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Performance management in the ABS

The ABS is committed to being a high performing public agency, promoting a people oriented culture through focus on leadership, communication, innovation and engagement.

Office-based staff

Where there are concerns about employee performance, specialist teams work with employees and managers, implementing early strategies to improve performance. Where concerns remain, ABS managers work with their employees by implementing an informal Performance Improvement Plan (PIP).

The ABS initiated three PIPs for ongoing office-based staff during 2018–19, with four in total completed in the period. Of these four, one employee improved performance, and one voluntarily reduced their classification prior to the end of the PIP. Where an employee’s performance has not improved through a PIP, a formal underperformance process commences. Two employees were the subject of formal processes to manage underperformance following a PIP. Of the two formal underperformance processes commenced, one employee resigned, and one employee was reassigned duties at the same level.

During 2018–19, the ABS commenced four investigations into suspected breaches of the APS Code of Conduct by ongoing ABS office-based employees. None involved privacy breaches. One employee resigned prior to finalisation of the investigation, while three investigations are yet to be finalised. One investigation that had commenced in 2017–18 was completed in 2018–19, which resulted in a breach finding and no sanction being applied.

No non-ongoing contracts for office-based employees were terminated early during 2018–19.

ABS interviewers

As with office-based employees, where there are concerns about an ABS interviewer’s performance, the employee and manager work together to implement an informal PIP. During 2018–19, one ABS interviewer commenced a PIP, and one ABS interviewer moved from a PIP into a formal underperformance process. This underperformance process was completed within the period, which resulted in an ABS interviewer having their employment terminated.

There were no misconduct investigations instigated for ABS interviewers during the period, and no non-ongoing employment contracts were ceased early.