Appendix G - Machinery of government changes

Machinery of government (MOG) changes refer to changes made to public sector structures or administrative arrangements, arising from decisions of executive government or legislative changes. MOG changes include the establishment, designation, amalgamation, division or abolition of entities, or the movement of functions between entities.

To achieve and maintain operational responsiveness and flexibility, the Public Sector Commission provides advice to ministers on MOG changes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector. MOG changes frequently occur following an election or when ministerial portfolio responsibilities change, and sometimes as a result of legislative changes passed by parliament.

Pursuant to s. 35(4) of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act), the Public Sector Commissioner, when directed by the Premier as the minister responsible for the PSM Act, must make recommendations to the Governor to:

  • establish and designate departments
  • amalgamate or divide existing departments and designate the resulting departments
  • abolish departments
  • alter the designations of existing departments.

In accordance with s. 35(5) of the PSM Act, the Commissioner is obliged to include the text of a direction given by the Premier in an annual report to parliament.

There have been no directions given by the Premier in regard to MOG changes this year. All changes have arisen from decisions made by ministers or the Cabinet, or as a result of legislative changes.

In 2012/13, the following MOG changes occurred:

  • On 1 July 2012, the Goldfields Institute of Technology was established.
  • On 1 November 2012, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia was abolished, and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services was established in its place.
  • On 7 December 2012, the Western Australian College of Teaching was abolished, and the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia was established in its place.
  • The Governor in Executive Council altered the designation of the Department of Indigenous Affairs to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs with effect on and from 17 May 2013.

The Governor in Executive Council also altered the designation of the Department for Child Protection to the Department for Child Protection and Family Support with effect on and from 23 August 2013.1

On 8 April 2013, Cabinet endorsed 12 MOG changes, of which 10 were overseen by the Commission. With effect on and from 1 July 2013, the following MOG changes have occurred:

  • The Department of Local Government and the Department for Communities were amalgamated by means of abolishing the Department of Local Government, and renaming the Department for Communities as the Department of Local Government and Communities.
  • The Department of Environment and Conservation was renamed the Department of Parks and Wildlife, and the Department of Environment Regulation was established.
  • The Department of Lands was established as a stand-alone department, and the Department of Regional Development and Lands was renamed as the Department of Regional Development.
  • The Office of Science was relocated from the Department of Commerce to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.
  • Employing powers under the PSM Act and budget appropriation for the Art Gallery of Western Australia, The Western Australian Museum, Perth Theatre Trust and The Library Board of Western Australia (State Library of Western Australia) were decentralised.
  • The Regulatory Gatekeeping Unit and Regulatory Reform Branch functions of the Department of Treasury were transferred to the Department of Finance.

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1 Due to an error on the Cabinet decision sheet, the Department for Child Protection was incorrectly redesignated to the Department of Child Protection and Family Support, which took effect from 17 May to 22 August 2013. To more accurately reflect the name of the department and its role within the community, the Cabinet approved an amendment to the name of the department to the Department for Child Protection and Family Support in a Cabinet decision dated 27 June 2013.


Appendix F - Directed inquiries

Appendix H - Compliance statements


Page last updated 10 December 2013