Inaugural New South Wales Public Service Commissioner Graeme Head is leaving the state to take up a major new federal role in 2018.
Head has been named as the inaugural commissioner for the NDIS Safeguards and Quality Commission — a 300-employee strong independent statutory authority, allocated $209 million over four years, and responsible for overseeing safeguards for 460,000 NDIS participants and setting standards for NDIS service providers.
Head will take up the role establishing the commission in 2018, ahead of commencing its responsibilities as each jurisdiction reaches full scheme — in July 2018 in NSW and SA, July 2019 in VIC, QLD, TAS, the NT and the ACT, and 2020 in WA now that it has agreed to abandon its own scheme.
It will be a return to the Commonwealth jurisdiction for Head after six years undertaking a major overhaul of NSW’s public sector workforce, including establishing a new legislative framework, leadership programs, and professional capability frameworks. His tenure also saw notable campaigns encouraging ethical behaviour and workforce diversity.
The state’s top public servant Tim Reardon paid tribute to Head for his reforms, contributing to the uplift in performance of the nearly 400,000 public servants in NSW:
“The current success of our state has been driven and supported by a committed and engaged public sector that is very different to that of earlier years, and Graeme has played a significant role in that transformation of which he can be very proud.”
‘The Don’ retires after 45-years drafting legislation
On the other side of the Macquarie Street power structure, Parliamentary Counsel Don Colagiuri has also indicated he intends to retire in 2018. He has led the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office — responsible for nearly all legislation, as well as a wide range of regulations, rules, proclamations, orders and planning instruments — for the last 16 years.
“While probably unknown to most of the people of New South Wales, Don Colagiuri is a legend of the public sector whose fine work has touched the lives of everyone in the State,” Reardon said.
“Known to many just as ‘The Don’, he has been drafting legislation since 1972, first in the Chief Secretary’s Department and then from 1974 in the NSW Parliamentary Counsel’s Office, an organisation he has led since 2001.
“Don understands legal policy problems and how to resolve them and we are indebted to him for the countless occasions he has drafted complex and urgent legislation, always with good humour despite the demands.”
The process for filling both roles will commence immediately.