Message from the Public Sector Commissioner

Mal Wauchope, Public Sector CommissionerAs Public Sector Commissioner I have seen the Western Australian public sector embark on a significant period of transformation. As an independent statutory officer, I am able to lead the Commission and work with public sector leaders to enhance the stewardship of our sector, ‘future-proofing’ it to ensure that is in the best position to meet future challenges emanating from a continually changing fiscal environment, economic development, rapidly changing technology (information and communications), changing workforce composition and requirements, and political circumstances. 

My role in preparing for the current and future management and operation of an effective and efficient public sector comes from the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act). In this respect I am in a unique position to employ around 80 public sector leaders and assist them as they build relevant, diverse and sustainable workforces to appropriately deliver services throughout Western Australia, now and in the future.

Pursuant to section 9(a) of the PSM Act all public sector bodies and employees are required to observe the minimum standards of conduct and integrity set out in Commissioner’s Instruction No. 7 through the Western Australian Public Sector Code of Ethics. Associated with this I was pleased to develop what I believe to be a world-class ethics training program in 2008 entitled Accountable and Ethical Decision Making (AEDM). While we continue to refine the AEDM as legislation and public perception changes, its contribution and success is evidenced by a sector that is essentially ethical and accountable. Recently the Commission developed a guide to developing a code of conduct for local governments and an AEDM program tailored for local governments.

I am also responsible for the administration of two key pieces of integrity legislation, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 and the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003. Through this legislation my role extends beyond the traditional ‘public sector’ to local governments, public universities and government trading enterprises. 

Although, through my experiences as Public Sector Commissioner I am in a position to be confident that, in the main, all public sector authorities are underpinned by strong governance, positive and proactive cultures and employees who are capable and resilient, I recognise that this may not always be the case. In such circumstances I know that the Commission is in a strong position to provide direction and assist.

As I work to balance policy, assistance and oversight roles in both the workforce and integrity areas, I will continue to transform my approach based on what is needed and what works for our key stakeholders. I look forward to continuing to work with leaders and people managers as we continue our transformation into a leading and high performing public sector.


M C Wauchope AO



Page last updated 23 June 2017