Our organisation and what we do

Objectives and functions

The Victorian Public Sector Commission was established in 2014. Our objectives are set out in the Public Administration Act 2004, each with supporting functions.

Our first objective is to strengthen the efficiency, effectiveness and capability of the public sector to meet existing and emerging needs and deliver high-quality services.

We do this by:

  • assessing, advising and supporting on issues relevant to public sector administration, governance, service delivery and workforce management and development
  • researching and disseminating best practice in relation to public sector administration, governance, service delivery and workforce management and development
  • collecting and reporting on whole of government data
  • conducting inquiries as directed by the Premier.

Our second objective is to maintain and advocate for public sector professionalism and integrity.

We do this by:

  • advocating for an apolitical and professional public sector
  • issuing and applying codes of conduct and standards
  • monitoring and reporting to public sector body Heads on compliance with the public sector values, codes of conduct, and public sector employment principles and standards
  • reviewing employment related actions and making recommendations following those reviews
  • maintaining a register of lobbyists and a register of instruments.

The powers of the Commission are listed in section 41 of the Public Administration Act 2004.

Vision and strategy

Our vision is a trusted public sector that delivers exceptional outcomes for the Victorian community. We prioritise work that supports outcomes in our strategic plan 2020-23.

The outcomes are:

  • an integrated and future-focused public sector
  • an inclusive, high-performing and engaged workforce
  • empowering and engaged leaders
  • Victorians trust the public sector.

We do this by:

  • promoting workforce reform
  • supporting a positive employee experience
  • developing outstanding leadership
  • promoting public trust.

Machinery of government change

The Jobs and Skills Exchange was transferred to the Victorian Public Sector Commission on 1 December 2020 from the Department of Premier and Cabinet in a machinery of government change.

Four initiatives in the Commission’s Annual Plan 2020-21 were completed in partnership with the Jobs and Skills Exchange. The operations of the Jobs and Skills Exchange for the period of 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 are included in this annual report.

Governance and organisational structure

Minister

The Commission is overseen by the Minister for Government Services, Hon Danny Pearson MP. The Minister for Government Services oversees the public sector, cyber security and citizen digital transaction reform.

Organisational structure

Commissioner

Adam Fennessy PSM is the Commissioner of the Victorian Public Sector Commission. He joined the Commission in July 2020.

Adam has over 20 years of public sector experience at state and federal levels, including four years as Secretary of the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning and prior to that the Department of Environment & Primary Industries. Adam has worked in the private sector as a partner with advisory firm Ernst & Young. Adam has served on several boards including the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA Victoria), Infrastructure Victoria, Monash Sustainable Development Institute and Women & Leadership Australia.

Adam is a fellow of IPAA Victoria and a member of the Champions of Change network. In 2018, he received a public service medal for leadership in the Victorian public sector.

Deputy Commissioner

Julia Griffith PSM is the Deputy Commissioner of the Victorian Public Sector Commission. She joined the Commission in June 2019.

She has more than 30 years’ experience in the Victorian public service, during which time she has been Deputy Secretary or Executive Director in a range of justice portfolios including Youth Justice, Police, Corrections, Crime Prevention, Victims Services and the Infringements System.

Julia was also responsible for leading the Victorian government’s employment programs for disadvantaged job seekers and redeveloping child protection placement and support services. Her career achievements have been built on a strong background in youth work, research, training and community development.

In 2018 Julia received a public service medal for leadership in the Victorian public sector.

Organisational chart

A text version of this chart is below.

A chart showing the Victorian Public Sector Commission's organisational structure

Text version of the organisational chart

Commissioner

Commissioner: Adam Fennessy

Deputy Commissioner

Deputy Commissioner: Julia Griffith

Executive Directors, branches and workgroups

People and Analytics

Executive Director: Natasha Thompson

The workgroups in People and Analytics are:

  • Data Acquisition and Reporting
  • People Matter Survey
  • Data Management
  • Analytics and Advisory
  • Workforce Strategy
Victorian Leadership Academy

Head: Vacant

The workgroups in the Victorian Leadership Academy are:

  • Strategy and Impact
  • Learning Management
  • Learning Operations
Workforce and Engagement

Executive Director: Daen Dorazio

The workgroups in Workforce and Engagement are:

  • Communication and Engagement
  • Employee Experience
  • Digital Delivery and Capability
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Aboriginal Employment Unit
Integrity and Advisory

Executive Director: Verity Harris

The workgroups in Integrity and Advisory are:

  • Integrity Framework
  • Integrity and Governance Projects
  • Executive Classification Implementation
Governance and Corporate

Manager: Ahmed Kucukali

The workgroups in Governance and Corporate are:

  • Governance and Risk
  • HR and Corporate
  • Finance
  • Facilities and IT
  • Business Support
Jobs and Skills Exchange

Director: Chris Hoffman

The workgroups in the Jobs and Skills Exchange are:

  • Policy and Strategy
  • Digital and Analysis
  • Recruitment and Mobility
  • Governance and Operations

Governance

The Commission is a statutory authority accountable to the Minister for Government Services. Our integrity functions are independent from Ministerial direction or control.

For administrative arrangements, we are supported by the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Our work is complementary, and we align in pursuit of providing central coordination, leadership and stewardship of the public sector.

Advisory Board

The Commission’s Advisory Board currently consists of the Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet as chairperson. The Minister for Government Services may appoint up to 7 other members.

​The Board’s role is to provide strategic advice on matters relevant to the objectives, functions and strategy of the Commission. The Commissioner may liaise with the Minister for Government Services and Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet on the future operation of the Board.

Audit and risk management committee

The Commission has an audit and risk management committee. The chairperson is Greg Wilson. Other members include Shaun Condron and Stephen Bourchier.

The committee is responsible for:

  • improving the Commission’s effectiveness and efficiency
  • ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations
  • coordinating audits, considering recommendations and implementing actions
  • overseeing operation of the risk management framework
  • reviewing the annual report and financial information.

The Commission’s internal response to the COVID-19 pandemic was audited.

The audit concluded:

  • we have established adequate policies, procedures and safety measures to mitigate pandemic related health and safety risks in the workplace and from a remote working perspective
  • we have implemented a robust response framework where processes are reviewed and updated regularly to comply with the Victorian Government’s health advice
  • our people are kept informed of any changes to processes and encouraged to stay connected and share their concerns and feedback to management.

We will record learnings to continuously improve our systems, policies and procedures, including return to workplace operations.

Our people

We upskill and engage our people, supporting and enabling them to deliver on the Commission’s vision.

We do this by:

  • developing capabilities
  • enriching culture
  • connecting people.

Developing capabilities

We develop the leadership, management and communication capabilities of our people to enable them to achieve the Commission’s vision and goals.

This year, our people were trained in:

  • writing to influence and writing for the web
  • critical and analytical skills
  • data literacy
  • administering the Freedom of Information Act.

We also developed an eLearn unit that explains how to avoid, declare and manage conflicts of interest.

Enriching culture

We respect each other and actively model the public sector values to embrace diversity, inclusion and workplace flexibility.

This year we developed a plan for implementing the Victorian public sector mental health and wellbeing charter at the Commission. We developed a policy and guideline to build mental health and wellbeing capabilities, address risk factors and support employees to seek help.

We engaged En Masse to deliver training in mental health. We also worked with Grace Papers, an Australian digital platform, to deliver online courses, tools, tips and strategies designed to help parents and carers practice self-care and manage work life balance.

Our learning and development program reflects a focus on diversity and inclusion.

Workshops in the program included:

  • Aboriginal cultural awareness and capability
  • disability confidence and workplace adjustments.

Orientation training includes information about:

  • human rights and equal employment opportunity
  • LGBTIQ and workplace inclusion
  • professional obligations and respectful behaviours.

Connecting people

We promote collaboration and engagement as a natural part of our work to foster responsiveness, high quality and integration.

During COVID-19, we provided technical training in software to support remote work and hybrid teams. This included training in cyber hygiene to appropriately manage information security.

When the office reopened, we provided COVIDSafe training that explained the safety measures, systems and procedures in place. This included rules for using shared spaces and collaboration rooms.