Senior executive managers at the Department of Home Affairs and Services Australia were ranked the worst of the 18 main government agencies last year in a survey of public servants. The 2023 APS census revealed both departments received an SES manager leadership index score of 65, four points below the APS overall average. In its individual report, though, Home Affairs listed its response differently and slightly higher at 66. It's a slight improvement for Home Affairs, which previously received a score of 64, but a drop for Services Australia from 67 last year. Staff were asked to judge their SES managers against six criteria, including whether they promote cooperation and provide clear direction. Responses to each question were averaged to reach the overall index score. You can see how each of the 18 agencies compare lower in this piece. Only 59 per cent of surveyed Home Affairs staff agreed that their SES manager creates an environment that enables them to deliver their best, while 54 per cent of staff in Services Australia said their SES manager provided convincing arguments and persuaded others. The results only covered SES managers. Staff weren't asked directly about their department's secretary. Meanwhile, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet - led this past year by Labor-appointee Glyn Davis - held onto its first-place crown from last year. This was a three-point drop on the agency's score last year. Staff in particular praised their SES managers for ensuring that work contributed to the strategic direction of the department and the APS, and promoting inter-agency cooperation. The finance, treasury and attorney-generals departments closely followed. READ MORE: Another eight agencies sat above the APS-wide average. These included the Department of Health, Department of Social Services, and Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, as well as the education, social services and foreign affairs departments. The census asked employees to assess their immediate supervisors' leadership and behaviour. Once again, Home Affairs ranked the lowest, along with the Department of Defence. But there was a significantly smaller range in results. PM&amp;C had the highest score, edging out the finance, health, infrastructure and education departments. Respondents were asked whether their supervisor could deliver difficult advice while maintaining relationships, invited a range of views, and was invested in their development. The census was held between May 8 and June 9, and surveyed staff in 104 individual government agencies, and one external service provider. Staff were polled on other areas, including their experiences of bullying and harassment, employee satisfaction, and whether they would recommend their agency as a good workplace. Participation in the survey was voluntary, but 2023 marks the first year when all agencies are required to publish their results. Agencies have also released action plans to respond to the results of the 2023 census, and chart how they will improve, culture and leadership. The Canberra Times will be publishing more census coverage in coming days, including analysis of all 104 agency results.