The public service

The Commonwealth, states and territories each have a ‘public service’ consisting of persons employed and paid by the government to carry out various aspects of government administration. 

A public service is organised into departments with specified areas of responsibility, such as:

  • The federal Department of Health
  • The Department of Education and Training
  • Tthe Attorney-general’s department
  • The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. 

Departments have responsibility for providing relevant services to the public. They are responsible for administering legislation, implementing government policies and managing finances. They also provide advice to government ministers. 

Public services are large organisations and an essential part of effective government.