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Our people

APS Employee Census

This year, 89 per cent of Finance staff participated in the 2018 Australian Public Service (APS) Employee Census conducted by the Australian Public Service Commission. This placed us equal second for response rates among large agencies in the APS.

This gives me great confidence that the results accurately reflect the views of our staff. I am delighted to report that we have maintained our strong employee engagement results, which positively reflect on the department’s leadership and transformation activities.

Overall, our results reflect that our workforce is highly committed, capable and engaged. Our key areas of focus over the previous 12 months—health and wellbeing, learning and development, and innovation—all recorded improvements.

Finance’s 2018 APS Employee Census results are very positive. Ninety-eight per cent of our indicators are on a par with, or better than, last year. Similarly, 98 per cent of our indicators are on a par with, or better than, the APS average, an improvement on our already strong results in 2017.

Changes to the Executive

This year saw the departure of Kerri Hartland, as she was promoted to the role of Secretary of the Department of Jobs and Small Business (September 2017), and the arrival of Katherine Jones to the role of Deputy Secretary, Business Enabling Services.

Following a distinguished career spanning almost 30 years in the Australian Public Service, including over 16 years in Finance, John Edge, Deputy Secretary of Commercial and Government Services, resigned in May 2018.

Both Kerri Hartland and John Edge made significant contributions to Finance working in policy, corporate and commercially focused roles, and I thank them for their leadership and support.


Aside from being highly professional, hard-working and collaborative, Finance staff are also generous. Last year, through a number of events and activities, we raised funds for our chosen charity, Communities@Work, which provides services to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members in the Canberra community.

Financial performance

The department remains in a sound financial position, operating within its appropriation. For 2017–18, the department recorded an operating surplus of $126.9 million.

This result is predominantly due to external factors, with favourable claims experience for general insurance activities and gains in the Commonwealth’s domestic property portfolio.

More information about the department’s financial performance can be found in Part 5: Financial statements.