Reforming executive structures
Major reforms to the executive structures of the NSW
Public Service have been introduced under the GSE Act.
The Chief Executive Service, the eight-level Senior Executive
Service, and the award-based three-level Senior Officers,
– and equivalent positions – have been replaced by a
single executive structure, with common employment
arrangements, including standard employment contracts.
The title of Secretary has replaced Director-General for
heads of departments, and the executive structure has
just four levels:
- Band 4 – Department Secretaries
- Band 3 – Deputy Secretaries
- Band 2 – Executive Directors
- Band 1 – Directors.
The titles for the bands will be appropriate for almost all
senior executive roles in the NSW Public Service.
Under the GSE Act, a Secretary is the employer of senior
executives in their department and in the executive
agencies related to the department. The head of a separate
public service agency is the employer of the senior
executives in their agency.
Public service agencies are to apply consistent design
principles in developing their new senior executive
structures. The principles include reducing executive
management layers, minimising intra-band reporting
(executives reporting to the same band) and having
appropriate executive spans of control (number of staff
reporting directly to the executive).
Implementation of the reforms is directed at optimising
executive structures in the NSW Public Service. For example,
consistent classification of and remuneration for common
roles across the Public Service should facilitate greater
mobility of executives. Fewer reporting layers and broader
spans of control are expected to encourage streamlined
decision making and make accountabilities clear.
Almost all agencies have supplied their required initial
implementation plan for effective transition and are on track
to transition to the new arrangements by February 2017 at
the latest. Table 6 shows the number of executives engaged
under the new structure by June 2014.
Table 6: Number of executives transitioning to the
With new executive structures in place, secretaries and
the heads of separate agencies will be able to manage their
structures, roles and workforce within the new legislative
framework without any requirement to seek agreement from
the Public Service Commissioner on matters such as the
number of executive roles or the structures within which
those roles are located.
It is also intended that the Health Executive Service,
Police Senior Executive Service and Transport Senior
Service align with the GSE Act and transition to these
arrangements, ensuring a consistent approach across
the whole government sector.
Details of the new structure are included earlier in this
report, in NSW public sector at a glance.