Former federal Agriculture secretary Dr Paul Grimes PSM has been named as Victoria’s new Public Sector Commissioner.
Grimes made headlines in 2015 when he fell out with his minister, Barnaby Joyce, over questions about the latter’s integrity following alterations to Hansard. He subsequently left the post.
He is also former secretary of the Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, and has held senior executive roles in both the South Australian and ACT governments, as well as serving as associate secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and deputy secretary in the Australian Department of Finance.
Currently an independent policy adviser advising on public policy and organisational performance, Grimes recently chaired the Victorian government review into the state’s electricity and gas network safety framework.
He takes over from inaugural commissioner Belinda Clark, who returned to New Zealand to become Law Commissioner in August.
Elizabeth Langdon will continue acting in the role until Grimes’ appointment commences on 22 January 2018.
As commissioner, Grimes will also be a member of the Victorian Secretaries Board, which coordinates issues of strategic importance across the public sector.
The Victorian Public Sector Commission supports Victoria’s public sector by assessing, researching and providing advice and support on relevant administrative, governance and service delivery issues. The commission also issues and monitors codes of conduct to support public sector professionalism and integrity.