certain purposes of officers who had had previous service . in the Naval or Military Forces, the latter service had not been credited under the original Act to such officers. An amendn1ent rectified this disability.

By an amending Act passed in 1913, eligibility for appointment to the Common-. wealth Service was conferred on officers in corresponding divisions . of the Public or Railway Servi£e of a State. The power thus given proved of advantage in obtaining officers of special qualifications in cases where it was in the interests of the Commonwealth to recruit from the sister services.

In 1915 prefere-nce for appointment the result of examination was accorded returned soldiers. The maximum age for appointment by examination to the Clerical, J?iv.ision was raised from 21 to 25 as former limitation was found to

'-1 53 1

deterrent effect upon the recruitment of th.e service by suitable appointees. Provision was made to admit of the transfer of officers of the Territorial Services to the Common­ wealth Public Service where the ·public interest ·would be served by such transfer. Persons who had .served in the permanent Naval Forces of the Comn1onwealth were granted eligibility ·for appointment to the General Division in the Department of Trade and Customs . where the experience and training of such persons could be used to advantage. The in regard to officers convicted of criminal offences was

simplified. Previously, where an officer had been convicted otherwise than on indictment or presentment, it was necessary to proceed .further against the officer under the Public Service Act in order to terminate his public service; but the amendment gave power of dismissal following upon Provision was made· for the granting of payment to officers for duty performed on public holidays. The previous practice of granting

officers time off in lieu of holiday duty was inconvenient' to departments, and inability to release officers for the equivalent time made it necessary to adopt payment as the most satisfactory ,equitable -method of meeting claims for holiday compensation. Enlistmep.t of officers for active service necessitated provision for granting leave of absence to such officers, and for recognition of their service with the Expeditionary Forces as service under the Public Service Act. Instances having occurred of impersonation at Service examinations and of irregular dealing with papers,

penalties. were prescribed for such offences. By the amending Act of 1916, the Chief Officer of a department in a State was given power to exercise the functions of a Chief Officer over portion of an adjoining State or Territory where the geographical conditions made the exercise of such power

desirable in the interests of the department. A number of amendments were made _by the Act of 1917, principally in the of officers serving in the Expeditionary Forces. In addition, provision was made to extend to metnbers of the Ar:my Medical Corps, Nursing Service, and members of the Naval Forces the conditions. applicable to

persons who had served in the Expeditionary Forces, and to extend the age at which returned soldiers could be appointed to the Clerical Division. Provision was also made for the, holding of examinations confined to returned soldiers, and for the recognition of certain prescribed examinations, other than the Public Service examination, as a sufficient qualification for appointment of returned soldiers to the Public Service. The retention of returned soldiers in temporary employment beyond the prescribed period was provided for, and special conclitions were adopted as to leave of absence to officers serving as munition workers or on active service in Australia or in the Naval Forces.

GROWTH OF THE COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE SINCE 1902. As a preliminary to consideration of existing conditions of the Public Service, it is essential that a ·comparison be made between the service as at the inception of the

Act and at the present day, and that some idea be afforded of the expansion of the service consequent upon increased population and business, and upon the assumption by the Commonwealth of · functions of government provided for by the Federal Constitution, other than those taken over at the inception of Commonwealth adn1inistration.

The following tables show-(A) the Departments of the Commonwealth, the number of permanent officers employed in each under the fublic Service Act, and the annual salary expenditure as at the date of proclamation of the Public Service Act, 1st January, 1903; and (B) the position as at 30th June, 1918 :-

( .


External Affairs Attorney-General Home Affairs .. Treasury

Trade and Customs Defence Postmaster-General



1st January,. 1903. Officer E.

17 4

38 34

1,136 123



Annual Salary Expendit ure.


4,095 1,520 8,823 7,473 212,099

20,728 1,266,313



Frime Minister Home and Territories Attorney -General Works and Railways Treasury ..

Trade and Customs Defence Postmaster-General




30th June, 1918.


286 386 138 173· 1,127 1,528


. 19,57?

23,424 .

Annual Salary


64,360 94,875 34,823 42,800 169,879 350,810

47,855 3,137,682


From the above it will be seen that during a period of fifteen and a half years the staff of permanent ·officers employep. under the provisions of the Public Service Act has slightly more than doubled, while the annual salary expenditure is now approxi­ nlately two and a halftimes as great as it was. in 1903.

The following statement shows the strength of, and total amount of. salaries paid to, the permanent staff of the Service for each year from the first year of operation of the Public Service Act :-Year . Total Officers. Salaries.


1903 .. 11,374 1,521,051 '

1904 -.. 11,661 1,578,861

1905 11,493 1,630,435

1906' 11,585 1,659,834

1907 11,763 1,694,641

1908 .. 12,452 1,761,143

1909 13,530 1,862,461

1910 13,987 1,935,797 .

1911 15,120 2,098,530

1912 17,050 . 2,434,051

1913 19,845. 2,719,360

1914 .. 21,056 3,146,815

1915 . . 22,194 3,381,349

1916 . . 22,686 3,593,609

1917 ·23,028 3,819,119

1918 23,424 3,943,084

An analysis · of the figures in tables (A) and (B) shows that the increase of 12,053 officers is· divided amongst d-epartments as under:-Home and Territories (formerly External Affairs) 369 Attorney-General 134

Works and Railways (formerly Home Affairs) 135

Treasury . . 1, 093

Trade and 392

Defence 87

Postmaster-General 9,554

The balance is attributable to the formation of the Prime Minister's Department, which, in addition to the administrative staff of the department, includes the staff of the Public Service Commissioner and of the Auditor-General, transferred upon the creation of the new department from the Home Affairs Department and Treasury Department , e ·



The increase in staff in the several departments has been to a large extent due to the creation of new branches of departments to carry out functions of the Government taken over or accepted since the proclamation of the Public Service Act. These branches are shown hereunder against the departments with which they are now associated:-

-_ Prime Minister's High Commissioner's Office. Home and Electoral.

Northern Territory (excludin-g Northern Territory local service). Statistical. Meteorological. Lands and Survey. Attorney-General­

High Court. Arbitration Court. Patents, Trade Marks, and Copyright. Works and Railways­

Federal Capital. Treasury­ Taxation. Pensions.

Note Printing and Issue. Printing. Stamp Printing. Loans. Trade and Customs­

Quarantine. Commonwealth Analyst. Lighthouses. Inter-State Commission.

Commerce. Navigation.

For the carrying out of the additional functions, upon the importance of whitch it is unnecessary to dwell, officers to the total of 1, 700 are now provided. This numbar does not include any increased staff which would be necessitated in the head offices of the departments to meet the added administrative responsibilities cast upon

heads. -

If from the total increase in permanent staff (12,053) be deducted the 1, 700 officers provided for the new branches, a balance is left of 10,353, which is almost wholly accounted for by the increase (9,556) shown as having occurred in the Postmaster­ General's Department. Justification for this apparently large augmentation of staff

may be mainly found in the important development of business which has occurred in that department, other factors having operated in a minor degree. In illustration of this statement, the following figures relative to the revenue of the department under the pri_ncipal headings of business are cited:-




Year. Pril"a te Boxes a nd Co mm iss ion o;1 \I oney Orders Tel eJJ h ones. 8 8jl;S- and Postal Notes.

£ £ £ £

1902-3 ... . .. 16,517 78,624 £358,805

1917- 18 ... . .. 34,920 128,407 1,031,885




Year. Postage. U iscellan eous. Total.

--- - - . - ·

l £ £ £

1902- 3 ... . . 1,905,45'7 45, 327 2,404,730

1917-18 .. . .. . 2,6 24 ,034 205,19 8






These figures indicate a growth in business, which it will be readily admitted could only be met by substantial increase in staff ; but as they relate only to revenue, an increase in which may be due to some extent to such causes as alteration of rates, &c., a better indication of the increase in work can be obtained from the subjoined statement :-

Year. Letters, &c., posted .- Parcels. Telegrams transmitted. Telephones in use.


1906 290,000,000 2,100,000 10,:200,000 24,000

1917 480,000,000 4-,300,000 14,100,900 179,000


The years 1906 and 1917 have been taken as the staff at 1906 was ptactically the · same as in 1903, and the years 1906 and 1917 are those upon which comparison is made in the last report of the Postmaster-General up

shvwing that there are now seven and a half times more telephones in operation than were used in 1906. The staff requirements to meet the enormous expanse must necessarily be large/ and that they account for a substantial portion of the general increase in officers of the Postmaster-General's Department will be recognised by comparing the number of telephonists and mechanics, sections of officers directly associated with the telephone service, in 1906 with the nurnber required to-day. The relative figures are:-

Telephonists . Mechanics


976 314


1918 .

2,175 1,925


This shows that 2,810 more officers are at present required than were necessary in 1906 to meet ,the indoor requirements of the telephone but in addition the out­ door work of telephone line constructi'On and maintenance, both gerial and underground) has necessitated the employment of a large staff of engineers and linemen.

The statistics of revenue derived from telegraphs and telephones are also worthy of consideration. The annual from telegraphs and telephones corqbined for the financial year 1902-3 was only £358,805, whilst for 1917-18 the figures show _:-

Telegraphs Telephones

giving a total of ..

£1,031,885 1,731,278


or nearly eight times the amount received in 1902-3. .It will be recognised that a staff required to earn a revenue in 1902-3 of £358,805 would need to be very materially increased to earn the revenue of £2,763,163 received in 1917 18. If consideration is given to the increased business of the department in other directions, it will be noted that the telegraph revenue alone of 1917-18 was three times the amount received from telegraphs and telephones combined in 1902-3, that the parcels handled in post-offices and mail branches had doubled, and that 190,000,000 more letters, &c., were handled by the postal staff in 1918 in 1906, portion of this increase being, of course, due to war conditions.

There is, however, another important factor which should be considered connexion with the increase of permanent staff in the Postmaster-General's Department, i.e., .its relation to temporary and exempt employment, and for this purpose the figures regarding temporary .an,d exempt employment. for the . ye::J.x _·may __ b_e _ with those for the past year:-

Persons employed under the temporary employment provisions of the Public Service Act and employed under exemption from the Act-30th June, 1912

30th June, 1917

11,463 11,507

·,153 5


These figures are significant as indicating that in the past five years the number of persons employed under other than permanent tenure has shown practically no increase. It should be ren1embered that this has occurred at a time an increase of temporary employment rDight have been expected, owing to the enlistment of permanent officers in the A.I.F. and their replacement in a large proportion of cases by the employment of temporary hands. Up to the 30th September, 1917, 3,341 officers of the Postmaster-General's Department had joined the Expeditionary Forces. It is not claimed that the absence of increase in the nun1ber of ten1porary and exempt

employees is wholly due to the efforts of the Comrnissioner and the department in replacing temporary employees by permanent -officers wherever the work is of a permanent nature, but it is so to a large extent. Apart from this factor, the

slackening of departmental activities by reason of the completion of line construction work, or the postponement of such work through conditions arising from the war, accounts in some measure for the diminution in ten1porary and employment.

While the number of persons other than permanent - officers (11,507) still . employed may appear large, it should be noted that thi$ includes the large number of persons who act as postmasters at semi-official and allowance post-offices, where the intermittent business and general conditions are such as may be met by the payment

of a small annual sum, and do not warrant the employment of a permanent staff at heavy cost to the Commonwealth. The business of the department at these offices is, as a rule, carried on by the postmaster in conjunction with som.e other occupation, e.g., storekeeper, &c. The persons employed at such offices throughout the Commonwealth

number 7,800, and when this is substracted from the total number of exempted and temporary employees, the balance is not unreasonable, keeping in view the absence of permanent officers at the war, and the conditions continually arising, necessitating the employment of casual assistance.

In the Trade and Customs Department, the increase in staff since 1903 has been as 393, this number being accounted for by the transferred services of Quarantine,

·Lighthouses, &c., taken over from the States, and which employ 398 officers. If the functions of the Trade and Customs Department were confined to those existing at the date of proclamation of the Public Service Act, an appreciable reduction would have been effected, owing to the abolition of border stations following on Inter-State free trade and other reasons. In four of the States this reduction has actually occurred.

In the Department of the Treasury the permanent staff has increased from 34 in 1903 to 1,127 in 1918, but the creation of branches such as Taxation, Pensions, Note Issue and Printing, requiring the services of over 1,000 permanent officers, accounts entirely for the increase. The explanation of increases in other departments may be similarly found in the particulars previously furnished of new acti;vities.

It will be gathered from the facts thus presented as to development of business and widening of the scope of Commonwealth activities; that eonsiderable warrant exists for the increased permanent staff, despite the cri'ticism sometimes levelled at controlling authorities-criticism which fails to take into aceount the continuously

changing circumstances of Australia, and the tendency to extend the functions of government. · Judged by business standards, the development of the Federal Serviee may reasonably be justified, although economies may be possible in certain directions without prejudice to departmental efficiency.


Under the provisions of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, which was passed by Parliament in 1911, authority was given for the for mation of Public Service organizations, and their registration in the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, following upon which they are entitled to present to the Court by plaint any claims relating to salaries or wages or tenns or conditions of employment. During the past five years awards have been made by the Arbitration Court embracing probably 90 per cent. of the officers in the Commonwealth Public Service, but the n1aking of a wards

has not resulted in finality, as applications are continually being filed for variations of the awards, either by claimant organizations pre ing for further eoncessions or privileges, or by the Public. Service Commissioner for the · purpose of elucidating difficulties or remedying abuses.


It was an_ticipated in some quarters that by the passage of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, the Public Service Commissioner and his Inspectors would be relieved of much responsibility, and that the volume of work in administering the Public Service Act would be appreciably reduced, it being assumed that if the functions of prescribing salaries and allowances, fixing hours of duty, and determining questions affecting the conditions of employment were transferred from the Con1missioner to the Arbitration Court, the burden of the Commissioner's, responsibility must necessarily be lightened. This has proved a fallacy, for, as a matter of actual experience, the reverse has been the case. While the expansion qf the Service has in natural course increased the work of the Commissioner and his staff, a no less important factor in this increase has been the operation of the Arbitration Act. Representation of the Commissioner in the Court has entailed a vast amount of work in the preparation of detailed information, and of evidence which involves labour of the most strenuous character by the Commissioner's staff. The of awards has brought no finality to the Commissioner's work.

Detailed instructions have then to be issued for the guidance of departments in carrying out the terms of the award, arid consequent questions arise as to interpretation and as to the application of the award to circumstances unforeseen. The Commissioner and Inspectors, already overtaxed by the development of the Public Service, found their burdens increased to an extent intolerable, except at the sacrifice of other important features of their work. There is not the slightest doubt thLt the settlement of difficulties arising from awards has made the administration of the Service infinitely more complex, and responsible departmental officials, who have been required to carry out the provisions of these awards, have become bewildered and perplexed, and have been compelled to fall back upon the Commissioner for direction and advice. Added to all these difficulties, the Public Service AsEociations. in numerous instances have, through the columns of the press and the Eervice journals, charged the CommiEsioner with having committed breaches of a wards, and as a consequence frequent references to the Court as to alleged braaches have been made.

In placing the responsibility upon the Arbitration Court of dealing with cl :1ims of public for increas3d pay and privileges, it w2,s apparently never realized by the framers of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act that the Court we.s being set an almost impossible task. However skilled the Judges of the Arbitration Court may be in analyzing evidence bearing upon industrial problems, however painstaking and they may be in the discharge of their onerous duties, the fact remains

that they have been required to deal with questions which can only be srJtisfactorily compass3d by men with long experience in the management of the Public ·Service. GeneraJly speaking, the Court has found the greatest difficulty in following the intric2.cies of Public Service organization, with the result that the awards have increased _the troubles of administraJtion of the Service, and have produced crop after crop of anomalies

and inconsistencies, rendering the work of control a most exacting and unsatisfactory business. Many of the dist urbirrg features have arisen from the fact that the Court, under a system of registration of separate organizations repres:nting separate interests in the Public Service, had perforce to deal with individual sections, instead of being able to adjudicate on the Public Service as a composite whole, zJs had hitherto been done by the Public Service Commissioner. It was clearly not recognis3d by the framers of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act that the Public Service is not a series of watertight compartments, but is inter-dependent in its several parts, and that in any system of salary aJlo cation the relation of one class of positions to another must be considered, otherwise friction · and irregularity must inevitably result. This defect in arbitration p: ocedure has hampered departments by restricting the interchange of .officers between certain positions, and has involved unnecessary expenditure. The Court has been

unable to view the Public Service as a whole, and the result h e.s been a loss of elasticity of working, and consequent embarre.ssment to those responsible for the management of the Service. A further cause ofanomaly and dissatisfaction is that awards of the Court affect ing the Public Service have been made by two separate authorities (the President and Deputy President) holding divergent views in many directions.

It would be tedious to recount all the inconsistencies which appear in the awards of the Court, but it may suffice to say that in such a matter as payment for holiday duty three different syst ems have been adopted by the Court, that the matter of granting allowances to officers acting in higher classified positions is dealt with in four separate


ways, while som:e awards provide for granting of increments when so acting, while others do. Overtime is determined in a multiplicity of ways, and this applies also to· rehev1ng allowances. Under some awards travelling time is conceded, while in others it is not gr2"nted, although the circumstances are similar. Increments are granted from the actual due date, or from the first day of the month, or from the first day ef the pay period, this being dependent upon the particular award governing the matter.

In the same clause of one award provision is made that officers of the Clerical Division shall receive adult minimum wage from the first day of the month following the twenty-first buthd2Jy, while those in the General Division are to receive it from the actual birthd2Jy. In one award the stretch of shift allowance is Is. per hour, while in another award it is time and a half. Increments are granted on different bases for no apparent reason. The inconsistencies of arbitration awards are puzzling in the extreme, and this feature alone has greatly intensified the difficulties of working the Public Service.

. Public Service arbitration has proved a most costly matter. In order to obviate legal expenses, it is provided by the Act that neither party to a plaint shall be represented by counsel in the hearing of cases by the Court, but representation of the Commissioner and departments has involved heavy expenditure because of the necessity for bringing witnesses from other States to give evidence, and in payi1,1g the salaries of those witnesses and of other officers in attendance at the Court. On the side of the Public Service Associations, the cost of prosecuting their claims has also been heavy, as although legal repres3ntation in the Court is prohibited by the Act, legal assistance outside the Court

is availed of in many cases. In addition, the salaries of numerous witnesses as well as their travelling a,nd living expenses have to be recouped by associations. The salaries and expenses of executive mem.bers of associations appearing in the Court also form a serious ite1n of expenditure. ·

The expenditure on salaries and allowances of public servants has under the arbitration system increased by leaps and bounds. Since 1913, when the first award was made, the salaries granted to members of a,ssociations have been advanced until at the present time the increase repres3nts nearly half a million pounds sterling per annum, while the provisions of awards in respect to extraneous p2Jyments such as Sunday and holiday pay, overtime and travelling time, allowances for special duties,

&c., have necessitated consider2"ble additional expenditure. In one award the extravagant overtime provisions rEsulted in the doubling of extra payments during a given period. It is safe to say that, during the past five years, the additional expenditure directly 2Jttribut2Jble to the awards of the Court has aggregated well over a m.illion pounds sterling. It should be stated, however, that a proportion of this expenditure was justifiable, and would have been provided for by the Commissioner in the absence of any system of arbitration. But even after making due allowance for this, the fact rem.ains that many of the provisions of awards, both as to saJaries and extraneous payments, have been upon an extravagant scale and quite unjustifiable.

The expenditure necessitated by the provisions of awards relating to extraneous payments does not end with the actual payments to officers. Under the conflicting, differing, and generally liberal practices prescribed by the a wards, a large staff of officers is required to deal with the claims made by officers for payment of allowances in addition to salary. In the Accounts Branch of one department only- -the Postmaster-General's Department of Victoria-no less than eight clerks are required to examine the claims made by officers of the department for these allowances. When this is multiplied by the number of officers required for the purpose in other sections of the Postmaster­ General's Department, and in other departments, the additional expenditure for staff alone due to the operation of awards must amount to a considerable annual sum. There would not be the slightest exaggeration in saying that, for one officer formerly required by departments to deal with such claims, three are now necessary under the complex c-onditions introduced by awards.

A remarkable example of the conflicting character of awards made by the Arbitration Court in Public Service cases is afforded by the recent judgments is;ued on the question of a basic wage. The Deputy President of the Court, after hearing voluminous evidence submitted on behalf of eight Public Service associations, issued a lengthy judgment and award, and fixed the basic wage at £162 per annum. On the

same day, the President of the Court, also after hearing evidence from two Public Service unions, issued a separate judgment and award, and increased salaries after adopting a basic wage of £156. Manifestly both judgments cannot be right. · .


The conflicting nature of awards has induced a spirit q£ unrest and throughout the Public Service, as associations of officers not so fortunate as other associations have felt keenly the granting of liberal awards in which they have not owing to their cases having been heard by another Judge, and the result ;has been agitation and attempts to secure better conditions at the hands of the Court. A notable instance of this occurred in the case of the Professional Officers' Association, which secured an award startling in -its effects, less a sum than £15,303 having been granted in immediate increases to 274 officers, or an average of £56 per officer, while the increased salary to individual officers was such as to exceed even the most sanguine anticipations of those concerned. In a time of serious financial stress due to war conditions, these officers, already receiving high salaries, were granted individual increases of £100, £84, £72, £66, and lesser amounts, and provision was made by the Court that the officers

awarded such extravagant increases should further benefit by the payment of automatic annual increments of £18 per annum. I am led to believe the whole Public Service was astounded by the munificence of the award, and that meetings were immediately convened in most of the States of the heads of branches of departments-men carrying higher responsibilities than the fortunate professional officers-for the purpose of considering their positions, and deciding what action they should take to safeguard their interests and secure recognition of their claims for increased remuneration. It is evident the effect of this award was to create a strong feeling of discontent amongst

the heads of b:ranches, and generally throughout the Public Service.

A further illustration of the extravagance of arbitration awards is furnished in the cases of the Postal Electricians' and Linemen's unions, which on an application for increased salaries to meet abnormal cost of living conditions were in 1916 awarded a sum of £55,932 per annum, thus bringing their benefits in salaries alone, without con­ sidering allowances, up to an aggregate of £101,036 per annum under awards. One could well understand any action taken by the Court to revise the salaries of employees receiving the basic wage, who must necessarily be seriously affected by the undoubted advance in cost of living; but when officers in these two unions drawing salaries up to £400 per· annum, who had already considerably benefited by the awards of 1913 and 1914, were allowed to participate in cost of living increases, under the plea that the marginal wage for skill must be maintained, one begins to wonder whether the ·Court was cognisant of the fact that the British Empire was iv a state of war and that the finances of Australia are being strained to the uttermost. In his :reasons for judgment in the Professional Officers' case, the Presulent of the Court naively remarked:-" The state

of the country's finances has not even been put before me for investigation, as a ground for lower salaries." As regards the theory that the marginal wage for skill must be maintained in any adjustment of salaries on cost of living, the action of the Court in this respect is marked contrast with that of the New South Wales Industrial Court, which has repeatedly laid it down that in abnormal times such as the present, the higher · classes of worker can no longer claim as a right the same proportion above the living wage as prevailed before the war. It is certainly difficult to ·justify the granting of such increased salaries to men working in the sheltered haven of Government employment, who lose no time, enjoy exceptional privileges, and already receive high salaries. The granting of these increased salaries was the immediate signal for claims from a number of Public Service associations for similar treatment, but fortunately for the country's finances these claims did not receive the same liberal treatment as those of the Postal Electricians' and Linemen's unions, and the increases awarded were reasonable and beyond criticism.

Despite the increased salaries granted by the Arbitration Court in 1913, 1914, and 1916 to the two unions already mentioned (the Postal Electricians' and Linemen's unions), the Court only recently (in October last) again gra.nted further increases of salary because of cost of living conditions, and again granted increases to the higher paid officers of the permanent service in order to maintain the margin between the basic

wage and the wage for skill. This further variation of award wiil involve an additional payment in salaries to the members of the two organizations of £53,900. It is estimated that the benefits in augmented salaries granted by the Arbitration Court to the Postal .Electricians' union from 1913 to 1918, and to the Linemen's union from 1914 to 1918,

taking into consideration the original awards and the increases of 1916 and 1918, amount in the aggregate to well over £400,000. The practical effect of these decisions of the _ Court was that the public servants concerned should not be to _ share at all in the


general hardship arising out of the war, and should be sheltered from its effects ; in other words, they were to be treated so that financially they would be oblivious <;>f the of war.

In ... the actual proceedings of the Colirt in connexion with the hearing of evidence, the interests of justice have been seriously prejudiced by the fact that while the claimant organizations were able to make a free selection of witnesses from the whole field of employees, on the side of the respondents (the Con1n1issioner and department concerned) it has been a matter of the utmost difficulty to obtain witnesses from within · the departments, owing to the strong aversion of branch heads against appearing in

the Court and subjecting theiT.s3lves to be· cross-examined and pilloried by their subordinate officers. One notable case, which w2,s brought before the Court, occurred '\yhere a manager of a Telegraph Branch, who had submitted evidence on behalf of the department, was the subject of an insulting resolution carried by the sssociation, and

weJs m.ade the recipient of an iron cross with an opprobrious epithet engraved thereon. The Commissioner and departments have alw:JJys been at a disadvantage in arbitration proceedings because of this aversion by heads of branches, and because of the evidence submitted by organizations representing exceptional cas.2s rather than the generality qf cr,ses. The work of departments is of such a nature that evidence from outside the Public Service is but rarely applicable, hence departmental heads constitute the only source of supply of witnesses in the interests of departments. Frequently, however, heeJds of branches were member_ s of the organization before the Court, and were directly interEsted in the sucqEss· of the plaint, and in such · cases the Commissioner was precluded from calling them as witnesses, while in other cases the heads of important

bra.nches appeared in G,S witnesses in support of the association claim.s. It may · readily be understood how difficult was the position of the Commissioner in such circurrstances, when respor .:.sible officers who -might reasonably have been relied upon for loyal a.ssistance to the department went over to the opposition and made common

c_ ause with their subordinates ag:iinst the Government.

. It is provided in the Arbitration (Public Service) Act that awards of the Court shall not take effect Udtil they have been presented to Parliament, and that either House of Parliament may during a period of 30 da.ys after such presentation pass a resolution of disapproval of any award. The Arbitration Court has frequently sheltered itself behind this provision, relying on the fact that the final responsibility rests with Parliament. In one award the Court stated-" Parliament can reject the award, or it can pass a new Act, or it can refuse the necessary appropriation." And because Parli2Jment hLs not seen fit to disa.pprove of some one provision of an award, possibly

owing to -the fa.ct that such dis2Jpproval would have involved condemnation of the whole award, the Court has accepted this as a justification for repeating an u:r..satisfactory provision in later awards. While the Court has thus made use of this provision, it is recognised on the other hand that Parliament cannot consistently veto any Public

.award, seeing that outside employers of labour are required to accept and abide

by the awards of the same Court. It thus follows that uo matter how injudicious or . extravagant or inconsistent the provisions of any award may be; the of the public finances impos3d by the Arbitration (Public Service) Act appears to have been inoperative in its results.

· In discussing the operation of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, consideration must be given to the effect of legal recognition of associations of public servants on the efficiency and discipline of the service. The recognition of Public Service organizations under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act involved adoption of the principle of preference to unionists, as awards granted by the Court to -these organizations are applicable only to the members thereof. In the year 1913, when holding the office of• Public Service Commissioner, the opinion was expressed in my annual report to Parliament that in the public departments of the Commonwealth, and particularly in the Postmaster-General's Department, there had been a development of general. which was most grati­ fying, and that the departments were year by year garnmg strength, and consequently giving better service to the public. This was the statement of a well-considered opinion,

based on information at my command, covering the Public Service in every department and State, and related to the period 1904-1912. The years 1913- ] 918 represent the period of operation of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, and reviewing this period the stand-point of departmental efficiency, I would say that the evidence is over­

whelming as-to ·a decided retrogression in efficiency and in the state of discipline that


underlies efficiency: In the Postmaster-General's Department, in which the greater number of Public Service associations has been formed, the insidiously weakening effect ·of organizations on the morale of the Public Service has been most marked. It .. is not too much to say that a pronounced effort has been n1ade by some of the ·more

militant associations to usurp the management of the Department by a system of pressure and agitation directed against the controlling heads of branches. It is certainly . believed by the prominent members of these organizations that the Department exists for the benefit of the public servants, and that the public interest is merely secondary. Administration and efficiency have interfered with by the action of the associations in influencing officers who are members of these associations against carrying out the

requirements of the Department. For example, in the Sydney Mail Branch, when the primary division of mail matter became the function of assistants, the Sorters' Union placed a notice on their notice-board, ·erected in the Mail Branch, intimating that, in accordance with a resolution unanimously adopted at a meeting, members must refrain from imparting a knowledge of sorting to assistants and postmen. Another union advised its members not to submit themselves for examination for final increment, provision for which was expressly inserted in an award of the Arbitration Court in order to stimulate increased efficiency. The action of the union in this respect has had a serious effect on the working of the Department, which has been hampered by the absence of trained

wit.h the Expeditionary Forces. The unions have not only taken action from time to time which has militated against the proper administration of the Post Office Department, and has been di.rectly prejudical to efficiency, but in more than one State they have acted in a most arbitrary manner against their own members. In Queensland, two members of a public service union elected to remain. on duty for a short while after the regular hours in order to gain· a better knowledge of the duties intrusted to them. As this action was taken of their own volition, and without any instruction from the Department, they naturally did not claim overtime payment. The union, becoming a ware of this, expelled the officers frmn membership, thus subjecting them to loss of the benefits under the arbitration award. As an indication of the extent to which unions will go in terrorizing their own n1embers, it is reported that in one branch the employees have been prohibited by their union from " clocking " on until the exact moment for commencing work. Thus at 10 a.m. a long queue of employees is awaiting the stroke of the hour,

and while the first employee records his attendance at 10 a.m., the last man in the line is not recorded on duty until some time after the hour. This union demands much in the way of departmental concessions, but is so bitterly hostile towards the Department that it is obsessed with thefear of giving a few moments' service beyond the regulation

hours. In another instance, certain postmen who, because of an awkward train service arrived at their office a few minutes before starting time, were warned by the union not to enter the office, and this union had the consummate effrontery to protest to the Minister against the action of the postmen concerned. Numerous instances have

occurred responsible officers who have joined the same union as their subordinate officers, and who have in the ordinary course of their duty found it necessary to report employees for wrong-doing, have been summoned before a union meeting to justify their action, and to produce the departmental papers. Much could be said as to the inter­ ferences with discipline by the executive members of unions, and as to the terrorism exercised by these members over the rank and file of the unions. It might have been anticipated that the controlling officers of an association such as that of Professional Division officers would not descend to such tactics, yet it was found that a leading officer of the Engineer's Branch was brought to task by his union for having submitted to the Department certain suggestions as to reorganization of the branch without first referring the matter to the union for its opinion, and was threatened with expulsion.

registration under the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration

Act was accorded Public Service organizations under the Arbitration (Public Service) Act of 1911, and strikes are made illegal by the provisions of the first-named Act, instances are not lacking where these organizations have set aside their obligations to the Court and to the community they are serving, and have seriously considered the question of striking against the Commonwealth Government. A meeting of telegraphists was held at Sydney to consider the question of going out on strike, and it was only by the most fortuitous circumstances that a strike was averted. In Queensland, owing to the refusal of the Postmaster-General to accede to the request of the Letter Carriers' Association to grant a close holiday on Eight Hours Day in 1916, n. ballot was .taken. of members of the association on a stop-work motion, and the result of the ballot showed_



. a majority in favour of no work.. A meeting was held at the Trades Hall on 25th Aprjl, . 1916, ·to c_onsider the attitude of the Postmaster-General, and a 1notio:n was · ·_unanimously as follows :-" That this association condemns the autocratic action of the

General in his decision in refusing to grant us a close holiday on .Eight Hours Day as not becoming the action of a true la_bour representative:"

_ · In view of the publication of this resolution in the press, the Deputy Postmaster:­ General saw the president of the Letter Carriers' Association, and pointed out that the . officers · concerned were pursuing a dangerous course so far as their official positio!ls . and future prospects in the Department were concerned. He mentioned the fact · that

the policy of the Commonwealth Governn1ent was to discountenance strikes in every shape and form, in connexion with which policy suitable ma9hinery has been provided in the Arbitration Court to enable officers to ventilate and obtain redress of any alleged grievane,e. The Deputy Postmaster-General further pointed out that the attitude

adopted by the Letter Carriers' Association was utterly indefensible, inasmuch as they were officials of the Department, employed and paid for the express purpose of carrying · out the work allotted to them under departmental regulations. · The peculiar coincidence . was mentioned that this extraordinary action on the part of the association followed

upon its affiliation with the local Industrial Council, the members of which, if occupying ·position of letter-carrier; would hesitate to adopt the course which they were so

solicitous in advising the letter-carriers to follow. The Deputy Postmaster-General urged the president of the association to exercise any influence he might have with tlie letter-carriers to refrain from adopting the threatened course of action, otherwise 4e (the Deputy Postmaster-General) would have no alternative but to suspend every officer

who failed to take up duty on Eight Hours Day, and recommend· his dismissal from the Service. He also intimated that, as public convenience would be so seriously interfered · with, he would probably also have to consider the question of instituting a prosecution against the strikers for breach of the provisions of the Post and Telegraph Act. There

was no strike. InN ew South Wales, threats of strike by members of Public Service organizations have been frequent, and on one occasion a stop-work meeting was actually held at the Trades Hall, presumably with the object of intimidating the Department, and forcing the will of the organization upon the authorities. This action was taken by a Public

Service union, working under an award of the Arbitration Court. The conscriptie>n issue has involved serious differences amongst the members of Public Service associations, owing to levies being imposed on members to assist t:Q.e anti-conscription campaign. In one instance, the president of a was compelled by his union to tender his resignation owing to his views in favour of conscription. · The .report of the meeting as published in the showed that the view was held . by the

association that "it would be against the best interests of the association to have a rank conscriptionist at head of affairs, that conscription meant a death-blow to the democracy of Australia, and it would be good-byeto unionism, and mean establishing a system of Prussian militarism in Australia instead of killing it in Germany."

Returned soldiers who are officers of the Commonwealth Service have been prevented from joining certain Public Service associations, because of the strong attitude of these associations against conscription, and have thereby been debarred from the financial benefits of arbitration awards. It should be clearly understood that in this reference

the merits or otherwise of conscription is not the point at issue. The object of the reference is to show that under existing conditions an officer, holding an opinion upon some question of interest not connected in any way with his position or duties as a· public servant, may be debarred from membership of an association of public ·servants formed under the provisions of a Public Service Act, and be deprived because of such opinion of the privileges awarded by the Arbitration Court, and reserved under award solely to the members of the Association. ·

. The fact that controlling officers have by the provisions of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, and .the constitution and rules of registered organizations, been allowed to join the same union as their subordinate officers, must be highly subversive of discipline. Leading officers of the Service whose duty it is to protect the interests of departments

and the public have not scrupled to ally themselves with their subordinates, and as a result efficiency has rapidly deteriorated. The whole position in this respect has. become F.18352 -2


i:ntolera b.le. Only , recently an officer o<;cupying an inspectorial position journeyed _·_ b;o:r;n Sydney to Melbourne to give evidence in the Arbitration Court in favour of the

claims of subordinate employees for payments which the department did not consider . justifiable. This inspector's duty is to check, examine, and criticise the work of subordinates, yet he is an executive officer of their union, arid openly supports their claims for concessions. Apparently this officer believes he can serve two masters.

In ·another case, professional officers occupying the highest positions in the Public Service joined the same union as their . subordinates, and gave evidence . in the Arbitration Court -in support of their claims. That such officers could be so oblivious of the proper fitness of things, -and so lost to the sense of dignity, is almost unbelievable. The baneful effects of Public Service arbitration under present conditions are incalculable.

· A serious defect in the ArbitratiQn (Public Service) Act is the absence of any provision governing the registration of associations by which officers of any given class shall combine in one organization. Under existing conditions, postmasters are.members of two separate Public Service associations-==-the Commonwealth Postmasters' Association, and the Post and Telegraph Association. Assistants are members of three . separate organizations, while the Post and Telegraph Association, by reason of. the

terms of its constitution, may take into membership any officer of the Postmaster­ General's Department from the telegraph messenger to the Deputy Postmaster-General. .· All this makes for delay in dealing with claims, as every organization interested in any

class of officers must be allowed to submit representations to the Court, and separate awards must be made in favour of each such organization, although covering the same class of officers. Furthermore, the Commissioner and the Department are bound to deal with applications and complaints from several associations affecting one class of officers, thus involving unnecessary work. Apart from this phase of the question, each union, in addition to having a Federal executive committee, is divided into State branches, each branch electing a branch executive. The State branches are permitted to make _representations to the departments, and the Federal executives also submit their views,

the result being that the unions are given a predominance which is unjustified and which seriously hampers the departmental machinery. Moreover, in many instances the Federal executives have no controlling power over the branches of the unions, :;tnd discipline within the unions is practically non-existent. The branches of the unions . in some cases publish journals in the interests of their members, a_nd in certain other

cases the Federal executives issue a monthly journal. · While some of these journals are temperate in tone and express the views of the unions in a reasonable way, one journal in particular has been most scurrilous in its attacks upon the Postmaster-General and upon leading officers of the department, while the attitude adopted in its articles is one of defiance and ridicule of those responsible for the administration of the service. · ·

··. :. .... :· Although the Public Service organizations are registered under the Arbitration

(Public Service) Act, and have no legal standing ·under the principal Arbitration -Act, . except as to procedure respecting registration, some of these organizations · have · affiliated themselves with Trades Hall Councils in the several States, and have accepted . the obligations of such affiliation. This has already led to serious trouble even within -the ranks of the Public Service associations, and has -resulted in public servants being

compelled to withdraw from membership, and thus suffer the loss 0f benefits under arbitration awards. In Victoria, a number of officers in one section were precluded from joining a Public Service association because of their objection to affiliation with outside labour bodies, while in another State the attitude of an affiliated Public Service 11nion on the question o"f conscription was such as to force certain members who held strong views in a contrary direction to sever their corinexion with the union and thus suffer the penalty of reduced salaries. The affiliation of the service organizations with outside labour unions has had a most pernicious effect on the morale of the Public Service, and I do not hesitate to say that any future recognition of associations should be based on a condition that there shall be no direct or indirect affiliation with ·:such unions. The public interest demands that servants of the Crown shall not be

liable to participate in labour disputes outside the Government employment.

The experience of other countries in this respect definitely points to the need for firm action · on the part of the Commonwealth Government as to prohibition against any ::combination of public servants with labour . outside the departmental p • • -

· .. _. _

154 3


. - .. .· As an illustration of · the danger of the present unsatisfactory .· instance rhsJy be mentioned of a recent occurrence. The peri:n.anent employees in the

-Lighthou·se service of the. Commonwealth · claims under the Arbitration -(Public Service) Act for increased salaries and improved conditions of employment. These claims were heard by the Court in May last, and an a ward was made certain increases. - In June last, the following communication was addressed hy a lteri;d -lightkeeper, permanently employed by the Commonwealth, to his in

the lighthouse service:- . - - · · · ..

"In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the award made by Mr. Justice Powers, I beg to Ci!

the secretary, will be at once granted. Any further information you may require can be procured the Secretary of the Seamen's Union, Brisbane. I have sent a copy of this Jetter to each Light' _Stati9n in Queensland. I shall be glad to have your views on this matter. Please show this lettel' to· your - assistants." . - . . -

. -It was -apparently not seen by the writer of this communication-that membership -of -lightkeepers in the Sea1nen's Union would involve participation-in any crisis that might occurz_ _:-and that the lightkeepers on the Queensland coast might-at any time have to choose between loyalty to the Commonwealth Government _ an(! loyalty :to Seamen's Union, with a possibility of the whole coast remaining unlighted,. -with

consequent- danger to the lives of many people (including members of the Union following their vocation), and loss of valuable shipping. , - ". .

· Fron1 the foregoing remarks it will be gathered that departn1ental control has b.een 1nost seriously prejudiced by the operation of the Arbitration (Pq.blic Service) Act and by the encouragement of militant unionism in the Public Service. During the war period, the Federal departments have been thwarted and hampered in every conceivable way

by the action of Public Service unions, and by a systen1 of terrorism levelled against the controlling officers of the Service and against the rank and file of the unions. The efficiency of .the Service has suffered a severe blow, and the aim of the majority of the unions has been to establish a dead level of mediocrity, with a maximum reward by way of salaries,

rather than to encourage their members to secure promotion by demonstrating their qualifications for higher duties. And this is the result of six years of Public Service arbitration-disloyalty, extravagant salaries, and reduced efficiency.

PROPOSED REPEAL OF ARBITRATION (PUBLIC SERVICE) _ In the foregoing analysis of the results of Public Service legislation dealing with arbitration, it has heen shown that a gradual process of has operated

the Service, ,combined ·with the weakening of constituted the

reduction . of :efficiency, and the general disorganization of departmen:taLmanagement. The .. advantages '\yhicp, were expected from such legislati9n have fai1ed to ;;while the disadvantages been such ·as to make one despair of the_ future of the Public Service. It is certain that the experience of the in regard to

settlement of Public Service claims and grievances through the medium of an Arbitration Court, has been of such a disappointing and unsatisfactory nature as to serve as a salutary warning to all State Governments, and to the Public Service authorities of other countries. When one reflects that the arduous work of a period of more than ten years, prior to the introduction of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, in building up and strengthening

the departmental administration, in endeavouring to establish the highest standards of efficiency, and in insuring a maximum of service to the general public, has been -to a considerable extent neutralized by the iconoclastic operation of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, the only conclusion to be arrived at is that the experiment of arbitration has been a sad and costly failure. From a careful and unbiased study of the whole position, I am convinced that the continuance of this Act upon the statute-book is likely to be . fraught with the most serious and disastrous consequences to the future Public

Service management as regards discipline and efficiency, while the cost to the country will be such as to inflict an unjustifiable and grievous burden upon the taxpaying community.

The repeal of the Arbitration (P_ ublic Service) Act, and ?£ all made under its provisions, will involve an enormous amount of work in placmg the Service once more upon a soundJoundation, and in rectifying the .many anomalies· whieh have been created


})y the unsatisfactory and incongruous conditions prescribed by those awards . . It, therefore, -becomes a matter for grave consideration as to. what action is essential in order to remedy the mistakes of the past, to weld the Public Service into a proper co-. ordination, and adequately protect the of employees. It may be accepted as

axiomatic that, under existing conditions throughout the industrial world, the right of the employee· to submit representations when the conditions of his employment are being determined mus.t be vouchsafed, and this principle must apply equally to Govern­ ment as to private industrial undertakings. In· dealing with the Commonwealth Public

Service, therefore, it appears not only desirable but imperative that the employees shall be afforded an effective method of adjustment of their grievances by means of represen­ tations to some constituted authority.outside Parliament. It will, I think, be generally admitted that Parliament is not a suitable or satisfactory medium for the discussion and settlement of Public Service grievances, and it was no doubt due to the recognition of this fact that the experiment of a Public Service Arbitration Act was adopted. For the same reason that Parliament is unable to cope with service proolems, the Arbitration Court has failed; experience and knowledge of the internal of the Public

Service are essential to successful adjudication and the solving of difficulties and _disputes. ·

It is obvious that, in dealing with the many questions bearing upon the rates of payment and conditions of employment of public servants, proper consideration of representations submitted can only be given by an authority with an intimat·e knowledge of the working conditions of departments and lengthy experience of P11:blic Service administration. The problems arising from time to time for solution on a basis equally fair to employer and employee in a vast Public Service are intricate ansl far-reaching, while .the duty of holding the balance equitably between contending sides-the public department and its employees-is one which demands experience and training of a special nature. This all points to the necessity for arbitral functions as regards the Public Service being removed from the Commonwealth Arbitration Court and vested in an authority with undoubted knowledge of the organization and management of the departmental service, an authority capable of dealing with and determining the claims both of departments and the employees of those departments. This authority should be the Public Service Commissioner, who, under the system of management outlined and recommended in this Report, would occupy a neutral and independent position as between departments on the one hand _ and employees on the other, and would be free to adjudicate on matters submitted for his decision by either party. In this connexion, provision would be necessary for submission to the Parliament of any determination arising from the exercise of arbitral functions by the Public Service Commissioner which the Government found itself unable to accept for reasons of policy or otherwise.

In thus providing for the submission of representations to a Public Service Commissioner by employees of the Commonwealth Government, the question of official recognition of Public Service associations requires to be considered, as ·well as the conditions under which such recognition should be accorded both by the Commissioner and by the Department concerned. The experience of the past six years as to the internal. management and control of Public Service associations or unions has been, generally speaking, of an unsatisfactory nature, due to reasons which have already

been indicated-affiliation with outside organizations, lack of proper control by the leaders of associations, and the tendency to subordinate the public interests to those of the service organizations. With this experience in retrospect, it becomes essential to provide for the establishment of conditions of official recognition of associations which shall eliminate the undesirable features of Public Service unionism while affording a means of frank discussion and consideration of grievances. In my opinion the con­ ditions essential to the placing of Public Service associations upon a proper basis under the scheme outlined in this report are as follows :-

(1) The rules of the association should be submitted to and be subject to approval by the Commissioner.

(2) Associations should be representative of community of interest, and no class of employees should be represented by more than one organization. For example, postmasters should be represented by one association, not by two separate associations as at present.



(3) The rules should clearly show that the association is fo£med for the promotion of Service interests ·and Service interests only. (4) The annual membership fee prescribed by the. rules should not exceed an approved amount. Any association wishing to exceed that

amount must satisfy the Commissioner that the excess is necessary to meet the legitimate needs of the association. (5) Associations formed on such bases should be entitled to demand that every officer of the class of employees represented by the association

shall become a member of -the association. (6) If any officer refuse to join the association, there should be deducted from his salary, at the usual due dates, the amount of membership fees of the association, and the amount so deducted should be paid

to the association. (7) If any member fails to pay his membership fee at the due date, or after fourteen days of notice of default, the secretary of the association should advise the Chief Officer, who will deal with the defaulting

officer. ·

(8) No officer controlling other officers should join an association to which his subordinates belong. (9) Although associations may find it necessary for convenience of organization to establish branches in the several States, official

recognition (both Commissioner's and departmental) should be extended only to the federal executives of organizations, these executives to act as the association channels for all communications and representations. (10) Affiliation of federal executives or the branches of associations with

any organization outside the Commonwealth Public Service should be prohibited. (11) Executive officers of recognised associations should be members of the Permanent Service of the Commonwealth, elected by their

fellow employees in such associations. (12)· The publication of journals by Public Service associations should be subject to approval of the Public Service Commissioner, such approval to be suspended or withdrawn by the Commissioner for good and

sufficient reasons. (13) The annual balance-sheets, showing receipts and expenditure of associations, duly certified and audited, should be submitted for the. information of the Public Service Commissioner.

(14) Membership of associations should be confined to permanent officers of the Public Service. (15) Associations, through their federal executives, should be entitled to lodge with the Public Service Commissioner applications for variation

of any Public Service regulation as to rates of pay or conditions of · employment, and to be heard in support thereof, or to submit communications or verbal representations to the Public Service Commissioner or departments, as the case may be, on matters of general principle affecting the interests of members of the

organization, but no representations on behalf of an individual officer should be permitted except where he has first submitted his case for consideration by the Commissioner or department, and has failed to obtain redress of his grievance.

In thus indicating the conditions which, in my opm1on, should govern the official recognition of Public Service associations, it is desirable to point out that the rules governing the constitution and operations of an association should show clearly that its objects are purely the promotion of Service interests ; that the activities of the

association or its funds are not to be utilized in other directions; hence the rules should first · be submitted to the Commissioner for approval. The amalgamation of separate sections of officers in one association is not only prejudicial to the interests of the officers


themselves, but is disadvantageous to departmental management in relation to the consideration of conflicting views andinterests. The organization of the Public Service is such as to readily lend itself to the formation of associations representative of separate· classes; thus, clerks should comprise one association, and telegraphists, postmen, &c., should each be represented by their separate organization dealing with the special interests of the particular class of officers.

Public Service associations should confine themselves strictly to Service matters, and if any officer desires to associate himself with persons holding views with which he is in sympathy upon matters outside the Public Service, he is at liberty to join any outside association formed for · the purpose of supporting such views. He should not carry them inpo a -Public Service association. Having ·shut out· all outside objects which nlay be the' cause of controversy, every officer of the class concerned should join his representative association. In the formation and maintenance of a.n association, expense is which should be met. by the members conjointly. It would be unfair members· of an association, which by -its efforts gained some advantage, that

who . through indifference refused to join the association- should share in the

benefits and not in the incidental expenditure. Isolated cases have occurred of officers whp, througl?- s_ ome questi9:q. conscience, resolutely refused to ally t:P.emselves with others in· an ·association, no matter what its object. Compulsion should not -be exercised in such cases, but it is reasonable to demand that by deduction from his salary he should 'bear }li_ s fair of the expense incurred by others in gaining advantages in which will parti,cipate.

. The· membership fee must be reasonable. Under the proposed procedure the associations will be freed from much of the expense they have had to incur under past practice; and a fee which can bepaid without any hardship should be adequate to meet all future legitimate requirements of the associations._ The amount of fee should be limited .t6 that necessary to maintain an association for its proper function-that of protecting' the Service interests of its members. It exercise no other. Officers

who are members should not be permitted to escape their reasonable obligations, and !J-nder the conditio11s for official recognition the executive officers of associations J.Ila y ·reasonably ask fot . official in collection of fees from members who fail to pay their subscription. · ·

· -The policy' adopted 'in past of granting -recognition to b:r;anches .of associations :worked as each -branch been permitted to act independently

of' other 'branches :and-of the federal executive of -their union, a;n.d in many cases there has been an absence of effective control by the federal executive. -This has all made f. or confusi_9n_i:u and has, · moreover, . resulted in investing

the individual branches with an _hnpo·rtance not justified by the circumstances. All branches should be s-qbordinate to the federal executive, and this _ body should be the only channel of communication between the employees and the administration in · . submitting r'epresentations from associations .

.. Affiliation of Public Service associations with bodies outside the · Service cannot

'Qe _: any stand-_point if proper consideration is to be· given to the public

_ interest. · In 1908, when reporting up_9n this question to the Federal Government, the view was expressed by me that public servants who employed and paid under the provisions o£ parliament.ary legislation are not justified in combining with trade organizations working unde_r: entirely different conditions, or in identifying themselves with industrial disputes which may occur in these outside organizations. It was out by me that i_ f a course were .permitted, the Public Service associations were bound or_ later to become. involved in matters which, while no.t directly affecting . their .rnight ·_ seriously affect the conduct of public business. It was further

shown that affiliation with o:utside trades unions was also likely to lead to pressure being brought to bear upon the Government of the day by means of these organizations tQ secwe conce§$ions privileges to the Public Service which Parliament in its. wisdom

and_ each within its own_ sphere_ discharging certain functions, no affiliation these bodies without serious_ detriment to the public' interest and weakening

<>t the pqwer:s . of__- c·ontrol. _ The history of the past six year.s of Public

-management fuHy Justified th.e _ _opinions thus expressed .in 1908. J : - • -


. In 1914 a Royal Commission which.reported of Gr_eat

dealt with the question of affiliation·in somewhat similar terms when it ·stated question that arises under this head is that of the position _ of of civil.seryaJ!tS formed for the purpose of formulating and ·advocating tb.eir claims. We do not suppose that in the present day there can be any question of restraining public servants from combining together for that purpose. :When combined within legitimate limits, such combination is ilnobjection_ able and even ·advantageous, as insuring the full

discussion of claimf? and the presentation of them in· appropriate form. · But a devel9pment has, we understand, taken place within recent times, which raises -the whether associations of the kind may legitimately affiliate themse-lves to similar

outsiae _the Public Service. To this, we should unhesitatingly reply in the

negative. Without· examining .closely what the precise meaning and purp<;>se of affiliation may be, it seems to us obvious that· it must at' least mean·this: that the body sacrifices something of its independence, and may under certain

be under an obligation to take action dictated, not by its own needs. and

jnterests, but by those of the body or bodies to which it has affiliated itself. That at once condemns·' for associations of .public servants with others in the nature of 'trades unions.' We therefore recommend that affiliation with bodies outside the Service be under pain non-recognition, to associations having for their object the promotion of Service interestE;." . · · · · . · ·

. The same principle . was clearly recognised by the French - Government in a communtca tion by the President· of the Council and Minister for Home Affairs; France, to the Teachers' Union, in which the following passage occu!red . .. · Government will ever accept the combination of members of the Public Service with

work!fienemployed in private _ enterprise!'!, the combin

In1911 action was taken by the French· Government against an association of postal servants for a breach of the law in constituting an association of employees of the Post Office administration, and judgment was issued by the -Court\ proclaiming the dissolution of the association and inflicting penalties on certain ·members thereof. It

was pointed out by the Court that the law permitting the formation of associations of employees was clearly intended to apply to private interests; and :riot to interests· of the State, and that the .Legislature had not extended the benefit of this law to officials of the Government. The opinion was expressed in the . judgment issued by . the Court that;

while the right of striking might be admitted in connexion with workmen who independently their employer, who mayeoncede or refuse what "is .asked o£ him, it cannot be admitted on the part of employees of the State charged with a public function or with functions representing public interest. The Court· added that the State employer

cannot . be likened to· an ordinary employer, as the State does· not seek any personal benefit, and its employees receive a salary independent of the fluctuations of ·labour, therefore comparison is not possible with the employer· seeking in commerce or in industry only his own personal interest.

Mr. A. B. Piddington, who in 1913 was intrusted with a commission to report on Industrial Arbitration in the State of New South Wales, discussed in his report to the Government the subject of strikes of State servants, his remarks being as follows:-"Whatever may be said in extenuation of strikes in businesses carried Of?. for the

profit of their owners, there can be no esc:tpe from the position that strikes by Government employees are in the arena of civil duties of seeviee exactly what mutiny in the arena of military" duties. A iri

the Government Service, and in any of those geeater services which rank amongst public is no more nefensible than a mutiny amongst our military or nava l forces or a strike amongs.t policemen would be, and it is suggested that by positive statutory enactment all accruing or accrued privileges (of which there are a great many in most branches of Government employment ) to persons .in the Government Service who strike, with the possible exception of the right to Ruperannuation benefits, should, ipso facto, be


In the Annual Rep.ort of the Postmaster-General of the United States of America for the year 1917, attention is called to the activities of organizations of postal employees in attempting to influence legislative and administrative action on of their members. It is stated that, through 'the efforts of Government employees, a

provision was included in the Act of 24th August, 1912, which permitted them to. become members of associations or organizations so long as membership did not an obligation or duty upon them to engage in any strike or to assist in any strike against the United States; and to present, either individually, by groups, or by associations,

any to the Congress or any member thereof. The report goes on to say t:hat


sq;rpe of these organizations maintain representatives in Washington for the purpose of influencin;g legislation and presenting grievances, many of which are imaginary, and that by distorting and misrepresenting the facts they encourage disrespect for administrative officers, disloyalty to the Service, and make the maintenance of discipline

extremely difficult. The Postmaster-General of the United States, in discussing the question of affiliation, ·remarks that an outside organization has during the past several years attempted to unionize Government employees, including those in the postal service,

and a number of postal e1nployees are now affiliated with and others soon will be, notwithstanding the fact that such affiliation is believed to be contrary to the Act of 24th August, 1912. He adds that the advisability permitting Government employees. to affiliate with an outside organization, and use the strike and boycott as a last resort to· enforce their demands, is seriously questioned by those interested in the ·public welfare. It is stated in the report that postal employees have become bold

because of ·this affiliation, and have within recent years threatened to strike, and in one case actually did so by tendering their resignations and leaving the Service in a body. In this case they were promptly indicted and prosecuted in the Federar Courts. In commenting on these facts, the Postmaster-General remarks that, while strikes in the postal service of the United States may be averted for the time being, yet they

will inevitably come·; and the public will then be brought face to face with a most serious situation, one that will be a menace to the Government. . In conchiding his report on this subject, the Postmaster-General states that the conduct of these organizations at the present time is incompatible with the principles

of civir service and with good administration of the postal service, that they :are fast becoming a menace to public welfare, and should be no longer toler a ted or condoned. He earnestly recommends that the provision in the Act of 24th August, 1912, referred to, be repealed, and adds that, in making this recommendation, it is not an expression unfavorable to organizations where employees are obljged to protect themselves against the selfishness of private employers-organizations in those circumstances being necessary; but that in the case of Government employees the situation is entirely different. They are not working for private employers, but for the Government, whose officers are merely executing the will of the people, therefore the relations between the employee and the Government are always matters of public information, and the interests of the employee will always be protected by public sentiment. The reasons for justifying. organizations among other employees under other circumstances, and for the purposes for which such organizations _are approved, . do not therefore exist in the

case . of Government employees, who can always depend upon public opinion and insure their enjoyment of their full rights under their employment. _ . In the same report. he points out that the difficulty with the

organizations of postal employees in that country is that of other countries, and remarks that some years ago in France, when those in executive authority refused to acquiesce in their demands, the Government employees went on ·strike ; and the:ri, _ with the helplessness of the Government, the destruction of all authority, and the choking of Government activities, it was seen that to allow Government employees to organize and use the strike as a weapon to enforce their demands was to recognise revolution as a lawful means of securing an increase in salaries for one class, and that a privileged class, at the expense of the whole.

The experience of the United States postal administration has been to a considerable extent duplicated during the past six years in the administration of the postal service of Australia, and much that has been said in the report from which quotations have _ been made might readily have been written of the Commonwealth Public "Service. It is essential in the public interest that limitations should be imposed

on the activities of associations, while .·granting full consideration to representations submitted in a reasonable manner· by these bodies. In framing amending Public Service legislation it is. requisite, in my view,' that specific provision .be made for the treatment of strikes _ amongst public servants, whether members of _ officially recognised associations or otherwise, as illegal actions against the peace and good order of the Commonwealth ; and providing for the definite penalty of dismissal from the -Public .Service of any. person or persons adjudged to be guilty of aiding or fomenting a strike

against the Federal .Government, or of co-.operating or taking part in .any strike. This punishment offenders against the proposed law should be placed outside the scope· of political action, . and _ should be vested in the Public Service Commissioner. . -: :


In any .amending legislation governing the administration of the Public Service, it is necessary, keeping in view the proposal for exercise of arbitral functions by the Public Service Commissioner, that provision be made excepting the Commonwea-;lth Government, in relation to its employees, from the operation of the Conciliation and

Arbitration Act 1generally known as the Principal Act). At the present time, while outside unions have no right of access to the Court under the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, it is competent for such unions to cite any Minister of a department, or the Commissioner, under the provisions of the Principal Act, and to obtain an order of the Court in respect to rates of payment of any· employees whose salaries or wages are not

specifically fixed · by statute or regulation. It is desirable that all questions relating to rates of payment and general conditions of employment shall be disposed of by the one authority-the Public Service Commissioner. ·

· It will be gathered from the foregoing of the position as regards the

Arbitration (Public Service) Act that the public interest demands an early repeal of this measure, and the substitution of some provision which will enable the intention of Parliament to be more effectively carried out. From the stand-point of the Court, the administration of the Arbitration Act has been surrounded with difficulties, while the

effect on the management of the Public Service has been disastrous as regards the maintena:rlCe of discipline and efficiency. Remedial measures are absolutely essential in order that the present anomalous and confused conditions of assessment of work values, and determination of general questions affecting the Service, may be superseded

by a well-ordered and consistent policy in keeping with the importance and magnitude of the interests involved. It has been shown that the continuance of a system of Public Service administration by separate and independent authorities would be fraught with serious consequences to the future management of the Service, and to the interests of the general community.

In_ recommending that provision be made by amending legislation for the vesting of arbitral powers in the Public Service Commissioner, I have kept steadily in view the necessity for affording adequate recognition to associations of public servants, and full consideration of their claims, while at the same time conserving the departmental interests. Adjudication by the Public Service Commissioner will result in a much

more expeditious settlement of difficulties between departments and their employees, will obviate much of the existing expense entailed in the preparation and presentation of evidence to the Arbitration Court, and will provide a .less. laboured and less formal method of arriving at the facts material to the det ermination ofissues. The associations ·

and departments will be enabled to present their respective views without all the tedious formality of sworn evidence, without the legal atmosphere of a Court; and all the parties to a dispute, as well as the Commissioner, will be able to discuss matters from the viewpoint of intimate know: ledge of service conditions, much in the same manner as

Wages Boards constituted under industrial legislation are enabled to deal with the difficulties and intricacies of trade matters. The Public Service Commissioner should be donstituted the sole authority for settlement of all questions relating to salaries and wages, hours of labour, and the conditions of service of permanent and temporary

employees, as well as of en1ployees exempted from the provisions of the Public Service Act; and his decisions should be final and conclusive.

PUBLIC SERVICE ADMINISTRATION. While the Public Service Act passed in 1902 covered the then existing depart­ ments, the object s of the Act as regards the independent control of all branches of the Public Service have to some extent been neutralized by subsequent legislation dealing with:new services, which vested in Ministers the power to make appointments and dispose of matters which should more properly have come within the jurisdiction of the Public Service Con1missioner. It is now generally recognised that a wise co- ordination of these several branches of Public Service is essential if economical administration is to be secured ; that there shall be one authority responsible for classification and valuation

of duties and for the fixing of rates of payment, and that the obligations and privileges of employees of the Commonwealth shall be sub ject to det erminat ion a clearly defined and uniforn1 syste1n of Public Service management. It has likewise been seen by those interested in departmental control that t he machinery designed by those responsible for the Public Service Act of 1902, however appropriate to the conditions

of the· early years of Federation, with all the conflicting interest s_ and jealousies associated


with the union of separate State Services, is far from adequate· to eope with the altered conditions of the present day. It is obvious that the public departments cannot be held in leading strings for all time, and the question has arisen whether a stage has not, been reached-when the responsible heads of those departments should be required to assume wider powers in respect to the personnel of their staffs, and be invested with greater freedom of decision in dealing with the internal management of the service. The evidence at my command all points to the need for a definite recasting of the relative functions of the Public Service Commissioner and the departmental heads, involving a shedding of the Commissioner's responsibility for detailed management in certain directions, and the creation of new and broader ·responsibilities in other directions. It ·likewise indicates that the future administration of the Public Service should lie in the direction of intrusting the Commissioner with full powers of adjudication in respect to the asses_ sment of work values, a:H.d in relation to the general conditions of employment under the Commonwealth Government-functions which, for the reasons already set forth, have been

imperfectly discharged by the Commonwealth Arbitration Court. Consideration has been given to the question whether, in view of the ramifications _ of the Commonwealth Public Service, and the of the interests to be conserved, any advantage would accrue from the establishment of a Public Service Boardof three members in place of the present system of control by one Commissioner. The New South Wales State Service -Act is administered by a Board of three members. In

Queensland, Public Service matters are dealt vvith by a Committee of the Cabinet, while in Victoria, South Australia, and Australia the Public is managed -by one Commissioner. In new legislation now before the Tasmanian Parliament, provision is made for appointment of a Commissioner and an Assistant Commissioner. The New Zealand

Public Service is controlled by a Commissioner and two Assistant Commissioners. In Great Britain the Civil Service Commission comprises pwo members, but the functions of this Commission relate mainly to the holding of examinations, and .are not administrative. The Victorian Royal Commission on the State Pu:blie Service, reporting

in 1917, discussed the general management of that Service, and after full consideration of the arguments for and against the constitution of a Public Service Boa:r:d, stated that, although a good deal might be said in favour of the appointment of.a Board of three Commissioners, they (the Royal Comrnission) -were not prepared to recommend any change in that regard. It may be mentioned that for many ·years the Victorian· Public Service was controlled by a Public Service Board of three members, and that this arrange­ ment was eventually superseded by the present system of control by one Commissioner.

- In. m:y opinion there are strong reasons against alteration of the present system of management -of the Commonwealth Public Control -by a Board of three members necessarily involves a more cumbrous procedure than by a single Commissioner, and consequent delays in settlement of questions of administration. In addition, the important factor of direct and personal responsibility would he sacrificed by the appointment of a Board. Moreover, the circumstances surrounding the Commonwealth Service differ very materially from those of a State Public Service, seeing that the former service is spread over all the States forming the Commonwealth, necessitating the location Qf a Public Service Inspector in each State, exercising delegated powers of the Commissioner. In providing for the future administration of the Public· Service Act, it would be disadvantageous to establish a Public Service Board, with the inelasticity of control and the diminution of personal responsibility. The existing

system of management by one Commissioner will undoubtedly better meet the require­ ments of the Commonwealth Public Service, provided that the necessary assistance is given him to carry out the duties and extended functions to be conferred upon him. . From the inception of the Act, the work of the Commissioner and Inspectors has

been of the most onerous character, and has been carried out only at considerable self-sacrifice and the devotion of much private time to the interests of the Con1monwealth. In the larger States the pressure upon Public Service Inspectors has been particularly heavy, and much of the inspection work has necessarily been sacrificed _to the more urgent of the administration in dealing with staff changes involving

appointments, transfers, and promotions, and in reporting upon the many questions continually requiring settlement by the Commissioner. In Victoria, where seven departments and three transferred departments are located, the duties of the

Inspector, if confined only to staff changesin those departments, !:),nd to the preparation· of reports on questions referred by permanent headsfor the decision of Commissioner; are in themselves of no light character ; but added to these are-the proper-control of I


employment, with the· necessity for .close supervision of selection of

and the of rates of payment appropriate to the work to be performed, and the general inspection of departments, together with the preparation of reports upon organization and classification .' Despite the exacting conditions under which Inspectors have been to labour by reason of the accumulation of work imposed upon them, marked

econo:r;nies have been: effected as the result of .inspections and consequent action to reduce staffs by rearrangement of duties and abolition of unnecessary positions. It has, 4-owever, _ become that an inspection staff, which might have been numerically su:f:Iicient in the. earlier years of Federation has, with the large increase in departmental and the gre_ ater complexity of Public Service questions, proved to be now inadequate.

The of. offici[l,l duties upon the Public Service Inspectors has reacted upon the Con1missioner, wh_o must of necessity pass in reyiew much of the work of his Inspectors and_ accept final responsibility for all action.

After · a careful analysis of the position, and keeping · in view the necessity for bringing the of the Commonwealth services under one general authority, I an1 satisfied that full justification exists for relieving the Commissioner and Inspectors of sorne of the detailed work at present required of them, and in particula-r that connected with promotions, transfers, and increments to salaries.

. · Later sections of this Report dealing. with the classification of the Service and · promotions and transfers of officers will disclose the burdensome requirements of the present Erocedure in relation to promotions, transfers, and increments; and from these itwill be evident that if these requirements are to be still demanded of the Commissioner

aJ?.dJnspectors, they can only be met either at the continued sacrifice of other important functions-a sacrifice which would be detrimental to the economicaJ and efficient working of else ny making provision for an increase to the inspectorial staff to

a· far greater extent than will be required if the proposed new plan of organization be · .

It is mainly in the direction of largely transferring to heads of departments existing . responsibilities of the Commissioner and Inspectors in relation to promotions, transfers, a,nd increments that. the new plan of organization will operate. The responsible officers of departments have now· the advantage of many years of experience of public service

in dealing with. staff conditions. They recognise, and -are generally in full

sympath.y with, the. basic principle of the Public Service Act, which makes efficiency the first promotion; they realize the importance of careful.administration in the--111:atter of transfers -involving in many cases heavy expenditure in the from-one tion to .another of officers and their families; and, ,under .the altered conditions .

which will be suggested, ... will be in a position to deal with increments with an essential unifqrmity of action unattainable if they were vested with such authority · under. existing conditions. ··.The exercise by ·· departmental heads · of these proposed responsibilities should be subject to.the right of appeal being extended to officers under

conditions to be prescribed, and the Commissioner being the final authority for determina­ appeals . . Under this rearrangement the Commissioner .and his staff will be relieved

froJ?l much of the minutire of detail, and will be free to deal with the wider .questions of policy and organization of departments, and with measures for greater economy of administration. · For the proper discharge of the duties proposed to be ·carried out under the new

arrangements relating · to Public Service man"agement, provision should be made as follows:- ·

. Public Service Commissioner.

Public Service . Commissioner.

Public Service Inspectors (7), viz. :-'-. · Central Staffs. · New South Wales. '!"ictoria · an0-

Queensland. South Australia. Western Australia. · · Special Service.


Under the proposed reorganization the Commissioner should be required to exercise the · functions at present discharged by the Arbitration Court under the Arbitration (Public Service) Act in respect to the fixing of rates of payment and hours of duty of officers, and determination of the general conditions of their employment. In addition, he should act as a court of appeal in all matters prescribed as coming within his jurisdiction in relation to appeals against · classification, promotion, &c. He should be responsible for the making of all regulations under the Public Service

Act, and for the general policy of the management of the Service, and in addition should finally deal with such cases of discipline as involve dismissal from the Service. The Assistant Commissioner should be responsible for . the carrying out of the details of administration as prescribed by regulations, subject to decision by the Commissioner as to policy matters; he should direct and check the work of Public Service Inspectors as well as that of the head office staff, and in the absence of the Commissioner on official duties or during recreation or other leave he should discharge the functions of the

Commissioner. The Commissioner should be empowered to delegate to the Assistant Commissioner any of his duties or powers considered necessary from time to time, but only in his absence should his arbitral or appellant functions be exercised by the Assistant Commissioner.

The duties of Public Service Inspectors should be primarily to inspect departments and report a.s to improved methods of organization and possible economies; they should be responsible for the control of temporary employment, and generally act as representatives o"f the . Commissioner in their respective States in all matters affecting the administration of the Act. It should be their duty to report on appeals lodged by officers, and to submit necessary information for the guidance of the Commissioner, and to report and make recommendations on the classification of positions and officers.

The Special Service Inspector should not be attached to any particular State, but should be intrusted with special investigations on behalf of the Commissioner in any part of the or in the Territories. · Prefera-bly, he should possess

recognised accountancy qp.alifications, and have had good general departmental experience. The proposed provision will involve the creation of two more officers than were provided in the Act of 1902, viz., one of Assistant Commissioner and one of · Inspector. Taking into consideration the immense growth of the Service since 1902_, the nature of the functions to be exercised by the Commissioner, particularly in his arbitral capacity, and the generally more complex and difficult questions. which have to be faced under the vastly differing conditions of the present day, it is considered that the proposed increase has been too long delayed, and that the staff recommended is the irreducible minimum, if justice is to be done to the officers charged with such important . responsibilities and to the Service with which it will be their province to deal. With

any less assistance no Public Service Commissioner could discharge 4is onerous duties with satisfaction to himself and to the community whose interests he will be required t9 protect. In addition to the proposed provision for appointment of a Commissioner,Assistant

Commissioner, and staff of Public Service Inspectors to be continuously occupied in. the duties described, power should be given to the · Commissioner to utilize the services of persons either within or without the Public Service with special knowledge of some class of work in the Public Service to act in the capacity of assessor. The

Commonwealth Government has taken up a number of new and important. functions of far reaching effect in the welfare of the community, having commercial, technical, or other aspect s differing from the ordinary of Public Service matters. The extent and variety of these new functions will materially affect the responsibilities

of the Commissioner and make great demands upon hi's versatility. Although he may be acquainted with general business principles and the details of Government practices and procedure, neither he nor his Inspectors can be expected to have an expert kno wledge of the technical and professional features of work which !!lay require to be considered as the Commonwealth Public Service develops. ·

It will be of obvious advantage to the Commissioner to have the assistance of a professional expert in a particular section of the work of a department. At present, the Commissioner is at a disadvantage in combating the views of 9fficers whose interests may lie in the continuance of existing methods and whose professional knowledge of the subject might carry weight when expressed in opposition to the views of a layman.


In such cases the Commissioner should have power to call upon the services of a officer with special qualifications in the direction in question, or make . for securing an officer of a State Service, or some recognised authority

on the subJect outside the Public Service. The engagement of such person should only for the particular matter in hand, and where it is necessary to go

outside the Commonwealth Public Service, the terms and conditions of engagement should be subject to the approval of the Governor-General.

Under the provisions of the Public Service Act of 1902, the tenure of office of the and Inspectors is limited to a period of seven years, and power is given

to re-appmnt these officers for a further term or terms. It is difficult to understand the reason for such a condition of tenure when it is remembered that :p.o statutory limitation is imposed in the case of the Judges of the High Court or of the Auditor­ General of the Commonwealth. While it is questionable whether any advantage accrues from the existing provisions of the Act, I am convinced that serious disadvantage results from the fact that experienced officers of the Federal and State Services, or men of high ·standing_ outside the service, will hesitate to accept appointments involving a limited

tenure. It is within my recollection that in 1902 a prominent officer of the Post Office . service withdrew his application for appointment as Public Service Inspector because of the condition imposed by the Act as to a seven years' tenure. The limitation of the period of appointment is particularly unwise from the stand-point of independent

administration, and although my own experience in this respect when holding office as Commissioner was satisfactory and such as to give no cause for complaint, it may readily be understood that the possibility of non-renewal of appointment is likely to affect the independence of a Commissioner or Inspector and to prove detrimental to the public interests. The Royal Commissio'n on the Victorian State Public Service, reporting on this subject last year, stated:-

'l'he Cornmissionr-.r should in our opmwn have real power and should be really independent. N orninally he is independent, but as he cannot be appointed for more than seven years at a time it will be seen that he is not really independent. He cannot help feeling that if he does not endeavour to vlease the powers that be, he may not get a renewal of his position when his term expires. And he should be paid a salary befitting his important office. There is no good reason, so far as we can see, \vhy he should not be appointed to hold office during good behaviour, as . the Auditor-General is. Of course, we

do not suggest that the administration of the present C0mmissioner or any of his predecessors has been influenced in the slightest degree by their insecurity of tenure, but we feel that the office should be placed in such a position of strength that there would be absolutely no colour for the suggestion that in some particular case or cases the Commissioner's action was not altogether disinterested.

In the report of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service of Great Britain (1914), it is pointed out that the members of the Civil Service (two in number) ·hold their appointments ·direct from the Crown, and that like other members of the permanent Civil Service, these officers hold office during his Majesty's pleasure, this

meaning in practice until_ they are retired owing to age or invalidity. A Royal Commissioner was appointed by the New South Wales Government to report on the administration of the Public Service of that State, and in an interim report recently issued, the Commissioner (Mr. G. M. Allard) referred to the question

of tenure of office of members of the Public Service Board in the following terms :-The present limited tenure makes it possib1e for periodical pressure to be applied to the members of the Board, especially when the term of office is approaching completion. I consider it imperative that the tenure of office should be such as to make ·the Board independent in spirit as well as in letter, and

that, subject to removal by a vote of both Houses of Parliament, the tenure. of office shonld be from the date of appointment until. t he date upon which each Commissioner shall attain the age of 65 years.

So far as the future administration of the Commonwealth Public Service is concerned, I am in entire agreement with these views, and consider that in the provision for appointment of a Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, and Inspectors, the restricted tenure as prescribed by the present law should be abandoned in favour of the tenure as suggested for the members of the New South Wales Public Service Board and the Victorian Public Service Commissioner.

Under the existing Public Service Act the salary of the Public Service Commissioner is fixed at £1,500, and of each of the Public Service Inspectors at £700 per annum. In view of the fact that the system of Public Service management proposed herein will involve the new appointments of a Public Service Commissioner, an Assistant

Commissioner and four Inspectors (two positions of Inspector being · already · occupied---:-Central Staff and Queensland-while the Victorian Inspector holds office as Acting - Commissioner), it is essential that consideration he _given to the question of salary or remuneration of these officers. This, .in my

opinion, should largely be governed by the salarie-s to be paid to officers of the Administrative Division-permanent heads and chief officers of

departments. It is proposed in a later section of this report to discuss the matter of remuneration of administrative officers, and at this stage it will suffice to say that in · determining what legislative provision should be made for the salaries of the Public Service Commissioner and his staff, the necef)sity should be recognised of placing the

Commissioner and Inspectors in a proper relation to permanent heads and chief officers in the several States. After giving full consideration to the powers and responsibilities proposed to be centered in these officials, 'and to the remuneration granted by the States Governments, and Governments of Great Britain and the Dominio_11s generally for discharge of functions of a similar but less important character, I have formed t_ he opinion that the salaries which .should be ·appropriated for the positions recommended under the re-organized system of Public Service administration, _ should l;>e- ·

Public Service Commissioner Assistant Commissioner .. Public Service Inspectors (seveiJ.)­ Two at

Three· at Two at



c 1,75o


900 800 700

It is in the highest degree essential that the importance of the duties to be performed shall be properly recognised in the granting of adequate remuneration, otherwise the administration will suffer by the appointment of men inferior in calibre, experience, and training. A false economy in the matter of fixing salaries of officers to be intrusted with. the administration of the Public Service Act would react seriously against the best interests of the Commonwealth.

Before leaving the question of the future administration of the Public Service, it is desirable to set forth seriatim the duties which should be delegated to (a) the Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, and Inspectors, and (b) the Permanent Heads and Chief Officers of departments. The functions of Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, and Inspectors should embrace the following :-_

(1) To recruit the staffs of all departments, and to be responsible for meeting the demands of departments for the requisite officers to fill vacancies, where such cannot be filled by promotion or transfer Within the . departments. · · • • -· J ' -

(2) To determine the rates ofpayment and of employment

in the Public Service a9cording to the nature of occupation anq the classes into which the officials may be divided for the purpose of relative valuation of work. (3) To separate according to relative value of work the officers of departments

into classes and to determine as in (2) the limits of pay within such classes. (4) To the appointment of officers to the First Division of the


(5) To deal with representations by associations of officers regarding rates of pay and general conditions of employment, and to determine by officers against deprivation of prescribed increases of salary or loss of promotion. {6) To determine the necessity for the creation of additional offices or the

abolition of existing qffices upon reports by Inspectors and Heads of departments. ..

(7) To take steps by inspection and report to insure that the staff -employed for the work of a department is carrying out its duties under methods most conducive to economy, expedition, and efficiency, and to __ provide for the proper disposal of redundant officers. _ To pe]:sonally suggest to heads of departments minor improvements in working.


(8) To keep records of the-.staff of the Commonwealth Public Service, and to publish necessary particulars of staff. (9) To advise Parliament once eachyear as to the generalcondition of the Public Service and as to action taken in the preceding year relative

thereto, together with any suggestions as to improvements in the conduct of the service deemed necessary, and to report any breaches or evasions of the provisions of the Public Service Act which may have come under notice. (10) To select under prescribed .methods persons for appointment to the

Public Service on probation or otherwise, and where appointment is dependent upon examination to make all necessary arrangements for the holding of examinations preliminary to appointment. (11) To confirm or annul appointments after expimtion of probationary

period upon reports furnished by Chief Officers of departments, and to insure that officers appointed have effected life assurance as prescribed. (12) To provide proper methods of registering applicants for temporary employment, to select and supply the temporary assistance required,

to guard against unnecessary retention of temporary employees, or utilization of temporary assistance where permanent appointments









(21) (22)

should be made. ·

To determine conditions under which officers may be transferred from one division to another division, and conditions under which in special cases officers may be promoted from class to class. To determine the 'punishment of officers found guilty of offences

where the offence is considered by the Chief Officer sufficiently serious to warrant dismissal. To determine the rent to be charged officers for occupancy of Common­ wealth buildings for the purpose of residence. To determine upon report by Chief Officer and Inspector the retirement

or transfer of inefficient or incompetent officers. · To determine the conditions upon which officers may be granted leave of absence for reasons of ill-health. To determine the granting of leave of absence for extended periods for

reasons other than ill-health or prescribed recreation leave. To determine after report from Permanent Head · the granting of furlough, or pay in lieu of furlough, to officers or their dependants. To determine retirement of officers who have reached the prescribed

age, or to recommend their retention in any case thought necessary in the interests of .the service . . To invite applications when necessary to fill vacant positions. To make regulations for the carrying out of any of the provisions of th

Public Service Act.

The functions of permanent heads and chief officers of departments, so far as relates to the administration of the Public Service Act, should be as shown hereunder, subject to the that provision should be made by Regulation for a definite demarcation between the functions of permanent heads and chief officers:-

(1) To : ieport to the Commissioner any vacancy which, in the opinion of the Chief Officer, should be filled by the appointment of a person from outside the Service. (2) To report where required upon the qualifications of persons, other than

those who have qualified by examination, for appointment to the Service. (3) To report the existence of redundant officers. (4) . To report upon the conduct, diligence, and efficiency of all persons

appointed on probation, and make recommendation as to confirmation, extension of probation, or annulment of appointment. ·


(5) To approve or disapprove of increments within -the _ _" ptescribed limits of salaries of officers. (6) To report to Commissioner upon the appeal of any officer against deprivation of increment or loss of promotion . . (7) To approve, under prescribed conditions, of promotions or transfers of

officers within their respective divisions. (8) To report to the Inspector requirements for .temporary assistance, to dispense with the services of temporary e1pployees services not further required, or for reasons of inefficiency, of diligence, or

any other condition of unsatisfactory service. In any case where retention is desired beyond prescribed period, to report to Inspector with supporting reasons. - -

(9) To deal -with officers charged with the of offences, under the conditions prescribed. (10) To direct appointees to comply with the life ass:urance provisions, and advise Commissioner when assurance effected . . To insure the

continuance of assurance by officers, and the effecting of increased assurance as required. -.

(11) ·To report to Commissioner anycase-of occupancy by an officer of quarters for the purpose of residence. (12) To report all cases of inefficient or officers.

(13) To report the case of any officer charged with commission of a criminal offence, and the result of suc;h c:g.arge. (14) To report insolvency of any officer, with any necessary recommendation. (15) To grant recreation and sick leave to officers under prescribed conditions. (16) To report upon any application for furlough or pay in lieu, and upon

claims of dependants of deceased officers, in relation to pay in lieu of furlough. (17) To report on officers who have attained the age of 60 · years, with recommendation for retention or retirement. (18) To approve of payment of travelling, relieving, and other allowance.s,

transfer expenses, overtime, holiday pay, Sunday pay, &c., under prescribed conditions. (19) Generally to exercise such powers and authorities · necessary for the efficient control of the Department other than those prescribed for

exercise by the Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Inspector, or other authority!

In later_ sections of _ this Report the t:earrang_ emeht_ of the functions of the Commissioner arid staff with those of permanent heads aiid· chief .officers is dealt with in greater detail, but in concluding this portion it is -desired to refer briefly to those which should be exercised by the Commissioner as distinct from those of the Assistant


The arbitral functions which it is proposed shall be exercised by the Commissioner should be exercised by him alone. It may be contended that the proposition is one which would simply mean the restoration of the conditions in operation before the passing of the Arbitration Act, when officers dissatisfied with conditions could only appeal to the authority who had determined the conditions, and who, it may be said, would be averse to revoking his determinations or admitting-they needed revision. However mistaken such belief may be, its possible existence must be recognised. It is therefore desirable to show how material are the differences between the proposed system and that of the past. An important feature of former conditions was that, despite opinions to the contrary, the Public Service Commissioner had not a ' free hand in determining rates of payment and conditions of · He had no voice

in determining the salaries of administrative officers, whose remuneration had an important bearing on the salaries of other· members of the service; he had no authority over the scales of pay of the large section of officers embraced in the Clerical Division, which were fixed by the Act, ap.d could only he altered py the cumbrous procedure



involved in amending the Act, and this applies also to many of the conditions of employment. Even in the cases of scales of pay for officers of the Professional and General Divisions, the Commissioner had only power to recommend. The approval of the Government was a necessary condition, and the Commissioner was fettered with restrictions which do not apply to the Arbitration Court. Under the free hand given

by the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, the President or Deputy President of the Court can vary at will any proyision of the Act or Regulations, subject only to submission to Parliament with its power to disapprove, a power which, . as previously n1entioned, has never been exercised. If the Commissioner 'Nere given the same powers as those enjoyed by the Arbitration Court-and this is proposed- it would place him in a far better position than under past conditions to meet the just claims of officers.

The second and most important difference between the proposed new conditions and those of the past lies in the distinction between the functions of Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner in regard to arbitral and appellate functions. It_ is proposed that all regulations affecting rates of pay1nent and general conditions of employment

of officers shall be framed by the Assistant Commissioner and his staff, with the assistance of Inspectors. Before submission to the Commissioner for adoption, the intention to make such regulations, the scope of such regulations, and the date on which they- will be considered by the Comn1issioner, should be notified in the Gazette. Copies of the

proposed regulations should be available for interested parties, i.e., heads of depart1nents and associations concerned, who n1ay lodge objections in prescribed form against the regulation or any part thereof. Upon the date fixed, repr:esentatives of the department and associations concerned ·would appear before the Commissioner, practically in the form of a conference, with the

Commissioner as Presiding Officer, when the regulation would be discussed. The Cornmis­ sioner, after hearing all parties, would determine the form of the regulation. All reasonable facilities should be given representative officers to attend such conferences. The regulation having been brought into operation, it would be open to the Assistant

Commissioner, the departments, or the associations at any subsequent time to apply for a variation in the light of altered circumstances, and the application for variation would be· dealt with in a sin1ilar manner. In the case of promotions, &c., which may be the subject of appeal by officers,

the appeal will not in future be to the Oomn1issioner against a decision of the Commissioner, but to the Con1missioner against a decision of the chief officer or permanent; head, a decision of which the Commissioner has had no previous knowledge . Similarly in any reclassification of the Service, necessary under an alteration of the arrangement

of divisions into classes, the prelin1inary classification on lines of policy laid down by the Commissioner should be intrusted to the Assistant Commissioner and Inspectors, and any appeal against the classification will be 1nade to the Comn1issioner. While also any question of interpretation of regulations or general rulings will be the function

in the first instance of the Assistant Commissioner, it should be open to any department or association dissatisfied with the interpretation to appeal to the Commissioner, as may now be done to the Arbitration Court or Board of Interpretation, but in a more expeditious, econon1ical, and practical manner than is at present possible.

Generally speaking, the Commissioner is to occupy, as already mentioned, a neutral and independent position between departments on the one hand and employees on the other, and also between the Assistant Commissioner and departments and en1ployees. Under the conditions outlined, the Commissioner will be so placed as to hold evenly the scales of justice between the public employee and the public which he serves.


In all Public Service legislation it is found essential to provide for the exemption of persons or classes of employees from_ the operation of the _law _governing the adn1inistration of the departn1ental serviCe . The general practice 1s to separate employees in the service of a Government into three cat egories- (1)

in classified positions ; temporary employees engaged to meet special eXIgenCies of the service; and (3) exempted employees V\ho are excluded fro m the operation of tbe Public Service Act by reason of the provisic.ns of some other Act, or of their whole time not being devoted to the Public Service, or because their employment is of such a nature

F.l 8352.-3



as not to warrant appointn1eut to the pern1anent service. A further tern1 is frequently used in connexion with Public Service employn1ent, viz., casual employment. Casual employees are usually provided for by the exemption provisions of the Act, and therefore come within the third category n1entioned above. The definition of" casual employee" va-ries in accordance -vvith the circumstances; thus a telegraph ·n1essenger employed for not more than two weeks in any month is a casual employee, while a person employed not more than three days in any week is also designated a casual en1ployee.

Under Section 2 of the ·Public Service Act, power is taken to exempt from the provisions of the Act the occupants of specified positions such as the Justices of the High Court, members of the Inter-State Commission, the Auditor-General, examiners under the Public Service Act who are officers of the Service, and so on. In addition the Governor-General n1a y for special reasons assigned · by the Comn1issioner exempt f:rora the Act any officer or claRs of officers or any employee or class of en1ployees. Under this latter provision artisans and labourers engaged on public works, linemen en1ployed on construction or maintenance work of a temporary or casual character, meat inspectors, felnale office cleaners, semi-official postmasters, and many other employees whon1 it would not be expedient or convenient to bring within the temporary employment provisions of the law, are exempted, the exemptions· being reviewed annually by the Comn1issioner.

The existing provisions of the law in respect to exemptions have operated satis­ factorily, and the only suggestion I desire to n1ake in relation thereto is that in future Orders-in.-Council dealing with exen1ptions, a provision should be inserted that dep.eorture from Industrial Court or \iVages Boards determinations in regard to of payment or conditions of en1ployment should only be made with the sanction of the Public Service Commissioner in the exercise of his arbitral functions. This is necessary in order that a satisfactory check may be imposed on questions of remuneration, and so that differential practices as to hours of labour and holidays shall, where considered necessary, be brought into agreement with recognised Pi1blie Service conditions.

APPOINT:N£ENTS TO THE SERVICE. Appointn1ents to the Pubbc Service following upon competitive exan1ination are made by the Commissioner, and after expiration of the probationary period, are confirmed or annulled by the Governor-General. Appointments without examinations -(a) to the Administrative or Professional Division of persons not already in the service, and (b) of persons who are eligible by reason of en1ployment in the Public, Railway, or other Service of a State, or in the service of a Territory, are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Con1missioncr, and generally without probation.

The provisions of the Act as to confirmation of appointments by the Governor­ General involve considerable clerical labour as well as delay in the final making of appointments, and the circumlocution inseparable from the present practice serves no good purpose. For example, the appointment of a messenger boy is made by the Comn1issioner upon: probation for a period of six n1onths, at the end of which period the head of the department reports to the Comn1issioner satisfactory performance or otherwise of the duties carried out by the appointee. Upon this report the Comn1issioner prepares a recon1menda tion to the Governor-General for confirmation or annulment of the appointment, as the case n1ay be, and this recommendation is forwarded through the usual departmental channels to the pern1anent head of the department concerned, in whose office is prepared an Executive minute which is placed

before the l\1inister, is transmitted thence to the Executive Council, receives ·the indorsement of the Governor-General, and finally the appointee is informed that the appointment is confirmed or annulled, and notification published in the Com,monwealth Gazette. The work and delay involved in this circuitous course is unnecessary, and to obviate the present circumlocution, the power of direct appointment; except in certain special cases which n1ay be prescribed, should be vested in the Commissioner. In two · of the most recent Civil Service Acts, those of the Dominions of Canada and New Zealand, the power of appointment is intrusted to the Public Service Commissioners, and there is the strongest reason for adoption of a similar arrangement in the Commonwealth.

The Act directs that all new appointn1ents to the Clerical Division, except in the case of returned soldiers, shall be n1ade to the lowest subdivision of the Fifth Class at a commencing salary of £ti0 per annum, no provision being n1ade for the recognition of


educational qualifications _ of an advanced character by the pay1nent of a higher cornn1encing salary than the This, in my opinion, constitutes a serious in present law. A boy n1ay, under the regulations, enter the Clerical

Dnrision of the service -at sixteen years of age. If at that age he has attained an _ educational standard sufficient to enable him to pass the entrance examination, an · offered hin\ by the prospect of early appointn1ent and consequent

sernonty to JOin the service at the sacrifice of further education. The entrance ­ examination is equivalent in standard to the l Jniversitv Junior Public (Intermediate) Exatnination. The youth who continues h1s studies for" a further two years, say, until he has reached eighteen years of age, and then seeks to eriter the Public Service, is handicapped by reason of the fact tl1Lt he is bound to con1n1ence at the n1inimun1 of as in the case of the boy of t;ixteen years of age, and has lost two years of

sernonty 1n the service. This difficulty should be met by a provision that a youth ·Nho thus continues his studies and qualifies by passing the University Senior Public (Leaving) Exan1ination, or any other prescribed examination, can be appointed to the service at a salary above the minimun1 and with corresponding seniority. There is no

doubt that the services of many brilliant youths are lost to the Governntent ow·ing to the shortsighted policy of failing to prov1de for entrance at a later age and with advanced educational qualifications. .

· Except in certain special cases covered by the provisions of the Act all appoint­ ments to the General Division are n1ade as the result of co1npetitive examination, the educational examination being of a rudimentary character. Experience has shown that many appointments to this division considerable advantage would be gained by

dispensing with the obligation to hold examinations. For example, if a vacancy occurs for a carpenter, a con1petitive exan11nation is necessary. An elen1entary educational exan1ination is of nQ value in testing the efficiency of applicants, and to preserve the

competitive element each applicant is tested by perforn1ance of actual required to be done in his trade. This is a cumhrous and costly procedure, productive of delays, and involving the employment of officers as examiners at a loss to their departn1ents of their services. In the course to be followed .of notifying examinations, n1aking

all necessary preparations, and in· passing the candidates through the requisite tests, it n1ay happen that n1onths will elapse in the selection of one person to fill, say, a vacancy in the Post Office Departntent._

- The holding of examinations as a preli1ninary to appointment has been particu-larly detrin1ental to the securing of boys for the work of telegraph 1nessenger in certain localities in the Comnwnwealth where there is an insistent den1and for boy labour. Boys of the class desired for telegraph messengers' positions find no difficulty in these localities in securing positions without any of the troublesome features connected with

exan1inations, i.e., lodging formal applications, paying entrance fees, attending the examination, ':yaiting until the results are available, and, fin a.lly, their turn for appoint­ ment. In such circurnstances the boys take the jobs fir st at hand; and the Departrnent suffers fron1 the poor field left for its selection. These remarks apply particularly to

Sydney and In Victoria, where the supply of suitable boys generally exceeds the demand, the system of competitive examination is the rno st suitable, and should be contii1ued ; but a more direct system should be substituted .in the localities where the difficulties n1entioned being experieneed. While it is practicable and desirable

to continue the system of competitive examinations in the majority o{ positions in the General power should be given to the Con1missioner to dispense with examina­ tions in cases such as those of artisans, labourers, and; in certain localities, telegraph messengers. A method of selection with suitable safe guards can readily be substituted in eases for the present cumbrous and unsatisfactory method of holding examinations.

Under the existing law no person can be appointed to th e Clerical Diviswn of the Pubhc Service unless he has passed the entrance exami nation, or unless he is an officer or ex-officer of a corresponding division in a Stat e or Territorial ·s ervice. Appointn1ents 1nay, however, be made to the Ar1ministrative and P rofes Divisions without examination, subj ect t o the Cornmjs ioner's certifica e that there 1s no person

available in the Public Service who is a capable of filli ng th e position t o which the appointment is to be made. The ir; terest s of he er ice have benefited by this provision, . and in the event of adoption of a, pro posal made later in this Report to ama.lgamate the present Professional and Clerica l Division as the " Third Division," it should be

continued as one of the conditjons for entrance to that djvjsion. A much wider field will


be afforded the Governnwnt for the recruitment of the service by the appoint1nent of persons with special and distinctive qualifications. The provision should be utilized only in such exceptional cases, and in no instance where the vacancy can be adequately filled by an officer from within the service. Any appointment 1nade under it should be subject to the approval of the Governor-General and report to Parliament.

CLASSIFICATION OF THE P1JBLIC SERVICB. In any proposals for reorganization of Public Service administration, the classification of the service rnust necessarily forrn an important part as involving equitable recognition of the value of duties performed by every class of officer, fron1 the adnlinis­ trative head to the junior n1essenger, by ,the granting of adequate salaries for services rendered. It is of the first importance in dealing with an anny of public servants engaged in a variety of occupations requiring the possession of atta]ninents varied in character, or perfouning duties of a sin1ilar nature but differing in importance and responsibility, that a precise m,ethod of grouping should be adopted in order that cornparisons rnay be n1ade between the relative values of offices. A system of classifieation has therefore to be evolved which will enable these conditions met.

Under the existing Public Service Act p.covision is n1ade for separating the service into divisions, classes, and grades, t.he divisions being constituted in tl1e fol1o1ving manner:-:-The Administrative Division includes all Permanent Heads and Chief

Officere., and all persons ·whose offices the Governor-General . on the recon1mendation of the Con1n1issioner directs to be included in the division. The Professional D·ivision, in which the prescribed for inclusion

require special skill or technical knowledge usually acquired only in some , profession or calling different fron1 the ordinary routine of the Pubhc . Service. The Clerical Divis-ion, which is prescribed as ineluding all officers whose

offices are directed bv the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Con1rnissioner to "be included in such division. The General Dit,istt'on. ineludes all officers not in other divisions.

It will be observed that, while some guidance is given for determining inclusion in the Administration and Professjonal Divisions, the officers to be placed in the Clerical and General Divisions are left to the discretion of the Co1nmissioner. \Vhile under the provisions of the Act adn1ission to the Clerical and General Divisions can be obtained

only ·as the result of competitive examination except in certain special cases, in the Administrative and Professional Divisions appointments n1ay be made withollt examination, the essential conditions being that the interests of the service reqmre the appointment, and that there is no officer already in the service as ca,pable of filling the position as the proposed appointee. It is no doubt due to the differing conditions of entrance to the service that the practice of separation into Professional and Clerical Divisions had its origin in se-v·eral of the State services, and later on 1n the Commonwealth serviCe. The existing arrangement of the PubEc Service into con1bined with the prescribed n1ethods of admission to the service, has resu lted in the creation of nun1erous anontalies amongst which has been the appointment of persons to the Professional Division whose duties could not under a nwst liberal interpretation be considered as professional in character, but who by reason of the exan1ina tion barrier, or because of age, could not be appointed to the Clerical Division. In certain in stances, in order to overcome the difficulties arising fron1 the present faulty division

of the service , officers have been placed in the Professional Division so that salaries rnighJ be granted at rates higher than are prescribed in the Clerical Division, or possibly because it was considered injudicious to classjfy such officers in the Administrative Division . No question is raised as to the necessity for sueh appointnwnts, which were essentially in the public interest and in agreen1ent with the of the Public SerYice Act; bnt the fact remains that certain officers are included in the Professioual Division the nature of whose duties and qualifications cannot be deen1ed t o be professional in the ordinary acceptation of the tern1. On the other hand, officers may be found iu the Clerical DivisiOn whose func-tions and qualifications are distinctive as those of 111any



professional officfjrs, their skill and kno\v]edge in cnany instances being partly due to training outside the Public Service, as for example in connexion with courses of study · for adn1ission to the recognised Institutes of Accountants. In the Public Service legislation of other countries, and of some of the Austra]jan States, although the Professional and Clerical Divisions are separately classified, the san1e scale of salaries is applicable to each, and this is particularly noticeable }n the State of New South Wales, where the regulations prescribe one scale of salaries for both divisions; hence it may reasonably be assumed that the only justification for a separate nomenclature is that the conditions of entrance to the two of the service being different it was found desirable to create an arbitrary distinction. In my opinion th1s

does not furnish sufficient ground for rnaintaining these distinctions in the Common-wealth, seeing that the methods of appointn1ent to the Professional or Olerical ranks should be sin1ilar in every respect, and be determined by con1petitive examination in either case, excepting where the position to be filled is of such a nature as to require the

exercise of skill and training not possessed by any officer of the service, when the appointn1ent, whether professional or clerical, should be made without examination. Classification of the service does .not require an arbitrary distinction -bet\\ een so-called professional and clerical positions, and there is no sound justification for such a · Classification should be dependent upon the value of the duties, whether performed by

an engineer or a clerk. It will as a n1atter of course, that the proportion of officers with professional qualifications in the higher classes will be far larger than of tb ose with ordinary clerical qualifications. The distinguishing of divisions by names which are not invariably appropriate to the qualifications and work of the officers included in such divisions should, in my

opinion, be abandoned in favour of a numerical separation to secure a n1ore desirar.1le uniforn1ity in classification and scales of pay, and remove claims for preferential treatment and an irritating distinction of " caste " based only upon nomenclature. A rectification of anon1alies and a desirable elasticity will be secured by the adoption of new divisions on the follo1\-ing lines :-

Public Service should consist of four divisions, designated as­

First Division. Second Division. Third Division. Fourth Division.

The First Division should be confined to Permanent Heads and Chief Officers of departments, the officers who are responsible for the general administration of departments throughout the Commonwealth, or responsible for the general working and business of a department within a State. The Second Division should include officers who under Permanent Heads or Chief Officers are required to exercise executive

functions in directing the work of the more important and distinctive branches of the Service. The Third Division should include all officers now . in the Professional and Clerical Divisions (excepting sueh as may be placed in the Second Division), and all officers who may be subsequently appointed, under the prescribed conditions, to the Third Division. The Fourth Division should include all persons in the Public Service not included in the other Divisions.

Classification within separated the Public Service into suitable

Divisions, it becomes necessary to consider the further separation of these Divisions into classes appropriate to the value and class of work to be performed, with seales of salary for each class. At present there is no classification of the Administrative Division, the salaries of administrative officers being detern1ined by the amounts provided in the annual Appropriation Act. The Professional Division iR divided into classes

under regulation; the Clerical Division is al so divided int o classes , but the subdivision is made by the Act ; the General Division is divided into grades under regulation. In considering the method of classification within the proposed Divisions, the continuance of the present conditions under which t wo divisions are dealt with by regulation, one

by the Act, and the fourth is not controlled by regulation or Act, cannot be reco:rnmended. It is proposed that the classification of the four Divisions shall be prescribed by regulation. The classes for the First and e ond Di ision hould be on1mon to both, the Third Division should have its separate group of classe , and the Fourth Division should be


classified under occupations, or designations of positions, v\rith a scale of_ salary appropriate to such occupation or designation, and not by a system of grading as prescribed in the Act of 1902. .

First Division.-In prescribing by regulation the ra.nge of salary for each class in this Division, action will be required vvhich, in my opinion, has too long been postponed. The First Division is to replace the preser1t Adn1inistrative Division. The Public Service Act provides that officers of the Adn1inistrative Division, except in the case of officers paid at a specified rate by virtue of any Act, shall be paid such salaries as may be voted by Parlian1ent. At the-initial classification of thePublicServicein 1904,recommendation was

made setting out the salary to be paid in respect to each office classified in the Administra­ tive Division. The Attorney-General was asked, however, whether the Commissioner was empovvered t o name the salary to be paid officers of the Administrative Division, and advice was given that he was not so empowered, and could only recommend that the officers be placed in the Administrative Division, leaving it to Pa.dian1ent to fix their salaries. The provision for salaries in this Division therefore, deleted from the

classification of-1904, and there is little doubt that, as a administrative officers have been prejudiced by the fact that their remuneration has never been reviewed by the Comrnissioner.

The advantage to the Government and to Parlian1ent of giving the Con1missioner authority to determine the salaries of adn1inistrative officers is obvious. Relative values of services can only he properly arrived at by comparjson, and the Comrnissioner, with his knowledge of adn1inistrative conditions in every departn1ent, is the most suitable person to n1ake such a comparison. Under existing arrangements, advancement in salary of an administrative officer is practically dependent upon whether a :Minister,

with or without the solicitation of his Pernlanent Head, decides to include provision for advancen1ent in the depart1nental estin1ates, that this provision is pern1itted to rernain undisturbed in the final draft of the estimates, and that it is indorsed bv Parliament. The unsatisfactory features of such procedure are self-evident. It is the highest degree hun1iliating for adnlinistrative officers who think they n1erit promotion to have to n1ake personal appeals to their J\finister to ask Parlian1ent to grant them higher pay. An officer of high ideals is at once prejudiced by the possession of such attributes. If, however, the Minister is prepared to withstand the attacks certain to be made upon hin1 for reeomrnending a highly paid officer for advancement, he is faced with the difficulty of convincing his colleagues in Cabinet and me:mbers of his party who know that no political gain-rather the reverse-will be obtained by promoting officers of high grade, and are consequently unwilling to sanction what cannot bring then1 advantage, but wiH almost certainly briDg then1 blan1e fron1 son1e section of thP public. It has also to be recognised that provision by one :Minister for advancement in salary to his particular adn1inlstra tive officers, and omission by other l\1inisters of similar provision for their officers, establish grounds for con1plaint as to invidious treatment. The final authorities in the preparation of the estnnates are placed in a difficult position in determining whether the provision should stand, and whether other officers have not . equal claims for consideration. There is little doubt that the present conditions have operated unfavorably to many administrative officers, and have resulted in the adoption of a negative policy toviTarcls them. Salaries which at the inception of Federation nui,y have been fairly adequate for the officers charged with responsibility for the administration of Departments, as then constituted, are not cotnmensurate with the im.portance of their present functions, and the lirnit.ation placed upon the powers of the Commissioner in respect to ·such officers has had, in n1y opinion, a prejudicial effect in this direction.

In a preceding section of this R.eport evidence has been given as to the growth of Departments, and a con1parison n1ay be n1ade--selecting for purposes of illustration the Attorney-General's Department, the Department of the Treasury, and the Postmaster­ General's Departn1ent- -- of the n1anner in which the growing responsibilities of Permanent Heads have failed to be reflected in then salaries-

Secretary, Attorney-General's Department .. Secretary to the Treasury Secretary, Department

Salaries paid in I90a 1918.

£ £

800 1,000

800 1,000

1,000 1,000

156 E


If consideration be given to the adrninistrative and professional qualifications of the Permanent Head of the Attorney-General's Departn1ent and to the important responsibilities of his position, both Permanent Head and as Solicitor-General, it will be r_ec?gnised the present salary attached to the office is far from adequate to · tneet conditiOn&J. In the Department of the Treasury, a cornparatively small

department In the early years of the Commonwealth, the responsibilities of the position have considerably increased. The addition of Loans, Pensions, Taxation, Note and Stamp Printing, and Note Issue Branches to the Department has now made it one of the most important Departments of the Common\vealth Service. It is unnecessary to

dwell on the in1n1ense developlnent of the financial activities of the Commonwealth with which the Treasury is so vitally connected, and the conelusion is obvious that the remuneration of the permanent head is not in keeping with the value of the services rendered to the community, nor in parity with that pa]d to managing heads of large

financial institutions. It will be observed that in the Postmaster-General's Department no alteration has been made in the salary of the permanent head, a cqndition which is open to comment in the light of the changed circumstances of that department, with its largely increased responsibilities. These instances have been cited by way of illustration, but it may be stated generally that in any new system of classification the

salaries of administrative officers require to be revised in consonance with the in1portance of their relative responsibil] ties. For the purposes of the proposed revision a regulation should be made prescribing classes suitable to the relative importance of the positions occupied by Permanent Heads and Chief Officers, into which the First

Division should be divided with an appropriate scale of salary for each class.

References to the salaries paid to administrative officers are 1nade in a report by the R,oyal Commission appointed in connexion with the administration of the Navy and Defence Departments, and also by a Royal Commission which inquired into the working of departments of _ the Public Service of the State of Victoria, in the following tern1s :- ·

Page 33-r aragraph 53.-Royal Commission-Navy and Def ence Departments. We consider the department will have great difficulty in getting competent officers to fill the higher positions unless some re-arrangement be made of the rates of pay to senior Government officers. In this connexion, we instance the cases of the Auditor-General of the Commonwealth, the Secretary to the Defence Department, and the Secretary to the Common wealth Treasury, all of whom are performing work of a highly responsible nature, and are in receipt of salaries absolutely inadequate for the duties pertaining to their offices.

Paie 20-Royal Commission-State Public Service of Victoria (1917). Some interesting facts may be gleaned from this table. (Table comparing rates of payment in the Public Service and outside the Service.) The results are favourable to the Public Service up to the salary of £624. From that division onwards they suffer. by the comparison. We may say that we were not surprised with the last-named :cesult, for when going through the departments, noting the responsi­ bilities of the senior officers, we were impressed by the fact that their salaries were distinctly below those paid for corresponding services in commercial establishments. ·

The remarks thus made by the Victorian Royal Commission apply with equal if not greater force to the Comrnonwealth Service. Out of over 23,000 positions in the Service there are only 40 carrying salary in excess of £600 per annum. one considers_ these figures it will be recognised that the prizes to which ambitious officers

n1ay aspire are very few. In the interests of good governrnent it is ess ential that the renmneration of officials exercising in1portant administrative or financial functions should be dealt with in no parsimonious . spirit.

The salarjes of all offic ers of the Public Service should be governed by regulation in order that the changing conditions of the country and the service may fron1 time to time be met by appropriate action in the adjustment of salaries, the powers of Parliament in respect to the voting of funds being retained. In the First . Division

(administrative officers) the to be must necessanly cover a w:de range

of salaries, as, between an executive positiOn which may be properly recognised by a minimum salary of, say, £550 per annum, and t he administrative position may carry a salary of £1,500 ann:um, :are an appreciable n:rmb_er of varying ·in importance and value. Cla rficatwn Is, th erefore, essential In order that the

assBssment of values shall be on a sound comparative basis. The First and Second Divisions should ·be subdivided into nine classes, with a minimum salary of £550 in the


lowest and a maximum of £1,500 in the highest class. It has already been indicated that Second Division, which is to include officers who under the permanent heads and officers are to exercise administrative functions in directing the work of the more Important and distinctive branches of the service, should be classified under the · same grouping of salaries as the_ First Division, but it will not necessarily follow that any officer of the Second Division will receive the n1axin1un1 salary prescribed for the First Division, but this may be possible in the case of an officer .. who, although not a permanent head, is required to possess high professio.nal qualifications and to exercise Important administrative functions . The conditions as to classification of the Second Divisi.on will be fully 1net by the provision n1ade as to classes in the First Division under a desuable elasticity of application.

The · Third Division, which will comprise officers at present in the Professional and .Clerical Divisions, excluding those .to be placed in the Second Division, will also to be brought under a definite system of classification, and in this eonnexion it

Is desirable to examine the provisions of the existing law in respect to the Professional Clerical Divisions. The Professional Division is divided by regulation into six

classes with subdivisions in each class, these subdivisions representing the stages of salary through which an officer passes in advancing fron1 the minimum to the maximurn of the class . The Public Service Act divides the Clerical Division into five classes, with on a si1:nilar principle to those in the classes in the Professional


Until the issue of recent awards by the Arbitration Court the range of salary in each class was as follows :- _



E D 0









Minimum. Maximum.

£ £

·72 20 't

216 312

336 408

432 504

528 600

62 4 1,250


60 200

210 300

310 400

420 500

520 600


* Aruma!, and subject only to satisfactory service. t Discr etionary with Co nu11is sioner. t Salary paid to fixed value of offi c P-.



24 and 18 *

24 t

24 t

24 t

24 t


12 and 18 *

25 and 20 t

20 t

20 t

20 t


The principl es governing adyancement in both divisions Were simjlar; and the foHmving remarks upon the Clerical -Division may be read, mutatis mutandis, as also applying to the Professional Division. \Vhile the Act prescribes for the lowest (fifth) class of the Clerical Division that advancen1ent through the class shall be annual, subject to satisfactory service, no officer may be advanced within a class in the fourth and higher classes of the Clerical Division except by promotion from one subdivision to the next higher subdivision. The Act further provides that an offi cer n1ay be promoted fr01n one subdivision to another although there 1nay not be a vacancy in the latter subdivision, and a further condition of advancem_ent is that the officer must have served at least twelve months in the subdivision of class from which he is to be advanced. The Act undoubtedly does not conten1plate the advancement as a matter of course of au officer in the fourth or higher classes from the Ininin1urn salary t o the n1aximum salar:y his class ; arid in adn1inistering the Act advancement has been granted by the Comm1sswner only in cases \vhere, upon the report of his Inspectors and the opinions of the responsible officers of. departn1ents he ha been satis:fl.ed that the value and importance of the officer's work and the ffi cjency and dibgence displayefl in jts performance have the advancement. Despite the provision of the Act, however, an officer upon entenng


156 5 41

one of the higher classes in the Clerical Division exnects to be advanced from the n1inimum sal.ary of his class to the maximum in the time legally possible. If, for example, he Is placed in the Third Class (with its four subdivisions above the first) with of considers that he should not be required to spend n1ore than one year

1n each subdiVlSlon, and that after four years' service in the class l1eshould be in receipt of £400 per annum. These expectations are in n1any cases not realized. In dealing with the of officers through the class the Commissioner requires to be satjsfied that the .officer IS not being paid the full value of his services by the salary he .is receiving,

an d,. ·wh ile the. value and in1portance of the work of one officer and the diligence and effiCiency he displays would warrant the Commissioner in considering that £400 would not be an excessive salary return for his services, in another case the circumstances would ·be adequately met by payn1ent at £360 per annum. .

. In this provis!on of the Act for subdivisional pron1otion of offic ers in the fourth and h1gher. hes one of the n1ost difficult and troublesonw problems confronting the CommissiOner. The n1atter is complicated by the dissimilar nature of duties in the several departn1ents, and by the divergent views held by permanent heads, chief ?fficers ,. and heads of branches, not only as to their obligations to the Commonwealth In malong recommendations for public expenditure, but also as to t he irr1portauce and of o.fficers' duties. Experience has proved that one chief officer, taking a liberal

?f the importance of an officer's work, or being unduly influenced by relative

semonty, or by the desire to stand well with the officer concerned, favours rapid to the maximnn1 salary of a class ; while another chief officer adopts

drfferent views as to value of services rendered, and is not swayed by seniority or personal considerations. Notwithstanding the varying views and personal idiosyncrasies of chief officers, it has been the ai.m o£ the Contnlissioner and his Inspectors to secure uniformity of treatment and of valuation of work, and in carrying out this policy the recommendations of chief officers have frequently had to be departed from, either

in the of ·advancing offic ers who have been passed over or in not approving of advancement which has been recommended by chief officers. Fron1 this fact arises one of the n1ost fruitful causes of discontent in a large section of the service. It is only in exceptional cases that an officer will admit that his work is relatively less important than t hat of another, or that he is relatively less efficient. As a rule, when an officer finds that he has not been advanced, and another officer in the same class has received an incrernent, he complains t o the head of his branch , the result being in many cases that the

officer is informed that it is not underst ood why he has not been advanced, that he was recommended, but the Inspector or Commissioner has not indorsed the recommendation. Even when. the officer has not been depart'rnentall y reeommended, he is left in ignorance of the departmental view. There is reason to believe that in many instances principal

officers thus endeavour to escape the unpleasant features of their responsibilities, and throw the onus for refusal upon the Commissioner. The responsibility for refusal sed upon a fr ank, open, and unbiased report by a chief officer can fairly be accepted by the Commissioner ; but the unsatisfactory feature of the present procedure is that it establishes a sense of grievance in a fairly large sec.tion of officers, as it is inevitable that, in discrin1inating by efficiency and value of work, at one time or

another many officers will be denied one or n1ore increments which rightly or wrongly they think they should have obtained . This unsettling effect upon officers is fr equently reflected jn their work, and has a still more undesirable result in fostering a spirit of antagonism to the authorities administering the Public Service Act, whieh cannot conduce

to efficiency and contentment in the service. Complaints against controlling officers of personal predilection or of antipathy are inseparable from the operation of any sys..,..ern, no n1atter how conscientiously and capably administered, > Where the personal equation loon1s so largely. I am satisfied that in the Commonwealth therA has been little or no ground for such gnevance, it is impm·sible to avoi d complaints from officers who have an exaggerat ed idea of their abilities and are didappointed when those ible for their work make a different assessment. These ll ave been used as a basis of a general attack on the system of advancement of o:ffic rs in the higher cla se of t.he Service, and t o such ei!ect that, in t he recent a\· ard of th e 4 rhit ration Court relatlug to officers of the Professional D;vi. ·ion, incrernent. t fficer s of c rresponding classes to t hose of the . Clerical Division have been made ractica1l '1' annual and au omati . There are

many positions which must nece . . aril. be cla -sified in a icular cla s as being n rth the n1inirnum salary, although not wor h he max1mu 1n . alary, of the


. class. The object airned at in the Con1missioner 's adn1inistration has been to grant an appropriate rate of salary, and in this connexion the following extract fron1 the report presented in 1917 by the Royal Commission on the State Public Service of Victoria is of interest :- .

The neglect to give proper effect to an important provision of t he law enacted for the in the Act of 1883, enn,bled salaries to be fixed at a li mit within a class, is another instance of

faulty admir! istration. \Vhen t he Act referred to was passed, Parliament very properly recognised that the dutie s of a particular officer mi ght not be worth anything like the maximum salary of his class, and t herefore gave power to fi x a limit in that case below the maximum. But, except in a few cases-and it is hard to say why these particular cases have been singled out for special treatment-the will of Pa rliament has been set aside. L et us take an example. An offic er in the 4th class--minimum salary £2 l6, maximum be engaged in work that is not wor th mor e than £250 per annum at the

ou tside ; yet, so long as he _ behaves himself and attends t o his d uties, he gets regular increments until he reaches t he rnaximurn of £336. In all the different classes t he position is similar. We are satisfied that t he neglect to administer the provision under notice in accordance wit h the intention of the framers of t he law has greatly increased the cost of administration . I nstead of fix ing salaries as ha s been done in a few cases only, the great majority shoulcJ, in our opinion, h ave been so dealt with, as the d u ties of a very large num ber of the positions in t h e various clasRes are more or less routine. N o commercial institution run on business lines 'vou ld dream of paying its servants as the State does.

The provisions of the State Public Service Act in relation to the advancement of officers within a class are similar to those of the Commonwealth Public Service Act, and the opinion expressed by the State RoyaJ Commission upon the practice of regularly advancing an officer by increments through his class is in consonance with the attitude · adopted by the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, who, whatever the defects of t he system, has conscientiously carried out t he expressed directions of the Parliament as em_bodied in the Public Service Act. It should be mentioned that the method of classification and the conditions of subdivisional advancen1ent within the several classes of t he Professional and Clerical Divisions have been the subject of awards by the Arbitration Court, which have differed in t heir provisions. While in the award for the Clerical Division the system of adv[,ncement by subdivisional promotion in the higher classes as laid down by the Act has been followed by the Court, in the Professional Division award (made by another J udge) t he principle has been abandoned in favour of automatic and annual increments in the three lower classes, and of discretionary increments at the will of the permanent head in t he higher classes.

In summarizing t he conclusions arrived at, it appears to me that the present system is defective in the following respects:-(1) The existing provision fo r classes and scales of salaries as made by the Act is too rigid.

(2) The classes in the Clerical and Professional Divisions are insufficient in number, and do not readily permit of classification· based on relative values of offices . ·

(3) The increments prescribed for the several classes above the lowest class are unnecessarily high, and t he range of salary t oo wide. ( 4) The present system of discretionary increments imposes a heavy burden on administrative officers in making inquiries into individual claims,

and is a serious tax on t he t ime of the C01nrnissio_ner and Inspectors in adjudicating upon such claims without con11n ensurate results. The remedial measures which should be taken involve- (1) the fixing of classes and salaries by regulation, (2) the increase in the number of classes with a lesser range between the minin1un1 and maxi1num ·salaries of each class, (3) reduction in the amount of increment s, which should be annual, (4) increment s to be granted, subject to satis­ factory service, by the Permanent Head or Chief Officer, with the right of appeal to the Commissioner by aggrieved officers where increments have been deferred or refused.

While the details of the proposed classification of the Third Division should be covered by regulations, some indication may be given of the generalljnes wh ich should be followed. These are set forth in the tent ative scale hereunder:-T HI RD DIVISION.

Class. Min imum. Ma xim u m .


Jncl' ement >.

£ £ I £

9 66 2 10 18

8 222 25 2 15

7 :.G4 312 12

6 32-± \ 37 2 12

5 38·1 432 12

4 444 492 12

3 504 552 12

2 -64 61 2 12

l 624 672 12


Provision should be made for some elasticity in the For example,

although the minimun1 salary of the proposed Class 9 is shown as £66, it does not necessarily follow that all new appointments to the class should be n1ade at that salary. In making appointments to positions where professional training will be necessary, the possession by the appointee of educational qualifications of higher than the minimum

standard for entrance to the Division should be prescribed as warranting appointn1ent at a salary in advance of the 1ninimun1. The san1e principle should be applicable in appointing probationers for clerical duties; thus while a candidate who has passed the University Intermediate Examination or its equivalent may properly be appointed · to the service at the n1ini1num rate, a candidate two years older, who has passed the

University Leaving Examination, should co1nmence at a higher salary than the minimum of the lowest class. The acquirement by an officer of some official qualification, e.g., accountancy diploma, shorthand certificate, might be recognjsed by the granting of, say, a double increment. It n1ay also be desirable to provide that an officer having

reached the maximum. of Class 9, or even before attaining the maximum, may secure promotion to Class 8 on passing a prescribed examination or otherwise demonstrating qualifications of a special character, e.g., an officer in Class 9 ·of the Attorney-General's Department who obtains an LL.B. degree, and similarly a jvnior engineer or some other officer engaged in professional duties who acquires a corresponding qualification in some other department.

This provision n1ight with advaiitage be· extended even further to permit otlicers, occupying positions to be specified, to ad vance through two or even three classes irrespective of the occurrence of vacancies and without formal reclassification of office. While in the 1najority of cases it is practicable to

office within the lin1its of salary. of one class which would .fairly represent the minin1um and rnaxirr1un1 value of the work in that particular office ; in other cases the assessment of a particular office should cover a wider range to represent the difference between the value of an officer when he first takes up the duties of the

office and that to which his experience and training in the office would eventually entitle hin1. The positions occupied by Examining Officers in the Trade and Custo1ns Departn1ent n1ay be selected for illustration. Differentiation in these cases is largely one of training, experience, and individual efficiency, and not generally

of nature of duties ; and provision should be made for advancen1ent in this position, subject to prescribed conditions as to efficiency, through certain specified classes until the maximum value of an Exan1ining Officer's work is reached. In order to satisfactorily deal with such cases it should be that, in the event of a

pro1notion or retire1nent of an who has · reached the highest class pern1issible under the suggested n1ethod of progression, the vacancy should be filled in the lowest of the con1bined classes and not in the class of the pron1oted or retired officer. Such latter class should only be reach ed by progression as in the case of the retired officer. Solely for purposes of exa1 nple, and without expressing an opinion as to

the minin1u1n or maximu1n value of the work of an Examining Officer, it may be supposed that an officer has entered the Trade and Custon1s Departrr1ent as a Customs Assistant, which is in the lowest class, n1axi1nun1 value, say, £210. He is pron1oted as an Examining Officer (Class 8), Ininimtun £222. An Examining Officer's

position n1ay be prescribed as covering three classes, the maxin1un1 of the highest (6) being £372. The offi cer having progressed through these three classes n1ay be pro1noted out of the Exan1ini!1g Officer's class, and it becon1es necessary to appoint another Exan1ining Officer. That officer would not be appointed to the class (6) of

the promoted officer but to' the class (8) in which the pron1oted offi cer co1nm enced . his ·work as Exarnining Offi cer.

The n1etho d of classification outlined herein will, I an1 satisfied, prove advantaaeous to the serviee and \vill give great er satisfaction to the offi cers cone .rned because ;'f the fact that their advanr.ement is eertain, provided t heir service is satisfactory. The annual amount now applied to t.he payment of increments in the higher classes will

suffice for double t h nu mber of officers it _ ha hitherto been pos. ible t o advance, while administration of the A t will be fr ed from many of its pre ent difficulties . Fo 'U.rth Div·ision. In thjs Divi i n at pr . ent known as the General Division, it is propose d that rate.· of :2a shall be fr m .time to time by regulation, as

at present, and officer · la ·,srfied 1n a rdan With then everal occ upations. Under the present arrangement a stem of grading i" impo. e l b he A t which is complicated

and unnecessary. The sugJSested classification will secure sirnplicity of method and enable scales of salary or fixed salaries, as the case may be, to be adopted in respect to each designation of position without reference to other positions differently designated:

There now remains to be considered the question of a reclassification of the Public Service following new legislation in the direction herein recommended. With the establishment of an altered system of divisions and classes, and the consequent provision under regulation of scales of salaries with accruing increments for each of such classes, it will be necessary to pass under review the whole of the positions occupied by officers in every department of the Commonwealth, and to assign values to these positions, ind: eating such values by the appropriate division and class, thus formulating what is usually termed a " classifieation" of the Public Service. This classification will require to vbe carried out by the Assistant Commissioner and Inspectors, under the general direction of the Commissioner, and when finally adopted will form the foundation of the future adn1inistration of the Public. Service Aet. It is desirable that

provision be made for· the classification being issued in divisions, or in relation t o partieular sections of offieers, instead of as a complete whole. Thus the Fourth Division may be dealt with separately frorn the remainder of the Service, then possibly the First and Seeond Divisions, while separate sections of the classification might be issued in relation to large groups of offieers w·ith particular funetions, such as for instance postmasters and telegraphists. The classification should be subject to the right of appeal by offi cers concerned. The existing provision for a Board of Appeal should be eliminated as being too cun1bersome and productive of delays in final adj-udication. Appeals should be fil ed with the Public Service Inspectors in the several States, and be detennined by the Comrnissioner. Following upon the settlement of all appeals against the classification, and the approval of the Governor-General to the classification as modified by decisions on appeal, the matter should he presented to Parliament. In order that any anornalies revealed by the classification may be rectified, should be made in the Public Service Act that officers found to be in receipt

of salaries above the maximum salary prescribed for the classification of their offices shall be transferred as opportunity presents itself to corresponding \vith their salaries ; but if.t3uch transfers have not been affected within a period of twelve months from the date of Governor-General's approval of the classification, the salaries of such officers shall he adjusted in agreement with the classified value of their offices. Provision should like·wise be made that from the date of proclamation. of the ne\v Public Service Act, and pending approval of the classification, shall he suspended, except in the case of officers whose salary does not exceed £210 per annunL It should, however, be stipulated that the suspension of increments beyond that salary shall be taken into consideration in fixing the salary under the new classification, and the date from which the classification will take effect.

O.fficers of the Parliament. - -It is provided by Section 14 of the Public Service Act that appointments and promotions of officers of the Senate or House of Representatives or of both Houses of Parliament, and all regulations affecting such officers, shaH be made by the Governor-General on the recmnmendation of the President of-the Senate and/ or

the Speaker of the }louse of Representatives, and. that any functions exercised by the Public Service Con1n1issioner in resp·ect to the Public Service generally shall, so far as officers of the Parlia1nen t are concerned, be exereised by the President and/or Speaker. It is further provided that the of a permanent head or chief officer shall in relation . to officers of Parliament be exercised by the Clerk of the Senate, the Cl erk of the House of Representatives, the Librarian, the Chief Parliamentary R eporter, or the Clerk 9f the J oint House Committee, as the case may be.

Although these provisions have been in operation sjnce the proclan1ation of the Public Service ·Act in 190:1, and notwithstanding that the Act prescribes inter alia t hat the Service shall be divided into four Divisions, and that o·ffieers. shall be classified according t o division, class, subdivision of _ class, or grade, no actior: has been taken to effect a classification of the officers en1ployed on the staffs of P arha:ment, or to make regulations affecting such officers. The salaries of these officers are voted fr01n year to year in the Approprjation Act, hut the deten11ination as to amounts of and granti11g of iiF TCn1c-1ts doefl not appear t o ha re _lJeen ba,sed on settled pn:1c1ples . I+ is difficult to under. tR.nd the reason for pla 1ng offi cers f Parhatnent outside the general provisions of the Public Service Act } and thus subjecting then1 to dj sadvantages


in n1any respect s, unless it be that t he fra1ners of the Act were guided l y e tabhshed precedent as fo11ov;/ed in the Public Service legislation of the ssvcrd Str.J cs. In n1y opinion, there is no real justification for separating the Parlian1ent.a.ry Serviee from other departmental services, in so far as the jurisdiction of the Public Service Comn1i.ssioncr is concerned. Officers of the P arliament are servants of the Comn1on­ preeisely as_ are officers of the departn1ents generally, and, n1aking due

provision for the special condit i ons of employment of offi cers of t he Parliament, one system of administration should embrace all sections of the service . Under the proposals submitted in this R eport for the future n1anagement of the Public Service, it is recommended that the · Commiss'oner shalJ be responsible for

appointments to the Service, for classification of offices, for fixing the rat es of payment appropriate theret o, and for the determination of appeals relating t o classification, promotion, and refusal or of increments. The pernutnent head or

chief offi cer is to have the responsibility of dealing with promotions, and granting or deferment of increments, subject to t he right of :;Jppeal by officers to the Commissioner. There is no good reason why these provisions should not be n1ade applicable to the P arliamentary Service in con1mon with all other branches of t he service .

The Commissioner would thus deal with the classificatjon of the Parlian1entary service, leaving it to the heads of the depart ments of P arliainent t o J;arry out the admi.aistration of the Act so far as internal n1anagen1ent is concerned . In deal ing with offences, however, the P resident and the Speaker should be the determining authorit y in pbce of the Con1missioner. It is probable t he officers of Parlian1ent would themselves welcon1e

the proposed alteration as placing them on the same foo ting as officers of the Service outside Parli ament, and insuring the adoption of a definite classification with provision fo r · regular advancement under the general scheme for classification. .It is anomalous that one section of the Public Service (the Parliamentary service) should be dealt with under

exclusive condit ions ; a

defective arrangement which should be remedied in - t he proposed new legislation . . I an1 unable t o see any justification for slavish adherence to precedent in a matter affec.ting the efficiency and well-being of a seetion of the

Public Servi ce, and therefor e recommend- that the officers of Parlian1ent be brought into the general system of adn1inistrat ion to govern t he whole Service.

PROl\IIOTION AND TRANSFER OF OFFICER.S . The principles which shoul d govern the classification of the Service having been discussed, it is necessary to consider a further important phase of Public Service adn1inis­ tra tion in relation t o promotion and transfer of officers t o fill vacancies occurring in the

depart mentS'. The efficiency uf t he Service depends very largely upon the methods adopted in effecting promotions from class to class , 8-nd any defects in the system of carrying out staff changes in this direction would react wit h telling force against the proper and economical management of pubEc busin ess . Fortunately for all concerned, the old evj] s of political, official, or social influence in the advancement of officers of a Public Service have given place to recognition of fit ness fo r t he discharge of the duties to be perf9rmed, the P arliament in the Act of 1902 having cleaily defined the methods to be adopted in the Commonwealth Public Service t o insure a fair field and no favo ur.

It is hardly necessary to dwell upon t he defects of · any system of promotion wherein seniority is regarded as t he determining factor, as in a ll modern legislation dealing wit h Public Service administration pro vision is n1ade for the subordination of

seniority to other more important considerations . As far back s 1888 a B1itish Royal Commission , reporting on Civil Establishments, r e1narked, " vVe think that promotion by seniority is the great evil of the service, and t ha t it is ind ispensable to proceed throughout every branch of it strictly on the principle of pron1otion by n1erit-that is to say , by selecting always the fittest man instead of con sidering claims in the order of seniority and rejecting only the u ;fit ." Similar vie\i\s have been expressed by Royal dealing with Public Service matters in various parts of the British Don1inions.

In framing the Commonwealth Public Service Act t ho e responsible w re not unmindful of the experience of t he Australian States in earli er year , where pron1otion on the rigid lines of seniorit y r esulted in serious consequences to depart1nents, 'ivhen the t ained Custom.s officer; because of his seniorjt y, was promoted o a position in the •rown Lands

Department, and when attem.p ts were frequently .n1ade to fit the .round peg into the square hole. It was enacted by the F ederal P arlian1ent that efficiency should be the fir st consideration in the promotion of officers, and t hat senimity should only be a factor in the event of an equality of efficiency. l\1y experien?e from 1902 to 1916 in the


administration of the Act justifies n1e in the definite expression of opinion that not only -has the system of promotion by efficiency operated in a rnost satisfactory manner, but any departure therefrom in new legislation would result prejudicially to the interests of departments and o£ the public. In connexion with the suggestions submitted in this

Report for reorganization of the system of Public Service control, it should be clearly understood, therefore, that existing principles of promotion should be maintained. The Public Service extends over six States, with a Public Service Inspector and Chief Officers in each State, consequently in order that a uniform practice might be followed in the filling vacancies by promotion it was necessary to deal with the matter by regulation. Briefly stated, the regulations provide for the following procedure:­

Vacancies are divided into two classes-(1) those for which it is desirable to invite ­ applications by notification in the Gazette, and (2) those which may be filled without advertising. In the case of an advertised vacancy two weeks' notice is usually given, and upon receipt of applicaJtions the Public Service Inspector confers with the Chief Officer. After conference, the Inspector and Chief Officer submit separate reports to the Commissioner, the Chief Officer forwarding his report through the Pern1anent Head. Upon these reports the Commissioner makes his recommendation to the Governor­ General, such recommendaticm being transmitted through the Minister of the department concerned. The Governor-General's approval is conveyed through the customary channels back to the department, when the promotion is gazetted. In regard to non-advertised vacancies the procedure is similar, ·excepting that consideration is not limited to the claims of applicant s as in the other case. The time and labour involved in -this complicated and circuitous procedure is evident, and, although efforts have been made to shorten the process by delegation of authority in certain classes of cases to Inspectors and Chief Officers, nothing less than an amendment of the law will suffice to place the n1atter on a proper foo t ing.

The provisions of the lavv requiring a report from the Permanent H e::td or Chief Officer, recommendation by the Commissioner, and approval by the Governor-General, were designed no doubt as safeguards against unfair discrimination in the selection of officers for promotion, but in the application of these provisions excessive delays have occurred in filling vacant positions and consequent e?Cpense and inconvenience to departments because of the necessity of making temporary arrangements pending the permanent promotion of officers. It is not unusual for months to elapse between the notification of a vacancy and the filling of the position, and in cases where the vacant office is in the higher grades of the Service, the consequential changes followi ng upon the initial promotion can only be made long- after the occurrence of the original vacancy,

with hampering effects upon departments which call for rectification. The time and attention of Public Service Inspectors, especially in the larger States, are absorbed in dealing with ·p1ornotions and transfers of officers to such an extent as to militate seriously against their usefulness in other directions, particularly in regard to the general organization of departments and the disposition of offices and officers to insure efficient and economical management. If Inspectors were relieved of the res12onsibility of advising on ·staff changes involving promotions ·and transfers, more beneficial results would accrue from the exercise of their inspectorial functions, which are highly important and far-reaching in relation. to successful administration of the Public Service Act. ·

Transfers are distinguished from pron1otions by the fact that no advancement in salary follows the filling of a vacancy by transfer. It frequently happens that, while the original vacancy requires to be filled by the promotion of an officer, consequential vacancies may be filled by transfers without promotion. In determining transfers, however, the question of fitness also and care requires to be taken to so arrange transfers that the minimum of inconvenience to the officer and his famiJy, and of expense to the department by way of removal ·expenses, shall be incurred.

Careful consideration has been given by me to. the question of transferring the authority for making promotions and transfers fr om the Public Service Commissioner to the Permanent Heads and Chief Officers of departments. Responsible heads of departments who are charged with the duty of internal administration have now a conception of t he principles that should govern the advancement of officers, and It appears to me that, keeping in view the educative influences of the past sixteen years under the F ederal regime, the time has arrived when, subject to certain safeguards, the departmental may be with authority as to staff change:::> . It, is imperative



that action be taken to obviate the present unseen1ly delays and t o provide n1ore business­ like metho.ds, insuring at the same time that the cl aim.s of every o:ffi.cer are accorded proper consideration. The transfer of these functions to Permanent Heads and Chief Officers would mean the elimination of action by Inspectors and the Con1missioner, as ·

well as reference to the Governor.General. To further expedite action, Chief Officers should exercise_ authority in respect to promotions and transfers other than those to the more important positions ; this would enable staff changes in the several States to be carried out pron1ptly, and with considerable savings in the present cost of making temporary arrangements due to payment of t:r;avelling expenses and relieving allowances. Proper safeguards should, however, be provided a.gainst any possibility of outside influence being used in determining pron1otions.

The following procedure should govern the 1naking of pron1otions :-(1) Promotions other than to the First Division to be made by the Permanent Head or the Chief Officer. (2) The principles governing promotion as at present defined in the Act to

remain unaltered, i .e., first and foremost, efficiency ; in the event of equality of efficiency, then seniority. (3) Promotions to be made provisionally, subject to the right of ·appeal by aggrieved officers.

(4) Provisional pron1otions to be notified in the Cmnmonwealth Gazette, or, in the case of the Post1naster-General's Department, in the weekly departmental list. (5) A prescribed time to be fixed within which officeFs 1nay lodge appeals

against proposed promotions. (6) The grounds for appeal must be (a ) that the appellant is n1ore than the officer proposed to be promoted, or (b) tha.t the appellant is as efficient for the discharge of the duties of the vacant office as the

officer proposed to be promoted, an·H is the senior. (7) Appeals to be addressed to the Permanent Head or Chief Officer, as the case may be, and forwarded with accornpanying report to the Public Service Inspector for transmission to the Commissioner. (8) . The Inspector to make full inquiry into the claims of the officer proposed

to be promoted and of the appellant officer, and on completion of his inquiries to forward the appeal with his report t o the Com1nissioner, who will, 'on the information furnished by the Permanent Head or Chief Officer and the Inspector, determine the appeal. (9) Where an appeal is disallowed by the Commissioner the department to

be notified accordingly. (10) Where an appeal is upheld by the Con11nissioner, he vvill issue approval for the promotion of the appellant officer, and for t he cancellation of the provisional prorrwtion : Provided that in the case of promotions

in or t o the Second Division the Minister may, if he think fit, refer the matter to the Governor-General, who may confirm or disallow the determination of the Commissioner, but, in the lat ter case, a statement of the reasons for disallowance shalJ be laid before

Parliament. .

(11) Where no appeal has been lodged within the prescribed time, or where an appeal has been disallowed by the Commissioner, the pro­ visional promotion to be confirn1ed by the P erm ,nent I-Iead or Chief Officer, as the case may be, and to be gazett ed as finally 8.pproved.

By the adoption of these arra,ngements for pr omotion of officers, prominence will be given to the efficiency provision of .the lin1iL _ ati n of pp . als .s will prevent officers who rely upon therr semont In tne ser I e from lodg1ng un]ustJ:fiab Je appeals, while heads of branches will be fr om recommending_ relatively inefficient

senior officers for advancement. In addi wn, the safeguards of the n ght of ,ppeal and of independent inquiry by t he Public ervice Inspe tor houJd e:ffe tually prevent irregular exercise of the power proposed to be conferred on h ad of departments.


It may possibly be urged that, instead of t he proposed procedure for investigation of appeals, provision should be made for t he constitution of Boards of Appeal, with a representative of the officers acting as a member of the Board; but there are st1ong reasons why such a course should not be followed. If promotions are to be effected with a n1ini1num of delay, expeditious meth.ods must be adopted. Investiga­ tion by Boards of Appeal would involve intolerable delays, a negation of responsibility, and the withdrawal of administrative or other senior officers from their. regular duties to act as 1nen1bers of these Boards. The atmosphere inseparable from such a tribunal is not conducive to inforn1al inves tigation, and sources of information which are readily made available to an Inspector in the course of his inquiries are not so available to a Board of Appeal. The view cannot be expressed too strongly that the remission of appeals to a formal Board of Appeal would involve a distinctly retrogressive step, and the retention of the present system, with all its manifest defects, would be preferable to the constitution of Boards of Appeal carrying no responsibility as to the ultimate outcome of their recommendations. The future administration of the Public Service is t oo important ::tnd serious a matter to be prejudiced by endeavours to obtain theoretical

just ice. This matter is aptly dealt with by the Royal Commission on the New Zeala,nd Public Service, which reported as follows :-" vVe are very strongly of opinion that an outside Appeal Boa·rd tha,t can override the

management is a decided mistake. Positions like the following often arise :-A vacancy may occur in t he Service, and the management nuty ha ve the right of promotion by merit . m:wagement may look down the list of officers next in the order of seniority and think that No. 15, say, is far and away the best man available fo r the position, and that h e should get it . But they know that if they give him the position, Nos. 1 to I 4: can a1l appeal against it; and if they do, the manage1i.1en t has to appear bef,)re the B oard in th e position of defendant and p rove its ease. :\1ost men do not care to put up with this

annoyance nnd t rouble, and, unless No. 1 is a ' rank duffer,' will give him the position regardless of results to the Ser vice. 'l'he result in most cases where Appeal Boardti exist is thn.t, although in theory the system is promotion by merit, in practice it is promotion by seniority, and the introduction of promotion b y seniority instead of promotion by merit is the introduction into the Service of a dry rot that will ult imately destroy its efficiency. If there is no Appeal Board it is possible that an

occasio nal injusti ce may be done, but it is far better to risk this than to do a permanent injustice to thlil Service·as a whole and all the men of energy and ability in it."

Staff Committees .- A cognate subject to which is necessary to make some reference is the appointment within departments of what are generally known as staff committees, fo rmed to act as advisory bodies to Chief Officers in the selection of officers for transfer or promotion to vacant positions. In lTIY opinion, not only are such committees unnecessary, but their constitution would tend to a devolution of responsibility of Chief Officers which would be 1nost undesirable and pregnant with unsatisfactory results in t he working of departments. The Permanent Head or Chief · Officer should shoulder his burden of responsibility, and carry out his obligat ions-to t he Government without the aid or intervention of staff con1mittees. Existence of such committees affords heads of branches means of escape from the responsibility of reporting freely and unreservedly upon the capacity of officers under their control, while the Chief

Officer would be enabled to evade his responsibility of exercising independent judgment. It is not assun1ed that a Chief Officer will be in a position to make individual inquiry into the merits and claims of every officer; but he should require from branch heads such information as will enable him to weigh the relative claims of officers. By the adoption

of a system of report by stEff comn1ittees, the responsibility of heads of branches, Chief Officers, and Pern1anent H eads would in practice be delegated to the committees, while t he individual members of these committees would have no personal responsibility ; thus t he department and its officers would suffer because of the impossibility of fixing the onus of any action upon t he proper person . The appointn1ent of staff committees in each department and in each State would moreover necessitate the withdrawal of many officers of high rank from their regular duties to the detriment of efficient working of the departments, and at serious cost t o the administration. The success of the new system governing transfers and pr01notions must depend very largely on the assumption

of p ersonal responsibility by Permanent Heads and Chief Officers, a responsibility which should be reflected in their salaries, and t here can be no doubt that t he appointlnent of staff committees would in most cases r esul t in the perfunctory di charge of the powers proposed to be vested in the ad1ninistrative heads . ·

Inter-departmental Pr·01notions and Transfers .- The proposals ou tlined in t his section have covered the question of promotions and transfers within a d partment. The Act provides that , in the filling of vacancies by promotion, priority of consideration

15 73


shall be ·given to officers of the department in which the vacancy occurs, and it is only where it is considered that the duties of the vacant office can be more efficiently performed by the promotion of an officer from some other department that recourse is had to another department. .This is sound policy, it being obvious that in ordiuary

circumstances officers trained in the department, with all the knowledge and experience of precedents and· practices, are likely to render better service than those drawn from other departments. In the majority of cases, therefore, promotions . are made within the ranks of the department, but it becomes necessary from time to time to introduce

new blood, and certain positions can be better filled by the promotion of officers from other departments. The Royal Commission on the New Zealand Public Service reported that one of the causes of dissatisfaction amongst officers and of dry rot in departments was the slavish adherence to the principle that each department should be self-contained,

and no exchange of officers should be permitted amongst departments. This evil has since remedied by legislation governing the Dominion It is obvious that, while Permanent Heads and Chief Officers should have full jurisdiction in effecting staff changes within their respective departments, no permanent

head can issue a direction £or the filling of a vacancy in his department by the transfer or promotion of an officer fr01n another departJ?ent. \Vhile the Permanent Head of the ·other department might acquiesce in any such arrangement, there would sometimes be a strong tendency to prevent the transfer of a valuable officer to meet the convenience

of some-other department. It may readily be understood that the interchange of officers between departments rnight result in friction between responsible heads, unless some provision were rnade to obviate this possibility. Provision should therefore be mttde; in connexion with the general proposals for the future control of staff movements, for inter-departmental transfers and promotions being effected by the Commissioner. after

report by the Permanent Heads or Chief Officers of the two departments concerned­ the department in· which the vacancy exists and the department from which it is sought to transfer the officer. All promotions thus made of an inter-departmental nature should be provisional in the same manner as departmental promotions, and the Commis­ sioner should be required to notify such promotions, in order that aggrieved officers may

be afforded an opportunity to appeal. ---The adoption of the proposed alterations of practice as outlined in this portion of the Report should go far to ren1ove many of the difficulties inherent in the present methods, and while it is realized that no system will secure the attainn1ent of ideal

justice· to the officers concerned and to the general community, it is believed that the proposed new arrangements will give a greater measure of satisfaction to t.he Service, and strengthen the hands of administrative officers. :Many anon1alies and harassing restrictions will he removed with considerable saving o£ time and labour, and the·

Con1missioner and his Inspectors will be relieved of a rnass of detailed work, enabling other work of an importa.o.t character to be covered.

APPOINTMENT OF ADl\1INISTRATIVE I-IEA.DS. The administrative heads of departments are the Permanent lieads and Chief Officers. In expla.nation of the reladonship the Permanent Head and the

Chief Officer, it should be stated that in the Postmaster-General's Department, for instance, the Permanent Head is the secretary located at the office of the Central Adn1inistration, while under his control and direction are six Chief Officers located at the capital cities of the six States, know·n by the title of Deputy Postm.aster-General,

each supervising the general management of the Department in his particular State, and discharging certain recogn1Red functions as well as functions specifically delegated to him by the Permanent H ead. The DeparJment of Trade and Customs is similarly represented by · a Chief Officer--the Coll ector of Custon1s. The remaining :six depart1nents are controlled by Permanent Hea.ds, located at the seat of government

(lVlelbourne), and ha,/e no chief officers located in the Stat es, although some of them are represented by branch offices at the State capitals. The Permanent :Heads and Chief Officers now included in the Administrative Division would, under the proposals rnade in this Report, he classified as officers of the First Division.

As a general rule, vacancies which may oc cur in the Administrative Division are fill ed by the promotion of officers from within the Service, although the law pern1its of appo]ntnlents from outside, should the circumstances justify such a course, always provided there is :no officer in the Service as capable of £lling the vacant position. In



such an event the appointn1ent fron1 outside the Serviee must be made the subject o£ a report to Parliament. As already indicated, it is proposed that, under the new systen1 of Public Service n1anagement, existing functions of the Commissioner in dealing with staff changes shall be transferred to the Permanent 1-Iea.ds and Chjef Officers, but it .is not intended that this arrangement should go so far as to inelude pronwtions in or to the First Division. \Vhile the Pernw,nent Head or Chief Officer should be given authority to de_ cide _upon promotions in the Second, Third, and Fourth Divisions, it is considered that pron1otions in or to the First Division should be made by the Governor-General on the recon1mendation of the Cornmissioner, and that where the Governor-General is unable t() any such recommendation, the n1atter should be made the subject of a report to It is obvious that on a vacancy occurring for a Pern1anent Head,

the nornination of an officer to fill such yacancy cannot be allowed to rest w.ith any departmental officer. In this connexion a curious position arose some time since in relation to a vacancy for the permanent head of · a Con1monwealth Department. It was decided by legal authority that in this case an appointment could be made to the vacancy without reference to the Commissioner, as under Section 44 of the Act a necessary precedent to the filling of a vacancy in the Adn1inistrative Division by the Governor-General upon the reccmmendation of the Con1missioner a report from the pern1anent head, but as there was no permanent head· to furnish a report, the Commissioner had no power to· make a recon1mendation in the absence of such a report. In_ the case under notice, the appointn1ent was made by the Governor-General withqut reference to the Conl­ missioner. On its n1erits, this particular appointment was justified, and would no doubt have been recol:nmended by the Acting Commissioner, but the course pursued indicates a defect in the Act which should be remedied. In all previous cases o.f promotion to the position of permanent hea

was sought and acted upon, and this is as it should be, seeing that the filling of the highest positions in the serviQe should, above all others, be free from any suspicion of outside influence. Provision should, therefore, be 1nade in any amendment of the Act placing this matter beyond doubt by directing that in all appointments or pronwtions to or in the First DiYision the Commissioner shall subn1it a recon1n1endation to the Governor-General.


An indispensable feature in any system of Public Service management is that suitable provision be made for the maintenance of discipline, and in this connexion adequate machinery must be available for dealing with offences under conditions which, while safeguarding officers against unjust or capricious treatment, should not hamper the administrative heads of departn1ents in exercising proper · discipline, or involve procedure of such a forn1al, costly, atld cumbrous nature as really to defeat the intentions of the Act.

In the procedure laid down by the Public Service Act for dealing with officers charged with the commission of offences, meticulous care is taken to protect the interests of the officer so as to avoid any injustice ; but the interests of the department are to a considerable extent prejudiced by theexcessive delays involved in settlement of cases, the general circumlocution rendered necessary by the provisions of the law, and the unsatisfactory composition of Boards of Inquiry. The main principles governing action under the Public Service Act against an officer for an alleged offence are (a) the officer is to be furnished in writing with particulars of the offence with which he is charged, (b) he is required to admit or deny the truth of the charge and to give any explanation he desires, and (c) where the charge is denied, but the Chief Officer is satisfied that the offence has been committed, no punishment other than a caution or reprimand or a fine up to £10. may be inflicted until the charge has been investigated by a Board of Inquiry. This Board includes in its personnel an elected representative o£ ·the division to which the offending officer belongs, and, in addition, the officer may be represented by counsel.

Disciplinary action may be taken in any one of the following directions :-Caution. Reduction in salary and status.

Reprin1and. Enforced resignation.

Fine up to £50. Dismissal.

Deprivation of leave of absence.



--Cautions or reprimands are administered by officers prescribed as having authority to take Euch action, including Chief Officers, while a fine up to £10 may be inflicted by a Chief Officer. Any fine exceeding £10 can only be imposed by the Permanent Head, who also has power to order deprivation of leave of absence. Reduction in salary

and status is, on the recommendation of the Chief Officer, determined by the Commis­ sioner. Enforced resignation or dismissal can only be authorized by the Governor­ General, on the recommendation of the Commissioner. No punishment exceeding in severity the imposition of a fine of £10 can be inflicted except on the recommendation of the Chief Officer, and "vhile the Permanent Head or the Commissioner may vary the Chief Officer's recommendation by deciding u'pon a lower penalty, he is powerless to increase the extent of . the punishment so recommended. - . .

A serious defect in the present procedure is that the Chief Officer is burdened with the responsibility of decision in cases of minor offences, instead of power being given to the heads of branches to determine such n1atters. As a general rule, matters which should be summarily of are made the subject of formal procedure, involving the framing of official charges, furnishing the officer with a copy of the charges,

&c., and after all this circumlocution the eventual result is a formal or reprimand, or an insignificant fine. In any amendment of the Act, it is highly .essential that a dis­ tinction should be made between offences which should be left to heads of branches for adjudication, and those which should be dealt with by Chief Officers and higher authorities. Supervisory officers should be empowered to caution or reprimand or fine

an officer any sum not exceeding Five shillings, the punishment to be reported to the Chief Officer, and, so far as relates to fines, to be subject to the right of appeal by the offending officer to the Chief Officer, who should be empowered to vary, annul, or confirm the action of the branch head. Supervisory officers, who should be prescribed by regulation, should include generally the heads of important branches of departments

and other leading officers, who should be specifically designated. It is my intention at a later stage in this Report to deal in fuller detail with the question of punishment for minor offences.

It is necessary now to discuss the· matter of adjudication in offences of a more serious character, which are punishable by heavy fine, reduction in salary, or dismissal. The defects in the existing mode of procedure as prescribed by the Act may be stated to be--

(a) Excessive delays, involving expense and inconvenience to departments as well as hardships to suspended officers. (b) Evasion of responsibility. (c) Varying personnel of Boards of Inquiry.

(d) Lack of uniformity as to decisions. (e) Unjustifiable circumlocution.

The time necessarily occupied in adherence to the present method of procedure will be evident from perusal of the following statement, which outlines the course to be taken in the case of an officer who has committed an offence which cannot suitably be met by reprimand or caution :-

(1) The Chief Officer is advised of the circumstances leading up to the charge. (2) The charge, which must be carefully drawn, somewhat in the form of an indictment, is prepared and signed by the Chief Officer, who may

or may not, according to the nature of the offence; suspend the officer from duty. (3) The charge is forwarded to the officer.

(4) (5)

The officer makes a written reply to the charge. The Chief Officer considers the reply, and, if in his opinion the offence has been committed, may fine bhe officer a sum not exceeding £10, or, if the offence is of too serious a nature to be met by a fine and

not been admitted, he refers the charge to a Board of Inquiry. In the latter case-(6) The officer is further suspended, and action is taken to appoint the Board of three officers, one of whom is the elected representative for the


division to which the accused belongs; one is invariabJy ·an officer of the department in which the accused is employed, and the third may be an officer of the same or another department, generalJy the latter. (7) The Board having been appointed by the Chief Officer, with the concur­

rence of a Public Service Inspector, the Chairman arranges for the sitting of the Board. (8) The officer is given due notice of the sitting of the Board, and at least seven days before the date fixed the officer is supplied with copies of all

documents intended to be used at the inquiry. (9) The Board makes an exhaustive investigation, all evidence being reported verbatim. The offict;lr may be represent ed by counsel, who may examine and cross-examine witnesses and may address the Board. (10) The Board forwards the evidence to the Chief Officer with a report of

proceedings and its opinion thereon. (11) If the charge is found to be not proved, the suspension is removed ; but, if proved, the Chief Officer must submit through the Permanent Head a recommendation for (a) penalty not exceeding £50, or (b)

deprivation of leave of absence for a specified period, or (c) reduction in salary or status, or (d) enforced resignation or dismissal. (12) If the punishment recommended be either (c) or (d); the Permanent Head submits the matter to the Commissioner, who may confirm the

recommendation for (c)-reduction in status or salary-or may impose a lesser punishment; or if (d) be recom111ended by the Chief Officer, may impose a lesser punishment, or may recommend to the Governor­ General enforced resignation or dismissal. (13) ·The decision o£ the Governor-General is conveyed to the officer through

the Permanent Head and Chief Officer of his Department and is subsequently gazetted. •

From this statement of procedure it will . be recognised that promptness of decision in these cases is impracticable, and that, particularly in the cases of officers stationed away from the capital cities, it may easily happen that a period of thre-e months will intervene between the laying of the charge and the final decision. During the whole of this time the officer may be under suspension, and the Department

be compelled to pay the cost of relieving him, as well as the heavy expense involved in the proceedings of the Board. The cost of investigations by Boards of Inquiry, coupled with expenses in connexion with suspension of officers, is a very serious matter. In the interests of the suspended officer it is important that his case should have prompt attention, as while the charge is hanging over him he is subjected to continued mental anxiety, and is either receiving no salary for the maintenance of himself and dependants,

or, as an act of grace, is being paid by the department a reduced salary for portion only of the period during which he is under suspension.

There . is good reason to believe that, in cases where the offence would be met by a penalty not exceeding £10, Chief Officers evade the responsibility placed upon them by the Act, and, instead of determining upon the reports of their inspecting officers that an accused officer is guilty, they prefer to remit the case for investigation by a Board of Inquiry rather than inflict an appropriate penalty. I am strongly of opinion that Chief Officers should be to take full responsibility in such matters, in the same manner as the manager of a private undertaking would deal with an employee found guilty of

misconduct. ·

That this responsibility is accepted in other administrations may be gathered from the attached extract of a recent report by the Postmaster-General of the United States of America :-Reductions and remova ls are not made by the department until after the most searching investigation and careful con sid eration of all the facts. When charges are preferred again st an employee they are referred to t he fi elcl fot· a thorough inves tigation, which is made by a post-office inspector or other person in whom the department has the utmost confidence. If the inquiry develops that there is basis for the charges, the employee is furnished in wt·iting with the substance of the charges and afforded every opportunity to submit ltis defence. The investigating officer represents the. employee


as well as the department, and it is his duty to see that the person against whom the charges are pending is given every.opportunity to submit his defence. ·When forwarding the case to the department the action recommended must be based solely upon the facts disclosed by the investigation. Upon receipt of t he papers at the department t hey are reviewed with extreme care. If, after careful considerati

the field for furt.her inquiry to ascertain if additional facts can be discovered .

It will be observed from this report that in the U.S.A. Postal Service the procedure does not provide for inquiry by a Board, the decision being left in the hands of an administrative officer, who bases his finding upon an investigation by an individual officer, not by a Board of Inquiry as in Australia. It is obvious that if the Australian system were applied to an immense service, such as that of the U.S.A., successful or

businesslike management would be impossible. The Boards of Inquiry as at present constituted have never been entirely satis­ factory, owing to the constantly changing personnel. The personality of the Chairman and the other members of the Board, and their experience in the investigation of charges against officers, _ are factors which must have an important bearing on the findings, and an officer may be found guilty by one Board, who might have escaped had the Board been differently constituted. There has been a serious lack of consistency in the findings

of these Boards, and of uniformity in procedure, due to the conditions under which the Boards are constituted. It is clear that the divisional representative in many cases is not sitting in a judicial capacity, but fills the role purely of an advocate. He is not there to maintain a just and impartial attitude, and to deal with the facts of the case on their merits, but undoubtedly as an avowed advocate of the interests of the accused officer. Parliament did not intend this should be so, but in practice it is so; this is not to be wondered at, from the fact that the divisional representativ:e is elected by the

officers, and is generally desirous of re-election at the close of his three years' tenure. While an accused offi-cer and his friends would hesitate to interview the Chairman and the second member of the Board, in order t o influence their finding, no such compunction would exist in regard to interviewing the third member of the Board, for is he not the divisional representative elected to safeguard the interests of his fellow officers? The divisional representative sits on all Boards affecting officers of his division, while the

other members are not permanent, hence the permanent member of the Board, if an officer of strong personality, may have a marked influence in the deliberations of the Board and on its findings. It is recognised, however, that any proposal to abolish the system of appointment of divisional representatives on Boards of Inquiry would be viewed with

disfavour, if only for sentimental reasons; but it is believed that the constitution of the Boards can be placed on a better footing. Much of the delay in reacl;ting finality in discipline cases is attributable to the circumlocution necessitated by the law, and this is particularly the case where dismissal

is involved. As ·already shown, after a charge has been investigated by a Board of Inquiry and found proven, and the Chief Officer has recommended dismissal, the recommendation and relative papers must be conveyed through the Permanent Head to the Commissioner, who, after considering the matter, forwards his recommendation to the Minister for transmission to the Governor-General. If the Chief Officer is satisfied that the offence warrants dismissal, and the Commissioner after consideration

of the papers and the evidence in the case agrees with this view, no good reason exists why the action of dismissal should not be carried out ·by the Commissioner, and save the delays, formalities, and labour involved in submission for approval by the Governor­ General. In another part of this Report it has been recommended that appointments to the Public Service should be made by the Commissioner, instead of as at present by the Governor-General, and, following the recognised theory that the appointing authority should likewise be the dismissing authority, any new legislation should provide for dismissal by the Commissioner.

Before leaving this phase of the question of dealing with punishment cases, it is necessary to express the opinion that the present provision in the law for enforced resignation as an alternative to dismissal should be expunged from the statute-book. If an officer be guilty of an offence which justifies enforced resignatio_n, then it

justifies dismissal, and it is only a subterfuge to an officer to from the serv1ce when he should have been dismissed. An officer guilty of embezzlement may be allowed to resign instead of being dismissed, and may on the strength of his" resignation" from the Public Service secure employment outside the service in a position of financial responsibility, and repeat his act of embezzlement. In such a case, ,the Co mmonwealth



Government would be morally responsible for the loss suffered by the private employer. The provision in the law as to deprivation . of leave of absence, which has practically been a dead letter, should likewise be deleted from the Public Service Act. As to future legislation dealing with offences against the Public Service Act and regulations, the experience of the past sixteen years has demonstrated that the present provisions of the law are unsatisfactory from many standpoints. Some change in procedure is urgently necessary, and the following arrangements should result in a marked improvement. The Chief Officer of the Department should be required to deal with cases of misconduct, other than minor offences, on the reports of responsible officers and the explanation tendered by the accused officer, and should thereupon determine the punishment adequate to the offence--fine, transfer, reduction in salary and status, or dismissal-and notify the officer of his decision. The officer should have the right of appeal '"-ithin a specifi ed period against the proposed punishment, if it involves transfer or reduction or dismissal, the ground of the appeal to be either innocence of the charge or the excessive nature of the punishment decided upon. If the officer fail within the specified period to submit an appeal, the decision as to punishment should be confirmed and the matter brought to finality; but should the officer elect to lodge an appeal, it should be referred to a Board of Appeal, constituted in the following manner:-

(a) A permanent Chairman, who should possess the qualifications of a Stipendiary or Pohce Magistrate, and be attached for official purposes to the staff of the Public Service Commissioner. (b) An officer of the department in which the accused officer is employed,

nominated by the Chief Officer, such member of the Board not to be the person who laid the charge against the accused officer. (c) The elected representative of the division of the service to which the accused officer belongs.

The Board of Appeal thus constituted would replace the existing Board of Inquiry under section 46 of the Act, and should be empowered to investigate the charge and to annul, vary, or confirm the decision of the Chief Officer. The accused officer should be informed by the Board of its decision, which should be final, except that in any case where dismissal is involved the Board should report its finding direct to the Commissioner, who may c·onfirm the dismissal or inflict a lesser punishment. In· all other cases, the Board of Appeal should advise the Chief Officer of its decision, and it should be at once carried into effect by the Chief Officer. The accused officer should, as unde; the existing law, be a:llowed representation by counsel, attorney, or agent, and similar representation be provided for in regard to the department. · At present no power is given by

the Act to allow a department to be so represented at any inquiry into offences, and this lack of provision should be remedied in any new legislation. Where in the opinion of the Board the officer lodging the appeal had no reasonable ground for its submission, and the appeal is adjudged to be frivolous or vexatious, provision should be made that such officer should be made to pay the costs of the hearing to an amount to be :fixed by the Board, the payment to be deducted from any sum due to the officer by the department, or be recoverable by the department in any court of competent jurisdiction. Such a provision is necessary to safeguard departments against unwarranted appeals. A case within my recollection occurred in Queensland, where an officer stationed at Thursday Island having denied certain charges, a Board of Inquiry was appointed to take evidence at that place. On the proceedings being opened the officer amended his reply and admitted the truth of the principal charge. The three members of the Board had a useless journey to

Thursday Islimd, at heavy expense to the Department, incurred wholly through the vexatious action of the offending officer, who was reduced in salary and transferred to another position. Considerable advantages will accrue from the appointment of · an officer with the qualifications proposed as a permanent Chairman of Boards of Appeal, as the presence of such an officer with his legal training in relation to the hearing and analyzing of evidence, added to the experience which he will gain in dealing with off ences under the Public Service Act, will secure greater uniformity of treatment and more effective consideration than is obtainable under the present constitutiou of Boards of Inquiry. In addition, any suspicion which now exists as to unconscious

1 579


bias on the part of the Chairman of a Board, who is a depsrtmental officer, would be removed ?Y the appointment of an impartial and independent Chairman. The time now lost m reference to the Permanent Head, and through him to the Commissioner, and fr:om the Commissioner through the Minister to the Governor-General, would under the proposed arrangements be saved, as well as a vast amount of clerical and other work. It may possibly be found necessary to appoint two officers to act as Chairmen

of Boards of Appeal, one of whom would deal ordinarily with cases arising in New South Wales and Queensland, and the other with cases requiring to be decided in the remaining four States. When not engaged on work connected with Boards of Appeal, their services would be fully utilized in other directions.

. In arriving at the foregoing conclusions, careful consideration has been devoted by me to the practices in other administrations, and, having in view the scattered and distant locations of many of the officers and the ramifications of the Commonwealth Public Service, I am satisfied that the adoption of the proposals bearing on the treatment

of disciplinary cases would greatly add to the efficient management of departments, at the same time secure to officers an assurance of impartial and disinterested hearing

of their appeals. In connexion with the election of divisional representatives to sit on Boards of Appeal, provision should be made that representatives may be elected for any part of a State, as defined by the Public Service Commissioner. At present, in States such as Queensland and Western Australia, a divisional representative is elected for the whole State, consequently he must sit on all Boards, and thus be compelled to travel

thousands of miles to carry out his duties. If the State of Queensland, for instance, were divided into three electoral districts, separate representatives could be elected for the northern, central, and southern districts, and much travelling and public expense be obviated. In order to remove any difficulty which might arise through the transfer of a divisional representative from the district for which he was elected, provision should

be made for the election of a deputy representative to act in the absence of the repre­ sentative, and, in the event of transfer of the latter from the district, to take his place as the representative of the district. Where the accused officer is stationed in a remote locality, which the Board

could only visit in , circumstances involving unreasonable expense or inconvenience or delay, the Board should be empowered to direct that evidence be taken on commission by some fit and proper person. The evidence taken should be considered by the Board, and its decision thereon should be final.

Minor Offences-Cautions, pursuance of myinvestigations,

attention has been directed to the question of improved methods of securing discipline in. the departments by of alternative to the present practice of dealing mmor offences by cautiOns, repnmands, or fines. In the Commonwealth Pubhc Service, some difference of opinion exists amongst administrative officers as to

the effectiveness of the present system of recording cautions and reprimands against employees, and of inflicting fin es for minor breaches of discipline or careless discharge of duties; but it is generally admitted that the existing methods of enforcing discipline are cumbrous and productive of much personal friction. In many instances the e:ffect of a ca\ltion or reprimand is evanescent, esp ecially with the younger

sections of the service, and t he fa ct that such action on the part of heads of branches rarely prejudices advancement of the employees robs it of the desired eff ect. It is doubtful whether the imposition of fin es has either a deterrmt or reformative eff ect,_ as the general feeling of employees subjected to fine s is that the payment of the fine

cancels the offence. In other cases a feeling is engendered 1hat as a set off against the fine the employee is justified in " going slow," or the interests of · the

. department ; in other words, there is a tendency to " get even " with the department. An officer who has been fined for repeated late attendance may readily bke advantage of any laxity of supervision in a spirit of revenge against his depa_rtment. the infliction of fines fr equently does not affect the officer himself so much as It does his dependants. Cases undoubtedly occur where the family of an officer, already impoverished by his bad habits, must suff er additional hardship through the loss of the money represented by the amount of fines .

The governing principles in cormexion with advancement of officers, whether by increment of salary or are satisfactory conduct, a_nd

and it is frequently urged by mterested officers, when the Chwf Officer IS considermg


the question of increments, that the fact of punishments having been during the year should be ignored, it being plausibly contended that the officer, having expiated his offences by the payment of fines, should not be again punished for the same offences by withholding of the increment. This view has been placed before the Arbitration Court on several occasions by representatives appearing on behalf of Public Service Associations. The fact is overlooked by those advancing such an unsound argument that an officer who comn1its ·an offence does so with full knowledge of the possible consequences, and that he is risking not only an immediate punishment by fine; but a future loss by stoppage or deferment of inorement. _ · - _

Information available fron1, several sources shows that the problem of dealing with minor breaches of discipline has engaged the attention of executive officers of various administrations who, having at heart the general welfare of their employees, have sought methods which, without impairing discipline, would be free from the objecti,op.abJe conditions of the old systems, of which reprimands and fin es formed an integral part. With this object in view there has been introduced in many railway services in America, and more recently in the Railway Department of New South Vv ales, what is known as the'' merit and demerit record'' system. A personal record card is kept for each employee for the notation during a particular period of all offences formerly dealt with by caution, reprimand, or fine, the practice being to record against the officer on the debit side number of demerit marks considered to be proportionate to the nature of the offence. On the credit side are noted the marks awarded for satisfactory service during the period. The accumulation by an officer of a certain debit balance of marks within the period is brought directly under the notice of the officer concerned, with an intimation that a continuance of the unsatisfactory service, as shown by his record, will result in serious action, either in the direction of reduction or dismissal, whereas a creditable record for the ensuing period will result in the officer earning sufficient merit marks to cancel the previously existing demerit marks. The officer is exhorted to turn over a new leaf and endeavour to rehabilitate himself. If after this warning the officer's service continues to be unsatisfactory during the ensuing period, action is taken to reduce him to lower and salary, or, if the circumstances justify it, to dismiss· him from the Service.

Under the system of demerit and merit marks thus outlined, the officer knows that without any imn1ediate correction by fine or otherwise for an offence, it is noted against him as a black mark, and that an accumulation of black marks on the debit side of his account without balancing credit marks on the other side will eventually . land him outside the ranks of the ·service. He knows that the commission of an offence is not forgotten, but that the record of such offence remains a blot on his departmental history, only to be wiped out by satisfactory service, and in this knowledge lies the efficiency of the system as a deterrent. From a reformative stand-point, the system induces an officer to behave so as to clear his record, and appeals to his instincts of self-preservation, and every opportunity is afforded him to mend his ways, thus avoiding the ·imposition of further demerit marks, and what to him is of the utmost consequence, cancelling his old record of unsatisfactory service. ·

. Amongst the results sought to be attained by the originator of the "merit and demerit" system in America (Mr. George R. Brown, Vice-president of the New York Central Railway) are stated to be the following :-To secure a higher scale of efficiency, strict discipline is essential to successful

operation ; -no continuous service performed by man can be perfect, but a high state of discipline and a_ careful selection of men will produce a high class of service, and successful operation will be t4e result. To remove the false but too common impression in the minds of employees

who haveserved actual suspensions (i.e., fined by stoppage of work and pay) that the amount lost by them is a payment to the employer loss and trouble caused him, and that in future settlements can be similarly made. To establish in the service a feeling of certainty that reward and promotion

will not follow indifferent service. ·

It would appear from the available information that, while doubt was expressed in many circles associated with American railways as to the prac.tical results of the Brown system , in the majority of rail:vay services it has itself firmly as


permanent adjunct of administration, while in the isolated instances where after its introduction it was abandoned there is good reason -to believe that the cause of the failure was not in the syst em but in the h1ethods of its application. The adoption of such a system as that described would be of marked benefit in

the adn1inistration of the _ Commonwealth Public more particularly in the Postmaster-General's Department, in which the conditions of employment are in many respects sin1ilar to those of a railway,s service; but, in applying it to Post Office employees, care should be taken that it is devised in such a manner as to be easily understood, practicable, and having for its objective deterrent and · reformative influences. In addition, uniform administration throughout· the States would be essential, and its

success would largely be dependeJ:?.t upon sympathetic and efficient eo -operation between controlling officers. The new system would take the place of the present punishme·nts of caution, and fine by the Chief Officer, but would not be applicable to

serious offences at present punishable by reduction or dismissal, which would still require to be dealt with in the manner already indicated. It should, however, be clearly understood that an accumulation of demerit 1narks for minor offences would lead to-the same ultimate result as a single offence of serious magnitude.

In the Commonwealth Public Service cases occur of officers whose record is one long series of minor offences, indicating that punishment by means of reprimand or fine has had no corrective influence. While such an officer has never committed an offence which standing by itself would justify his dismissal from the Service, the

combination of minor offences would undoubtedly warrant such action being taken. His retention . in the Service is attributable to unreasonable laxity on the part of administrative officers who have dealt with his sins of commission or om.ission. Under the system· of record such officers could: not be continued in the Service.

It is unnecessary to enter fully into details, these being matters for inclusion in regulations under the Act; but it may be stated briefly that the application of the system as a · tentative measure to the department suggested would involve adoption of scales of merit and demerit marks. The officers to be held responsible in their respective branches for the working of the system should be prescribed by regulation, and district inspectors sho1;1.ld be included in the list of officers. Officers offending against discipline

should be furnished with the reports made against them, and be afforded an opportunity of n1aking an explanation. They should be advised of the demerit· marks recorded, and be allowed to appeal to the Chief Officer against such record, his to be

final. At the end of each half-year officers \vho have accumulated a stated of demerits should be ad vised of their record, and · i11formed that if it is unsatisfactory during the ensuing half-year serious action will be t aken eit her by reduction in ;rank and salary or by disn1i ssal. Wherever practicable, this intimation sh ould be conveyed verbally by the Chief Officer at a personal interview, when he should use his influence by kindly advice and suggestion to lead the officer into better ways. Apart from the personal interview, the officer coneerned should be notified by vvritten memorandum. In country districts the admonition should where practicable be given by the District

Inspector. If after such a warning and advice has been given the record for the ensuing period shows no definite improvement, action should be t aken to reduce the officer or terminate his services. Any laxity or n1istaken sympathy at this stage would be prejudicial to the success of the system, and the punishment should be certain

and irrevocable. Nothing would b e so fa t al as the establishment, through weakness in administration, of a belief in the minds of officers that a mere bogey is being set up. Officers thus dealt with should be afforded an opportunity, before the reduction or dismissal takes effect, to appeal to the Commissioner if they so desire.

In any amendment of ·the Public Service Act, I would strongly recommend that provision be made for adoption of the merit and demerit system on an experimental basis, and as an alternative system to that of cautions, reprimands, and fin es. Provision should be made for both systen1s, and power be given to make regulations having a tentative or pern1anent operation, as may be warranted by result .


_ One of the mo st serious problems of Public Service administration as affecting the efficiency of the Service is that of dealing with officers who by reason of physical or mental inca;pacity, or. because of manifest incompetency, are unfit to discharge in an


manner the duties intrusted to them, and the difficulties experienced in this

connexwn are accentuated by the absence of any provision for pensions or superannuation allowances.

The Public Service Act directs that before an officer can be removed from a position which the Commissioner, after obtaining a report from the Permanent Head or an Inspector, considers he is not competent to fill efficiently, the matter must first be remitted to a Board, unless the Board finds the officer to be unfit to discharge or incapable of discharging his duties, he cannot be transferred to another position or removed from the Service. It is found that, as a general rule, members of Boards are zr:ost reluctant to declare an officer incompetent, and it is only in cases where the evidence discloses absolute physical or mental incapacity that -a decision is given adverse to the officer. In many cases sentimental co11siderations are allowed to outweigh a sense of duty, and in the rare cases where an officer is found by the Board to be incompetent in his present position, not infrequently a recommendation is made that he be transferred to other duties, where he will in all probability prove equally incapable of performing · duties commensurate with his salary. From my experience of the operation of the Public Service Act, I am convinced that the Service will never be relieved of the incubus of incompetent and inefficient officers so long as the present provision on the statute-book remains unaltered-a provision which casts the onus of decision upon a Board not directly responsible for the efficiency of a department or of the Service generally, and which almost invariably ''ill be swayed by feelings of compassion for or sympathy with a fellow officer whose livelihood or remuneration is in the balance. In such cases the public interest is subordinated to the interests of the individual, and the object aimed at by the Legislature has been largely stultified.

It may perhaps be argued that, if a Board of Inquiry !Uay suitably determine whether an officer is guilty of an offence, surely such a Board is equally suitable to deal with a charge of incompetency ; but in the former case the Board is required to adjudicate on definite evidence as to facts relating to some act of commission or omission, while in the latter case, where the issue is one of general incompetency, the difficulties of convincing a Board are almost insuperable. Excepting where the incompetency arises from physical or mental upon which definite medical testimony is forthcoming, a Chief Officer or Inspector is faced with a well-nigh impossible task in procuring evidence sufficient to convince a Board. Generally such evidence can be tendered only by those connected with the officer in his work, who "from long association with him and appreciation of his personal qualities, or other reasons of sentiment, feel a natural revulsion towards publicly testifying against a fellow officer whose position in the Service is at stake. Even the heads of branches,

who are directly responsible for the output of work and the efficiency of the service rendered by officers, will not hesitate to shield men who are "decent duffers," and have been known to overburden themselves with work, or transfer duties to a smart junior which ought to have been performed by the incompetent senior who is paid to do the work. It is obvious that such heads of branches, who in their mistaken attitude of loyalty to subordinate officers are failing to discharge responsibilities towards the department, cannot be relied upon for satisfactory evidence before a Board of Inquiry.

Thus the departments continue to retain the services of officers overpaid for the work performed by them, or so manifestly incompetent through lack of physical or mental capacity that their maintenance in the Service is unjustified. Shielded and aided by their fellow officers, they continue ostensibly to fill the positions, while the general

efficiency of the Service suffers.

If thi:> unsatisfactory condition of affairs is to be rectified, it can only be by a radical departure from the present provisions of the Act. The Commissioner and his Inspectors, and the Permanent Heads and Chief Officers of departments are conjointly responsible for the efficiency of the Public Service, and the only rational method, therefore, is that authority should be vested in these officers to deal v.rith and determine all cases of alleged incompetency. The Board of Inquiry established by the Act has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. The obvious defects in the present practice would be remedi ed by the follo,'Ving :-

Where a Permanent Head or Chief Officer has reason to believe that any officer under his control is incompetent, from whatever cause, he should so report to the Commissioner, who may thereupon direct an Inspector

1. 58 3


to make personal inquiry. If the Inspector, after full investigation, is in agreement with the Chief Officer, then upon the reports furnished by them the Commissioner should determine the matter either by transferring the officer to a lower position or salary or by terminating

his services. To meet a case where the Permanent Head or Chief Officer do es not initiate action, it should be the duty of an Inspector, if he considers an officer to be incompetent, to report accordingly to the Commissioner. The P ermanent Head or Chief Officer should thereupon be required by the Commissioner to furnish him with a report on the case, on the receipt of which the matter would be determined. Under this proposed arrangement, either the departmental head or the Public

Service Inspector may take the initial action to bring any case under the notice of the Commissioner, and any possibility of injustice would be guarded against by the provision for agreement in the views of the Chief Officer and Inspector reporting separately and independently.

A brief survey. of the provisions of State Public Service Acts relative to this vexed question will be of interest :-New South Wales.-If in the opinion of the Public Service Board an officer is not competent to perform work equivalent to his salary, his salary

may be reduced to the maximum appropriate to the class of work performed by or assigned to him. The officer is given the option of accepting the reduced salary or r etiring. Further, if an officer is at any time found to be incapable of discharging his duties, and the unfi.bness

appears likely to be permanent, the retirement ·of the officer may be effected on the recommendation of the Public Service Board.

Victoria .-The services of any officer found to be inefficient to discharge or incapable of discharging the duties of his office, or to be inefficient in the prompt and effective discharge of his duties, may be dispensed with on the recommendation of the Commissioner.

Queensland. - An incompetent officer may be transferred to other duties with reduction in salary equivalent to the value of the lower duties on the recommendation of the Public Service Board.

South Australia.-An officer who appears to the Commissioner, after report from the P ermanent Head or otherwise, to be incompetent may be retired or transferred to some other office upon the recommendation of the Commissioner.

Western Australia.-If an officer appears to the Commissioner, after report from the P ermanent Head, to be incompetent, the Commissioner inquires into the case, and upon the recommendation of the Commis­ sioner the officer may be transferred to some other position or retired.

It will be observed that the provisions of the State laws are uniform in requiring no reference to a Board of Inquiry, and in providing for action upon the determination of the Commissioner, after, in some cases, a report from the Permanent Head, but these provisions appear to be defective in that they are not sufficiently specific in respect to the initiative to be taken in removing incompetent officers, and thus allow room for

evading the unpleasant duty of reporting cases of inefficiency or incompetency.

If the problem of dealing with incompetent officers in the Commonwealth Public Service is to be faced with an earnest desire to remove the evil, the responsibility of determining an officer's fitness for the discharge of his duties should be placed definitely in the hands of the Commissioner, and the specific duty should be imposed on Permanent

Heads, Chief Officers, and Inspectors of reporting all such cases under the proposed conditions, which ·will afford some guarantee that their action in so reporting ·will not be rendered futile. Invariably the existence of incompetent officers forms the basis of criticism against the administration of the Public Service, and unless responsible heads

are enabled to cope ·with the question under the authority of new legislation their efforts to deal with cases of incapacity will continue to be ineffective and unsatisfactory.


FURLOUGH, RECREATION LEAVE, AND SICK LEAVE. The fu:dough provisions of the Act require to be considered from the. stand-point of equity to public servants, as anomalies have arisen during the past few years which in·any amending Public Service legislation will need to be rectified. It is provided by the Act that any officer who has served for at least twenty years, and whose conduct has been satisfactory, may be granted leave for six months on full pay or twelve months on half pay. By an amendment of the Act made in 1911, the provisions as to furlough were extended, so as to enable payment equivalent to the monetary value of the furlough to be granted an officer on his retirement, assuming he had not availed himself_ of the opportunity o.f taking the furlough during his service, and further, that in the event of the death of an officer who had qualified by length of service and satisfactory conduct for furlough, and had not availed himself of it, the monetary value of the furlough could be paid to the dependants of tbe deceased officer. . · ·

Apart from the general provisions of the law as to furlough thus outlined, questions have arisen as to whetner an officer who at the completion of twenty years' service in State or Commonwealth· had enjoyed the privilege of furlough, was entitled tQ _further furlough after serving a second period of twenty years. The Crown Law of the Commonwealth expressed the opinion that such an officer was in the circumstances eligible for a second period of furlough, or, as an alternative, for payment of the monetary

value of the furlough upon his retirement, or payment could be made to his dependants in case of his death. At the same time, however, it was held that an officer who had completed 40 years' service, and who had not availed himself of furlough at the expiration of twenty years, was not entitled to double the furlough, or to monetary compensation in lieu of double furlough. Thus an officer with, say, 46 years' service granted six months' furlough in 1907 was not eligible for a further period of furlough in 1908, as the granting of the second period of furlough would be dependent upon the officer completing a second period of twenty years' service subsequent to enjoyment of the first period of furlough. It was pointed out to the Crown Law authorities that this decision would operate inequitably, as in many cases officers who on cmnpleting twenty years' service had applied for furlough wete refused the privilege, owing to the

exigencies of public business, and such officers would, as compared with those who were allowed the furlough, be penalized in respect to the second grant of furlough, or its monetary equivalent, upon retirement.

·Special provision is made by Public Service Regulation 89A to nieet the cases of officers who may retire from the Public Service at 60 years of age, but have not served the full period of twenty years entitling them to furlough, such officers being.granted a reduced period of furlough, or its monetary equivalent, in accordance with the actual period of service. Thus an officer with sixteen years, hut less than .twenty years' service, is granted five · months' furlough, with twelve years and under sixteen years' service four months' furlough, and so on. It was ruled by the Crown Law advisers that this Regulation was applicable to officers who had been granted furlough on account of their first twenty years' service, and had served a further period of years on resuming duty after furlough.

Thus an officer who was granted furlough at the completion of twenty years' service, and after resumption of duty had served an additional twelve years, would, on retiren1ent at 60 years of age or later, be entitled to four months' pay as the equivalent of furlough earned ·under Regulation 89A. Here again the inequitable operation of the law is apparent, as the officer who can be spared for the first period of furlough gets the benefit of an additional four months' furlough, or ten months in all, while the officer who carried such responsibilities that he could .not be conveniently spared for furlough is penalized, and on his retirement is granted six months instead of ten months' furlough.

It will be seen that the present provisions of the law operate unjustly against officers who · by long and satisfactory service are equitably entitled to the benefits of furlough. Already.much dissatisfaction has been evinced by of_ficers who are and will be. prejudiced by the unequal. incidence of the law. It is understood that the Government has for some time past conten1plated an amendment of the Public Service Act in order to place the matter upon a proper basis, and in my opinion there is a full justification for the rectification of anomalies which have arisen. This rectification should take one of two forms. Either the furlough provisions of the Apt should be so amended. as

-1 58 5


to make it clear that every officer shall he granted furlough on his retiren1ent or the n1onetary equivalent of such furlough corresponding with his full period of service, but not to ·exceed twelve n1onths on full pay, or twelve n1onths' pay in lieu. Any furlough already granted under Con1n1onwealth or State law should be taken into . account and the grant of furlough or pay in lieu should be conditional on the officer

having given satisfactory service to the Governn1ent. As an alternative, the present provisions of the law should be continued, with the exception that it should be clearly indicated that for an officer's whole. period of service, ·whether twenty years . or more, he should not be entitled to more than six months' furlough or a 1nonetary

equivalent of six months' pay, thus restoring situation which existed prior to ·the receipt of the opinion of the Crown Law authorities previously mentioned. In my opinion the latter course should be taken. During n1y tenure of office as -Commissioner the view was held and frequently expressed that it was the intention

of Parliament that an officer who had served for twenty years or n1ore should be granted at son1e tin1e, subsequent to his attaining twenty years of service, the privilege of six rnonths' leave on full pay, and that any officer who exercised this privilege, no matter what-his later service 1nay be, would exhaust all his rights to

furlough or n1onetary equivalent.

This view was also set forth in the Thirteenth Report made by the Acting Public Service Con1missioner in the following terms :-I w.ould like at this stage to emphasize t he fact that I have strongly and con sistently opposed the granting of more than one period of furlough, and consider that, in view of the liberal provisions in the Service law as to sick leave, annual recreation leave, :1nd holidays, officers were fairly treated in

being granted . that concession. Even aftet· the legal opinions referred to were made a-vailable I endeavoured to secure a continuance of the practice that had hitherto obtained limit ing furlou gh to six months on full pay or twelve m@nths on half-pay, and pointed out the anomalies that would arise should a departure from that custom be sanctioned. In fact, it was only because of the explicit direetion of the Government as to the course to be followed in dealing with applications for second -periods of furlough or

their monetary equivalent that I agreed to recommend the claims of officers· for what to me seemed an unreasonable privilege.

Taking all the circumstances into consideration, I an1 unable to see sufficient justification for the expense to be incurred by granting every officer who has con1pleted over twenty years' service more than is involved in allowing six months' leave with full pay, which, in my opinion, was the maximum contemplated by the

fran1ers of the original Act. I - would, therefore, recomn1end that no furlough exceeding six months on full pay, or no more than six months' pay in lieu, should be granted officers, and that the following should be the conditions of granting such leave or pay in lieu :-

(a) That the officer has rendered satisfactory service ;

(b) That the officer is returning to duty after expiration of furlough ; or

(c) 1f retiring from the service that such retirement is due to his having reached 60 years of age, or is due to infirmity;

(d) That the officer has completed at least twenty years' service, except that .in the case of officers· who are retired because of having reached 60 years of ·age, and who have not served for twenty years, that furlough or pay in lieu be granted in the proportion

that their service bears to t"venty years ; (e) That the previous granting of furlough under either Con1monwealth · or State should exhaust any right to furlough or pay in lieu.

It is held to be a condition of the law that the furlough or its rnonetary value under Regulation 89A :must he granted prior to, and not after, the retirement of the officer. Officers, therefore, who retired from the Service prior to the·ruling mentioned as having been given by the Crown Law authorities relative to the operation of this regulation, have been precluded from receiving the payment in lieu of furlough to which under that ruling they were equitably entitled upon retirement. If the granting of furlough is to ·be continued on the lines at present being followed, it is a n1atter for the consideration

of the Government whether, in any amendment of the law, provision should not also be n;1ade to rectify this injustice to deserving officers.


Recreation are at present permitted to accumulate recreation leave for not more than two years, thus an officer desiring to take a lengthy journey may be granted 36 days' leave. Special provisions are made as to accumulation of leave in remote districts. In my experience, many attempts were made to. secure an accumulation of recreation leave for three or more years on the ostensible plea that the exigencies of public business were such that officers could not · be spared, therefore they should not be compelled to suffer deprivation of the leave. It had apparently been overlooked by these officers that recreation leave is granted as much in the interests of the department as of the individual, in order that the highest efficiency of working may

be secured through the recuperation each year of the officer. It is only in exceptional cases and for satisfactory reasons that recreation leave should be allowed to accumulate for two years, as the public interest that the leave shall be taken annually,

m order that the best advantage shall accrue to departments. The rule as to the granting of recreation leave annually should be rarely departed from except in remote districts, and heads of branches should encourage the general observance of this rule. No officer is so indispensable that he cannot be spared for eighteen days.

Reference may be made to the cases of officers who are required -to serve in remote or isolated localities throughout the Commonwealth, and more parti­ cularly in the western parts of Queensland and the north-west district of Western Australia, where the climatic conditions are severe, and frequently detrimental to the health of officers, their wives, and families. In these cases special provision is made by regulation to grant up to 24 days' recreation leave for each year, and to permit the accumulation of leave for two and, in certain cases, three years. In addition to this amount of leave, officers in exceptionally remote places are allowed a reasonable time for travelling, not exceeding two weeks. While these concessions as to leave are liberal, and justifiably so in the circumstances, many officers are debarred from taking advantage of them because of the prohibitive cost of the journey to the coast or to the capital city. In illustration, it is desirable to mention one or two cases. An officer stationed at Cloncurry who desires to spend his recreation leave at Brisbane would require to pay an amount of £20 lOs. 6d. as railway and steamboat fares, and the cost of fares for himself, wife, and two children (the last-named travelling at half-fare) w9uld amount to £6llls.6d. An officer stationed at Camooweal in the same circumstances would require to spend £94 lls. 6d. in travelling in order to enjoy a holiday at Brisbane. An officer stationed at Fitzroy (W.A.) would be required to spend £90 in travelling to and from Perth in

order to obtain a holiday for himself, wife, and two children. In many cases full fares would have to be paid for children, and the cost of the holiday in such cases would be proportionately greater than the amounts stated.

The matter of affording some relief to officers stationed out-back in order that they and their families may enjoy the benefits of a periodical holiday has already received some consideration by those responsible for Public Service administration, and reference has also been made by the Arbitration Court to the desirableness of making provision for reimbursement or partial reimbursement of railway and other fares. From reports

which have been obtained by the Acting Commissioner, and estimates of cost which have been framed, it would appear that the expense of a comprehensive scheme of assistance to officers in defraying their cost of travelling whilst on recreation leave would be heavy, but, notwithstanding this, I consider that the matter is one which should not be overlooked, and that some scheme should be devised which would benefit officers in more isolated districts.. In any pro­

vision might reasonably be mcluded so that regulatiOns may time to t1me be made, giving power to pay part cost of conveyance on recreatiOn leave of officers compelled to live, with their families, in localities far removed from the centres of civilization and where the climatic conditions are severe.

Sick Leave.-The yearly expenditure on salaries of officers absent on sick leave,. and on the provision of staff to afford the necessary relief, has assumed consider­ able proportions. In . 1910, when .discussing the subject sick leave in my annual report, it was pomted out that m each year nearly one-third of the total number of permanent officers in the Postmaster-General's Department were absent from duty for long or short periods through sickness, that the Department thus lost the services of an equivalent of 198 officers throughout the whole of the year, and that the amount



thus expended _ in salaries for which no return was rendered in services was over £22,000 per annum. It was further shown that the statistics as to sick leave enabled accurate compaTison to be dravm as to the relative efficiency of male and female employment, and incidentall y opened up the question as to the soundness of a principle frequently enunciated, that equal pay should be granted irrespective of sex distinctions. Still

dealing with the Postmaster-General's Department, the largest of the Federal Depart­ ments, it was found that 43 per cent. of female officers were absent each year through sickness, against 29 per cent. of male officers ; while the average absence per annum of female officers was 12·5 days, as compared with 5·8 days for males. · Comparing classes where males and females are engaged upon the same work, the proportion of post­ mistresses absent through sickness was 28 per cent., and of postmasters 17 per cent.,

and of female telephonists 46 per cent., as against 28 per cent. of male t elephonists, although the latter are largely engaged on night duty, which is recognised to be more unhealthy than day duty. In these cases the average periods of absence of female officers were considerably greater than those of males . The experience of the Common­

wealth iri this respect is borne out by that of other Government institutions employing large bodies of women. Since the date of the report referred to the amount of sick leave has increased in keeping with the expansion of staffs, and if all departments of the Service be considered, the cost to the community of granting sick leave to public servants forms a serious item of expenditure.

Under the Public Service Act and regulations sick leave is granted officers on the following scale, the amount of sick leave mentioned being applicable to a trienl).ial period, commencing from the date of the first absence on sick leave. On the expiration of the triennial period, the officer is allowed to commence afresh 01;1 the scale of such leave, and to continue on that scale unt1l the end of the next triennial period, and so



LPngth of Full Pay. Half ray • Third Pay. 'Vi thout Pay.

. Month a. Months. Montho. Monlbo. Under 5 years ... ... 1 3 6 8 Over 5 years and under 10 2 4 6 6 . Over 10 years ... ... 3 6 3 6 Although these periods of sick leave are prescribed as :maximum periods which may be granted, in practice they are fixed periods, as no discrimination is exercised on th e merits of cases, and the illness of an officer which may be indirectly attributable to causes within his own control is treated precisely on the same basis as that of an officer

whose illness is due to misfortune. It is a matter for grave consideration whether steps should not be taken, apart altogether from the question of discrimination between officers, to reduce the maximum periods of sick leave which may be granted under regulations. The present scale is unduly liberal, and in many cases offers an incentive to unscrupulous officers to absent themselves from duty without suffi -:ient reason. If all sick leave were grantable only on half-pay (although I do not suggest such a course),

I am satisfied that the total absences on account of alleged illness would be reduced by a large percentage. Generally speaking, the medical check on unlawful absences and on malingering is but slight, as the certificates of private medical practitioners must be accepted by departments, except at Sydney, where a permanent medical officer is attached to the staff of the Postmaster-General's Department. This appointment has thorough ly

justified itself, and there is no doubt that the creation of a similar office in Victoria would well repay departments by the restriction of absences and the check on malingering. Many officers regard sick leave as a vested right, which they are justified ia exercising, whether necessary or not. The history of malingering in the Service includes many remarkable instances of the ingenuity of officers in defrauding their departments. It

should be understood that these remarks do not apply to a large proportion of the Service, comprising honorable men and women who would scorn to take advantage of the depart­ ments, but unfortunately there is a proportion who do not hesitate to avail themselves of the liberality of the regulations, which were solely designed to help unfortunate anq deserving officers. ·


In the reorganization of the Service, early opportunity should be taken to revise the conditions under which sick leave is granted, in the direction of exercising differentiation in the scale of sick leave between ofricel's

acc ording to their relative service, and extending the period within which the prescribed scale will oper·ate. It will be noted that an officer of only twelve months' servi ce _is entitled to the same privileges as an officer of four years' service, and he may absent himself through illness for ten months and receive pay. r-; 0

distinction is made between officers with five and nine years' service respectively. An officer of over ·ten years' service may in successive periods of three years be absent for twelve months in each period with pay.

These conditions are unduly to officers with the shorter periods of service, and to officers generally in that they may be exercised in every period of three years. In my opinion the best interests of the Public Service require a variation of the existing conditions, and for consideration in any proposed amendment, it is suggested that for the present triennial period be substituted a period of five years, during which deserving officers should be eligible for sick leave

on the following lines :-Full Pay.-One week for every year of service with a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of thirteen weeks. Half Pay.-Two weeks .for each year of service with a minimum of

three weeks and a maximum of twenty-six weeks. Third Pay.-Four weeks for each year of service with a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of twenty-six weeks.

The maximum amount of sick leave obtainable on full, half, and third pay, in any period of five years should be 52 weeks.

Under these conditions an officer who has completed four years' service before being compelled to absent himself from duty may in the ensuing five years receive according to his service from four to eight ·weeks' leave on full pay, from eight to sixteen weeks on half pay and from twelve to twenty-four weeks' leave on

th.ird pay. An officer who has completed thirteen years' service may in any period of fiv e years following absence on sick leave receive thirteen weeks on full pay, twenty-six weeks on half pay, and thirteen weeks on third pa.y. lf still unable to return to duty he could be six months' leave without pay. These terms

should be regarded as sufficiently liberal and should effect improved conditions in the operation of the sick leave provisions.

At the present time, sick leave up to a period of three months may be provisionally granted by the Chief Officer, subsequently approved by the Minister; but any extension is provisionally granted by the Public Service Inspector, and subsequently approved by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Commissioner. Much time and labour would be saved by dispensing with the reference to the Minister, the Commissioner, and the Governor-General, and empowering the Chief Officer to grant all sick leave, subject to the concurrence of the Public Service Inspector, where the period of leave exceeds three months in any period of five years. Provision should also be made that where any officer has been absent on sick leave for a period of eighteen months, and is then unable to resume duty, he shall be deemed to have

forfeited bs office, subject to eligibility for reappointment if he eventually recover his health. While the present Act directs that an officer shall not be granted leave beyond eighteen months, it is silent as to the action then to be taken if the officer is unable to resume duty, and definite provision should be made for his retirement from

the Service.

In any amending legislation, power should be taken authorizing a Chief Officer, upon medica.] report, to direct any officer to cease duty where, although he rna y be capable of performing his work, he is in such a state of health as m;:ty constitute him a source of danger to his fellow-employees or the public. The absence of such officer should be

dealt with under the regulations relating to sick leave, which should apply as if the officer liad applied for leave of absence through illness. ·


OBSERVANCE OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS. Under the pro;visions of the Act 9ertain holidays are prescrib ed for observance in the public· offices of the Commonwealth, and these holidays (eight in number) include the generally recognised days, such as New Year's Day, Christmas Day, King's Birthday, &c.

Any duty performed on these days :must be paid for at double rate- i .e., single rate in addition to sal'ary. In addition, t he Act provides that any day or part of a day pro­ d aimed as a public holiday throughout a State, or in any locality, shall be observed in the Comrnonweaitli offices in the State or locality ; but the Minister or Permanent Head

or Cilief Officer may r equire such offices to be.kept open fo r public business, and, unless the Minister directs that extra payment shall be made for attendance of offic ers, no payment is to be made. In any case, payment can only be granted ii1 respect of duty 0lll a h0liday whieh operates throughout a State.

Umler Arbitrat ion awards,, provision is made for exercising the Minister's dis­ cretion in respect to t he observance of holidays other than the prescribed eight (8) days, lmt it has been ruled by the Court that if the Minister decides to allow as many of t he st aff off duty as can be. spared on any such holiday, this amounts to an exercise of discretion, on his part, and all offic ers who remain on duty must he compensated by pay­

ment of double time, just as in the case of t he prescribed eight days. This interpretation by the Court has given rise to many di ffi culties and anomalies, and if strictly fo llowed would resuft in serious embarrassment to department s. For example, St. David's Day is one of the whole State holidays fixed by the Holidays Act of Queensland, although it is rarefy observed out side the State Public Departments. It may happen that this

d'aoy is selected at Thursday Island fer a local sp orts gathering, and the Minister consents to the closing of the post-office for that day in order that the officials may take part in the gathering. Altho:ugh the holiday is observed in no ot her lo cality throughout Queensiand, according to the ruling of t he Court, the Minister, having exercised his

discretion in respect t o Thursday Island, must grant holiday pay at double rates for St. David''s Day to ev:ery employee in t he Stat e. These days, outside the regular eight G 8), holidays prescribed by the Act, are generally known as concession days, and the of recognising these holidays for the purpose of payment of holiday rates has

given rise to considerable discussion. The practice usually followed is to allow as many officers as can conveniently be spared to go off duty, and to permit those retained in the Department to shar;e in a concession holiday on some other occasion. In 1916 it was decided by the Government t hat while holiday payment should be allowed for . duty on the eight (8) prescribed days, on other holidays (concession da s) no such extra payme11t should be made. This practice -vvas continued until September, 1917, when the Al!bitration Court issued a ruling payments must be made even for these concession days, and this ruling has since been observed. Proceedings have recently been taken in the High Court by an interested union and in the Arbitration Court by the Acting Commissioner to determine t he q·uestion whether the ruling of the Court is to operate retrospectively as at t he dat es of the original awards.

There is no doub.t that the law and practice in regard to the observance of public holidays, and the granting of additional payment for holiday duty, are unsatisfactory and anomalous, and that urgent need exists for revision of existing conditions. Con­ siderable difficulties exist between the States as to the number and nature of the public holidays observed, whether throughout the whole of a State or in the various localties , and further anomalies arise from the fa ct _that while a public holiday may be observed in a capit al city, officers employed in t he country districts do not enjoy this holiday,

as it is proclaimed only for the city. Thus the complaint is made as to differential treatment between city and country. Consideration has been given by Public Service authorities to the question of how far holiday privileges, including payment fo r duty performed, aret 0 be extended, for obviously there must be some limitation to the number

ef holidays to be observed in t he Federal departments short of the actual number of halidays proclaimed by t he State Governments, as operating throughout the whole of a. State,, otherwise. Queensland officers would enjoy or be paid for sixteen public holidays each year, West ern Australia fourt een, ew South Wales eight, and so on .

lt is observed, from a perusal of the report of the Premiers' Conference held in May · last, at which a .Commonwealth Minister was in attendance, that the matter of seeming uniform holidays as between the States was discussed, and an arrangement made that the matter would be further dealt with by correspondence. Any decision

which ma-y be- arrived at by the Governments of the States as to observance of uniform F .l 8352.-5


public holidays woulq. be advantageous to the Commonwealth administration. In connexion with such a holiday as Eight Hours Day, while this is observed as a whole State holiday in three States, in the remaining three States it is observed only in certain localities, and not throughout the State. Many holidays are recognised by States · Governments which have long since outlived their significance, and it is difficult to

understand why in Queensland the four Saints-St .. George, St. Andrew, St. Patrick, and St. David-are particularly honored by closing the public office_ s, while in other States the necessity for this course is not recognised. There should be reasonable possibility of agreement between the States as to a limitation of public holidays, thus securing increased production industrially and saving expense to the States and the Commonwealth.

From the information phwed at my disposal, it is gathered that tentative arrangements have been agreed to by the Government as to limiting the number of public holidays to be observed in the Federal department each year, and that it is proposed to validate these arrangements by amending the law at an early opportunity. Under the Public ServiceAct all officers are entitled to eighteen days' recreation leave annually. In addition, there are eight public holidays prescribed, thus giving a total of 26 days' leave for each officer of the Public Service. It was considered by Govern­ ment that if four concession days were added, making in all 30 days; members of the Public Service would have no reasonable ground of complaint as to inequitable treatment. Officers of the Service are allowed liberal concessions in the matter of sick leave and furlough, apart from the public holiday and recreation leave privileges. It was decided, therefore, that in each locality of the Commonwealth, four concession days should be selected for observance, and that no Federal public office in any locality should close for more than twelve days in any calendar year, employees required to remain on duty on any of these days to be compensated by the granting of holiday payment, this number being made 1Ip by the eight prescribed holidays and thefour concession days. It was arranged that these four days should be selected by the heads of departments so that uniform action might be secured as to closing the public offices, and that the days might differ as between various localities in the one State. Thus in Victoria, while Cup Day might be selected as one of the four days for Melbourne, at Bendigo East er Tuesday might be chosen, and so on. This arrangen1ent, although not yet given the force of law, has worked satisfactorily during the past year, and in considering revision of the holidays scheme for 1919, it is found that but few alterations are likely to be required. The danger exists, however, that so long as the matter is not placed on a proper legal basis, pressure is bound to be exerted by outside bodies for the recognition by the

Federal Government of extra holidays, which would result in increasing the total number beyond twelve per annum. This actualJy happened recently in connexion- with the observance . of Melbourne 'Show Day, with the result that Melbourne officers gained an advantage over those stationed elsewhere by securing thirteen .holidays during the year instead of the number fixed by the Government. .

It is important that action should be taken in connexion with any proposed amending legislation to place the matter of observance of and payment for pub1ic holidays upon a sound footing, this being necessary from the stand-point of equitable treatment of public servants, of convenience to the general public in the matter of the

closing of departments, and of economical administration.


Where an officer occupies, for the purpose of residence, the whole or part of a Government building, ·the Governor-General, on the recommendation of the Commissioner, may direct that rent shall be paid by the officer not exceeding 10 per cent. of the officer's salary. This provision of the Act necessitates a recommendation being made to the Governor-General as to payment of rent in every case where an officer is transferred to an office at which he will occupy quarters, and, as frequent changes occur in the occupancy of quarters, particularly those attached to post-offices, this involves considerable work in the submission of each individual case to the

Governor-General and the publication of orders in the Commonwealth Gazette. This unnecessary circumlocution should be obviated by prescribing the Commissioner shall determine the amount of rent to be charged, subject to such limitations as may be imposed by the Act. In addition, an amendment of the law should be secured, empowering the Commissioner to direct that rent shall be in respect of the


occupancy of any particular quarters without specifying the officer or officers who n1ay from time to time- occupy such quarters, thus avoiding the frequent submission by departments to the Commissioner which is necessary under the present law.

Where the occupancy of quarters may be regarded as incidental to the duties of the office, as in the case of postmasters, whose residence on post-office premises is conducive to the better carrying out of departmental duties, the rental charge of 10 per cent. on salary, although generally inadequate as a return for capital expenditure, may be justified because of the advantages to the Department. There are, however, other cases where these conditions do not obtain, and, keeping in view the possible future activities of the Government in erecting buildings altogether dissociated from

public offices, solely to meet the demand for housing accommodation for employees, it is considered that in such cases the rental charges should approach more closely to the ordinary basis as between landlord and tenant. In any amending legislation provision should, in my opinion, be made that the Commissioner may, to meet such

cases, fix a fair and reasonable sum to be charged as rent. The rental should be fixed to provide for reasonable interest on the capital cost and for expenses of maintenance. A general rule might be made that the rent to be charged in such cases shall not exceed 6 per cent. of the capital value of the premises occupied by any officer.

. Under the present practice, a postmaster appointed to an office at the minimum salary for that office is required to pay 10 per cent. of his salary as rent, and as each increment accrues in his advancement to the maximum salary of his office the rental charge is increased in order to maintain the payment of 10 per cent., thus an officer awarded an increment of £10 actually receives only £9, the difference being applied to ·rent. While this practice is in agreement with the law, it is productive of much irritation

and establishes a gr_ ievance against the Department. In the British Postal Service the position has been met by providing that the rental, which, similarly to the Cornmonwealth, is on the basis of a percentage of salary, shall not be increased because of any incremental advance in salary. The rental, once fixed on the basis of the minimum salary of the office, :remains. unalterable, no matter what increments may be granted the occupant of the quarters. This practice should, I consider, l9e adopted in the

Commonwealth Public Service, and, under the power proposed to be vested in the Qommissi'?ner to fix rental charges, he will be enabled to direct that at all post-offices and other buildings, where quarters are occupied by public servants, and rent is charged for such occupancy, the amount of rent shall not exceed 10 per cent. of the minimum salary attached to the particular position. Where an officer for whom official quarters are provided, can furnish satisfactory reasons for relief from the obligation of occupancy, he should be permitted to sublet such quarters to another officer, but he

should be held responsible to his for the amount of rent chargeable on

the classified value of the office, and any arrangement between himself and the sub-lessee should be a personal matter between the two officers, subject to a safeguard against any possible exploitation. The adoption of the foregoing proposals as to rent will considerably simplify the present methods, and result in greater - contentment amongst an important section of the Public Service.

Allowances in lieu of Quarters.-Under an award of the Arbitration Court, postmasters who are compelled to rent a private residence, owing to Government quarters not being available, are entitled to allowances varying from to

5 per cent. on salary. The viewapparently taken by the Court is that, if postmasters who occupy Government quarters are charged merely a rental of 10 per cent. on their salary, other postmasters, not so fortunately situated, required to provide their own housing accolllmodation by renting premises should be paid

an allowance to partly compensate them for the outlay thus incurred. It must, ho w:ever, not be overlooked that, while the postmaster occupying quarters in a Government .building is required to pay only a. comparatively small rent, by the fact of his residence .therein he is called upon to act as caretaker of the building, and to render services to the

.public outside the ordinary business hours. The equity of the arrangement made by the Court in granting allowances to officers not in residence at post offices is somewhat doubtful, and, while provision may perhaps be made in any amendment of the Act enabling such allowances to be paid, the question should be left open for further

consideration in connexion with the framing of regulations under the Public Service Act,



Pending the adoption of a. system of pensions or superannuation allowances for officers of the Public Service, the existing provisions of the Act as to compulsory life assuran.ce must necessarily remain in: operation. Under the present law an axra;ngement is made by which any office-r who is. Ul).able to effect an assurance upon his life" e-:s:cepting v.yjth a loading on his age 0£ five yea,:rs or more, or whose proposal :Eor· life assm:a..nce will not _be a.ccepted. by any co.rapany, i.s req_uixed to submit to a, prescribed deduction from his salary in 1ieu of and the am.ount so deducted is accumulated,, v.vith i,uterest"' for his. ben.efit upon retirement o;r the benefit. of his dependants in the event of hi&


It is found that the· exi&ting provisions· of the- Act as to com19ttlsoq involve some .hardship [n the cases o! oifice:rs who·, enteTing the Service late-in hre, al!e required, because of their advaneed age, to pay heavy premiums on life· asslll:,rance policies. For exampl-e, an officer appointed as an artisa.n at a sa1ary of£ 186' was· to effect an assurance necessitating the· payme-nt o.f a yearly premium of £22. 'fhe

difficulty does not end here, as Gn promotion such officers are required to effect furthel! assurance, and th.e payment of pl'e)lliums for the additional assur3i:nce wollid la:rge1y absorb any advance in salary seemed l>y promotion. In O'!'der tQ ease the :financia} strain upon. officers appointed in s_uch circumstances, the Commissiouer sho.ul:i be empowered to waive the. provision as to compulsory life assurance wb.ere. an officer is a.ppointed. ove-r a stipulated age, and to permit him to take advantage of tlie provi-sions quoted above. as to ded:u.ctions f'ro:m sal'ary in lieu of assurance.

RETIREMENT OF OFFICE.RS F:ROM THE· SE'RV]CE. Every officer- u,pon a.ttaining the age of 60 is enti'tl.ed- to retire f:uom the Public Service should he elect to do so, or, if the circum':!tances just.ify it, he may be compelled to retire. If, however, he is d-esiro:us of continuing in the Service, and is capable of performing his duties and continueS; to qe capable, he may be

retained until he his sixty-fifth yem:, his service.s. are te:cminated.. Provision i& made in the Act fG>r re.tention even. oeyond. 65 years of age in cases where the Gommi,s..­ sioner certifies that iJt is in: the-iu.terests of t he Service to-so· re.tai'n. an officer, but th,i,s ha.s been interpreted to mean tha.t t he officer's se:tvices s:hould not be :tetained i'f his

can conveniently be filled, and, with the wide field. G>f selection always availabre., this is a most unlikely contingency. As a matter of p:tae.tice,. no officer Iemai·ns in the Service after attaining the age of 65 years. Similar provisions are· conta:i:ned in the Publ'ic Service Acts of some of the Aust:tali;m States,_ and it is p:tooable· tha.t, in prescribing in the Commonwealth Act an. age at which. retirement should. oe- compulsory, the 0biect Bf the Legislatme was to obviata the crea..tion of conditions. which arisen in some of tne States under which. officers we:te retain.ed far beyond the period 0f official useful-ness. On the transfer of State Departments to tlie Commonwealth. in 1901,. it was found in one State that lil.J1ny transfer-rei officers were· betvveen. 65 and 7@ years, a:nd a few even over 80 years of age. There is nO: doubt t.hat in. the origi.nallegislatjon.dealing with the · age for retirement of public servants the States Parriaments had in view the fact

provision existed for the-glla.:Flltiu.g of supei1 annuati0n. allowanees, or s0me form of com­ pensation, up0-n re·tirement,. and this iE. horne out by the ternas of the Commonwealth Constitution which provides. 84) th:at. an officer shall be entitled to ]}etire· :fnf!in office at the time., and on. the- pen-sion. or- retiring which 1 v.oul d be-permitted by the law of the Sta.te,

While the provision _ as to retirement- of officers on reaching the sta.ttttory age has much to commend it, keeping in view the need for· active and vigorous discharge of public duties, and for providing avenues of advancement for ambitious youth, a_ t the same time there is an elem.ent of hardship i:o the enforced retirement ofoffi·cers wha have grown grey in the Sexvice- and who not the consolation of a. superannua-tion a1lowance . In a separate segtion of tfus Report reference has been made to the m:gent :necessity for the introduction of some scheme of superannuation, During the·

seventeen years a consrd'erable proportion of the retirenients o:n account of age the Federal Service have, because of accruing State-rights-as to pensions, been with hardship, but during this peri'od mnnerons.. cases have arisen,. particnlady- i-n · theN ew South Wales and Queensland se€tions of the Federal Service, where the retiTed officers possessed no such rights. It will not be long before all officers of the Federal


Service w:ho were transferred from the larger StatBS ·n 1901 with pension rights wiil have disappeared, as the majority of the transferred officers were appointed to the State Services subsequent to the .abolition of pensions. In. Victoria,, for instance, pensions w.ere :abolished in 1883, thus officers now .in the Service w.ho were appointed to the Victorian Service 35 years .ago .are not entitled to _ pension upon retirement.

Under tke Com:m0nweahh P.u.blic Service Act, .as ai-s.o under ISDme o.f the St ate Accts, .com-puls0rr life .assu.ronoo is preseorihed, in or.d.e-r that sotne endowment provision n.t-ay be .available for officers on. reaching -the rage. While this provision h as, no doubt, heen benefici al, it ean ha:udly be a·s more than a palliative, a:s the

majority ;of public servants are not reQ)uired to .e:ffect an .assurance beyond £200, and in. no 'CaS-e for an amount greater than a year''s salary., which :amount capitalized not .assi-st to any material extent in meeting the wants .of the retired officer and

.d.ependants. As how few ar-e t he possilbihti:es o£ ·t he :great majority oif

pu.blic ser;v:ants being ab'l.e to make appr.eciaUe -savings f-or their maintenance after lreaving t he Service, the foHe>wing figur-es :are .extracted from t he Thirteenth Report uf th.e Pu.bnc Service Commissioner as to the permanent .staff mf the Service :at Jun e, 1:.911. Of the 2:3,·058 ©fficers .of the, 16,5.83 all.'e in t he Gcenera:l Division,

a ]>mpo;rtion of 70 per .cent., :an-d of this pmp.ortion are only -thirteen offi:ce:rs 'receiving -a salary in excess of £30(:) per :annum. ,Of tlil.fe remamder, 1,891 are paid more than £20(:) a year, wbil.e t he balan.ce .are paid at Ta.tes 'below £200. In the Oleriea'l D1v1si@n there .ane :6,04'2 :officers, of whom ,only on.e-six:th {1;078 ,officers ) re.oeiYe a greater ,salary than £300 per a nnum.

It is n.ecessary to bear in mind that the public servant occupies a peculiar position in a·cl.ation to .h1s 1Jfe's work wh .en compared with persons employed. outside the Service. Exc.e_pt in comparatively r am instances wh ere engaged in the practice of a profession ar trade, _a public servant is trained fo r and occupied in duties which b.ave no p arallel in

outside commercial or indu.strial life, consequently, 0n tbe termination of his career in the Service, tb.ere is no avenue open to l1im where his servi ees may oe profitably utilized. The c1ass or work in whicn he has been engaged is tne monopoly -of th-e Government, and generally his qualifications are of value only in the direction of

departmental employment. The .enrp1(i)yee in .outside industries has a wider scope, a;md ·m.ay con.tintt-e ,to -obtain empl-oyment in -the late;r years o£ a lthough possibly ·.at .a ;redu

by :a system of ·superannuation aHowances, but, pendimg th-e -adoption of 'Such a system, 'aCtion should he taken to make some 'Provision for th-e employment -of men who, having rea·cb-ed the :age at which they might reasonably he ·expected te> vacat-e positions they are now occ11pying , are still capa ble of giving useful service in minor positwns. With ·this object in v1ew, it ·is considered that the Act shouM confer authority vn the

-Dommissiorrer to determine that, upon an ·offic-er reaching ·65 years of age, be shall vacate his p·osition , but if ·such officer is not ·entitled to pension or 'Superannuation all-owance, .and, in the opinion of the Commissioner, is -capable of giivlli.g satisfactory service in a '!:ower position, with corresponding ·salary, he may sanction transf-er of t'lie officer to

:such bwer position. The positions to which such offi-cers may be transferred should he rrefin ed by regulation, and the 'transfers should be or · such a nature as would not interfere with tbe -a-dv ancement of other ·officers. For ex-ample-If applied under ·existing comiitions the ·o'tlicer, if in tn·e 'Clericai or Professional Divisions, would be

transferred 'to a n ·office in the lowest class of such Divisions, with salary

appropriate to such office, and if an officer of the General Division to an office in a junior grade in that Division where h-e should be paid the nunimum ''vage payable te> adults employed in tbe duties -of grade. 'The :retention of an -officer in th-e Service after reaching 65 years of age should be subject to report by a Public Servioe

lnspecto:r .at least once a year that t he officer is capable o[ r endering, and is rendering, -servi-ce commensurate with. the lower rate ·of granted him In no case,

b.owever, should an officer be kept imt the Pubhc .Service, even under the foregoin g corrditions, after reaching 70 years of age. By the adoption oftbeproposed arrangen1ent many cases of extreme hardship would. be ameliorated, while the ravenues of promotion wDlili.d be kept < open for deserving officers by the va·cation. of positions at 65 years

age., and the tran.sfer of their occupants oo minor posts, carrying a. lower salary, but 4 "1till a saiary sufficiently adequate to provide some m easure of :oomfurt 'ill tlil eir decli11i ,g years. .a humanitarian .stand-point there is much to be said :for the suggested

provision in relation to men who have rendered faithful service, and whose misfortune it is that they have grown old; and, with the safeguard as to inspection and report, it is free from objection from an ordinary business point of view. . · Retirement of _ Telegraph Messengers.-The sectiorr of the Act dealing with the employment of telegraph messengers enacts that every messenger, on reaching eighteen years of age, shall cease to be employed unless he has passed the prescribed examination before attaining that age. The examination thus referred to means the examination for appointment as telegraph messenger, the practice being to allow boys to enter the Service on passing in two of the three subjects prescribed for thE! entrance examination, and to require them to complete their qualification by passing in the third subject prior to reaching eighteen years of age. UIJ.der section 10 of the Post and Telegraph Act of 1901 it was provided that every telegra:ph messenger should immediately on attaining the age of eighteen years cease to be employed by the Department, but, if eligible, he could be appointed to some other position in the Public Service. This provision was repealed by the Public Service Act Amendment Act of 1909, it being anticipated that sufficient vacancies would be available to absorb the whole of the telegraph messengers eligible for promotion to other positions in the General Division upon their reaching eighteen years of age. For some years these anticipations were realized, but it has recently been found that difficulty is experienced in finding positions for these boys as they reach the age mentioned. It is now essential, in my opinion, that some provision be made to

meet the present position, and it is recommended, therefore, that the law be amended to provide that retirement of telegraph messengers, excluding returned soldiers, shall be effe9ted at eighteen years of age where no positions are available which can be filled by their promotion. Power should be given by an amendment of the Act to appoint telegraph messengers without examination, where deemed expedient by the Commissioner, so as to provide for filling positions in certain localities where a supply of suitable lads is not available under the ordinary procedure of appointment after competitive examination, and for the holding of examinations enabling them to qualify for promotion prior to their reaching their eighteenth birthday.


It is a matter. for regret that the Commonwealth Public Service Act. of 1902 did not include some provision for the establishment of a system of superannuation of instead of following the methods adopted in the more recent Public 'Service

legislation of the larger States in prescribing a system of compulsory life assurance. While the Federal law was to some extent based on the Public Service Acts of the Australian States, important departures were made from those Acts, and it is strange that the neces­ sity for providing a pension scheme was not realized by. those concerned in the framing o£ the new Act. It is evident that some attention was concentrated on the subject during the discussions in Parliament, as proposals were made for the creation of a Commonwealth Insurance Department for the purpose of dealing with life assurance of all employees of the Government. These proposals were, however, not accepted, and the existing arrangement as to life assurance with recognised public companies was adopted. It is clear that any provision for life assurance of public servants, no matter how liberal, cannot take the place of a properly devised system .>Qf superannuation allowances, and this fact has been recognised by many Governments, and by banking and commercial institutions throughout the world. While the superannuation systems adopted many years ago by some of the Australian States have for a variety of reasons proved unsatis­ factory in their operation, much evidence is available as to the success of o_ ther systems adopted by commercial institutions where adequate safeguards have been introduced, and the contributions by employer and employee have been fixed on a sound actuarial basis.

In the Commonwealth Public Service there is no doubt that many cases of hard­ ship have occurred through the operation of the law as to compulsory retirement of officers upon reaching the statutory age, hardships which would have been obviatedormitigated by the existence of a superannuation fund. Officers who have devoted their lives to the Public-Service, and who are approaching the age for retirement, regard their future with deep concern and anxiety, and the maintenance of themselves and families at an age when it is difficult to enter new walks of life is a serious problem. Public servants generally are not in receipt of such salaries as will enable them, · while rearing their families and discharging their duties as useful to. lay by eufficient mea;ns


secure a reasonable standard of comfort in their old age. They are rightly prevented from entering into competitjon with the outside public, and consequently have not the same opportunity of supplemynti:ng their incomes and providing for their declining years as is possessed by persons outside the Service. It certain that nothing would

be more calculated to insure the maintenance of a contented Service than the knowledge that some measure of provision had been made by the combined action of the Govern­ ment and its employees for the well-being of the officer and his dependants in the closing years of-his life.

. From t1e stand-point of the public interest, experience has shown that the provi-siOn of a superannuation fund is a wise policy; as insuring loyal service and the retention of men in the Public Service whose training and experience are of much value, and which otherwise might be lost to the Government because of the inducements offered them to

join undertakings outside the Service. l\1oreover, there is much to be said for the theory that the possession of superannuation rights establishes a strong, although not an absolute, safeguard against the participation of employees in industrial troubles, and insures their loyalty to the interests of the Government.

The Public Service Commissioners of the United States of America have devoted considerable attention to the subject of superannuation, the members of the Board bei:rg strong advocates of pensions for long service officers, and their views are epitomized as follows:-

H The establishment of pension rights benefits the employer as well as the

employee. H The prospect of a pension at the end of an employee's service attaches

him more closely to the firm or service than anything else can do. The one great concern of a man when he reaches middle life is as to his future provision; especially in the event of his breaking down in health towards the close of a useful career. The subject is always before him,

and constantly worries him, and interferes with his efficiency and the produce of his day's work; but with a pension scheme before him he is relieved of this and can more thoroughly and cheerfully

carry out his duties. H It is a direct incentive to the employee to render good service, because he

reccgnises that unsatisfactory conduct or perfunctory work may result in loss of the valuable asset accruing to him at the close of his working career, or when unforeseen disaster may overtake him in the way of sickness. u It means that the employee keeps to his work, and when he reaches the

age, say, of 50 years, and has become a valuable asset to the Government by reason of his experience, he is (on tent to remain and not be induced to enter other walks of life. This continuous service is of great importance in conducting the work of a public department whose business is entirely distinct from anything outside. 1he officer who really

becomes valuable to a department is the one who has had long service, and is acquainted with the methods and precedents existing in his business."

The British Civil Service has earned a high reputation for fid elity, zeal, and independence, and it has been claimed that this is due to the fact that these employed in it are aware that provision has been made for thEm by the pension system against ultimate want. The continuance in the Public Service of men with waning powers often

acts as a barrier to reform, because they are unequal to the strain of introducing new methods, and such men cannot be expected to initiat e new systems involving strenuous work in their establishment and in opposition to preconceivEd id as, whereas a younger officer will be constantly striving to effect improvEments, and thus enhance his official reputation. The effi ciency of a Public Service can only be ma:intained or increased where there is continuous movEment upwards and a regular retlnment of the super­

annuatEd, with the consequent influx of the young, strong, and ambitious. Effective provision. for those who are too old to render satisfact ry service do es not rest upon sentimental considerations, but upon solid grounds of economy and efficient administration .


72 .

As regards the adoption of a schen1e of superannuation allowances in th-e Common­ wealth Public Service, the question is too wide and far-reaching for elucidation in :the time at my disposal for the preparation and submission .of this Report. The matter is one involving most careful and prolonged study .6f existing conditions, :and the consideration of questions of a technical and complex nature. Any system to be adopted will require to be framed, not on speculative or problematical resu]ts; but on -ascertained facts reduced as nearly as practicable to a n1athematical basis by a thoroughly actuary or actuaries. The necessity for the establishment of such a scheme _ appeals strongly to me: and it is therefore urged that some authority should, as early as possible, he empowered to investigate fully the proposals which have been mad'e from time to time by those interested in t he matter; and t.o .subrrtti!b recommendations for the consideration of the Government.

The details of the sche1ne must necessarily be left for the :,su.ggestion Qf such .an author.ity, but, in my opinion, certain general principles should be followed to insur.e that the scheme adopted should be free fron1 t he extravagant features of past State systmns, which have resulted either in their breaking down, or in being carJ'i.ed on at an expense to the community which has operated as the most potent argument against the introduction of a superannuation scheme into the existing Services. It must be recognised that any schen1e which will make an appreciable dem-and 1ipon the treasury, either in the direction of a ·heavy preliminary or permanent is unJ.ikely to meet with acceptance, and, therefore, it must be founded mainly on a basis of

contribution by the employees of the Service, and, if sueh contributions ,are not to be of a crushing character, the benefits n1ust be less liberal than those .under past State legislation.

Under the system of salary payments now in operation in the Commonwealth Service, it would seer,n that officers generally could contribute an a·dequate sum for the main support of a reasonable superannuation scheme without ,appreciable hardship. Payments of salary are now made fortnightly, and, assuming that .a contribution equal to 4 per cent. of salary were t hought necessary, the fortnightly quota of an officer

r.eceiving, say, £200 per annum, would be approximately .6s., or not twice the amount he is at present required to pay in life assurance premium to meet the minimum requirements of the compulsory life assurance provisions of the Act.

For the object desired officers might reasonably be required to contribute up to 4 per cent. of salary, and, taking into consideration'the advantages -to be gained by the Government through the effect of a pension system upon the Public Service, it might also reasonably contrihute a sun1 equal to 1 per cent. of the salaries of contributing officers ; or, in other words, officers should contribute four-fifths of tle annual payments to t he Superannuation Fund, and the Government provide ·the remaining one-fifth.

The incidence of pension payments should be such as to be adequately met by an annual contribution equal to 5 per cent. of the salaries of the contributors. The present annual salary expenditure upon officers to whom the pensic-ms s.cheme would be applicable, i .e., excluding persons already entitled to pensions, ca:n be za:s not more than £3,500,000, and the contribution by t he Government would not for many years to come

exceed £35,000 per annurn.

It should be possibJe, with expert assistance, to introduce a sch:eme which, without in1posing any serious burden on officers, or any unreasonable demand upon the public purse, would place the public servant in a position where he ·coill.d -view the future with more equanimity than under present conditions. Such a scheme should :embrace the following features :-

(1) That the funds necessary, apart from any expense of m.anagement, should be obtained by contributions on a basis of one-fifth to be provided by the Government, and four-fifths by the ·offioors by deduction from salary. (2) That all details of n1a nagement should be conducted by a staff of public

servants forming a branch of the Commonwealth Treasury, the salaries of such staff, and all expenditure incidental to the management, to be provided by the Govern1nent. That pensions granted should accord with £ .. e., if pension

-is comput ed on salary received by the officer it should he the :average



sala1:y rec.eiv£d by him during his of aNd not,

as g.enerally the case under :State on the salary :received by him in the .closing year.s of his service. (4) That provision .should. be made for payment on a redRc.ed scale to widows Of :p-ensioners -or, ID the ev·ent of the ,death Gf remarriage of

a -widow, to the 'children of the deee-a:sed pension-er under a prescri-bed :age. (5) That 'Contribution to the fund should ibe compulsory upon all .officers excepting those entitled to pension or superannuation .allowance under

th.e laws -of the State from which they were transferr,ed. This is contingent upon the management taking over the compulsory life as-surance .obligations of officers .already in the Service.

A recommendation was recent1y made by the Royal Commission dealing withthe Naval Admiiiistr.ation of the Commonwealth for the adoption of some scheme of superannuation in the Navy .and Defence Departments. In my opinion, any action in this direction should be extended to embrace the whole of the department's ·of the



' In - a!tl.y scheme of Public Servide reorganization _ attention WiU require to he given to thre large -expenditure inv0lved in granting payments to officers other than by w.ay of -annua[ salary in r-elation to such :matter:s as Sunday and holiday pay, Dv.ertime and me:1l alle>, tx.av-eUing .and relieving .allowances, -district aliowances, payment · for exoess tr,avelling time_; ·stretch of -shift for perfo:rman'Ce of

higher .duties, &c. In no direction i-s there .a gr.eater tendency to inflate the public expenditure than iri ·.oonnexi.on with these extr2,neous payments, .ancl in many instances allowances tOf various kinds are looked upon -officers .as legitima-te perquisites which should nDt be interfered with -or cChalle11:ged. The annual expenditure incurred in this manner has _ rea/checl. -eonsidetahle proporti0ns, ,and would well repay .close investigation.

In a separate :section of this Report r-eference is made to the need for amfmdimg legislation as -to observance of -pub1i-e holid-ays -and paymen.t f0r duty pert0rm-ed on these holidays, where .considerable sc'Ope exists for retrenchment in ·expenditure. Much of the expenditure for Sunday and holid-ay duty is un3usti'fiable if consider-ed from -the

stand-point of interference with the privileges of offic-ers; e:g., an officer who has his 'Sunday or holiday, and in the regular eours-e of his duty is r-equired to commence a night shift at 10 -p.m. or ll _p .. ·nl.. on the Sunday or h-oliday ·should not be gr.anted extra payment ·; yet ·in this direction a .considerable sum ha·s b-een pard to Dfficer-s as

compensation for loss of Sunday and holiday privileges. P-ayments f

a regular and substantial profit. An instance has come under my notice wh:er-e, in order to r-elieve an :officer who had for service abroad, .an officer w-as sent to take his place temporarily, and paid .a relieving .aUowane:e of 27s. 6d. a week. Aftter the officer ihad drawn this allowance for some nine months, it suddenly dawned upon th-e department th-at the ,officer might have been permanently .appointed to the position and th-e relieving allowance be saved. This should have been done .at the outset,

and some other position found f

cent. allowance was intended to equalize cost of living conditions between Perth and the eastern capit-al cities, and was justified by he circumstances th-en existing. In the colirse of time, however, the eo:St of living at Sydn-ey and Melbourne rapidly advanced_, while -at Perth the upw;ard movement was slower, with the result t hat the disparity

betwe-en .Perth, Sydney, and MelholHne, which uriginally justified thre payment of tlw aUowanee, disappeai'-ed, and ther


should be continued. The statistician's figures as to purchasing power of money for the quarter ended September last show that the cost of living at Perth_ was lower than at any other capital city in Australia. Although a recommendation was made by the Acting Commissioner to the Government som_e two years ago for abolition of allowance, no action has been taken in this direction, and the payment is still made. Many thousands of pounds are being unjustifiably expended on this special allowance of 5 per cent., and the officers who have -thus benefited have been placed in a more favorable position than those in the eastern States, where the cost of living is higher than in vVesteni Australia.

The p_ ayments for excess travelling time granted by Arbitration awards are unwarranted in many respects. "Travelling time" is paid for time spent in travelling outside the ordinary hours of duty, and is granted in addition to the ordinary day's pay. Vvhile there is some justification for granting travelling time to linemen, mechanics, and artisans who are required to travel in their own r.ime on departmental business, and where such travelling does not form a regular part of their ordinary duties, there is no sufficient reason why travelling time should be allowed officers such as engineers, line inspectors, telephone inspectors, and others whose regular duty is to traveJ, and who could not perform their work without travelljng. In the award granted by the Arbitration Court to the Professional Officers' Association, the provision as to payment of travelling time gives rise to serious abuses, and involves much expenditure which is absolutely without precedent and without justification. For example, an engineer is required in the course of his duty to journey from­ Melbourne to Sydney. He has completed his day's work in Melbourne by 4.30 p.m.,

and leaves for Sydney by the 5 p.m. express, arriving at Sydney at 10.45 a.m. next day. The department provides him with railway ticket, reserved seat, and sleeping berth, and grants him a travelling allowance on a scale according to his salary to defray any expenses en route. In addition to this, under the Arbitration Court award he is entitled to be paid up to an extra day's pay for time spent in travelling outside official hours. Thus, because in the course of his duty he journeys from l\1elbourne to he is paid an extra day's pay, in addition to the travelling allowance to cover all expenses incurred during the journey. Another case may be cite-d in illustration of the extravagance involved in these allowances. An officer of the Professional Division is required to journey to Darwin on official business. He travels by rail from Melbourne to Sydney, and the steam-boat journey thence to the Northern Territory occupies eight days. The officer draws travelling time for sixteen days, represent1ng the journey both ways, equal to 16 days' extra pay, and, in addition, travelling allowance to meet all expenses. During the sixteen days practically spent in comfortably lounging on the steam-boat he draws two days' pay each day, free of all _ expense. The justification for repeal of provisions should require little argument.

The allowances paid under Arbitration Court awards to officers who are required temporarily to perform duties of a higher class v.ary in accordance with the award. In many cases the allowance is paid after one month's temporary occupancy, in another case it is granted after three months, and in yet · another after six months. There is no a de qua te reason for these differences in practice, hence the whole question requires reconsideration, and adjustment on an equitable basis.

Sufficient has been said to indicate that some action is necessary to place the matter of extraneous payments upon a sounder basis. This, of course, is only possible upon repeal of the existing arbitration awards, when a material saving could be made of expenditure for which there is no present justification.

Hours of Duty.-The expenditure in overtime payments is governed largely by the hours of attendance prescribed by arbitration awards and Public Service regulations. In the General Division · necessity exists for the revision of .the present hours of duty, in order that manifest inconsistencies may be removed. For exan1ple , it was decided by the Arbitration Court that the hours of duty of post-office mechanics should be reduced from 46! to 44 hours a week, while other artisans are still required to work. the former hours. This decision was based on an undertaking by the union that as much work would be performed in 44 hours as was previously done in hours. There is no evidence that this result has been achieved, but, in any case, there is no justification for differential treatment. In the Clerical Division the hours of duty of telegraphists have, by an award of the Arbitration Court, been fixed in such a manner as to widely extend the opportunities for claiming overtime, the practice in operation for many


years· of ·computing- overtime on a weekly basis having been altered by t he Court, which substituted a daily basis. The conditions of t he Telegraph Branches are similar to those of Mail Branches in_ respect to the -fluctuation of business from day to day, yet while employees in the former branches are paid, by award, overt in1e on a daily basis, those in the latter are paid, also· by award, on a weekly basis. There is no satisfactory reason

for this inconsistency, from which the public funds suffer by unjustifiable over time payments. As a general rule the hours of duty of officers engaged in clerical or professional . work, and also _those of many General Division o:fficets, are from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., with three-quarters of an hour interval fo{ t he mid-day meal. In two Stat es these officers are allowed a meal interval of an hour, and remain on dut y until4.45 p.m. The

working hours of officers are six and three-quarter hours a day, Monday

to Fnday, and th-ree hours on Sat urday, or a t otal of 36-i hours in a week. In four of the six States the practice in the public departments controlled by t he States Governments is to employ clerical staffs from 9 a .m. to 5 p.m . on Monday to Friday in each week, and from 9 a.m. t o 12 noon on Saturday. Reasonable warrant exists

for amending the present arrangement, and providing t hat the ordinary working hours for such classes of officers in the Commonwealth Service shall in future be from 9 a.m. to 5, with an allowance of one hour instead of three-quarters of an hour for a meal, and that on Saturdays the hours should be from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The present provision as to meal interval is more honoured in the brea ch than t he observance, as

many officers actually t ake a full hour instead of t he three-quarters prescribed, and the actual effect of the suggested alteration would be to obtain from such officers half­ an-hour's daily extra service. It is recommended that in any amendment of Public Service regulations, following upon the passage of new legislation, the question of revision of hours of_ duty on the lines indicated should be given consideration.


Some reference should be made to t he conditions governing the admission of women into the Public Service and their employment therein . It has been urged from time to time that there should be no discrimination between men and women as regards appointment to the Service, nor as to their rates of payment for services rendered, and ·in this connexion it is desirable to review the existing pract ice and to consider whether

any alteration is adv] sable in the public interests. The Public Service Act gives power to make regulations for prescribing the salaries or wages for women employed otherwise than in the Clerical Division , and prohibits t he en1ployment of any married woman except upon the certificat e of the Commissioner that such employment is desirable.

Beyond these provisions the Act Is silent as to the e:mployn1ent of won1en, and there is no legal bar to the appointment of women to any division of the Service. While the Act empowers the fixing of special rat es for women in the General Division , no regulations have been framed for this purpose, consequently women employed in the same occupations

as men in this division are similarly remunerat ed . In the Clerical Division no dj stinction is made bet-yveen men and women in rates of payment. No women are employed in tbe ProfesSional Division. It· bas been the practice t o rest::-ict the appointmen t of women to positions for which, generally speaking, t hey are particularly suitable, such as those of t ypist, telephonist, fetnale sorter, in which their U.t jlization is of advantage t o the Service .

Males are likewise employed as t elephonists, and in some few cases as typist s, an d no differentiation is made between .the rates of paymen t of male and female employees; but the principle has been est ablished that no male t elephonist shall cont jnue t o be employed in that position after he reaches 21 years of age, and steps are t aken t o promote him to some other pos1tion on att aining that age. In the departments transferred fro m the States at the inception of F ederation a number of female officers occupied positions oorresponding to the present posit ions of clerk, t elegraphist, and postmist ress, and these officers on classjfication were placed in the Clen cal Divi ion . With few exceptions, the whole of the female officers now in the ClericaJ Diyj sion obt ained their eli gibility fo r employment in that division under Stat e law prior t o Federation. Apart from thes8 transferred officers, the majority of t he female offic ers now employed occupy posit ions

which mav appropriat ely be fill ed by them, and in whjch they do no t ent er int o compet ition to any extent with male officers. total number officers emplo:>:ed

in the Service is 2,645, of whom 2,419 are In the General Division . The balance

ar.e chssifiedl. in the Ciexieal Divifili1lR., ancl '(i)I these are in t:be

Postmaster-·GeneraJ's .D.e!T')aTtmemt .in i n wih>ieh State, before Fede:mtio.n. facilit ies wer.e afforded women to ·enter the Cier:ieal iD.ivisio.R, hut

In any discussion as to amendment of tb:e Act, the question mtty possibly be raised as to widening the avenue for employment of women by throwing open posi.tions for co:rnpetitim1 betwt>..oo tm;aie and female ca:mditd.ates. Tihre examinations for appoin tm.ents to the .Serwce wvh;:id1 have in t he be,'ln C_(i)Wfiille.dl ltlil 'Inales have been principally for nomination t-o th

obviously unsuitab'le. As r.e,gar:d-s appointment to of clerk, too un!JleStnie:ted admission of wo:men to these positions w.ould .certainly mreaif!l t he .c.o:rnpiete transformation of a Service now :comprised for the most part -of .and a m change of this nature eould on ly be just ified by the,t of some .adw.aatage :aem·umg t0 the .Pwblic S.ervioo.

H the future of the 'Ser;vice lbe kept i1111 view;.slJleih. :a -change w.o:m.ld be :a 1Se;rimrs :disadvantage. Young men enter the :Seifvice ·.of the Comm(j)nwealtb writih tihe llio::ten.tio::n ·of .devoting their lives to the work, :and w\ith t:h:e .amhitmn to qualify [o;r high,er and assu:me greater respons:ibjiliti:es. Experience has shown that in the case of W«ilmen ·employe the same in celiJtives .do not .as a mle ·e:rist; the lmowAedge of

gained by them is lost in .an a-ppree1abie munber of 'Owing to m:a.rri

-ar.d even when they eontinwe in rthe Servire it is Lfon:n:d tha:t reach 'tneir ruinn __ t '(j)i at .a .cnmparat

th•ey tnay stand th.e st rain oiwm_x fm a usnaB.y :IDliows

with th

The positions at iJ1I'esent oc.c!.iiPied by t

Clerk, Postmist r-ess,

Assistant, Postal Assistant, Typist, Telephonist, ·

Monitor, Supervisor,

0 Div.isiorn .

General Division.

Tdeg:caphist, .A

Ch-eck-er, Female, Reader, Female, Sorter, Female, Senior Sorter, Fema1e, Assi-stant,, Printing, F-elnale.

The last Jive pGsitions named .are reser vted for fem.ales, while the remaining posit ion-s may be fill ed by appointm.ent o[ males or females, a1th.ough in the case 'Of telephonists and typists females largely preponder.ate, · .

As regards the question of remu.nerati

from t h:e actual va[ue of the work performed, is that .a sillaU ib.e gr.ailllted .Btdiicioo.t to meet the rea-sonable r equi1ements -of a man .and his !family, .or Ito .enable h im flo make provision for mauiage 'and his future nspon:sihi[lities .as a .citize!ll. l' o such O(])D.-side.r.ati.@n enters into the fixing of for f-emale l.abour., even where .similar d uties

are performed by men and wom-en, wheth-'BI' it be in the Prubli.c Ser-riee or in the tewc-hin.g profession, or 'elsewhere, the experience timmgh.out the w.orld is that sefivices are not r endered, 'Owing t o the fa-et .co:nstituti



continttotls e-:fito.rt as and are absent from duty for health reasons to a far greate;· extent. The more freq.uent of women, through illn .ess., necessarily r estrict

their utility as. workers:. In the Britisn Post Office· a di:fferentia:.tio!il to. the extent of p.e::rr c-en.t. is. rna.d:e in the salaries o£ men. and women.

In such. positions a_ s those of typist and telephonist, taking al'l the conditions into consid.era.tien, women_ rende:n service equal to that of men, and there should b e n.o necessity. to discniminatt.Q between the in th.e matter of salaJ?y . Ther e

a:r:e,. however,_ in the Sewice position& 0'f a cl'erical character specially suitabre for wom.en, wllere the work. is not of sufficient value to j.ustliy the maximum rates at present Jjl&yable in such positions, and in these cases the Commissioner should b e empowered to exer.cise some discrimin_ ation,. keeping in view the nature of the

o.ccupa.tion. In this connexi:On the woik of.· record cferks may be mentioned. While the em]>.lo-yment of a j.un.ior derk on the duties of recording and indexing papers for a. period. of one m; two year.s 1s desirable- from the stand-point of training in office ro.utine and procedure, hls further retentiGm on the work is unwise, as limiting his

tnaining fo:E otlier positions initia_ tive, and resulting in a loss of ambit ion,

combi-ned with. a fee-ling of dissatisfactiOn with his environment" The routine nature of this wo:I:k renders it peculiarly suitable for women, and,. where the experiment has been tried.,. it irs found tha.t female de-rks discharge the duties in a satisfactory manner. I would the. j,unior positions in the records branches of departmenti:l

be filled largefy by female officers, and that, fer t his purpose, a limited number of clerical positions be thrown open to fe.males already employed in the Service, subject to. a. special scale of pay-ment being ad-opted,_ the maximum of which being less than that prescribed' fm: the j:unior dass of the Clerical Division. 'Fhe adoption of this

proposal would he advantageous to· the· Service, and. WO'u-ld rei-ease promising youths from duties: which are mainly routine, thus· widening their scope for training and improving thell: prospects· of advancement, while at the· same time making for a more contented S'e:rvice.


Any re-p0:rt dealing with :Public Service adroinistratio!'l under exist-ing condition s wottld be ineemplete- v.rith0ut r€'ference to· the employment of returned soldiers. Not O'nly the Commonwealth Government, the Go:vemments of all the States, have dev-o·tetit aMention to FecC!Jgnition of the seJ!Vices- ef our brave men i.n the cause of their

aHd the> Empire-, by affording them the fullest opportunity of now serving their

eoun:try in at civil capacity. 'l'he policy of the· Commonwealth Government in respect of theil>· employment is- re:fleeted in the, several amendments- of the Public Service Act which have· been made sin·Je the outl!>.reak 0f war, and which plaee the returned soldier who- seeks e-ntrance to the Service in a more' advantageous· position than other classes

of candcidates'. R,etmned soldieFs- who pass an e>xamination for appointmer;_t to the Service aFe given primity over all other candidates at the same examination,

ana, in addit ion, examination& may be:-Fes-tricted to r:etumed sold·iers, who upon passing nmy be a-ppointed to the Clerical Division a·t any age up to 50 y(>'ars , while the maximum age for other ca-ndidates- is 25· yeaTs. Apart h:0m th e examinatior s thns prescribed to enable returned s·oidiers- to qnall.fy for appGifltm,mt to the permanent Service, the Act

provides for appointment on evidel'l'Ce of qualifications , and 1'nthout any further e-x?,mination. For instance, a lad who passed the Jun ior Public Examin2.tion prior to- the war, alld who enlisted for service, may on his- retmn to AustraJia secure pe'l'manent a:pp0intment t O> the on the strength 0f h is University pass, and with out

again submitting himsel-f to an educationa1 examination. Provision is also made that a returned soldier may be appointed to any class Ol' subdivis-ion of the Clerical Divi sion with corresponEl:ing salary; while the (:JUtside candidate must, under the law, be appointed to the lowest suodi ision of the lowest class, and at a minimum salary of the class. 'Ihe neg:u:lations- governing t empon1xy .employmen t co nfer priority on the returned so ldier i:f; is. qua,-lified to perform. the required to-be done,. and no limitation is plac don

the. period of employment as i& the case with orcbinary applicants for te'mporary work. The re.tru::ned. s-oldier rna y be continuea in a temporary position so long as temporary assista-nce :ts required., and- he does the- work satis-factorily . I am satisfiecl hom inquiries tha:t the :provisions of t h e- Act in relation to employment o£ returned soldiers are being

administered_ in a sympathetic manner:·, auc1 every. reasonable allowance is made for i:n:fu:mitrea :cesulting from service at he wa:r:


It will be seen that the preference given ·to returned soldiers has been .of a substantial nat ure, and the effects of. the Government 's policy in this connexion. are already apparent in the public departments in the number of returned men serving in a permanent or temporary capacity . . It should be stated, however., that the granting of preference to ret urned -soldiers carries with it certain results which should be cheerfully accepted as inseparable from t he aftermath of warfare, but which, in justice to officers responsible for t he control of department s, should be fully recogt1.ised. The appointment

of returned soldiers of adult age instead of youths fresh from school must necessarily­ render the process of training more difficult, and this is bound t o be reflected to some extent in the efficiency of the Service. So me indication of t he difficult ies experienced by controlling ·officers of department s may be gathered · fro m a recent quarterly report relative t o the temporary employment of returned soldiers in one branch of the Service which shows that, in order t o obtain' t he desired assistance, it was necessary to communicat e with 171 ret urned soldiers, of whom 84 ·failed to acknowledge the communications. Of t he 87 1nen engaged during t he quart er, 30 left· their occupation before the expiration of the ·10 left their work without giving any notice,

12 resigned, 4 left through illness, and 4 were dismissed for ·reasons to their discredit.· ·And, despite all this, the public business of t he depart ment had to be carried on. While such conditions must be anticipated in the circumstances, they add materially to the burdens of responsible officers, but I am satisfied they are being fac ed with the desire to

give whole-hearted support to t he policy of the Government in offering avenues of employment to the returned soldier. Some consideration has been given to the que-stion of whether -the preference­ already provided for in legislation should be extended i:ri any other direction. - The provisions already 1nentioned relat e to the returned soldier who desires to enter the

Public Service, but rnany officers have left their positions in the Service to figLt for their country. Should preference for promotion be given to these officers on their return from the war over senior fellow-o fficers who have stayed at home? No officer should be prejudiced in his prospects -of advancement by reason of absence on active service,· and apparently thjs principle has _ been kept well in view, as the practice has been adopted of giving full consideration t o t he claims of absent offic ers in the making of all promotions, as a result of wh ich a large number of men now serving abroad have· been promoted during their absence t o higher in the Service, the duties of which they will take up on their return t o Australia . vVith the continued recognition of this principle it is considered t hat full justice· will be done. Clain1s have been advanced that the returned soldier should be given preference for promotion as against other members of the Service, senior and equally efficient, and it has been contended in thus advocating preference to returned soldiers that it is desired to reward those_ who have served t he nation rather t han to penalize those who have not enlisted. It must

not, however, be overlooked th at the prior advancement of the 'returned soldier must necessarily have a punitive effect on the officer whose 'failure to enlist will have resulted in the fo rfeiture for an indefinite period of a right to promotion which as an equally qualified and senior officer he formerly possessed. The adoption of a· policy of preference for would also mean that the pern1anent officer who endeavoured to enlist, but was medically rejected, the officer who was over the age for enlistment, and the officer whose home t ies and obligations rendered his enlistment out of the question, are all t o be penalized for no causes of their own. The old experienced officer, who could not enlist, but who has perhaps sacrifieed his only son on the altar of his count ry, is t o be superseded ]n t he Service by a younger officer ·whose age and absence of fa1nily ties have enabled him to enter the conflict. No one would gainsay the fa ct that the officers who enlisted are deserving of commendation and reward, but I cannot believe that these officers would seek t o be rewarded at the expense of their fellow-officers, particularly at such heavy expense as would be involved by the loss ·of promotion, t he effect of which would be fe_lt throughout their official career.

It is apparently not realized by those advocating the promotion of returned soldiers over t he heads of other officers how inequitable such a preference would be, as, not only would it operat e adversely against non-soldiers in respect to immediate promotions, but would enable the ret urned soldier to claim preference throughout every class of his division, and, .if t his preference be multiplied over and over again, it would mean that the would find himself continually being passed over by returned men, many years junior to hin1self, both age and service, and less _experien?e, no superior capacity. To any person having a lmowledge of Pubhc ServiCe organizatiOn

'1 3


the adoption of such a system of preference is unthinkable if the public interests are t o be considered. The effects of preference to returned soldiers would be far-reaching in the destruction of incentive and the creation and continuance of bitter feeling between -soldiers and non-soldiers which would seriously affect the espn:t de corps of the Public

Service. The senior officer, if not .surpassed in efficiency, has the right, conferred by law, ·and enjoyed the inception of the Public Service Act, to preference for promotion. It is now sougtt to· destroy this right, It is difficult to believe that the agitation in this direction arises from the returned soldiers who are officers of the Public

Service, or , that it would be countenanced by such ffien, who, having served their country in the interest s of right .and justice, have returned, or are returning to their positions in the departn1ents. The provisions already made by the law j n the interests of returned soldiers seeking entrance to the Public Service, if ·wisely and sympathetically administered, ·

should, in my opinion, adequately meet all reasonable claims, and I believe that once having secured adn1ission te the Service, returned soldiers w1llnot seek to trade on their patriotism, but will be ready to stake their future advancement upon their qualifications and capacity in competition with their fellow-officers under the regular conditions of

promotion prescribed by the Public Service Act, and not by means of undue preference accorded them by reason of their war service. ' ·


Under the provisions of the Act temporary assistance may be engaged by a department whenever in the opinion of the Minister it is necessary, and the selection of the person to be employed is to be made by the Permanent Head or Chief Officer. It is provided that the persons selected shall be those who appear tq be best qualified for the work to be performed . While the Act thus confers authority on the departmental head as to selection of temporary employees, the order of preference in selection is

prescribed by Public Service regulations as follows :-Returned soldiers, relatives of soldiers, persons qualified for and awaiting permanent appointment, members of trades unions, and so on. It will be seen, therefore, that decision as to the necessity for temporary assistance nominally rests with the Minister, and the power of selection with the Permanent Head or Chief Officer, while the Commissioner or Public Service Inspector has no expressed direct power · in the matter. In practice, the Minister's decision is

usually an indorsement of authority for temporary assistance, and the actual selection of the temporary employees is not made by the Permanent Head or Chief Officer, but by some subordinate officer und er The Commissioner or Inspector may

question the selection of any temporary employee upon the ground that the provisions of the law governing selection have not been observed, and it has frequently been necessary to take this course. In addition, cases have occurred where persons who have not been registered for temporary employment have been engaged, and others where the conditions of selection in order of registration have been ignored.

The following extract from the Seventh Report issued by n1e as Public Service Commissioner indicates the view taken by me in the matter :-Glancing at the provisions of the Public Service Act in respect to the employ ment of t emporary hands in the public depa r tment s, it must be ret.:ognised that it was never contemplated t hat such assistance . should be utilized except to meet the exigencies of those departments during periods of pressure, or to

cope with condit io ns where t he appointment of perma.nent officers would be unwise and unjustifiable; and it is certain t hat Parliamen t never intended tha.t t emporary h ands should be employed in a wholesale manner for the performa nce of du ties by no effort of imagination, could be considered as temporary

in character. While t he provisions 0f t he law are as indica.ted, a regrettable om is -ion occurred in the failure t o provide for a system of selection for employment which would remove any possibility of undue _influence, and enable temporary or ca ual work to be distributed on fair g rounds wit hou t favour to any person. It must be aeknow ledged t ha t where opportunities occur for t he exercise of patronage, they are

liable to be a vailed of, and in t he ab.- ence of r eRt riction n.s to the method of engaging temporary a.s istance, the greatest temptation exist s to find work for solicitous applicants, irrespective of the requirements of departments or o£ the claims of other applicants for prior consideration. And t h e danger not end at this stage, as on ce hn.v ing secured temporary engagement by means of undue influence, sa_me influence is brou ght into play to prevent the of tempo rary b a. nd s being wi th. V1ewmg

the mattHr not only from an economica,l stand-point, but also from that of efficiency, the present system is detrimental to departmental interP ts; and nothing but demoralization of tl1e permanent Service can result from a wasteful introduction of t emp orary hand . ·

. Although every effort has been made within the re-stricted power of the Commis­ sioner and Inspectors to eliminate the undesirable features of temporary employment, and generally with satisfactory results, an amendment of the law is urgently necessary to prevent the continuance or recurrence of these conditions. vVhile no permanent


office can be created in the Service except upon the recommendation of the Commissioner, a temporary position may be established in which the Commissioner has no voice. Similarly, while a.n appointment to the permanent Service can only be made under conditions which render. impossible the exercise of influence OF favoritism, the prese11t

method of appointing temporary employees furnishes inadequarte safeguards against irregular methods of selection. Permanent H ead. of a Commonwealth depart­ ment, in discussing this matter recently, expressed his views in the following terms :- ·

As regards increases of staff, it may be pointed out thktt, even existing legislation, it iB

possible for· the department to employ temporary assistance· in a position which the Publi c Service Commissioner has deemed to be unnecessary. 'fhis serves to indieate· that tl1e present provision of the A ct in this connexion may be rendered ineffective from the OommiH ioner's point of view,_ while t he department is able to secure the assistance wh ich it requir:es, but not. in the manner most to be desired, as generally speaking a permanent officeJ' would render mo r·e efficient service than ar temporary employee.

For the purpose of indicating the importance of this· phase 0f Public Service administrat:i:on fro m a: finan0ial stand-point, the.following :fi:gUTes are quoted:-

-- Numb&r of Temrorary Annual Expenditure. Employees on 30th June. 1912 .. . .. . . .. 1,533 £215,467

1'914 .. . ... ... 1,648 19i,690

I91.8 ... ... .. . 3,622 508,052

'1'he marked advance in 1918 as comparred with 1914 (the pre-war period) may he attribu.ted to the engagement of temporary assistance in the absence of permanent officers with th.e Expeditionary F or ces, and the conditions may to·tha.t extent be regarded as abnormal.

In any amendment of the Pu.blie Service Act it is highly necessary -that altemtions be made which will remove an_y possibility of unfair discrimination, and secure some guarantee that temporary assistance shall only be utilized where jRstified by the require­ men_ts of departments. In it is-desirable· that provision should; be made· to obviate the continuance of tempomry employment whcere· the conditi€lns are s11ch as to

warrant the establishment of permanent positions. The-amendment o£ th.e-law should he in the direction of providing that when temparary ass-istanee is cnnsidered necessary the Permanent Head or Chief Ofiiee.r shouid notify the Public Service Inspector, who, if satisfied that the assistance is, req-uired, should make the selection. of a suitable. pe11s·on

front the empl0yment register. The effeet of this amangemen:t would be to ereet a barrier against the creatien of a temporary position for therm:rpose of provi-ding employ­ ment for some favoured person, and also. to insure the careful examination of the available resources of t he department and the possible temporary rearrangement oi

duties, so as to obviate. the necessity for temporary assistance. The Victorian Public Service Act provides that temporary assistance shall be· engaged only when in the opinion of the Commissioner such assistance is necessary, and th.e. selection of the employees r ests with t he Gommiss.ioner .


Under the terms of the Com.'mission intrusted to :me, it is required that report be made as to the steps necessary to adjust the position that has a,risen by reason of the various authorities in existence for th e regulation and working of the Public Service. It is therefore necessary to consider the position with regard to the administration of t he Commonwealth Railways in relation to staff management. Under the provi eions

of the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway Act, the 1inister was empowered to appoint such officers as he considered necessary for the purposes of construction or v vorking of the Railway for any period not extending beyond six months after the date the line was declared open for traffic. This Act , so · far as it concerns the powers of appointment, together with the .Pine Creek to Katherine River Railway Act, has now been rep ealed

by the Commonwealth Railways Act of under wliich the power of appointment, and the fixing e)f sala.ries, wages, and allowances i" s vested in the Commist;ionerof Railways, excepting appointments of persons at a salary of more than £500 .uer annum,, which require the approval of the Governor-Generaf. Any det ermination of the Commissiener

·'-16 05


of Railways as to salaries, wages, and general condit ions of employment may be varied by an award of the Arbitration Court under the provisions of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act in the same manner as the Public Service of the Commonwealth. The Commissioner of Railways is empowered to dismiss, reduce, or otherwise deal with

employees for incapacity or misconduct, but employees are granted the right of appeal against any decision as to reduction in status or pay, or as to dismissal. The Appeal Board · includes a Police or Stipendiary Magistrate appointed from time to time by the Ministtir, an employee of the Railway Service appointed by the Commissioner, and an .elected ·representative of the employees. The Board is empowered to vary any

punishment imposed, and its decision is final. The Commissioner of Railways may make by-laws prescribing inter alia the terms and conditions of appointment, retirement, and dismissal, and such by-laws must be approved by the Governor-General, be published in the Gazette, and be laid before Parliament within a specified time.

In a preceding section of this Report, a recommendation has been made for tha repeal of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, and the adoption of this recommendation will involve the necessity for providing some other arbitral authority to deal with claims of Railways employees. Under the proposals for re-organization of the Service, provision is made for the Public Service Commissioner being vested with arbitral functions in relation to the Federal and Territorial Services, and there appears to be no sound reason

why the employees of the Commonwealth Railways should not be brought within his jurisdiction in this respect. and provision made for investigation and determination by him of Railway claims as to rates of pay and genera.! conditions of employment. It is a matter for consideration whether, in respect to the ad.ministrative section

of the Commonwealth Railways, the officers should be brought into line with the Federal Service proper as to methods of appointments, classification, and s.cales of payments, and jurisdiction as to appeals against promotions, and deprivation of increments, these matters being within the proposed functions of the Public Service Commis­

sioner. It is recognised that appointments of professional and clerical officers in the Railway Service are usually made on a different basis from that adopted in the Public Service, and that it is frequently found necessary to make such appointments from the services of the State Railways Departments, but this is not an insuperable difficulty,

as appointments from these services are.often made to the Public Service under conditions which may easily be applied to the Railway Service. It may possibly be urged that salary scales applicable to the conditions of the Public Service proper are not suitable for employees of a Railway Service, where the duties and functions differ in many respects from those of an ordinary Government. Whatever ground there may be for such a

contention in relation to conditions under the present Public Service Act, it would not apply to the more elastic provisions proposed in this Report for future conditions. In my opinion the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commissioner should extend to the matters mentioned, so far as they relate to salaried officers of the Commonwealth ·R.ailways, but not to daily-paid employees. The latter should continue to be wholly

controlled by the Commissioner of Railways, subject to the exercise of arbitral powers by the Public Service Commissioner, who would take the place of Arbitration Court in this respect.

NAVY AND DEFENCE DEPARTMENTS. Prior to the year 1909, persons employed in the Department of Defence, other than members of the Naval and Military Forces, were subject to the provisions of the Public Service Act and Regulations, but in that year an amendment of the Defence Act was adopted by the Parliament authorizing the Governor-General to employ persons in a civil capacity for any purpose in connexion with the Defence Force, or in any factory established under the Defence Act, and persons so employed were to be excepted from the operation of the Commonwealth Public Service Act. It was further enacted that

all appointments to the Department of Defence, other than such clerical appointments to the Central Administrative staff as in the opinion of the Governor-General should be .under the Public Service Act, should btl appointments to the Naval or Military Defence Forces. In 1910 a' further amendment o ·the Defence Act provided that the appointments

which might be made under the Public Service if saw fit,

should include not only those to the Central Adnnrnstrat1ve staff as prescnbed by the _Act of 1909, but also appointments to the Pay and Ordnance branches. In 1917 the .Defence (Civil Employment) Act was passed, providing for removal of all officers employed in the Department of Defence from the operation of the Public Service Act until the

expiration of a period of twelve months efter the of the war, when the original F.li352.-6

position is to be resumed. and form-er public servants ate again to became to the Public Service Act. It is provided, in addition; that all offices created_ in the which in the opinion of the Governor-Gener-al wmdd been cre'ated undet

the Public Service Act but for th·e 'Operation of the Defence {Civil Employment) Act, all persons 'Occupying such offices, are to -become 'offices and officers the

Public Setvice Ac·t "after the lapse ·of the peri'Od specified, -and tha t salaries paid u-nder the Defence Act to officers becoming subject to the Public Service Act -are not to ibe reduced. Naval Defenee.-The Naval Defence Act of 1910-11 authorizes employinen't ()_f persons in a civil capacity in 'the Department of the Navy under the ·conditions prescrtbed in section '63 of the Defence Act, and as a result of this provision no officers o'f ·this

department are subjeGt to the Public Service Act. It will be seen, therefore, that since 1909 the Public Service -Commissioner has had no jurisdiction in the matter of creation of ·offices or the appointment persons _ to any civil -office in the Defence Department except in regard to a clerical office in the Central or in the Pay and Ordnance branches, and even then only wh-en

in the opinion of the Governor-General the ·office should be under the Public Service Act. 'The conditions of management thus established formed the subject of comment in the follo wing terms in the Tw-elfth Report 'Of the Public Service Commissioner :-- A of dual control which is open to graVe objection obtains -in some sections of th!J

Department of DefP.nce. In the ·Central Administration, and in the Pay and Ordnance Branches of the several Sta·te's, civil -positions are occupied in some instances by officers appointed under the Public Sei'vice -!A:ct, :and in others by appointees uncil er the .Defence Act, the discretion resting wi'th the depal:'tments as to which --statute is 'to govern an appointment to a vacancy. The result is that ·officers in a particular ·brand'!. performing duties of a similar character demanding like qualifications are working under

conditions as to salary, pt·omotion, and terms of employment, and such a sta te of a:ffaiTs is not •only but exceedingly undesirable from an administrative standpoint. In my view, officers

to the branches particularly mentioned in capacities of a civil nature should be appointed undet the Public Se'rvice Ac't, but 1if good and sufficient reasons can be advanced in opposition to that opinion th'e remaihi-Bg course for terminating the- p·res'ent unsatisfact01·y sit uation ·should be 'followed, i:e., to p-lace ali positions lof the nature referred to under the Defence Act.

Similar views as to the present anomalous conditio'ns ·were ·expressed by trre Commission on Naval and Defence Administration, which in its Third. Ptogte'Ss

Report made the following reference to the We ate fully seized o1 "the pressing ·necessity 'for the abolition of divitled control and varytng 'conditi-ons of employment. We consider that uniformity in methods of staff contt·ol, discipline, ahd ·advancement is essential in -ordet· 'to secure that contentment of service without \vhich 'the-re can be no t-eall

efficiency. We have conferred with 'the Acting Common wealth Public "Service Commissioner, the Crown Law authorities, and the responsible officers-both civil and military-of the Defence Department, and the !:ecommendations contained herein ate calculated to bring about the desired unification of staff management. The coutife or bringing al'l officers ofthe department under the Dfifence Act presents itselt ·as -the only

practical solution of the tliffi.culty, inasmuch ·as the great ·majority of 't hos'e employed by 'the department in a elerical capacity are already s ubject to the provisions ·of the Defence Act. l\!f:oreover, it wouM 'be -impracticable to attach the whole of the staff to the c·orps of military staff clerks or to absbrb them under the Public ·Service Act. We intend that our proposals in the matter shall be operative f0r the

period of "the war and for twelve months thereafter.

These proposals were and 9arried into _effect by the passage of the

Defence (Civil_ J5mpld?Jin:ent) A ct 51.917 -already -mentioned. For the present, therefore, the (!)bjectionable system of dual ,control h:"as ceased 'to opera:te, lJut on 'the exp:itation of the twelv'El mon.ths period after war, ·any conec-tiye 1egislati'On in -:the ·meafi­ time, the former position will 'be r·esumed with ali its f!ndesirable features p'Msi:l)ly accentuated by any acti"on taken hy ·the dep&r"ttne:ntu111rmg the interregnum. 'l1he 'Ser'Vliee Cernruissi'<>ner mast take ov-er a: J.Jl -previous "Public " f(;)fii.Ms, and all eteM;ed uh<'1e:t thre Defence (OiJIJil tiJmptoyment ) fl,ct wihi'ch 'the

1 GeE.eral ( e.r, in other wotdls, the Administration) -c0nsid·ers should be <()tn:ces in 'cla'Ss:lfied. Public Service, and ail offi.cers these offices ate-to come within th-e sco'pe of the Public Ser'\ A:ct, ,irrespective 0f ·the method 1o'f th.-eir appointment to thre .Defenae Depar:tme>ntt. The opinion 0·f ·the 'Co!fppissir G-wer is -appavently -no't to be :and 'there is nl!>thing ·t0 prevent tke of rtihle .-fot1met po§ftio.n

under which officers working siGle. by sitlte and pe.rfurming -dut1es will subject th'e vatying provisions of the Public 'Serviee >.:t:fld 'the Defence Act, -a:nd of

sections may be cl!'tssified u-n.der the Defence Ac:t, ·while ·their sl!lbordinates may be employed u-n-dter 'either _ .Act. T:b:e jurisdiction 0f the Qommissioner wi11 extend only \to that portion of the staff 'brought withi-n the scope ot the-Public Setvi-ee Act) an.d. 'of eJ:assificati(}n and r-ates of pa:yme.nt as between Publit .a-n(j Derence


wiH 'Create and dissatisfaction. In such circumstances, no ·Commissioner can reasonably be expected to accept responsibility for the organization of any particular se-ction 0f the department ,&r any failure to meet public requirements.

Under existing .conditions there are manifest possibilities for introduction into the Defence Department of irregular practices connected with the appointment of officers against which the Public Service Act was designed as a safeguard, it having been the intentiOn of Parliament that any element of patronage should be eliminated. While

regulations have been Iramed under the Defence Act which prescribe, intet· ,alia, examination and other conditions of appointment, an open door is left for making appointments under a separate re.gulation which reads:-If at any time it appears expedient or desirable in the interests of the department to appoint as an some person w.ho is not < an officer in the service of t he department under these Regulations, the iGovennor·Gen'eral may, on the recommendation of the Secretary, appoint such peraon accordingly without either .examination ,or _ probation, and without regard to age.

At -the present time there is attached to the V\T-orks and Railways Department a staff 0f 1T5 officers, designated a Naval Works Staff, which embraces. engineers, draughts­ men, .surv.eyors, clerks, typists, m essengers, &c., with -a total salary bill of over £22,000 per annum. 'This staff was previously controlled by the Navy Department, but under an a'itera-tion of departmental organization was transferred to the Works and Railways Department. Althougn this department is a·dministered under the provisions of the

Public 'Service Act, the ·position has heen taken up that the 'Commissioner has no control whatever ove-r these employees as they were appointed to their present positions under section 41 oi the Naval De'fence .Act. I 'am -awar·e of nothing more likely to furnish ground for bitter grievance and dissatislaction than the esta:blishment of ·conditi«ms of appointment which will engender

feeling that the old"-time political and ·other influences are being asserted. While recognising fully that both in the Navy and the Defence Departments exceptional conditions require exceptional methods, I am of opinion that the vesting of power wholly in these departments 'to make appointments to the -civil staffs is wrong in principle and

constitutes a danger -to tire public interests ; the earliest opportunity should be taken to bring these depaTtments within the regis of the Public Service Act in respect to -a11 sections ·of civil emp1oyment. If the -interests of the ·Commomvealth and of the Public Service ar-e to be considered, the staffing of each branch other than the pmely Nava1

and Military sections of -the Departments -should be controiled by the Co:rnmissione-r under the conditions -recommended i-n this Report for adoption throughout the Service. These oonditions will permit of greater elasticity in the selection of persons for perlna:nerrt and ke-eping in view the wider powers proposed to be intrusted to depart­

mental administrative ufficers, no logical reason can apparently be advanced for d.ilie-rentiating between the civil bra-nches of the Navy and Defence Departments and tlwse in other de_partments of the -commonwealth Public Service. As .a basis for consideration, it is tluggested that in the Department of Defence

all offices and officers of .the 'Central Administrative staff, embracing the Secretary's Finance Branch, and Contracts and Su_pplies Section, as also of the District Pay

Offices, Grdnance Branches, and Rifle Club Offices in the several States should be wholly under the Public Service Act. It must, however, be strongly emphasized that, if one or .:rn.ore positions in these branches are to .remain subj-ect to departmental control, all should be, as no system of dual control can ever be satisfactory ; the re-establishment

of a under which the conditions of employment of one particular officer, or of a group of officers, ca? be played off against conditions. others under different contro1 would prove mtolerable and be subversive of the public mterest. There should, generally speaKing, be a clear line of demarcation between those branches of the Navy

and Defence Departments which may be regarded as civil branches and those which should be 'fitled by ·members of the N.aval ana Military Forces . Provisions should be made for the specific naming of the civil branches in each of the two departments, and despite any existing powers confeued by the and Acts, all and. officers

in such branches should be brought Wlthm the operat10n of the Public ServiCe Act. The arrangements thus should come into for_ce at the expiration of the

period fixed by tne (Civil Empl?yment) Act, bo th m respect to the Navy and D-efence De-par:tments,:and lll: ·the confererrces should be held between repre­ s-en-tativ-e£ -o1 the !Public Service Corruru.ss10ner and of the two departments concernEd -in order -to deter:nHne the bTa.nchea ro - be transferred and the conditions of such transfer,


to the provisions of any iww legislation dealing with the management of the Public

ServiCe. Included in the matters for consideration by such conferences should be the question whet4er the executive and clerical staffs of the factories established under the Defence Act should also be brought within the provisions of the Public Service Act. The employees, other than the executive and clerical staffs, should as at present be exempted from the operation of the Public Service Act; but provision should be made in respect to such employees for exercise by the Commissioner of arbitral powers in the event of any dispute as to wages or general conditions of employment between the employees and the management.

(B.) THE TERRITORIAL SERVICE. In any amendment of the Service Act provision should be made for the future management of the Public Service of the Territories of the Commonwealth, including the existing Territories and those which may hereafter, possibly as a result of the war, be administered by the Federal Government. The existing Territories to which it is proposed that reference be made are (a) the Northern Territory; (b) Papua; and (c) Norfolk Island. It appears anomalous that the territorial services should be recruited and controlled by separate authorities from those dealing with the general Service of

the Commonwealth, and it is important in the public interests that expenditure on salaries of officers employed in those services should be subject to the same checks and supervision as those of employees in the Federal Service, so far as concerns the classification of positions and a proper assessment of work values. No sufficient reasnn apparently exists for exempting the territorial services from a general system of administration by a Public Service Commissioner under special conditions appropriate to the several Territories, ·and the powers proposed to be vested in the Commissioner in relation to the Service should be equally applicable to the territorial services, reserving to the responsible administrators the functions relating to internal

management. The existing legislative provisions affecting the Public Services of the Territories may be summarized as follows :-The Northern Territory Administration Act of 1910 provides for the appointment of an Administrator by the Governor-General, and that the Governor-General may appoint, or may delegate to the Minister or the Administrator power to appoint, such officers as are necessary for the administration of the Territory.

In addition, the Governor-General may make ordinances having the force of law in the Territory. Under the Papua Act 1905, covering the acceptance of British New Guinea as a Territory under the authority of the Commonwealth, provision is made, for appoint­ ment of a Lieutenant-Governor by the Governor-General, and the Lieutenant-Governor is empowered to appoint all necessary judges, magistrates, and other officers of the Territory who shall, unless otherwille provided by the law, hold their offices during the pleasure of the Governor-General. The Act further provides that the Lieutenant­

Governor may suspend from duty any officer of the Territory and report such suspension to the Governor-General. The Legislative Council of Papua is empowered to make ordinances for the peace, order, and good government of the Territory. Power is given by the Act to transfer any officer from the Papuan Service to the Clerical Division of the Commonwealth Public Service. Under the Norfolk Island Act of 1913 the Governor­ General may constitute and appoint judges, magistrates, and officers for the government of Norfolk Island, and such appointments are to be held during the pleasure of the Governor-General. . By the amending Public Service Act of 1915, special provision is made forthe appointment of any officer from the Service of a Territory to an office in the corresponding Division of the Commonwealth Public Service, subject to a certificate

by the Public Service Commissioner that the appointment is in the interests of the Commonwealth. The number of permanent officers at present employed in the Public Services of the Territories is as follows :-

Northern Territory 114

Papua 90

Norfolk Island 13 (mainly part time)

The Public Service of the Northern Territory is organized and controlled under the provisions of the Public Service Ordinance 1913, which empowers the Administrator to make regulations for the administration of and rates of payment

ieneral conditions of employment ari as prescribed from time to time by these


:vhich follow closely on the lines of the Federal Public Service Regulations_

while for special conditions associated with the Territory. Scales of salaries are J?roVIded to meet local conditions at higher rates than those ruling in the Federal SerVIce, the rates being inclusive of district allowances. In the Papuan and Norfolk Island .Services practically nothing has been done in the direction of making regulations governmg the management of the staffs employed by the respective administrations.

It is considered that the Territorial Services should be brought into the general scheme of administration by a Public Service Commissioner as recommended in this Report, and that all regulations dealing with the respective Territorial Services should be made by the Commissioner under the proposed provisions of the Public Service Act relating to the Territorial Service. The Commissioner should be responsible for the

creation and abolition of offices, and for the selection and appointment of all persons for service in the Territories, thus relieving the Minister, or the Administrator of the Northern Territory, or the Lieutenant-Governor of Papua, as the case may be, of his present responsibility. All appointments should be made during pleasure. The classification of offices in the Territorial Service and the determination of appropriate

rates of payment for the duties performed should be the functions of the Commissioner, and officers affected by any such classification should be granted the right of appeal. The positions of Administrator. of the Northern Territory, Judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, Lieutenant- Governor of Papua,

Deputy Chief Judicial Officer of Papua, and such other positions as may from time to time be determined by the Governor-General should be exempted from the operation of the Public Service Act. The local administrative head in control of each of the Territories should be intrusted with authority to make promotions and transfers and to grant or refuse increments of salary, subject always to the right of appeal by an aggrieved

officer to the Public Service Commissioner. The local administrative head should likewise be empowered to ,inflict punishments, and the procedure recommended in respect to the Federal Service should be followed in dealing with matters of discipline in the Territorial Service, subject to such variations as are necessary to meet the special needs of the Territories. The present Board of Inquiry constituted under

Part IV. of the Public Service Ordinance of the Northern Territory should be converted to a Board of Appeal under discipline regulations. The Administrator, after consideration of an offence and all the relevant facts, should determine the punishment, and the accused officer should be permitted, within a prescribed .period, to appeal against the decision, whereupon the matter should be remitted to the Board of Appeal whose decision should

be final, and should . be carried into effect by the Administrator. Similar procedure should be followed in respect to other Territories. A judicial officer in each of the Territories should act as Chairman of the Board of Appeal.

It is difficult to understand why the Public Service of Papua has not hitherto been brought under a definite scheme of classification of work and officers. Although taken over by the Commonwealth at a later date than Papua, the service of the Northern Territory appears to be on a better foundation, as evidenced by the adoption of working regulations for the management of the Service. It is manifestly undesirable that the

Service of one Territory should be placed in a more advantageous position than that of another in respect of salaries and privileges, assuming that difference of location or climatic conditions do not justify any disparity of treatment. Under the Papua Act, the Council given power ordinances, .but seeing that .this is

comprised mainly of offimals the Terntory, It.would certamly place them m.a position to expect them to legislate as to the general management of the Pubhc SerVIce, a matter in which they personally are so vitally concerned. The classification of the Papuan Service should be free from any possibility of local influences, and should be intrusted to the Public Service Commissioner, who would be responsible for the adequate remuneration of officers, and for the proper recognition of work values.

The adoption of these prol?osals would no doubt afford relief to the administrative heads of the Terntories, as they would have the decided advantage of securing classification of their respective Services by an outside conversant with Public Service practice. internal .of the SerVIces not be

interfered with by the CommiSSIOner once has at as to

the working staffs necessary for the of the. . but . the

Cmomissioner would be available for advice on any matter whiCh, m the opmwn of the administrative heads, affected the interests or proper working of the It is recommended that provision be included in the proposed amendmg Pubhc ServiCe

Aet on the lines indiettted herein,_ and that power b& given t·o th& Publie Se:r'ri_ O(J to make regulations dealing with the administration of the Te-ttitorial



Under this heading it is proposed to deal with · branches of Public S'ervi:ee which, without the creation of offices under the Public. Service Act,, have been established to meet condi!tions arising from the war, and which aiter having served their purpos-e will disappear either a.t the termination oi hostilities,. or; with poss-ible, exceptions, s-h«:>xtly afterwards.. From the beginning of the war, the creation. of. special branches of puhlie s.ervice became. inevitable, as the machinery designed to noxma.l condition& oi administration was clearly inadequate to cope with new a.nd far:.rea,ehing issue&-whioh devel(}ped with the progress of the war. While some effort was made to comply with the requirements of the Public Service Aet in the sta.:ffing of these new branches:, the inadequacy of that Ac.t efiectua1ly to meet, the sit:uation appear·s t,o have been soon recognis:ed, and there is no doubt that the limitations of existing Public Servic.e legisla.tion have largely been responsible for certain unsatisfactory features- connected with employment in these ne,w and special branches of the Commonwealth Service.

As an indication of the widely varying functions dealt. with by these branches, it may be mentioned that, since the outbreak of war, the foUowing branches or department.s have been constituted :-:1 Repa tria tiori,

Ship Construction, Commonwealth Line of Steamers, Commonwealth Shipping Board, Price Fixing, Central Wool Committee, ,.

Australian Wheat Board, Wheat Storage Commission, Barrier Wharf, Port Pirie, Institut.e of Science and Industry,

together with a number. of other Boards. or Committees formed to deal with some particular phase of public policy. The work of these various institutions is being carried out under differing conditions of management, but> generally the is in the hands of persons not officers of the Public Service, and whether remunerated by

the Commonwealth for their services or acting in an honorary capacity, they have been selected for their positions without reference to the provisions of the Public. Service Act. In the filling of these administrative positions the circumstances were such as could not be satisfactorily met by the creation o·f offices and by appointments under the Public Service Act. The exceptional conditions necessitated exceptional action, and legislative restriction may have had a hampering effect upon the Government in ita selection of persons for the purpose of directing these national activities during the

abnormal period covered by the war. The appointment of subordinate officials to carry out the work under the direction of administrative heads must, however, be viewed differently, and some measure of control by a constituted authority, under conditions more facile than those afforded by the present Public Service Act, is needed if the public interest is to be safeguarded. u -nder the Public Service Act, three classes of employees are recognisea- (1) permanent officers;

(2) temporary employees ; and (3) exempted employees ; but employees in the special branches referred to could not properly be brought within any one of these classes, . although the services rendered are generally more or less of a temporary nature. The period of employment in these cases may be prolonged or may possibly develop into permanency, but the conditions of appointment were not such as would have warranted the creation of permanent positions under the Public Service Act, and the consequent appointment of permanent officers. Had the provisions of the Public Service Act been strict ly complied with, the officials required for the work of these special branches should have been engaged as temporary employees under the Act. In some cases this was done, but in the circumstances as to the formation of the branches and the qualifications required in the persons engaged, it was found to be practically impossible to apply the

conditions of the existing law, hence in the majority of instances the provisions of tlle


Pl! Service Act we:re ignored and appointments were made which under normal oond1t1ons could only be ohara~terized as irregular. In the exooptional qircumstanoo1 iJhe persons so e~ployecl: were fo:pmally exempted :&om the operation of the Publio Service. Act. ?-'h~ contum1anee of suoh- a pra.oiiee would, how0veP, render nugato.r-y the intention

of Fal'~a~ent as to ~dequate oontro} and supervision of the Service by the Public Service ~mnuss~o~er, and~~ ol'der to obvia-te an.y such ir-:r-egulaFities in fy:tmire ihe inela~tioity of the exu, prov1s1ons of the law ~hould be :remedied. . .

. TQ ~~ti~aqtq~Ur_. me,t th~ a,lt~tiP.g of l\1.bliv Set~Ge ~dmiP.iSitratiQ:u ~ ~~ug.m_ ent Qf. th~ fuhli.G S~~vifi~ Act is urgently n.eed~d £qr the es~al?li~Irl~nt of ~ ~Q-~lS!QJ.\al, ~$

fblllpluy~~a... f~rmij~~mt 3ppo1~trrwJJ.tJ shol\l<\ be m~de ~s ~t pres@t. ·to Q.ffiGes. of a ~~I;, nat1.µ;~ cr~0tt.ecJ. \lJld~r the A

ar_>:pointm~n:ts should b~ mad~ to meet· conditions such as t4.e tempotary absence of a. petmanent offl_cer, or fluotuations of wo:rk: not justifying peFmanent appointment&. E~empt ~mple:rment !:3heulf'l apply 0~ly to 9ases specially exeP1pted by the Act itself, o~ where It IS considered fqr g-0od and swfloient ~easo1;1s that the pPovisions of the l~w as to :p.ermanent, rrQvisiof\~l; or tem:ror~:ry a:ppointments should not operate.

Th.e es_tab.qijhm,~:µt of & pxovis.intL:B,l Service ~ho.uld have fo:r its objeQt.s :,:-(o) To secure officials with suitable qualifio.ations for the w0.:rk of ti:O.Y b:ra»c:b. of Public Service formed for the dischtUge of eo~e specific but apparently temp.o.l'ary function of government. · (b). r_f o pr

t1wir s~rv1:ces a:re required. ·

(~} 'J;Q tn&lY'~ th.l!,,t appQintn;1~A~~ 3tre m.:acle ~pon proper p:dnciples of selection, ~th clue r-eg{t:r;q tQ r,e~wr~nw~ts, ~n

(4) 'fq s~fegll~rd the P\\Q:\iQ il\terestJi by c.h~oking U1U1ece~ty appouitme~t1 _ al\d e~Qe~iv~ s~lari~s~. · . ·

· lt i~ desiral?le ~ itt order to QbVIate any.possible m.isconcepti~n as t0 the establish· tnE}p:t· of~ :pNvisi_qn~l Ser~Qe, that some jndication shoul

l!e,d~r~l $er:v.iQ~r th~ Tereitorittl Se;rvice, and the Provisional $ervice, in r-espeot of whioh the Public Service Commissioner should exercise certain defined functions. The Provisional Service should be prescribed as including certain specified depa:rtm~nta or branohM, tn~ generally &~,y Qthe,r clep~ntme.n.t .o-r b.nmch ot ~ or ternpo:i:?tty character

whkli may be &dd~q µp.on pr~.clamatio:p. of t,h~ QQv~mor-G~ue~~L T.he~e @p~r~ment~ or 1:m,,nQh~a W<;>\lld b~ eQil~tituted fo:1; the p~pQ§~ Qf cai:r;r~ ng out so:me fu.nction of ,~~ntnent which i~ po't_ ~lwly Q.t a p ~Xllll\lWi:\t natwe, a.nd th~ em:ploye~~ wowd be eng·aged o:tt a p~ovi~o:na,l tenwe ~y. lt is not f\1:0P.Q&ed2 ~~cept. whe1i~ the Gove!nro.en.t

ma..y ~ee :&ii to obt~lP. the. advwe of the, Cummis,gwne:r, that he shotild ~~er<;Is~ ~n-l auth'2.~ity i:& t~la,tiott to the a,pp.oj:p.tme,nt ~ th~ petso:µs sel~cted to CPI\l~Ql these speci,fi~d Depaxtmep.'\is or br-~p.Qhes, who ahould be ~xempt~ £roll! the o:per&t.10n of th~ Public Senice Aot, ~n

aelmini3t:t'atiw Ol\ e~eQ1Jtiv~ b,r~}}Chij~. With tlieae ~~ceptiona, the tt:p ~ I~~~nt~. of officials should be made by the Commissioner eithe;: up@ report of the, admm1~t:r;~tive offic~r~ or after conference betwe.~n. repr~se}).tatives of the Commissioner and the branch concerned. The only conditions of appointment would be relative ftt~ess for performa~ce ot the r ~quired duties, to$'ether with reputableness, with ppeferenoe to retur~ed soldiers

when pos~ssed of the necessary qualifioa.tiorui. A.ppo!~tme~ts t,h~ulg. b~ dm1:1~ ~l~asure only, and 1n no case should approntme:nt to the ProVislon&l Servt~ ·oonfer eli~bility for tra~er to the Fe,d~r&l or th~ Territwia.l ervi.'1e , Offic~J;~ of the Feqe!~l ~rvic~ should be selected where practicable or advisable for posit ions in th~ fn)VlSional Sernce,t~ut

the cl~c~tjQn ~nd s~la.ries paicl i:u the frqvisiQil~l Service ~hould ollly operate durmg tht offi~W\\ ~ip.:plQ,~~,p.t ther~ill, ind \lpQn :rn-t:rn~fer _to hi~. former· ~epartme~t the classification ana iaa}a.ey- Qf the, Qflke.r ~.h.ov.ld be ~gch ~s IS comudered £arr and eqUita ble by the Commissioner1 naving regard to the position to be filled upon re-transfer. .


" · · The 'Public Service Commissioner, after consultation with the departmental heads; should be responsible for the classification of offices and for fixing the salaries or scales of salaries, with increments, payable to officers in the Provisional Service. All promotions, transfers, and granting or withholding of increments on the prescribed scales woul<}. be left to the determination of the head of the department or branch. Incompetent or otherwise unsatisfactory officers would be retired either directly by the departmental head ot by the Commissioner upon reports from the departmental head and a Public Service Inspector. It is not intended that the general manage­ ment should be interfered with by the Commissioner, but he should be empowered at any time to authorize inspection by a Public Service Inspector, and if it be found that any person is overpaid or underpaid f-or the work performed, or that the staff employed is excessive, the Commissioner should advise the responsible Minister and submit recommendations for the necessary alterations. Provision should be that if the Minister is unable to adopt 'the recommendations thus made, they shall be laid before Parliament with a statement of the reasons for disagreement.

Repatriation Departm,ent.-The l&rgest department which would come within the category of the Provisional Service is the Department of Repatriation, established under the provisions of the Repatriation Act, which confers power on the Minister to make appointments for the purposes of the Act. The number of employees of this department is 512. It is believed that advantage would accrue to the depart­ ment if the responsibility of making appointments (subject always to preference to returned soldiers), classification, fixing rates of payment, and dealing with inefficient, incompetent, or unsatisfactory employees were vested in the Public Service Commissioner in the manner proposed. This Department is still in its initial stages, and with the development of repatriation activities will come added administrative responsibilities which will render it highly desirable that the Minister, the Comptroller

of Repatriation, and the Deputy Comptrollers in the several States shall be relieved of the , burden of work inseparable from questions of personnel of staffs, and be given full . freedom to deal with the problems of repatriation. The Public Service Commissioner, · with the machinery at his command, should be better able to deal with the details connected with appointments and the other matters indicated than the responsible officers of the Department, whose time and attention must necessarily be largely concentrated upon the important duties intrusted to them in carrying out the provisions of the Repatriation Act. Internal management should, as at present, be a matter for the administrative officers, and there should be a clear line of demarcation between their functions and those of the Commissioner in dealing with staff rna tters. The immense difficulties connected with the problems of repatriation and the initiation and extension of staff organization are recognised, and it is considered the applicatio!J- of the general proposals made as to the Provisional Service will be of material adva:ntage in the future administration of the department.

Institute of Science and lndustry.-The constitution of this Institute is at the time of writing being considered in with a Bill before Parliament, and it is interesting to observe from the discussion which has taken place that some doubt appears to exist as to the expediency of appointments being veste_ d in the Public Service Commissioner. Keeping in view the functions proposed to be exercised by the Institute, it would seem that the intentions of the Government would best be met by its establish­

ment as a branch of the proposed Provisional Service, leaving it to the future to determine whether justification exists for placing it definitely amongst the permanent branches of the Public Service. In the debates in Parliament, the arguments adyanced against the Public Service Commissioner having jurisdiction over appointments to the Institute were principally as follows :-

(1) That specialists will be required, and these are not available within the Public Service. ·

(2) That if the power of appointment were vested in the Commissioner, he would be bound to select scientists from within the Servi9e. · (3) That the appointments of employees will be largely of a temporary character. (4) That if appointed by the Commissioner under temporary

regulations, persons would have to leave at the end of a prescnbed period and at the time of their greatest usefulness.

l til


_ (5) That the Minister will look for a man who can efficiently fill the office · whereas the Commissioner would seek for an office to place the man. (6) That the Director should be able to secure the services of the best-trained individuals for the special work to be undertaken.

In reply to these statements it may be pointed' out :-. (1) That the Public Service Act provides for appointments being freely made from outside the Service in such cases. (2) The Commissioner would not. be bound to select scientists from within

the Service. If a better man is available from outside, the Com­ missioner is bound to go outside. (3) If the work is temporary in character, the position can be met under the present Act, but still better under the proposed establishment of a

Provisional Service. (4) Under the Act, where the work performed is of a special character, power js given the Commissioner to extend employment beyond the prescribed period, and this is exercised in all such cases. If a

Provisional Service be constituted, the point raised· will be still more adequately met. (5) It is .not the Commissioner's function to seek an office for a man; on the contrary, it is his duty to oppose the creation of unnecessary offices. (6) There is nothing in the present Act to prevent the Director seeking the

best qualified men for the objects desired, and the proposal contained in this Report for Commissioner's responsibility as to all appointments is .a means to that end. It will be the Commissioner's duty to assist in securing the best qualified men, and to prevent the appointment of

any person except upon his relative qualifications. _ The ·Director would be fully consulted before any appointment was made.

· - My experience in the Public Service me to view with trepidation any legisla­ tion which will result in placing a branch of the Service such as this outside the controlling power considered necessary for other branches of the Service, seeing that the exercise of influence both direct and indirect is bound to be attempted in regard to fixing of salaries, and tenure of office, which will be most prejudicial to

the interests of the Commonwealth.

- As a case in point , and one that will illustrate the situation, attention is invited to the establishment of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratory. The scientists engaged for the work of the laboratory were in all cases secured from outside the Public Service, but under the supervision of the Public Service Commissioner, practically under the

conditions proposed to be applied to the Provisional Service, with results that have proved satisfactory to the management. Similarly the non-technical positions have been filled under the provisions of the Public Service Act with advantage to the Department. If this is practicable in the establishment of such an institution as the Serum Laboratory, it should be equally so in that of the Institute of Science and Industry,

and there is apparently no sound ·reason why principles adopted by the Parliament in the Public Service Act should be departed from in this case. Before leaving the question of establishment of a .Provisional Service, some reference should be made to the constitution of such bodies as the Central Wool Committee. The officials employed by that Committee are not paid for their services by the Commonwealth Government, but are· remunerated from funds derived from the operations of the Committee, the salaries being charged against such operations and not against the Commonwealth revenue. It may be urged in these circumstances that the management should have an

entirely free hand in regard to its officials, but in my opinion the obligation rests with the Government to insure that, in the expenditure of funds derived from the public under any system of control initiated by the Government, the interests of the general community shall be safeguarded. It is therefore highly that employees of such bodies as

the Central Wool Committee should come within the category of the Provisional Service, and be subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commissioner in respect to selection for appointment, valuation of work, and determination of salaries.

90 .

SUMMARY OF FIND~NGS AND RECOM1\1ENDATI0NS . . .. · . T~e followi ng summarises the findings and recommendationa included in i"hi1 ll'•pe.ri which I have the honour to submit for oonsideration :-· Constitution o.f Commonwealth Public Ser-vice.

(1) The Public Service"of the Commonwealth sho.uld he wide;ne.d,. S.(:) a! to embrace the present Public · Service (to, be known as the Federal Service), the Territorial Services. (Papua~ Northern Tenitory, and Norfolk Island), and a Provisional Service, covering the Service• specially established for purposes arising out of the w.a:r, or to be provisionally maintained after the war ; these. thr@e Services should form the future Commonwealth Public Service (:p. 4). · (2) The increase in permanent staff since l902 is :r~vi0~d, ~ncl it is shown

that this is due to ' the large expansion 0,£ p1:thli.~ business, and the widening of scope of Commonwealth aetivities (p. "/). Arbitratiofjl, (Public Se,rvic.e) Act. (3) The. operations of the· Arbitration (Public Servioe} Act have greatly

· increased the work and responsibilities of ihe Public Service

Commissioner and Jnspeofors, and rendered departmental working more difficult and complex (p. 12). ·

(4} The Arbitration Court has found the gre~tefjt diffieuJ.ty ip f. <1llowing the intricacies of Public Service orga:tti.iation, with the :\'esult that awards have been productive of many anomalies m.:id i~co»s~te:a~ies (p~ 12). (5) While a ·propurtion of the a.cbitration awards would

have been provided fo.r hy the Commi~oner. in. tlre absence of any system .0£ a;rbitration, many of th~ provieio~:;; of awards, both as to salaries and . extran~ous paym_ e~ts., have hee,n upon an extravagant . s,cale, and un justifiable (p. 13l .

(6) Recognitio.n. of Public Service Associa.tio.urt, withQut a defined method of regulating their scope and activities, has resulted in reduced efficiency and a slackening of discipline in Departmen.t~; these conditicms have been accentuated by controlling offic.ers, joining th~ S.Viuie uui@s. a.a their sub.ordinates (p. 15). ~ ·

(1) .Affilia t ion of Public Service Ass.o.cfation~ with Oll.taide laoo\1..:t: U,Il.iQ:p,a h~ had a pernicious effeot on the moral~ of. th~ Servic.e,. :Fu..tlJ.l'~ recogniti?n _of associations should be conditioo~l OP. thet~- b.~iug :UU such affiliation (p. 18). · · · ·

(8) Departments have been thwarted and hampered by th~ Mtio~ ijf Public . . Service Associations, and by a system. 0£ t~rrorii:m le"Velle.d ~!}BllPJi controlling officers of Departments., and ~.g&iu6lt the rtmk trnd file Q.f associations by _ executive officials of thes.e a,aso.c.i~tion,a (p. 1~).

(9) Results of six years of Public Service arhitratiol\ h~ve h~Em ~:,tllJ, extravagance, and reduoed efficienQy (p. 19). Repeal of Arbitration (Publiq Se'P'Vice) Act. (10) Continua~ce of the .t\~bitra,tion (Public Servioe) 1\ct upon th.e .~t~tut~­

book will have serious and disast:r:ous effects as regarde d1s~1pl)ne and efficiency of the Smvic.e~ and inflict '1P. u~jttstjfiab,le 3ind gri~ye~s burden up?n the t~XJ?aying com;munit(. (J!· 19). . ~

(11) Repeal of this Act will i.uvolv~ tl\e &11.bst,itut10n of ~ome ~uthot1ty ethel' than Parli<3,ment for discussion and. $ettlement of Pul3lic eer~e gri~vances. Lengthy experience in Public ~ervice administration i~ essential to successful adjudication and . the solving ei di:ffic:qlti~a. This authorityshould be the Public Service Commis$iciner~ who should be vested with arbitral power&, and deal with claims. by J)epi3,~~nts apd employees (p. 20). · · · • .

(12) Recognition of Public Service Associations shoqld be · gove:rnetl l,y regul&tions, · the main conditions of which a:r;e set fortlt i11

r ecommendatio:o.s (p. 20). .

· (13) The Commissioner should be constituted, the sole ay.thel'ity fer settlement of salaries and wages, b.ours of labour, and conditions of service of permanent, temporary, and exempted employees, a.a._d decisions, subject to disallowance by Parliament, should be final and

conclusive (p. 25). · ·


Public Service Administration.

(14) Establishment of a Public Service Board of three members would be unwise, owing to inelasticity of control and diminl.1tion of pe-rsonal responsibility. The existing system of management by one Commissioner would better the requirements of the

Commonwealth, provided adequate assistance is afforded him (p. 26). (15) Since 1902-the work of the Commissioner and Inspectors. has been most onerous and exacting ; with the development of the Service, and the increased duties following on arbitration, their duties have only been

carried out with considerable self-sacrifice and devotion of private time. The present inspection stafi is inadequate (p. 26). (16) The whole of the Commonwealth Services should be brought under one authority (the Commissioner), and, while arbitral and appellate

functions should be vested in hi1n, much of the present detailed work of Commissioner and Inspectors should be transJerred to Heads of Departments (p. 27). (17) The adlninistration of the Public Service Act should be intrusted to &

Commissioner, and provision should be made for appointment of an Assistant Commiss.ioner and (7) Public Service Inspectors, the staff being thus increased by an Assistant Commissioner and one additional Inspector (p. 27). (18) Appointments of the Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, and

Inspectors should not be limited to a seven years tenure, as under the present Act, should be terminable at. 6.5" years 'of age (p. 29). (19) The salaries to be appropriated for positions under the re-organized system of- Public Service administration should be.,-,-Oommissioner,

£1,750; Assistant Commissioner, £1,200; Public SerYice Inspectors­ two at £900; three at £800; and two at £700 per annum (p. 30). (20) The proposed functions of the Co1umissioner and staff and of Permanent Heads and Chief Officers are set out in detail (p. 30).

(21) The general lines on which the Commissioner should exercise arbitral and appellate fulJctions are indicated (p. 32).

Exemption from Public Service Act. (22) In connexion with employment of persons exempted from the Public Service Act, any departure from Industrial Court or Wages Boards detenninations as to rates of payment or conditions of employment

should b.e made only with the sanction of the Commissioner, in the exercise of his arbitral functions (p. 34).

Appointrnents to the Service.

(23) The power of direct appointment, in certain special cases, should be vested in the Commissioner, thus obviating the circurnlocution and delay at present involved in submission to the Governor-General (p. 34). (24) Provision should be made to recognise educational qualifications of an

advanced character by paying a higher commencing salary than the minimum. The services of many brilliant youths are lost to the Government by failure to provide for entrance at a late age and with advanced educational qualifications. (p. 35). . (25) Co:mpetitive exan1inations should be dispensed with in certain cases_ ,

e.g., artisans and labourers, and, in special circumstances, telegraph messengers, subj ect to prescribed conditions as to method of · selection (p. 35). ·

(26) Power should be given to make appointments fr om outside the Service in special cases without competitive examination, subject to Commissioner's certificate that there is no person available in the Public Seryjce who is as capable of filling the position. This power at present exists as regards administrative and professional appointments, and the interests of the Service have benefited thereby

(p. 35).


Classification Serv,ice.

(27) The Public at present comprises the Adniinistrative, Professional, Clerical, and General Divisions. A rectificatjon of anomalies and a desirable elasticity will be secured by adoption of numerical divisions -First Division, Second Division, Third Division, and Fourth Division (p. '37). (28) The salaries of officers in all four Divisions should be governed by

regulation, the powers of Parliament as to the voting of funds being retained, and not, as at present (Clerical Division), by the Public Service Act, or without (Administrative Division) any statutory scale (p. 39). (29) The present provisions qf the law as to classes and scales of salaries are

too rigid, the classes are insufficient in number, increments above the lowest classes are unnecessarily high, and the range of salary too wide. The granting of discretionary increments in th.e classes above the lowest class imposes a heavy burden of work in inquiry and adjudication without commensurate results (p. 42) . . (30) There should be a range of salary fixed for each class, and annual

increments should be granted in all classes, subjec·b to satisfaqtory service, by the Permanent Head or Chief . Officer, with the right of appeal to the Comn1issiDner by aggrieved officers whose increments have been deferred or refused (p: 42) . . (31) Reclassification of the Service will require to be carried out by the

Assistant Commissioner and Iaspectors, under general direction of the Commissioner, and provision should be n1ade for the right of appeal to the Con1missioner against the classification (p. 44). (32) Officers of the Parliament should be brought into the general systen1

of administration of the Public Service as regards classification, fixing of salaries, and determination of appeals other than in relation to punishinents, _ the internal administration being left to the Heads of Departments of Parliament (p. 45).

PTo'motions and TTansfers.

(33) In the future administration of the Public Service, the principle of promotion by efficiency should be maintained ; seniority should only be a factor in the event of equality of efficiency (p. 46). (34) Promotions and transfers should be made by the Head or

Chief Officer, except to positions in the First Division, subject to right of appeal in cases of promotion (p. 47). . (35) Promotions thus effected should be provisional, pending settlement of any appeals n1ade to the Commissioner. The appointment of Boards

.to deal with sueh ·matters is strongly opposed, it being desired to abolish circumlocution: and secure prompt action in relation to staff changes (pp. 47, 48). (36) The appointment of Staff Com1nittees ':Vithin Departments to deal with

promotions and transfers would be misehievous in its effect, wholly unwarranted, and would involve a devolution of Chief Officers' responsibility, · with a possible perfunctory discharge of the powers proposed to be vested in Administrative Heads (p. 48).-(37) Promotions and transfers from one Department to another should be

dealt with by the Commissioner, and officers concerned should have the right of appeal in cases of promotion (p. 49). . •

(38) The alteration of practice as to promotions and transfers will result in removal of many harassing restrictions, and relieve the Commissioner and Inspectors of a mass of detailed work, besides saving considerable time and labour, and preserving at the same titne adequate safeguards against the use of improper influences (p. 49).


Appointment of Administrative Heads. Ail .appointments or promotions to or in the First (Administrative) Division should be made on-the recommendation of the Commissioner by the Governor-General (p. 50).

,;-... !"'

.J_.. J


(40) Power should be delegated to Heads of Branches to deal directly wit.h 1ninor offences (p. 51). (41) As regards treatment of offences, the present law is unsatisfactory, and results in serious delays and circumlocution (p. 53). · (42) The present provision for Boards of Inquiry should be abolished, and

Chief Officers should be required to deal with cases of and determine the punishn1ent. Officers should, however, have the right of appeal against proposed punishn1ent where it involves transfer, reduction, or dismissal, and a Board of Appeal should be constituted to hear and determine such appeals (p. 54). (43) The Board of Appeal should con1prise-

(a) a pern1anent Chairman with the qualifications of a Stipendiary or Police lVIag.istrate ; (b) a representative of the Departn1ent concerned; and (c) the elected representative of the division of the Service to

which the accused belongs (p. 54).

(44) '¥here appeals are considered by the Board to be frivolous or vexatjous, the accused officer should be charged with the cost of the hearing, or such proportion of it as is recommended by the Board (p. 54). (45) ProvisiOn should be made for election of diviswnal representatives for

any part of a State instead of as at present for the whole of a State (p. 5'5). .

( 46) Provision should be rnade for the adoption of a " merit and demerit record system," as an alternative to t.hat of caufions, fines, and









reprimands (p. 57). -

Incapac-ity of Officers.

The present provisions of the la'\v as to dealing with ineompetent officers or officers physically or nwntally incapable are unsatisfactory, and should be repealed (p. 58). ·

Boards of Inquiry, as established by the Ac.t to deal with such cases are ineffective, and should be abolished (p. 58). ·

The responsibility of determining -an officer's fitness for the discharge _ of his duties should be placed definitely in the hands of the Commis­ sioner, and the specific duty should be imposed on Pern1anent Heads, Chief Officers, and Inspectors of reporting all cases of incompetency or unfitness (p. 59)

Furlough, Recreation Leave, and Sick Leave . Furlough should be restricted to six months' leave on full pay or twelve months' leave on half pay, or to a monetary equivalent, upon retiren1ent, not exceedi:p.g six months' pay (p. 61).

If not so restricted, every officer should be granted furlough, or its monetary equivalent upon retirement, proportionate to his period of service, not to exceed twelve months on full pay (p. 61). The accumulation of recreation leave for two or nwre years, except in

remote districts, should be prohibited other tha11 in very special cases. It js in the public interest that every officer should avail himseli of leave annually (p. 62). Relief should be a:fforcled officers compelled to live, with their families,

in localities far removed from centres of civilization, and where climatic conditions are severe, by defraying part of the cost of travelling '\vhile on reereation leave (p. 62). Time anJ labour should be saved by authorizing.Chief Officers to grant

sick leave, subject to the concurrence of the Public Service Inspector where the· leave exceeds three months in any period of five years, instead of as at present referring such matters to the :Minister: the Commissioner, and the Governor-General (p. 64). ·

Observance of Public Holidays.

.Action should be taken to plaee the observance of public holidays,

and payments for duty on holidays, upon a proper footing, this being necessary to seclue equitable treatment of publiG servants, en-ce to the general public, and economical administration (p. 66).

Rent for Quarters.

(56) -oircu.lnlocution should be obviated by empowering the Commissioner to detemriine rent chargeable for quarters instead of submitting recommendations to the Governor-General (p. 66). (57) -Rents should be based on the minimum salary attached to offices, and

not be increased of the granting of incr-ements to officers

(p. 67).

Life Assuranc-e of Officers.

{58) Pow·er •sho- n-ld be given to the Commissioner to waive the present p:ro'Visions ·of the law as to compulsory life assurance in any case where the officer enters the Service over a stipulated age. In such cases a prescribed deduction should be .made from salary in lieu of 3iSSUT3sfiCe (p. 68).

Retirement of Qfficers from the Service. (59) Pr0vision should be made to pern1it of the retention in the Service of officers who have reached the prescribed age for retirement, and who are not entitled to pension or superannuation allowance. Retention

. should be subject to such officers being placed in minor positions, their competency to perform the duties of such positions, and payment of salaries corresponding to such duties. The efficiency of such officers should be reported upon annually by the Public Service Inspector,and in no case should retention extend beyond 70 years of age (p. 69). '(60) Telegraph ·messengers who reach eighte_ en years of .a-ge should be retired

from the Service if no positions are available to which they can be promot-ed prior to reaching that (p. 70).


· Th-e introduction of a -system of superannuation allowances in the Commonwealth Public Service under conditions of fair contribution hy officers, reasonable support by the Government, and elimination of e_xtravagant benefits, is recommended. Any inquiry in the direction

of the application of a pensions scheme to the Navy and Defence Departments should he extended to embrace the remaining Depart­ ments in the Commonwealth Public Service (p. 72).


{62) Payments to offi.cers by way of allowances of various kinds which involve a considerable and in many cases unjustifiable expenditure, due to the operation of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act, should be -:reviewed (p. 7 4). (63.) The .present of attendance (9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.) of a large section

.of the Public Service should be altered by extending the hour of ceasing duty to 5 p.m., and by substituting an hour for lunch for three-quarters of an hour at present allowed for that purpose. The incidence of overtime payments as prescribed by Arbitration awards ·should be altered by adopting· a weekly basis of hours instead of the

present rlaily basis in certain circum-stances (p . 74).

Employment of H' omr;n .

{64) Provision should be .made empowering the fixing of scales of payment for women engaged in certain prescribed positions, and subject thereto the employment of wo1nen should be extended in certain directions ( p. 77).

Returned Soldiers.

(65) The existing conditions giving preference to returned soldiers with regard to appointment to t he Service, age of entry into the Service, .an4 retention in t emporary e1nployment, should be n1aintained. It is not, however, eonsidered t hat in the making of promotion•

within. t_ he Seryiee preference should be given to returned soldiers over other officers who are senior and equally efficient for the performance of the duties (p. 77). Temporary Ernployment. . (66) Tl1 -e existing l-aw -should be amended so that when a Chief Officer of a

Departmet1.t requires temporary assistance he shall advise the Public :service Inspector, who, if satisfied that the assistance is required, -shall select under prescribed conditions the persons to be employed (p. 80).

Commonwealth Railways.

(o7) As a branch of the Public att ached to the Department

o·f Works and Railways, the Cmnn1onwealth Railways should be brought within the provisions of the Public Service Act in so far as salaried officers are concerned ; and appointments, promotions, . transfers, classification, and general conditions of employment of such officers should be dealt with in the_ same manner as will apply to other ·officers of the P ublic Service . Daily paid employees should be

exempted fron1 the provisions of t he Public Service Act, and controlled by_ the Commissioner of Railways, subj;ect to the exercise

'by the -Public Service Con1missioner of arbitral powers in the event of ·any dispute between the Commissioner of Railways and the employees "in regard to rates of pay or conditions of employment ()?. 80). . )

Navy and Def ence Departments.

(tS8) Upon the expiration of the Defence (Civil Employment) Act (twelve months after the war) the civil branches of the Navy and Defence Departments and all offic es in such branches should bec_ ome -subj-ect to the Public Service Act. Prior to the expiration of the Act, -and conference between representatives of the Public Service

Commissioner and the Departments concerned, the branches to be ·transferred should be det ermined, so that the transfer may be effected simultaneously with the expiration of the Defence (Civil Employment) Act. It should also be det ermined whether the

·executive · and Clerical staffs of the fact ories established under the Defence Act should at the san1e time be brought within the provisions of the Publi:c Service Act . All other employees should remain, as at present, exempted from the Public Service Aet, subject to the Public

S-ervice Commissioner exercising arbitral funetions in the event of any disp11te between the Department and its employees as to wa:ge"$ or general conditions of employment (p. 83). The Territorial S ervice . (69) The Public Services of the Northern Territory and the Territories of

Papua and Norfolk Island should, as a " Territ orial Service,'.' fonn a portion of the Comrnonwealth Public Service , and sh ould be controlled hy the Public Service Commissioner. to the extent and under conditions to be prescribed. The Commissioner should make appoint ments to these Services, and have the same powers in regard to classification, rates of pay, and appeals against promotion as he will exercise in respect to the Federal Service (p . 84 ). (70) Such positions as those of Administrator of the Northern Territory and

t he Judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, and the Lieutenant-Governor and t he Deputy hief Judicial Officer of Papua should be exempted from the operation of the Public Service Act. All regulations affectjng the rates of pay and general conditions of employment of officers of the Territorial Service should be made by the Public Service Commissioner ith due regard to local circumstances, and, subj ect t o the proposed conditions, the internal administration should be left in the hands Df the local administrative officers (p. 85).


The Provisional Service.

(71) The establishment of a ·Provisional Service is proposed, to embrac.e all branches of the Public Service constituted for the purpose of carrying out some function of Government which is not clearly of a permanent nature, and in which the ernployees should be engaged upon provisional tenure only. A number o.f branches of this description have been created since the outbreak of war, and, in the circumstances attendant upon their creation, were excluded from the operation of the Public Service Act. While the existence of a number of these branches will terminate with the proclamation of peace, or shortly others will be continued indefinitely, but under such conditions as make it advisable to constitute them branches of the Public Service (p. 86): (72) The Public Service Cominissioner should be given the requisite powers

to insure satisfactory conditions of appointnwnt of officials (such appointments to be of a provisional nature), proper rates of pay for such officials having regard to their qualifications and the services rendered, to safeguard the public interest by checking unnecessary appointments and the retention ·of incompetent persons, and to make any regulations considered desirable for the proper management of the Provisional Service. The internal management of Departments or branches should be vested in the Administrative Heads (p. 88.) (73) Keeping in view t.he existing and probable future responsibilities of

the Department of Repatriation, it is strongly recornmended that .this Department in particular should be placed under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Comn1issioner to the extent suggested (p. 88). In concluding this Report, it should be stated that the reco1nmendations submitted for the consideration of Your Excellency deal only with matters of general principle affecting the adn1inistration of the Public Service of the Commonwealth ; no attempt has been made to enter into the detailed working of the Service, this being outside the scope of the Commission intrusted to nw.

An invitation was given responsible heads of departments, and to the several organizatwns of the Service, to submit any suggestions they had to make in the direction of effecting improvements in the conditions governing the management and working of the Service. In preparing this Report every ·consideration was given to the representations received from these· sources. - -

It vvill have been gathered from the opinions expressed herein, and the recommen­ dations made, that urgent necessity exists for legislative action, in order that serious afioinalies may be dealt vvith and the present condition of drift arrested. The tentative arrangements for adn1inistration of the Service, which have operated for nearly three years, should be .terminated at the earliest possible mon1ent by placing the control and managen1ent of the Service upon a sound and pern1anent basis. , . ·

Following upon the passage of new legislation, much in1portant work will require _to be done in the direction of reclassifying the Service; restoring conditions of efficiency and economy, and securing improved organization of departmental activities, work which :vill demand the highest capacity from those intrusted with the administration

of the suggested new legislation.

I have the honour to be,

Your Excellency's most obedient servant,

1 \'Ielbou.rne, 6th January) 1919.

p. C. McLACHLAN, Commissioner.

Printed and Publis h ed for the GOVERNMENT of the COMMONWEALTH of AUSTRALIA by ALBERT J. :MULLETT, Government Printer the State of Victoria.