Agency Capability Review

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Agency Capability Review

AFSA plays an important role in enabling a strong credit system for Australia.

The agency contributes to Australia’s economic and social prosperity by overseeing the personal insolvency and personal property securities programs and administering proceeds of crime in accordance with orders made under Commonwealth legislation.

Comparatively, AFSA is a relatively small regulator with a narrow focus compared to its key partner agencies, which are among the largest and broadest regulators in the Commonwealth. AFSA’s people are highly engaged, have deep technical expertise and a commitment to supporting clients.

Overall, AFSA is successful and has positive relationships with stakeholders across government, the private sector and not-for-profits.

The agency has undergone recent organisational changes, driven by movements in the senior leadership team and AFSA’s broader workforce, and a change program designed to ensure AFSA is adaptable and capable to meet future challenges. The change program created a solid foundation for future success and has since been built upon by AFSA’s intentional and clear vision and strategic direction.

This self-initiated capability review was conducted to ensure AFSA’s future success by supporting the agency’s strategic direction and identifying and prioritising gaps in capability. The review was informed by the APS Capability Review Program.

The future will present new challenges for AFSA, requiring the agency to build a workforce that is data-driven, leans into regulatory stewardship and delivers scalable and tailored services to meet the changing needs of Australians.

To enable this:

AFSA will need to prioritise:

  • building and maintaining its leadership, culture and workforce capability
  • strategic service delivery
  • developing a data-driven culture with improved accountability.

A priority focus is required around leadership, culture and workforce capability. To deliver this, immediate steps are needed to ensure the new senior leadership team operates together as a high performing ‘First Team’. The First Team needs to be cohesive, with agreed ways of working, and consistent cultural practices and values that can be cascaded across the agency. This focus on leadership should be supported by a contemporary strategic workforce plan that includes talent management, succession planning and a holistic capability development program.

Service delivery is the core of AFSA’s business. To ensure services meet the needs of users into the future, the agency needs to bring a strategic service delivery lens to its operations. To enable this, AFSA should systemise the use of data, innovative technologies, staff and client feedback, and review and evaluation into service delivery. A strategic service delivery framework will clearly articulate AFSA’s service delivery position and will provide needed clarity to staff and stakeholders.

An investment in data culture and capability is also critical to AFSA’s success. AFSA is currently developing a new data strategy to address the agency’s low enterprise data maturity and capability. Successful implementation of the data strategy is essential for the agency to become a contemporary and influential regulator that stewards the systems it regulates, while adding value to the whole-of-government agenda.

Key findings and priorities for developing leadership, culture and capability, strategic service delivery and a data-driven culture are contained in Chapter 3 of this report.

Detailed findings against the APS Capability Review Program’s domains and elements can be found in Chapter 4.