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Senior executives

Senior executives

Public Service senior executives are employed under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 as a focused and capable senior executive to lead the public service

Public Service Senior Executives

The GSE Act commenced on 24 February 2014 and repealed the Public Sector Employment and Management Act 2002 (repealed PSEM Act).

The GSE Act established a single, leaner, flatter, and more mobile executive structure for the Public Service known as the Public Service senior executive (PSSE). The streamlined structure for the PSSE comprises the following four broad senior executive bands under the Government Sector Employment (Senior Executive Bands) Determination 2014:

  • Band 4 – Department Secretaries
  • Band 3 – Deputy Secretaries and Agency Heads
  • Band 2 – Executive Directors 
  • Band 1 – Directors 

 A Secretary is the employer of senior executives in their Department and in executive agencies related to the Department while the head of a separate agency is the employer of senior executives in their agency. 

As the employer of senior executives, the Secretary and heads of separate agencies can create senior executive roles having regard to the guidance provided in the NSW Public Service Senior Executive Work Level Standards, NSW Public Sector Capability Framework,  Role Description Development Guideline and Remuneration Management Framework

The Annual Reports (Departments) Regulation 2015 and the Annual Reports (Statutory Bodies) Regulation 2015 include requirements in relation to inclusion in annual reports of the number and remuneration of senior executives. The NSW Treasury administers the financial and annual reporting legislation and further information is available on their website. 

Employment arrangements and remuneration

For PSSEs, the GSE Regulation and Rules set out the employment arrangements including a model written executive contract to which they agree to be bound when they are employed.

The GSE Act provides for the remuneration package of a PSSE to be within the range determined under the Statutory and Other Offices Remuneration Act 1975 (SOOR Act) for the band in which the executive is employed. Refer to Remuneration and Benefits for further information.

Transitional arrangements

Schedule 4 to the GSE Act provides transitional arrangements for Chief Executive Service, Senior Executive Service and Senior Officers employed under the arrangements in the repealed PSEM Act. Although the deadline for transition to the new senior executive arrangements was 24 February 2017, transitional provisions continue to apply to some individuals. The transitional provisions are contained in Schedule 4 of the GSE Act.

Aligned Services

Since the GSE Act commenced further reforms have been undertaken to align the senior executive employment arrangements in NSW Health Service (commencing 1 January 2017), NSW Transport Service (commencing 1 July 2017) and NSW Police Force (commencing 31 October 2017) with those in the Public Service. Refer to the Government Sector Employment Legislation Amendment Act 2016.

Status of the SES Guidelines

The SES Guidelines were prepared under the framework of the former Act.  As such, the majority of the information contained is out of date and is not applicable to the GSE Act. During the transition period the SES Guidelines were retained as a reference point for relevant matters under provisions of the GSE Act and the GSE Regulation (refer to the Current Status of the SES Guidelines (PDF 542.3KB)). 

The Public Service Commission has since published a range of guidance materials on the Employment Portal that are the primary resource on senior executive employment matters.

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Senior Executive Work Level Standards

SES and Senior Officer Transition

Relocation Expenses Framework