The Public Service l​eadership structure

The top management structure of the Public Service contains five levels: those of the Principal Permanent Secretary, Permanent Secretaries, Directors General/Chief Information Officers, Directors and Assistant Directors.

The Principal Permanent Secretary is the Head of the Public Service. This position is established by the Public Administration Act.

Permanent Secretaries represent the second level of leadership in the Public Service. Each ministry normally includes a single Permanent Secretary who serves as its administrative head, although in certain cases there may be more than one Permanent Secretary in a ministry.

Directors General may be appointed to head large divisions in a ministry. They may also be appointed as heads of large departments of Government.

Directors head directorates in a ministry under the responsibility of the Permanent Secretary, or else of a Director General. Directors also head directorates in large departments which are under the overall direction of a Director General. Directors may also be appointed as heads of small departments of Government in their own right.

Assistant Directors are usually assigned responsibility for sections of a certain importance in ministries and in departments of Government.

The top management structure in the Public Service also includes some heads of department with special titles, such as the Superintendent of Public Health who is equivalent to a Director General.


Performance agreements

Officials in top management positions are appointed on the basis of four-year performance agreements, subject to a year probation. A performance agreement is a form of contract which spells out the responsibilities of the appointee and provides for the drawing up of annual performance targets. The performance of each official is assessed against his or her targets, and on this basis he or she is awarded a bonus.

Officials in top management positions have no guarantee of re-appointment when their four-year performance agreements expire. Positions which are filled on the basis of a call for applications, as is normally the case with respect to assistant directorships, directorships and positions of Director General/Chief Information Officer, are usually re-advertised and the incumbent has to reapply for appointment.

Incumbents who are not re-appointed do not lose their employment in the Public Service but revert to their previous appointment (substantive grade). They will then be assigned duties appropriate to his or her salary level. This system represents a compromise between two objectives: on the one hand, to avoid complacency in top management positions, and on the other to offer continuity to those who choose a career in the Public Service.