Department of Premier and Cabinet (New South Wales)
|Dissolved||The Cabinet Office (NSW)|
|Jurisdiction||New South Wales|
|Headquarters||52 Martin Place, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
The New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet, a department of the New South Wales Government, is responsible for leading the New South Wales public sector to deliver on the Government's commitments and priorities. The department provides administrative support that enables the cabinet to identify, design and implement a coordinated policy, project and reform agenda that boosts the efficiency, productivity and effectiveness across the State. The department consults and work closely with other New South Wales government departments, the Commonwealth Government, local government, business and the community to ensure responses to community needs are effective.
The Department is led by its Secretary, presently Blair Comley PSM, who reports to the Premier, presently The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP and in her absence, the Deputy Premier, presently The Hon. John Barilaro MP.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet is directly responsible for the administration and implementation of the New South Wales State Plan, regulatory reform, performance reviews and service delivery improvement. The department also plays a key coordinating role in disaster management, delivery of infrastructure such as major projects and industry and business development. Premier and Cabinet also manages workforce reforms and employee relations and essential services to support the government of the day, like ministerial services, parliamentary counsel, cabinet secretariat and policy support.
The Department is responsible for investigating various matters as directed by the Premier and the agency Secretary.
In 2006 the New South Wales Government commissioned an inquiry into government administration by Dr Michael Vertigan AC and Nigel Stokes, entitled New South Wales audit of expenditure and assets report or more commonly the Vertigan Report.
Prior to 2007 separate agencies existed, entitled the Premier's Department of New South Wales and the New South Wales Cabinet Office, the latter established in 1988. Premier Morris Iemma merged the two agencies into the new Department of Premier and Cabinet under the direction of Robyn Kruk after the 2006 resignation of the Director General of the Cabinet Office, Roger Wilkins, and replacing the long-term Director General of Premier's Department, Col Gellatly, who served under Premier Carr.
In 2008, following the resignation of Premier Iemma, Nathan Rees replaced Kruk with John Lee, a senior public servant in the New South Wales Department of Transport and brother of Michael Lee, a former Labor Federal Minister and Councillor of the City of Sydney. In June 2009, Rees announced a restructure of the New South Wales Government and the creation of 13 super departments aimed at delivering better government services. The Department of Premier and Cabinet was named as the lead agency; responsible for the implementation of the new plan. Additionally, the Department of Premier and Cabinet became responsible to a number of Ministers. In addition to the Premier, the Ministers for the Central Coast, the Hunter, the Illawarra, Infrastructure, Local Government, Police, Public Sector Reform, Regulatory Reform, Women, and the Assisting the Premier on Veterans’ Affairs, and the Special Minister of State all were responsible for various functions administered by the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Following the December 2009 appointment of Kristina Keneally as Premier, Keneally announced that the restructure plan would continue to be implemented, whilst at the same time replacing Lees with Brendan O'Reilly.
Following the NSW coalition's victory at the 2011 state election, Liberal Premier Barry O'Farrell replaced O'Reilly with Chris Eccles on 1 April 2011. By August 2011, a revised agency structure was formalised, together with an overlying management structure that led to the creation of offices and divisions covering local government, planning and infrastructure including strategic lands, environment and heritage including environment and climate change, national parks and wildlife, western Sydney, parliamentary counsel, and general counsel. A further restructure took place following the 2015 state election when Premier Baird transferred the functions of investment attraction, trade and tourism, and major events from the Trade and Industry to Premier and Cabinet.
Current structural groups and divisions
As of January 2017[update], the department is divided into five groups covering economic policy, social policy, cabinet processes and legislation including government integrity, government, corporate and regional coordination, and driving the implementation of the Premier’s priorities.
The agency is responsible a number of functional areas and agencies including Veterans' Affairs and the Anzac Memorial Building Trustee, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Office of the Inspector of ICAC, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, Infrastructure NSW, the NSW Electoral Commission, the New South Wales Ombudsman, the Office of the Governor, the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) and the Office of the Inspector of the PIC, the Public Service Commission, and the NSW Audit Office.
In 2007, the Director General of the Department referred a matter to NSW Police following allegation that Paul Gibson had allegedly assaulted Sandra Nori, a parliamentary colleague of Gibson's with whom he had a relationship. In 2010, the Department coordinated investigations into claims that Ian Macdonald, a disgraced former Minister, had rorted his travel allowances. During 2010, the Auditor General of New South Wales accused the agency of establishing special deals with contracted public servants which resulted in them receiving a form of golden handshake. Premier Keneally defended the Department and stated that, "nobody in my government has those sorts of arrangements"
- Department of Premier and Cabinet (November 2011), "About Us", Annual Report 2010–11 (PDF), Victorian Government, p. 3, archived from the original (PDF) on 20 June 2014
- "About the Department". Department of Premier and Cabinet. Government of New South Wales. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- Vertigan, Michael; Stokes, Nigel (23 February 2006). New South Wales audit of expenditure and assets (Report). Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "About us". Department of Premier and Cabinet. Government of New South Wales. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "Full Day Hansard Transcript Legislative Assembly, 29 August 2006, Corrected Copy)". Hansard - Legislative Assembly of New South Wales. Parliament of New South Wales. 29 August 2006. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- Murray, Stephen (19 March 2007). "NSW: never has so much been accomplished by so few with so little". Crikey. Private Media Pty Limited. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- Totaro, Paula (26 April 2004). "Power behind the throne". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- Hildebrand, Joe (16 October 2008). "Nathan Rees axes Premier's Department head Robyn Kruk". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- Clennell, Andrew (1 August 2009). "Hands on the wheel". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "Premier announces historic public sector reform" (PDF) (Press release). Premier of New South Wales. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "NSW Government Confirms Departmental Restructure". Occasional paper. Hawker Britton. July 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- Clennell, Andrew; Hall, Louise (9 December 2009). "We will be stable, promises Premier of her new cabinet". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- Salusinszky, Imre (1 April 2011). "Another mandarin gone". The Australian. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "NSW Public Sector: Principal Departments and Other Bodies" (PDF). Department of Premier and Cabinet. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Reorganisation - Phase 1 Group descriptions" (PDF). Department of Premier and Cabinet. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- Bajkowski, Julian (9 April 2015). "Fresh hunt for NSW agency chiefs after departmental shake-up". Government News. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- "About the Department". Department of Premier and Cabinet. 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- "About us". Veterans' Affairs NSW. Government of New South Wales. 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- "Annual Report 2015-16" (PDF). Infrastructure NSW. Government of New South Wales. 31 October 2016. p. 14. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- Norington, Brad (4 April 2007). "I don't trade in rumours: Iemma". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- Besser, Linton (14 July 2010). "WMacdonald travel rort staffer gets new government role". The Land. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "Staffers' golden handshakes cost NSW $180k". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2011.