Professional public administration — key initiatives

This objective fosters and promotes a high-performing public service. It ensures effective whole of government performance and outcomes. It protects the integrity and values of good governance to foster and maintain public trust in government.

Outcomes on the following key initiatives have helped DPC achieve the ‘Professional public administration’ objective.

Provided clear, timely and practical guidance, expertise and support to stakeholders in relation to Cabinet, Parliament, legislation, Executive Council and ministerial correspondence matters

In 2022–23 DPC provided expert guidance to support Cabinet, Parliament, Executive Council and ministerial correspondence matters. This included administrative support for Cabinet, the Premier and DPC ministers, as well as across departments and the ministry where needed. DPC also provided high-quality administrative support for the Governor in relation to Executive Council matters.

Provided central media relations, communications, advertising and research governance advisory services to Victorian government departments and ministers

DPC delivered a range of products and services including speeches, website content, media releases, internal communications, events, video production and photography throughout 2022–23.

As part of its strategic governance and central advisory role for all government advertising campaigns, DPC ensured adherence to the Victorian Government Communication Guidelines and relevant legislation, supported the consistent development of campaign creative and media buying across government and provided strategic advice on communicating with diverse and regional audiences.

Support was provided across the department and to DPC ministers on a number of priorities. Examples of support
provided include:

  • the introduction of the Treaty Authority Bill into the Victorian Parliament
  • agreement between the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and the Victorian Government on a Treaty Negotiation Framework
  • trialling a digital drivers’ licence through the Service Victoria app.

DPC provided strategic advice and oversight of the protocol policies and functions of the Victorian Government and operational delivery of state-significant protocol events. Key events included:

  • delivering Australia Day public events and programs and Victoria’s participation in the National Australia Day
    Council program
  • significant state memorial services for
    • the Hon Jane Garrett
    • John Famechon AM
    • Judith Durham AO
    • John Famechon AM
    • Uncle Jack Charles
    • Uncle Archie Roach AM
    • The Hon John Landy AC CVO MBE
    • Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE
    • Emeritus Professor Derek Denton AC FRS FAA FRCP FRACP LLD (Hon)
    • Father Bob Maguire AM RFD
  • a farewell dinner for the Hon Linda Dessau AC CVO at the conclusion of her term as Governor of Victoria.

Provided behavioural science capability to all Victorian government departments to support the delivery of behaviourally informed programs and services

Throughout 2022–23 DPC used international evidence to support effective implementation of policies, programs and communications across a number of portfolio areas through the use of behavioural science. This included improving citizen interactions with services, enhancing the accessibility of forms and website communications, and improving internal government processes such as staff reporting and data collection, and frontline recruitment activity.

Enhanced public sector integrity and governance capability, including through working with the Victorian Public Sector Commission, to ensure the public sector operates in keeping with the highest expectations of trust

DPC promotes good governance and public administration, high-quality decision and policymaking, government integrity and accountability, and trust in public institutions. Key priorities and deliverables in 2022–23 for DPC included:

  • advising stakeholders on the application of the Appointment and Remuneration Guidelines and the Diversity on Boards Guidelines, as well as monitoring and reporting on compliance
  • supporting the process to create new non-departmental entities through providing policy advice, fact sheets and guidance to stakeholders
  • providing advice to support effective public administration and good governance — for example, by supporting the application of the Public Administration Act
  • providing advice to the Minister for Government Services on the VPSC’s performance against its annual plan. DPC works closely with the VPSC to support a trusted public sector that delivers exceptional outcomes for the Victorian community.

Provided guidance and advice on public sector executive workforce policies to ensure consistent and transparent executive employment and remuneration practices across the public sector

DPC provides guidance and advice across the Victorian Public Sector on executive workforce policies including the Public Entity Executive Remuneration Policy and the Public Administration Act.

These policies are publicly available, including on DPC’s website, to promote transparency in executive employment and remuneration. DPC’s role includes supporting public sector employers to apply the government’s executive employment and remuneration policies consistently.

DPC has continued to provide legal and legal policy advice on matters that relate to DPC’s ministerial portfolios, including constitutional law, administrative law, corporate law matters, parliamentary committees, conventions and practices, subordinate legislation, electoral matters for state parliamentary elections, and policy matters pertaining to the department more broadly, including on issues arising out of the department’s project and policy areas.

DPC has also advised on the government’s legislative program by helping develop legislative and regulatory proposals. It continued to manage DPC’s freedom of information requests and provide privacy advice for the department. Notably, during 2022–23 DPC assisted the Secretary in ensuring public sector awareness and adherence to caretaker conventions applicable in the caretaker period before the 2022 State Election.

Supported the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal to uphold integrity and trust in remuneration arrangements for Members of Parliament, senior public officials and elected local government officials

DPC provides secretariat support to the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal. During 2022–23 DPC supported the tribunal to:

  • make a new comprehensive Determination setting the salaries and allowances for MPs
  • make revised guidelines setting the eligibility criteria and rules for certain work-related parliamentary allowances and the Electorate Office and Communications Budget available to MPs
  • make annual adjustment Determinations for allowances payable to elected local government officials (Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Councillors)
  • make annual adjustment Determinations of remuneration bands for executives employed in the Victorian public service and in prescribed public entities
  • provide advice to public sector employers on proposals to pay an executive above the relevant remuneration band set by the tribunal
  • provide advice to the Minister for Government Services about remuneration arrangements for relevant public sector executive roles.

DPC also supports the compliance officer attached to the tribunal to independently hear and determine appeals from MPs in relation to claims for work-related parliamentary allowances and the separation payment. The compliance officer did not hear any appeals
in 2022–23.

Drafted legislation to implement policy initiatives

In 2022–23 the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (OCPC) drafted a variety of legislation to implement major government policy initiatives and reforms across a wide range of law.

OCPC drafted 33 government bills in the reporting period, which was impacted by the caretaker period in November 2022. These included the Human Source Management Act 2023, the Victorian Future Fund Act 2023 and the Monitoring of Places of Detention by the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (OPCAT) Act 2022.

Over the 2022–23 period 150 statutory rules were made.

Throughout 2022–23 OCPC provided drafting services to Parliament to facilitate the passage of Victorian Government legislation, the preparation of House amendments and the drafting and introduction of Private Members’ Bills. The demand for drafting services for House Amendments and Private Members’ Bills from opposition and independent MPs continued to grow during 2022–23.

Developed and implemented a new work management system to deliver efficiencies and enhanced services to stakeholders and the public

OCPC engaged a provider to develop and implement a new replacement work management and legislative database system. The new system will deliver efficiencies and enhanced services to government, parliament, industry and the public and will completely replace the office’s current systems for managing legal projects. The project began in February 2023 and the new system is expected to be fully operational in 2024–25.

Supported the Governor to carry out the role for the benefit of Victoria

In addition to constitutional and ceremonial duties, the Governor, the Hon Linda Dessau AC CVO, took part in a wide range of community and international engagement events in 2022–23.

Of particular significance, 8 September 2022 marked the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Over two weeks the Governor and her spouse, Mr Anthony Howard AM KC, welcomed members of the public into Government House to sign condolence books and view a memorial exhibition. A ceremony for the Proclamation of the Sovereign was also held at Government House.

Other events hosted included the Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony, a celebration of Victorians celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary, the 175th Anniversary of the Royal Melbourne Hospital and an Open House and Reception to mark the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

In 2022–23 the Governor continued international engagement on behalf of the state at the request of the government, both locally and overseas. This included visiting the United States, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Israel, the United Kingdom and Turkey, where the Governor attended the ANZAC Day Gallipoli Dawn Service.

Progress towards achieving the objective

The output performance measures that provide information on DPC’s progress in achieving the ‘Professional public administration’ strategic objective are outlined below.

Objective indicator: Support for Cabinet, committee members and Executive Council is valued and informs decision making.

Performance measureUnit2019–202020–212021–222022–23
Number of briefs supporting Cabinet and Cabinet committee decision making number1,1361,8061,430913

Objective indicator: Agency compliance with government advertising and communication guidelines.

Performance measureUnit2019–202020–212021–222022–23
Relevant communication activity compliant with government advertising and communication guidelines number100100100100

Objective indicator: Provision of high-quality legislative drafting and publication services.

Performance measureUnit2019–202020–212021–222022–23
Bills and statutory rules drafted or settled that meet the required standard per cent999910099

Objective indicator: Advice contributes to the achievement of government policies and priorities relating to Victoria’s electoral system, executive and parliamentary remuneration and public sector governance.

Performance measureUnit2019–202020–212021–222022–23
Election events conducted by the Victorian Electoral Commission, including state elections and by-elections, local government elections and countbacks, and statutory elections or pollsnumbernm102126
VPSC: Percentage of new to VPS executives participating in the induction programper centnm929689

More details on DPC’s 2022–23 performance against its output performance measures are provided on pages 49–59.