The Public Administration Act 2004 establishes the Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC) and creates the role of the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner.
The functions and powers of the Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC) are set down in the Public Administration Act. These roles support the delivery of the broader objectives of the Public Administration Act.
The VPSC is also required to establish and maintain a Register of Instruments issued under the Public Administration Act.
The Public Administration Act 2004 was amended by the Public Administration Amendment (Public Sector Improvement Act) 2014, which establishes the Victorian Public Sector Commission.
The provisions of the Amendment Act came into effect on 1 April 2014.
About the Act
The Public Administration Act 2004 (the Act) reflects the State Government’s belief that the fundamental role of the public service is to serve the public interest. The Act demonstrates the Government’s commitment to:
- sustain an effective and impartial public service
- protect public employment from politicisation by reaffirming and promoting the principles of merit and equity;
- promote the highest standards of public service conduct and integrity thereby strengthening public confidence and trust in government
- drive further improvements in integrated delivery of government services
- promote career opportunities in the public sector by ensuring a more coherent approach to workforce management and professional development
- ensure the public sector workforce is capable of delivering high quality services to the Victorian community, both now and into the future
- promote standards of good governance in public entities
- clarify the accountability relationship of public entities to a responsible Minister who, in turn, is accountable to Parliament.
A Comprehensive Approach
The Act takes a comprehensive approach to supporting good public administration in Victoria by:
- providing a broad definition of the public sector that includes ‘public service bodies’ (departments and administrative offices), ‘special bodies’ that have a special relationship with Government (e.g. Victoria Police, the Auditor-General, Ombudsman) and ‘public entities’ (e.g. public hospitals, TAFE institutes and catchment management authorities)
- establishing a framework to ensure the effective governance of the whole of the Victorian public sector, to help government manage both the financial and non-financial risks associated with public entities carrying out functions on its behalf
- enshrining the core and enduring public sector values of responsiveness, integrity, impartiality, accountability, respect, support for human rights, and leadership, which represent the defining characteristics of the behaviour required of all public sector employees.
The legislation also prescribes a set of principles to underpin public sector employment, which require heads of public sector bodies to establish employment processes that ensure:
- employment decisions are based on merit
- public sector employees are treated fairly and reasonably
- equal employment opportunity and human rights
- public sector employees have a reasonable avenue of redress against unfair and unreasonable treatment and the development of a career public service is fostered (in the case of public service bodies).