Skip links and keyboard navigation

    2.1 Ministers

    Ultimate responsibility for departmental management rests with Ministers who are legally and politically accountable to the Parliament for the administration of their department(s). It is the policy of the government to enhance Ministerial responsibility and accountability consistent with its collective commitments.

    Ministers must be aware of their constitutional responsibilities to act in the public interest and not disclose confidential information or government information likely to injure the public interest.

    As far as possible, the management of departments is the responsibility of the departmental Chief Executive Officer. Chief Executive Officers are responsible for managing the day to day operations of departments, ensuring the efficient and effective delivery of departmental services and providing effective advice to the Minister on policy matters requiring Ministerial attention.

    Individual Ministerial authority and responsibility should be balanced against the need to bring to Cabinet major issues of policy and any matter requiring collective consideration by the government. Refer to Chapter 1.5 "Matters for consideration by Cabinet" and Chapter 3.2.2 "Matters to be considered by the CBRC".

    As a general rule, Ministers should put before Cabinet the sorts of issues on which they themselves would like to be consulted. If uncertain, Ministers should seek advice from the Premier or the Cabinet Secretary. Similarly, departments should seek advice from the office of the portfolio Minister or Policy Division, Department of the Premier and Cabinet. In some matters, consultation and agreement with Ministerial colleagues will suffice. However, when Ministers decide to bring a submission to Cabinet, it is subject to the Premier's approval.

    Where two or more Ministers share substantial responsibility for a particular matter, it is appropriate for a joint submission to be presented to Cabinet. It is, however, desirable to avoid the diffusion of responsibility and the practical difficulties that can arise when more than two or three Ministers jointly sign a submission. In cases where many Ministers have an interest in the subject matter, it is preferable for responsibility to be allocated to one or two key Ministers for joint signatures and for the interests of the others to be taken into account by their being consulted, in a timely and effective manner, in the preparation of the submission.

    When a decision is made by a Minister to develop a submission, it is the responsibility of that Minister to allocate the appropriate security classification for the submission based on sensitivity and the level of security required (further information on security classification is provided in. Refer to Chapter 5.2 "Security classifications on Cabinet submissions".

    2.1.1 Attendance at meetings

    Attendance at Cabinet meetings takes priority over other commitments, and Ministers should arrange appointments to avoid conflict with scheduled meetings.

    Ministers must seek the Premier's approval if they are likely to be unavoidably absent from meetings (or delayed) and obtain leave to be absent.

    2.1.2 Extended absence

    It is the responsibility of a Minister to nominate to the Premier another Minister to act on his or her behalf during the absence. The nomination is then forwarded by the Premier to the Executive Director, State Affairs, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, who prepares a Delegation of Authority for signature by the Premier, and the Governor if required. A copy of the delegation is forwarded to the Cabinet Secretary.

    ^ to top

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