This document is part of the Victorian Public Entity executive employment resource.

Summary of mandatory requirements and responsibilities

  • The Public Sector Values and the Employment Principles and Standards, outlined in Part 2 of the PAA, are binding on all public entities. Employers must ensure that employment processes in their public entity comply with these requirements.
  • Employers must deal with all information collected through employment processes in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.

2.1 Recruitment, selection and appointment process

The Victorian public sector is a major employer. Recruiting the right people is integral to ensuring the maintenance of the Public Sector Values. The process followed to recruit executives therefore needs to demonstrate a fair and consistent approach. This means proper thought, planning, and a rigorous assessment should be undertaken, balanced against the Public Sector Employment Principles. The Public Sector Employment Principles and Standards, outlined in Section 8 of the PAA, and the Victorian Public Sector Code of Conduct and are binding on all public sector bodies. They require public entity heads to establish employment processes that ensure:

  1. Employment decisions are based on merit
  2. Public sector employees are treated fairly and reasonably
  3. Equal employment opportunity is provided
  4. Human rights as set out in the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities are upheld
  5. Public sector employees have a reasonable avenue of redress against unfair or unreasonable treatment

How do I recruit for an executive position?

Each public entity should have in place policies and guidelines for recruiting, selecting, and appointing people. A generic recruitment, selection and appointment process is outlined in Appendix 1. Employers should refer to VPSC’s resources on the Employment Principles and Standards, Recruiting a CEO and Serving Victoria: A guide for public sector CEOs.

Who has the authority to make an appointment?

VPSC considers best practice executive recruitment to be:

  • a public entity’s Board appoints the CEO (or equivalent)
  • the CEO appoints the subordinate executives.

In practice, the authority to appoint varies between public entities depending on the establishing legislation for the public entity. In most instances the Board will have the authority to make a CEO appointment whereas in other cases, the appointment may require the approval of the responsible minister(s).  In some cases, the minister may require the proposed appointment be referred to Cabinet for approval.  It is recommended that the Board chairperson should liaise with the portfolio department prior to commencing the recruitment for a CEO. In the case of a subordinate executive, the authority to recruit will usually reside within the public entity.

Pre-employment screening

Inadequate pre-employment screening processes have been identified by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission as a significant risk to the integrity of the Victorian public sector. Public entities are expected to ensure appropriate pre-employment misconduct screening processes are used when recruiting executives. Public entities should consider implementing a pre-employment misconduct screening process in line with the VPS Pre-employment Screening Policy, released by VPSC in October 2018. The VPSC Pre Employment Screening Policy is mandatory in public service bodies and is a model policy for public entities.

2.2 Review of a selection decision

The Public Sector Employment Principles and Standards require public entities establish a reasonable avenue of redress against unfair or unreasonable treatment. Applicants should contact the public entity’s HR unit for advice on the process for reviewing selection decisions.

2.3 Information privacy

The Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (PDPA) requires all public entities to comply with its principles. All private information about individuals that is collected must be used in accordance with the PDPA. Every public entity is required to have its own privacy policy outlining responsibilities and procedures for collecting, using and storing private information. This means that all applications for executive positions will be collected, used and stored in accordance with the PDPA and the public entity’s policies. Any breach of the PDPA requirements can be reported to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.