The State of the NSW Public Sector Report 2020 is my first independent assessment of the performance of the NSW public sector as NSW Public Service Commissioner.

What a year 2020 was! Bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the way we live and work. The sector has played a critical role during this time, ensuring that public services and amenities have been improved or maintained. Collaboration and commitment to customer needs were the defining qualities of the sector’s workforce during this period of unprecedented change.

Chapter 2 of this report describes the sector’s initial response to the pandemic from a workforce perspective. It touches on the State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC), leadership, employee wellbeing, mobility and recruitment, and collaboration. It also looks at two important outcome measures: employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

Chapter 3 discusses aspects of workforce management that contribute to the sector’s resilience, including workforce planning, performance management, flexible working, diversity and inclusion, and digital capability. It also sheds light on issues, such as bullying, that require more attention if we want to continue to build our resilience.

Finally, in my afterword, I comment on workforce practices that the sector needs to develop or further embed over the coming years.

There was no shortage of excellent work in the sector in 2020. However, we must keep our eye on achieving the Premier’s Priority for an ever-evolving, world class public service. With our focused and collective efforts, and by drawing on the skills and passion of our people, I have no doubt that we will continue to live up to the NSW public sector values of integrity, trust, service and accountability.

Kathrina Lo 

NSW Public Service Commissioner 

February 2021