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Government Agency entry Public Service Board (1922 - 1987)


Regulatory Body


The Public Service Board operated, under the provisions of the Public Service Act 1922-1975. As the central personnel authority for the Commonwealth Public Service, it was responsible for ensuring the development of broadly common standards of pay, job classification, organization, recruitment, staffing and terms and conditions of
employment. It was also responsible for devising means of effecting economies and promoting efficiency in the management and working of departments.

The Commonwealth Public Service was formed on 1 January 1901, with most of the officers being transferred from the States and working under their respective State laws. The Public Service Bill was introduced into Parliament in 1901 and was passed in May 1902. The Commonwealth Public Service Act 1902 came into effect on 1 January 1903. It provided for the appointment of a Public Service Commissioner and up to six inspectors.

Under the Act, the Commissioner became virtually independent of the Government on the major aspects of personnel administration. His writ covered permanent appointments, temporary employment, appeals, examinations and annual increments. Also covered were classifications, establishments, promotions and remunerations. Here his recommendations were subject to Government approval and for decision by Parliament in the event of disagreement.

The Public Service Board was abolished on 18 September 1987. Operational aspects of personnel matters were passed to individual departments. Program budgeting, management improvement programs and classification issues were passed to the Department of Finance. Public Service arbitration, pay and conditions matters were passed to the Department of Industrial Relations [II]. The Public Service Board was replaced by the Office of the Public Service Commission.

Ross G. Elford