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    9.6 Operations of departments

    The general rule during the caretaker period is that the normal business of government continues until the incoming government's wishes are known. Several aspects of a department's usual activities are, however, affected.

    While departments are concerned at all times to avoid partisanship, the circumstances of an election campaign require special attention to the need to ensure the impartiality of the Public Service and its ability to serve whatever government is elected.

    During the election period, Ministers would usually sign only necessary or routine correspondence. It is desirable that judgement be used in determining whether correspondence of significance should be signed in this period by the Minister or by the Chief Executive Officer. Care is taken when preparing departmental replies not to assume that one party or another will form the government after the election. References to post-election action are in terms of the "incoming government".

    During an election period, Ministers may not request the development of new policy initiatives but may request factual material from departments. Departmental officers should not use their official position to act in a partisan manner.

    Departmental officers who feel there is a difficulty with a particular request from a Minister may raise the matter with the Chief Executive Officer of the Department who may, if necessary, consult with the Director-General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

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    Last updated:
    18 May, 2016
    Last reviewed:
    17 July, 2009