Chief executive officers and chief employees

The Public Sector Commissioner is the employing authority of all department and Senior Executive Service (SES) organisation (Schedule 2 of the PSM Act) Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) who are appointed under s. 45 of the PSM Act. Broadly, CEOs are responsible for the efficient and effective management of the agency, which includes:

  • providing leadership and strategic direction
  • providing advice to government and delivering government desired outcomes
  • establishing and maintaining productive relationships with stakeholders
  • planning, undertaking and monitoring the agency’s financial administration
  • ensuring the appropriate structure and use of resources within the agency
  • ensuring proper records are maintained
  • managing and directing employees, including their recruitment and remuneration
  • ensuring employees have equal opportunities, as well as access to appropriate training and development, grievance processes and a safe workplace.

The functions of CEOs are set out in s. 29 of the PSM Act, the FM Act and, where applicable, an agency’s enabling legislation.

The CEO is the primary link between the board and agency and is responsible for the agency’s day-to-day operations, in keeping with the board’s strategic direction and decisions. CEOs are directly accountable to either a responsible minister, or where legislation provides, to the board. 

Chief emplo​yees

Non-SES organisations are entities not listed under either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the PSM Act. They are established for public purposes, often under statute or as a result of a Cabinet or ministerial direction. Non-SES organisations are part of the public sector as defined in the PSM Act and are subject to the PSM Act.

Chief employees are appointed under s. 44 of the PSM Act and, similar to CEOs, are responsible for leading their public sector body and managing its day-to-day operations. However, unlike CEOs, who are appointed under s. 45 of the PSM Act, chief employees may be appointed by the board of management, or by the entity itself.


Page last updated 23 May 2017