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Public Service Commission

Our organisations

How we experience our organisations' practices.

Our organisations strive to deliver high-quality services to the people of NSW. To do this, they need to attract and recruit top talent and ensure that organisational structures are designed to achieve stated strategies and missions.

As part of our role to identify the future skills required in the sector, the PSC is committed to developing a sector-wide strategic workforce plan in 2024.

Strategic workforce planning is critical to enabling agencies to deliver their work and execute their strategies. Future workforce challenges can often be averted through effective workforce planning. 

As the sector prepares for a period of change and transformation, it is more important than ever to take this strategic approach. The PSC continues to support the sector in strategic workforce planning by providing practical and user-friendly resources that consider future workforce requirements.

Embedding ethics in our organisations

Positive perceptions of an organisation’s ethical culture are associated with higher levels of engagement. Senior leaders’ commitment to ethics is particularly important to enhancing perceptions of ethical culture. Among this year’s People Matter survey respondents, 54.5% felt that senior managers model the values of their organisation.

All NSW government sector employees are required and expected to act ethically, lawfully and in the public interest. This is achieved by embracing the government sector core values of integrity, trust, accountability and service. These core values are underpinned by 18 principles that guide their implementation. Our core values and principles are collectively prescribed by the GSE Act as the Ethical Framework for the government sector and are each of equal importance.

The Code of Ethics and Conduct for NSW Government Sector Employees sets out the mandatory requirements and expected standards of behaviour for all government sector employees. The PSC is developing a new updated code in consultation with the sector and unions, which will be issued in 2024. 

A new ethics hub will be launched on the PSC’s website to support the code. This resource will contain the foundational content that all government sector employees need to understand how the NSW Government works and how to make decisions that align with the Ethical Framework. Under the GSE Act, Public Service agency heads need to ensure that the ethical conduct and management of their agencies is in accordance with the government sector core values. 


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  • Consider people equally without prejudice or favour.
  • Act professionally with honesty, consistency and impartiality.
  • Take responsibility for situations, showing leadership and courage.
  • Place the public interest over personal interest.


  • Appreciate difference and welcome learning from others
  • Build relationships based on mutual respect.
  • Uphold the law, institutions of government and democratic principles.
  • Communicate intentions clearly and invite teamwork and collaboration.
  • Provide apolitical and non-partisan advice.


  • Provide services fairly with a focus on customer needs.
  • Be flexible, innovative and reliable in service delivery.
  • Engage with the not-for-profit and business sectors to develop and implement service solutions.
  • Focus on quality while maximising service delivery. 


  • Recruit and promote staff on merit.
  • Take responsibility for decisions and actions.
  • Provide transparency to enable public scrutiny.
  • Observe standards for safety.
  • Be fiscally responsible and focus on efficient, effective and prudent use of resources.

A new framework for public interest disclosures

A strong ‘speak up’ culture that encourages public officials to report wrongdoing is important to ensure the integrity of the public sector.1 The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2022 (PID Act 2022), which commenced in October 2023, strengthens the framework that facilitates public interest reporting of wrongdoing.

The PID Act 2022 provides a framework for public officials to report serious wrongdoing in the public sector, and to be protected when they do so, repealing the earlier PID Act 1994. The PID Act 2022 applies to all NSW public sector agencies. It expands the permissible recipients of PIDs to include a person’s manager; protects public interest disclosures (PIDs) even if they are made to the wrong agency (’no wrong door approach’); provides more comprehensive protections for disclosers, witnesses and those investigating PIDs; and increases the penalties for detrimental action offences.

The PID Act 2022 requires agencies to have a PID policy and provide PID training to staff. Agencies are required to provide an annual return reporting to the NSW Ombudsman about the voluntary PIDs they received, actions taken to deal with voluntary PIDs, and measures taken during the return period to promote a culture in which PIDs are encouraged.

Ethics and values score

78.8% favourable overall in 2023

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2023)

Employee perceptions of ethics and values, 2023 vs 2022 

  2023 (%) 2022 (%)
My organisation shows a commitment to ethical behaviours 73.4 70.0
I support my organisation’s values 87.5 84.5
Senior managers model the values of my organisation 54.5 53.5
I understand what ethical behaviour means within my workplace 93.2 n/a
I would know how to report unethical behaviour if I became aware of it 86.4 n/a

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2023)

Note: As the 2023 People Matter survey included two new questions that contributed to the 2023 overall score, a comparison to the 2022 overall score was not possible.

For the first time in the People Matter survey, we asked public sector employees if they understand what ‘ethical behaviour’ means in their workplace and if they know how to report such behaviour. Employees’ perceptions of their organisation’s commitment to ethical behaviours and their support for their organisation’s values both increased by 3pp in 2023.

Case study: A single location for all NSW Government grants

To ensure public trust in the integrity of NSW Government grants administration, processes must be fair, transparent and accountable. The Department of Customer Service partnered with agencies across the sector to develop the first central database of grants and funding opportunities in NSW. The Grants and Funding Finder is a search portal that stores information about more than 500 grants across 46 agencies in one location. It enables customers to understand, compare and apply for grants more easily.

Read more

Mission, vision and strategy

Employees in the public sector should understand how their role fits into their organisation’s overall mission, vision and strategy. Understanding their role in the context of the wider organisation will enable each employee to know how their individual contribution adds value to the overall mission of delivering high-quality services. This, in turn, will increase employee engagement.

My manager communicates how my role contributes to my organisation’s purpose

68.8% in 2023

up from 68.3% in 2022

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2022, 2023)

Governance, risk and innovation

To ensure we deliver the highest quality services, our approach to governance, risk and innovation is critical.

  • Governance encompasses the rules, processes and systems by which an organisation is controlled and operates. Broadly, it includes decision making, responsibility, upholding the law and being accountable as an organisation and as individuals. Trust, integrity and accountability are each core NSW government sector values.
  • Risk implies the potential for uncertainty or deviation from expected outcomes. Risk is often seen as a negative; however, if considered strategically, it provides opportunities for an organisation.
  • Innovation in the public sector context means creating new and better products, processes, services and technologies to improve outcomes for the people of NSW. A healthy appetite for risk can help promote innovation, as do work practices that promote diversity and inclusion.

Employee perceptions of decision making and accountability, 2023 vs 2022

  2023 (% favourable) Change from 2022 (pp)
I have confidence in the decisions my manager makes 71.8 +0.1
People in my organisation take responsibility for their own actions 47.3 −1.1

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2022, 2023)

Employee comfort in raising a grievance in their organisation

64.4% in 2023

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2023)

Employee perceptions of risk and innovation

72.3% favourable overall in 2023

72.7% in 2022

Employee perceptions of risk and innovation, 2023 vs 2022

  2023 (% favourable) Change from 2022 (pp)
I am comfortable notifying my manager if I become aware of any risks at work 86.1  −0.2
My manager encourages people in my workgroup to keep improving the work they do 74.7 +0.5
My organisation is making improvements to meet future challenges 55.3  −1.6

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2022, 2023)

Organisation and role design

Organisational and role design involves defining organisational structures, employee roles and workforce plans to support the business in delivering results. This information ensures an agency has the structure and workforce capabilities to effectively deliver services to customers.

Employee perceptions of job purpose and enrichment

71.2% favourable overall in 2023

70.5% in 2022

Employee perceptions of job purpose and enrichment, 2023 vs 2022

  2023 (% favourable) Change from 2022 (pp)
In the last 12 months, I have received feedback to help me improve my work 64.6 +1.6
My job gives me opportunities to use a variety of skills 79.6 +0.3
I have a choice in deciding how I carry out day-to-day tasks 71.7 +0.4
My manager communicates how my role contributes to my organisation’s purpose 68.8 +0.5

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2022, 2023)

Employee perceptions of role clarity and support

64.7% favourable overall in 2023

64.1% in 2022

Employee perceptions of role clarity and support, 2023 vs 2022

  2023 (% favourable) Change from 2022 (pp)
I understand what is expected of me to do well in my job 83.9 −0.4
I get the support I need to do my job well 63.5 +0.7
I have the tools and technology to do my job well 68.1 +0.2
I have the time to do my job well 52.6 +0.5
My performance is assessed against clear criteria 55.3 +0.8
I have received the training and development I need to do my job well 64.5 +1.5

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2022, 2023)

There is a strong correlation between burnout and role clarity and support. This means as employees’ perceptions of having enough support and time to do their job well increases, their risk of burnout decreases. 


Recruitment is the process of attracting, screening and onboarding people. It is a high-volume activity for the sector, given the sector is the largest employer in Australia. In 2023, over 47,000 roles were advertised across the sector, an increase of 13% from 2022.

When done well, attracting and recruiting a diverse range of people to the NSW public sector leads to the selection of the person best suited to the role and agencies’ needs. Recruitment decisions are some of the most important decisions people managers have to make. Having consistent and equitable recruitment processes supports managers in making informed decisions. The time to hire has decreased each year since 2017 and is now at a record low of 33.2 days.

47,729 roles advertised in 2023

Source: Recruitment data collection (2023)

Source: Recruitment data collection (2019–23)

Employee perceptions of recruitment, 2023 vs 2022

  2023 (% favourable) Change from 2022 (pp)
My organisation makes fair recruitment decisions 45.0 n/a
My organisation makes fair promotion decisions 39.0 n/a
My organisation generally selects capable people to do the job 51.6 −1.1

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2022, 2023)


Exploring new employment opportunities is an exciting part of the I work for NSW brand, which is an online portal where NSW jobs are advertised. Having a mobile workforce makes it easier to redeploy resources to match priorities and respond effectively to change and emerging trends. It is an effective way to get the right person into the right job quickly, and to infuse innovative ideas and practices into a workplace.

Employee mobility is also widely regarded as one of the best ways to develop leadership capability, provide enriching careers, and build and retain capability and know-how. In the 2023 People Matter survey, the number of employees considering another role within the sector remained stable at 41.2%; however, only 2.4% of employees actually moved to other agencies.2 There is scope to increase mobility across the sector as the mobility provisions in the GSE Act have not yet been used to their full potential. 

Employees considering another role within the sector: 41.2%

up from 41.3% in 2022

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2022, 2023)

Employee perceptions of the barriers to moving to another role, 2023 vs 2022

  2022 (%) 2023 (%)
Lack of visible opportunities 27.0 27.4
Lack of promotion opportunities 26.9 27.1
Lack of support from my manager/supervisor 11.5 11.1
Geographic location considerations 24.1 24.1
Personal/family considerations 30.5 30.7
Insufficient training and development 14.7 14.0
Lack of required capabilities or experience 11.9 11.7
Lack of support for temporary assignment/secondments 14.3 13.8
The application/recruitment process is too cumbersome or time-consuming 22.5 21.9
Other 9.8 9.9
There are no major barriers to my career progression 28.2 28.1

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2022, 2023)

Digital and customer service

A key measure of the performance of the NSW public sector is customer satisfaction. Sector agencies share a common goal – delivering services that make NSW a great place to live, work, visit and invest in. We want our services to be easy to use, high quality and accessible to all.

Increasing digital capability across the NSW public sector is an ongoing priority, including in the understanding and use of artificial intelligence (AI).3

Employee perceptions of customer service, 2023 vs 2022

Employee perceptions of customer service

69.4% favourable overall in 2023

69.8% in 2022

  2023 (% favourable)  Change from 2022 (pp)
I am empowered to make the decisions needed to help customers and/or communities 68.1 −0.5
People in my work can explain how our work impacts customers (new) 81.1 −0.2
Senior managers communicate the importance of customers in our work 65.2 +0.6
The processes in my organisation are designed to support the best experience for customers 55.8 −0.9
My workgroup considers customer needs when planning our work (new) 82.5 +0.1
My organisation meets the needs of the communities, people and businesses of NSW 62.7 −1.0

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2022, 2023)


Delivering high-quality services for the people of NSW requires agencies to work together and share knowledge internally and with other sectors. Well-executed collaboration also enables agencies to share ideas, resources, skills, networks and assets, leading to better outcomes for our customers. Across the sector, overall employee perceptions of teamwork and collaboration within and across organisations remained stable in 2023. 

Supporting models of collaboration across agencies brings diverse and up-to-date insights to address complex problems that have proved resistant to conventional approaches. Collaborative processes need to be formally supported and authorised at the executive level of partner organisations. The PSC’s leadership programs have a strong focus on fostering networks to support this authorising environment. 

A collaborative focus is also evident in many cross-agency partnerships that are now driving reforms and that were accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in 2023 several changes were made to the way key service delivery and emergency services agencies work together during emergency natural disaster events.4 These changes reflect learnings from the significant cross-agency effort and consultation from the 2022 flood response.

Employee perceptions of teamwork and collaboration, 2023 vs 2022

Employee perceptions of teamwork and collaboration

62.0% favourable overall in 2023

62.0% in 2022

  2023 (% favourable) Change from 2022 (pp)
My workgroup works collaboratively to achieve its goals 78.8 −0.1
There is good cooperation between teams across my organisation 53.9 −0.3
Senior managers promote collaboration between my organisation and other organisations we work with 52.7 +0.7

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2022, 2023)

Case study: Virtual medical service makes life easier for those in aged care

The Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) partnered with NSW Ambulance, general practitioners (GPs) and 65 RACFs across NSW to create the inTouch Residential Aged Care Facility Pathway. It includes the inTouch Urgent Care Service, which gives patients with non-life-threatening health conditions access to a comprehensive health assessment via video calls and direct support from GPs and aged care staff. 

Read more


1NSW Ombudsman (2023)

2Workforce Profile 2023

3Digital NSW (2023)

4Natural disasters audit, 1 June 2023