Performance agreements & assessments

What is the purpose of performance agreements?

The purpose of the 2017/18 chief executive officer (CEO) performance agreement framework is to support high level leadership and accountability across the public sector by:

  • documenting high level outcomes being sought by a responsible authority/ies with respect to Government priorities, policies and key reform themes
  • promoting a shared understanding between a responsible authority, a CEO and the Public Sector Commissioner (as employer) about whole of sector outcomes expected to be achieved over a specified period.

Relationship to legislation

The CEO performance agreement is a statutory requirement of section 47 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act), to be prepared following the appointment of a CEO to the public sector. A performance agreement is required for all CEOs appointed under section 45 of the PSM Act, and is to be completed for each financial year (or calendar year for managing directors of the state training providers).

Acting CEOs are also required to ensure that a performance agreement has been established for the respective agency and to arrange for a completed performance assessment to be submitted where applicable.

The Public Sector Commissioner administers the CEO performance agreement framework.

It should be noted that CEO performance agreements:

  • are not a substitute for a strategic plan
  • can be updated or amended at any time on the agreement of all parties to the agreement
  • is not legally enforceable (as stipulated in section 47(3) of the PSM Act).

The CEO performance agreement framework

To assist CEOs with clarifying Government commitments and expectations in a changing public sector environment, and in recognition of the current machinery of government changes and the Service Priority Review, a simplified process will be implemented for the 2017/18 performance cycle.

The 2017/18 CEO performance agreement framework addresses two key components:

  • key priorities for the 2017/18 performance cycle
  • contribution to 2017/18 sector-wide initiatives.

In accordance with section 47(1) of the PSM Act, CEOs, including interim CEOs, should meet with their responsible authority/ies to agree on key priorities for the 2017/18 financial year, which will form the performance criteria for the 2017/18 cycle.

Performance objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely). Targets should be directed towards higher order outcomes but may be formulated to reflect short term progress towards medium or longer term goals.

Specific requirements for the completion of agreements are found in the section 'Process and timing requirements and templates'.

Evaluating the agreement

The responsible authority/ies and the Public Sector Commissioner will evaluate the extent to which the agreed initiatives and targets outlined in the agreement have been achieved. The evaluation may draw on:

  • the observations and experience of the responsible minister or board chair
  • self-assessment by the CEO
  • relevant information collected by the Public Sector Commission.


Ms Imogene Blair

Acting Assistant Director CEO Recruitment

Ph: (08) 6552 8715


Page last updated 23 May 2017