WA announces Public Sector Commission

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has announced the creation of a Public Sector Commission to regain independence and transparency of the public service.

The director general of the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC)  Mal Wauchope has been named as the first Public Sector Commissioner, who will lead the commission.

The decision came at the first cabinet meeting of the new Liberal-Nationals government, where members agreed to split the DPC into two.

Mr Barnett said the separation would ward off a possible conflict of interest by transferring the DPC’s responsibilities for the public sector to the commission.

“The new department and commissioner are positive steps towards better government and a better State,” he told reporters.

“The reason for doing that is to restore the independence and professionalism and the integrity of Western Australia’s public service.”

The commission will be responsible for evaluating the public sector’s performance and developing management policies and reform agendas.

Mr Barnett said the Commissioner for Public Sector Standards will continue to play an independent role in the selection of public sector CEOs, and in establishing and monitoring compliance with public sector codes and standards of behaviour.

The cabinet is also set to reintroduce the surrogacy bill to parliament when it resumes on November 6.

The legislation was to come before the Legislative Assembly in August, but was lost when the election was called six months earlier than expected.

Other bills being prepared for parliament include the protection of Royal Perth Hospital and mandatory sentencing for assaulting police officers.

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