How we define accountability and responsibility

A person is:

  • accountable if they have to answer for the consequences of a matter or speak to the result
  • responsible if they’ve been asked to get something done or achieve a goal.

Lines of accountability in our system of government

In Victoria’s system of government, the government is accountable to the people of Victoria through the process of parliamentary elections.

Ministers are:
  • accountable to the Premier as leader of the government.
  • accountable to parliament for the actions and outcomes of the departments, administrative offices and public entities in their portfolios.
  • accountable for their responsibilities as members of parliament.
Departmental secretaries are:
  • accountable to their ministers for their departmental responsibilities
  • employed by the Premier.
Departmental employees, including Departmental Liason Officers, are:
  • employed by and accountable to their secretary.
Administrative office heads:
  • are accountable to the departmental secretary for the general conduct and management of the administrative office
  • may report directly to ministers
  • are employed by the Premier.
Administrative office employees are:
  • employed by and accountable to their administrative office head.
The board of a public entity is:
  • accountable to the minister for the exercise of its functions unless otherwise specified in legislation.
Public entity chief executive officers (CEOs) are:
  • generally accountable to their board or board chair.
Public entity employees are:
  • generally accountable to their CEO.
Ministerial advisers are:
  • accountable to their minister
  • employed by the Premier
  • bound by the Ministerial Staff Code of Conduct.