Commissioner's Instructions

Commissioner’s Instructions are instruments issued by the Public Sector Commissioner under s22A of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act) which provide directions to public sector bodies and/or employees on matters relating to the Commissioner’s functions or the application of the PSM Act. Over time, other compliance instruments such as the Standards in Human Resource Management, Approved Procedures and Administrative Instructions will be converted to Commissioner’s Instructions format or be phased out.

The scope and application of a Commissioner’s instruction identifies to whom the instruction applies. The directives under the ‘Instruction’ heading are mandatory but an instruction may also include supporting information such as accompanying frameworks or guidelines to assist public sector bodies in its application. This information is provided for guidance purposes only and does not form part of the mandatory requirements. CEOs are responsible for keeping informed of the content of instructions and disseminating that information to relevant staff.

The Commissioner may grant an exemption or variation from a Commissioner’s Instruction in exceptional circumstances such as where an agency can demonstrate that compliance would significantly impact on service delivery and the situation was unable to be addressed by the agency through planning or appropriate management.

Before seeking an exemption or variation agencies must consider any alternate mechanisms or administrative arrangements that could be applied to achieve the same or similar outcome. The application checklist is provided as a guide for agencies seeking an exemption or variation. For further information contact the Commission on the enquiries number provided in the instruction.

Please note the Commissioner may:

  • By order published in the Gazette exempt the whole or any part of a public sector body from compliance with the whole or any part of a public sector standard or the Code of Ethics (ref: s21(9A) PSM Act).
  • Issue a variance to an instruction excluding a public sector body or class of employee from the requirement to comply with the whole or part of an instruction, this must be made publically available in such manner as the Commissioner thinks appropriate (ref: S22 A(3) (4) PSM Act). 
Commencement date Commissioner's Instruction Notes
21 November 2017 Commissioner’s Instruction No.18 - Arrangements for employing authorities within the Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions portfolio to fill certain public sector vacancies  
9 October 2017 Commissioner's Instruction No.17 - Filling of vacant Senior Executive Service (SES) offices  
12 December 2016 Commissioner's Instruction no.16 - Government representatives contact with registrants and lobbyists  
1 November 2016 Commissioner’s Instruction No. 15 - Appointment of former public service officers ceasing employment with statutory offices  

1 July 2016

Commissioner’s Instruction No. 14 - Interim arrangements for the Economic Regulation Authority to fill certain public sector vacancies


24 March 201​6

Commissioner’s Instruction No. 13 – Interim arrangements for employing authorities of Colleges (constituted under the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996) to fill certain public sector vacancies​

1 May 2015

Commissioner’s Instruction No. 12 – Redeployment and Redundancy

1 May 2015

Commissioner’s Instruction No. 11 – Redeployment Standard

5 February 2013

Commissioner’s Instruction No. 10 – Review of classification level of employees seconded to special offices to assist a political office holder

20 June 2014

Commissioner’s Instruction No. 9 – Interim arrangements for the Department of Culture and the Arts to fill certain public sector vacancies (archived)

 3 July 2012

Commissioner's Instruction No. 8 – Codes of conduct and integrity training

Updated September 2017
 3 July 2012

Commissioner's Instruction No. 7 – Code of Ethics

Updated September 2017
 1 July 2012

Commissioner's Instruction No. 6 – Workforce data reporting obligations

1 July 2012

Commissioner's Instruction No. 5 – Publishing a public sector notice

8 November 2012

Commissioner's Instruction No. 4 – Discipline – former employees

8 November 2012

Commissioner's Instruction No. 3 – Discipline – general

 1 May 2015

Commissioner's Instruction No. 2 – Filling a Public Sector Vacancy

21 February 2011

Commissioner's Instruction No. 1 – Employment Standard



Page last updated 19 December 2017