About this report

The State of the NSW Public Sector Report is the Public Service Commissioner’s independent assessment of the performance, notable achievements, challenges and priorities of the NSW public sector. This 2016 edition, Leadership Matters, is the PSC’s fifth report.

This report draws on additional evidence from a range of sources, including the People Matter Employee Survey 2016 (The People Matter survey), the 2016 State of the Public Sector Agency Survey (The Agency survey); the 2016 Customer Satisfaction Measurement Survey (The Customer survey); and the 2016 NSW Workforce Profile. The report also looked at data from previous sector-wide employee surveys, and specific reviews and projects that assessed components of sector workforce management and reform.

How to read the data discussed in this report

The People Matter Employee survey

The 2016 People Matter Survey asks those currently working for the NSW government about experiences with their own work and working with their team, managers and organisation. It provides an important opportunity for all employees to agree or disagree with a series of statements about their workplace. It is the source for content in this report that refers to what ‘employees said’ noting this relates only to survey respondents. Most scores relate to a percentage agree.

The Agency survey

The Agency survey provides an employer perspective on the extent to which specific workforce management and operational practices have been implemented and/or improved in specific agencies. It uses a ‘maturity’ self- assessment scale, and this report contains data from only those agencies self-assessing their progress or practices as ‘developed’ or ‘highly developed’. Survey data has been augmented by information from qualitative discussion groups, conducted for each cluster and attended by a cross- section of human resources and operational executives. The survey data and the focus groups are the sources for content in this report that refers to what agencies have said or reported.

The Customer survey

The Customer survey is delivered by the NSW Customer Service Commissioner and supports the government’s focus on areas where customer service can be improved. It assesses how public services are performing against important components of the customer experience relating to employees, government sector values, processes and goals. It does this by measuring the satisfaction and expectations of individual consumers and business customers. It is the source for content referring to customer satisfaction.

The NSW Workforce Profile

The NSW Workforce Profile is a comprehensive annual collection of data about the demographic characteristics and employment arrangements of all public sector employees. The survey is done jointly by the PSC and all public sector agencies. The resulting data appears throughout this report.

Which services does this report include?

This report addresses performance across the public sector, which includes the following:

  • Government sector: the public service, teaching, health, transport and police services, and other Crown services such as TAFE.
  • External to the government sector: agencies such as the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Audit Office and Parliament.
  • State-owned corporations: such as water and energy companies.

Some data relates only to specific elements of the public sector, and this is clearly identified in context. For example, progress against the Premier’s Priorities on diversity relates only to the government sector, and government sector employment reform applies only to the public service.


The Commissioner would like to acknowledge the assistance of the following:

The Public Service Commission Advisory Board — Professor Peter Shergold AC (Chair), Blair Comley PSM, Vince Graham, Martin Laverty, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, Sandra McPhee AM and Rob Whitfield.

The staff of the Public Service Commission who developed the report — led by Jehangir Meher, Siobhan Brahe, Scott Johnston and Carolyn Fitzmaurice.

ORC International, Orima Research and the Office of the Customer Service Commissioner, which provided three key data sources for this report: the People Matter Employee Survey 2016, the Agency and the Customer surveys.

The various departments and agencies that supported the People Matter Employee Survey 2016, Agency and Workforce Profile data collections.

Editor Group and Folk for their expertise in editing and designing the report.