Victorian Public Sector Boards

In Victoria, many government services are provided by public entities. These are organisations which are distinct from the departments, authorities and offices which comprise the Victorian Public Service. Entities undertake functions of government including:

  • service delivery: entities that directly undertake delivery of essential public services, such as hospitals, schools and catchment management authorities;
  • advisory: specialist advice to ministers on areas of government activity and/or entities established to provide ongoing technical advice and/or undertake research;
  • stewardship: entities created to manage public assets such as Crown Lands;
  • integrity: entities that scrutinise the actions and decisions of public officials;
  • regulatory: entities that administer regulation; and
  • quasi-judicial: entities that exercise powers resembling those of a court of law or judgment and are able to remedy a situation or impose legal penalties on a person or organisation.

Entities take a range of legal forms including corporations, statutory authorities, advisory committees and incorporated associations. The role of a public entity board is to steer the entity on behalf of the responsible minister. This includes:

  • a strategic role: setting the overall operational direction of the entity
  • a risk management role: monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness and currency of risk management, compliance and reporting systems and notifying the Minister of known risks
  • a stewardship role: ensuring the entity’s activities reflect the public sector values and employment principles and that the entity has arrangements in place to meet its statutory obligations.

Classifications

Under the Appointment and Remuneration Guidelines public entities are divided into four main classifications:

Group A Entities – Commercial Boards of Governance

  • Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) including Statutory Authorities
  • State bodies established under the State Owned Enterprise Act
  • Commercial bodies established under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or specific legislation
  • other statutory authorities which are strictly commercial in nature.

Group B Entities – Significant Industry and Key Advisory Bodies and Significant Boards of Management

  • Industry advisory boards and other bodies advising government on key strategic matters and/or matters of state-wide significance
  • quasi-judicial bodies/tribunals where there is no other framework governing remuneration and appointments (see further below)
  • Government bodies undertaking significant statutory functions, providing specialist advice to a Minister and developing policies, strategies and guidelines in a broad and important area of operations
  • management boards of medium-size organisations undertaking one or more functions or providing a strategically important service.

Group C Entities – Advisory Committees, Registration Boards and Management Boards of Small Organisations

  • scientific, technical and legal advisory bodies
  • disciplinary boards and boards of appeal
  • qualifications, regulatory and licensing bodies
  • management boards and committees of small-size organisations undertaking a specific function or providing a discrete service
  • Ministerial and departmental advisory boards and consultative committees on issues confined to a portfolio or local concerns.

Group D Entities – Inquiries/Task Forces and Ad Hoc Expert Panels

  • Boards of Inquiry which are required to submit a comprehensive report within a specified timeframe
  • ad hoc expert panels established for limited time periods to undertake a specific (often technical) task.