It is the responsibility of agencies to ensure that resources devoted to learning and development are relevant to the public sector and provide value for money.
A number of commercial conferences targeting the public sector do not meet these criteria. Accepting speaking engagements at these conferences can encourage agencies to spend their training dollars on registrations organised by commercial operations with no detailed knowledge of public sector needs.
CEOs, other senior staff and specialists should give a strong preference to addressing conferences and seminars run by government agencies, professional associations and other organisations with specialist knowledge in their field. It is recognised that commercially run conferences may sometimes serve other valuable organisational purposes such as showcasing New South Wales public sector achievements to a broadly constituted audience. On these occasions Chief Executive Officers may authorise speaking at these conferences.
Staff approved by their CEO to address a commercially run conference should negotiate a fee payable to their agency or to the Crown, and for their expenses to be met by the conference organiser. Where it is not possible to negotiate a fee a suitable number of places should be negotiated for other staff to attend the conference free of charge.
The Minister should be advised of any speaking engagements approved at any conferences (including not for profit conferences) which are likely to gain a high profile.
CEOs should also consider the best way to ensure that attendance at commercially run conferences is strictly limited to those which meet the agency's objectives and give value for money. This must include requiring approval at the appropriate senior executive level within the agency.
Issued : Capability Development Unit, Workforce Capability (Public Employment Office)
Contact: Frances Parker, A/Principal Project Manager
Telephone no: 9228 3130 Facsimile: 9228 5087
File no: PSM/04814
This circular supersedes C1995-19 and C1997-49
This circular is replaced by: Public Service Commissioner Direction 1 of 2014: Managing Gifts and Benefits: Minimum Standards