The public service is an important source of advice but it cannot alone determine the path forward, only advise on the possibilities and pitfalls while also carrying out fair and proper administration – a job the APS does, better than any other in the world.
In survey results that appeared in last year's State of the Service Report public servants were asked about familiarity with the Standards of Ministerial Ethics, the Register of Lobbyists, and the Lobbying Code of Conduct. Around 50% in each case had not heard of them, or were not sure. No-one was asked about familiarity with the Open Government Declaration, with freedom of information reforms of 2009-2010 or asked to respond to any questions designed to gauge general attitudes concerning open government, or appreciation of the law regarding respect for information privacy and what that entails.
At the end of the day, there seems to be no rational reason to explain the government's slowness to introduce its legislation. That only leaves irrational explanations, which can only be guessed at.