Your union met with the Department recently for the Peak Consultative Committee meeting. The following items were discussed:
The Department advised Eleni Petinos was no longer the Minister for Fair Trading. The role is being filled by Victor Dominello.
The Department is going to trial courses to uplift leadership capabilities across the organisation. We will seek further information in relation to what courses these might be.
There will be changes to recruitment and onboarding which the Department hopes will improve processes for prospective and newly appointed staff. The Department has now become a disability-certified recruiter. Your union will pay close attention to what that actually means in terms of recruitment of staff with disability.
The Department is also looking to improve Indigenous recruitment practices and again we will monitor outcomes closely.
Next Five Year Plan
Em Hogan is looking at DCS 2.0: what the Department of Customer Service (DCS) might look like in the next five years and how it might get there. While PSA notes the opportunities for improvement within disability recruitment and Indigenous recruitment, there are many other areas where there is room for improvement within DCS. We will work with delegates to ensure members have a say in the planning process.
Australian Taxation Office end of year tax reporting error
Notice of the breach was issued to InfoSys, which has looked at improvements to processes. Testing and reconciling will now take place fortnightly after the pay run as well as at the end of financial year. DCS is talking with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in relation to options to help staff. While they looked at the possibility of writing off the bill, it would inflate people’s salary and potentially make matters worse. It would also create a significant financial impost to the department with the tax bill they pay the ATO potentially increasing by 40 per cent. So that is very unlikely to happen.
The Department advises that it is offering reimbursement of fee to staff who seek the advice of a financial planner in relation to being negatively impacted by GovConnect’s failure to report earnings appropriately. If you have been affected and have sought (or want to seek) the advice of a financial planner, contact HR about being reimbursed for the appointment.
The Department has also put together a background and issue paper for staff to take to the ATO. Again, please talk with HR if you need this supporting documentation.
The PSA requested that your employer also consider what effect this might have had on staff who rely on their tax return to inform matters such as child maintenance or support from a former partner.
Your union will also raise concerns in relation to this matter through questions in Budget Estimates.
As a result of the risk assessments being reviewed, from 1 July 2022 employees no longer require to be vaccinated. A number of staff have been contacted individually in relation to this. The Department is encouraging staff to stay up to date, offering leave to get vaccinated or receive boosters. It will also conduct an education campaign. For those staff who have been involved in a misconduct process in relation to failing to follow a directive, a letter will be placed on their P File for six months. If this affects you, remember that you can access your P File by lodging a ticket with GovConnect. You should stay on top of this date and ensure that the letter is removed after six monhs.
The next meeting of the Peak Joint Consultative Committee will be hold on 7 November 2022. The PSA will meet with Delegates from your area prior to this meeting to seek items for the agenda.