NSW Senior Executive Service: Professionalism and Integrity Volume 1 Part 1 Summary and Research Report


The Audit Office is of the opinion that there are several features of the current Senior Executive Service (SES) model, or its application, which hinder the capacity of the SES to operate effectively in line with the Government’s stated objectives. The ultimate effect of these features is to reduce the capacity or perceived capacity of the SES to meet the Government’s objectives for the operation of the SES.

Taken overall, difficulties in the SES identified by the audit included: uncertainty caused by the way some contracts have been applied in practice, removal for reasons other than poor performance, informal strategies such as using restructuring to “terminate contracts and to move people in and out of positions regardless of their formal reported performance” (Section 5.4), inconsistently applied rules about selection/recruitment, appointment and removal of the SES, an imbalance between CES responsibility to the Minister as the employer/reviewer with their responsibility not to act in a political or partial manner, apparent lack of rigour in, value of and Ministerial accountability for CES performance review processes and failure to implement an adequate system of rewards and sanctions related to performance.


Parliamentary reference - Report number #59.1 - released 17 December 1998