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NSW: Successful super departments?

by Paris Cowan •
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Nearly one year after former Premier Nathan Rees announced that the 160 agencies that form the NSW Government would be consolidated into 13 Super Departments, signs of a meaningful level of integration are evident at just three of the Super Departments, according to a review of public domain information by Intermedium. 

Intermedium referenced checklists in the NSW Auditor General’s Office Better Practice Guide ‘Implementing Successful Amalgamations’ to derive the integration KPIs it used in its examination. 

Progress in the areas of governance and progress with the integration of policy and systems were the two measures used.

The three Departments where there are strong signs of integration progress are:

  • Environment, Climate Change and Water;
  • Industry and Investment; and
  • Premier and Cabinet.

The former Department of Environment and Climate Change has incorporated the water functions of NSW Water and Energy to become the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW).  Water now makes up one of 8 functional units within the agency and is headed by its own Deputy Director-General.

The Department of Industry and Investment brings together the former Departments of Primary Industries, State and Regional Development and the Energy functions of the Department of Water and Energy, under the leadership of Director-General Richard Sheldrake.  The Director-Generals of the former departments have become Deputy Director-Generals in the new Super Department.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet has significantly reformed its executive structure not only in order to incorporate the former Department of Local Government and the Ministry for Police, but to take on additional ‘whole of government’ monitoring and management responsibilities.  Each of the major functional units is headed by a Deputy Director-General, under the overall leadership of Director-General Brendan O’Reilly, who as previously reported, came out of retirement to run the Department when Kristina Keneally became Premier in early December 2009. 

With regard to the other nine Super Departments (Police and Emergency Services cease to be a Super Department in early April):

  • Three were assessed as remaining largely unchanged by the reorganisation and therefore requiring little integration (Health, Education and Training and Treasury);
  • Two were assessed as providing moderate signs of integration progress (Department of Human Services and Services Technology and Administration); and
  • Four were assessed as having provided no outward sign of any integration (Transport and Infrastructure, Justice and Attorney General, Communities NSW and Planning). 

If you missed the NSW ICT Market Executive Update, the presentation PowerPoint (in PDF format) can be purchased from Intermedium by contacting Sarah Robinson on (02) 9955 9896.

Intermedium will hold its NSW Budget Briefing on 30 June.  For more information and to register for the event click here.

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  • NSW
  • Brendan O’Reilly
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Department of Services Technology and Administration
  • Department of Transport and Infrastructure
  • DHS
  • DPC
  • DSTA
  • DTI
  • Super Departments