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Senior Executive Fundamentals

Central and oversight agencies

As a senior executive it is important you understand the role central and oversight agencies play in the public sector and the advice and support they provide to help you do your job effectively.

Central agencies

Central agencies provide essential advice and assistance on strategic issues such as finance, workforce management, service delivery, procurement and innovation. 

The heads of the central agencies work closely with secretaries through regular meetings of the Secretaries Board.

The Cabinet Office and Premier's Department

The Cabinet Office and Premier's Department is responsible for government policy and delivering the Government's commitments and priorities.

As a senior executive, you are likely to work with The Cabinet Office and Premier's Department by:

  • contributing to legislation including presenting Bills to Parliament
  • providing advice and information for Cabinet submissions
  • collaborating on NSW Government responses to cross-jurisdictional initiatives
  • providing advice and input on industrial relations policies and procedures.

Working with The Cabinet Office and Premier's Department often means dealing with very short and urgent deadlines to meet the requirements of the Premier, Cabinet and Parliament.

NSW Treasury

NSW Treasury are responsible for finance, budgets and assets, the performance of commercial agencies, financial policy, and whole-of-government procurement.

As a senior executive, you may work closely with Treasury by:

  • seeking funding for and reporting on agency programs
  • reporting on the performance of physical assets
  • seeking advice on procurement processes to maximise value for money and to ensure you follow procurement policies.

Department of Customer Service

The Department of Customer Service (DCS) is responsible for digital transformation and customer service across the NSW Government.

As a senior executive, you may work closely with DCS through:

  • designing and developing customer-centric programs and initiatives
  • implementing Digital.NSW policy, tools and guidance to lift digital capabilities of your team
  • engaging with the Behavioural Insights Unit for training and resources and attending events with leading thinkers and practitioners.

Public Service Commission

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is responsible for workforce capability, strategic workforce management, sector wide inclusion initiatives and workforce analytics.

As a senior executive, you may work closely with the PSC on:

  • implementing the sector’s core values, facilitating positive and productive culture and practices
  • encouraging diversity and inclusion
  • implementing workforce management frameworks, including those that support strategic workforce planning, recruitment, development and performance management
  • conducting workforce surveys that involve employees and contingent workers
  • participating in PSC-led programs such as the Leadership Academy, the Aboriginal Career and Leadership Development Program, and the NSW Government Graduate Program.

Role of oversight agencies

Oversight agencies have special powers that enable them to safeguard the public interest and conduct investigations.

An oversight agency may contact you or your agency during a routine audit, to seek assistance with an investigation, or as part of its efforts to improve compliance, conduct and operations in your agency or across the sector.

It is important for you to be aware of the role of each agency, so you can:

  • ensure compliance with relevant legislation
  • manage complaints and investigations
  • access support and resources when needed.

As a senior executive, you should always co-operate with and assist oversight agencies in their operations and enquiries.

Oversight agencies can support you as a senior executive by:

  • providing training on your obligations and responsibilities
  • providing information on key risk factors you are likely to come across and risk mitigation strategies
  • giving advice on how to manage complaints from the public and employees
  • sharing publications to support agencies perform their functions.

NSW Ombudsman

The NSW Ombudsman helps agencies address problems with their performance. These problems may be uncovered by complaints from the public or by people who work for those agencies. Problems may also be found through their work in scrutinising agency systems, overseeing investigations or reviewing the delivery of services.

Independent Commission Against Corruption

The Independent Commission Against Corruption:

  • investigates and exposes corrupt conduct in the NSW public sector
  • actively prevents corruption by providing advice and assistance
  • educates the NSW community and public sector about corruption and its effect.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption also deliver corruption prevention workshops to help public sector agencies examine how their operations are designed and identify ways to create a corruption-resistant environment.

Audit Office of NSW

The Audit Office of NSW deliver audits that help Parliament hold agencies accountable for the use of public resources. They conduct both financial and performance audits of agencies. Financial audits provide an independent opinion on an agency’s financial statements. Performance audits review whether public money is being spent effectively, effectively, economically and in accordance with the law.

Information and Privacy Commission of NSW

The Information and Privacy Commission helps government agencies fulfil their responsibilities under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

The Information and Privacy Commission:

  • promote and protect privacy and information access rights in NSW and provide information, advice, assistance and training for agencies and individuals on privacy and access matters
  • review the performance and decisions of agencies and investigate and conciliate complaints relating to public sector agencies, health service providers (both public and private) and some large organisations that deal with health information
  • provide feedback about the legislation and relevant developments in the law and technology.