Hierarchy to high-performance? Evaluating 30yrs of Senior Executive Service (2018–2021)
Despite 30 years of reform, public service capacity continues to be questioned and found wanting. This research evaluates whether Senior Executive Service (SES) schemes introduced in the 1980s have enabled SES officers to deliver superior performance. This study of all 9 Australian jurisdictions, across time, aims to (1) identify how and why SES institutional frameworks changed, (2) analyse the composition of the SES and (3) identify and explain their changing roles and accountabilities. It contributes to a high calibre SES and new knowledge of public service performance by providing a comprehensive portrait of the SES: who they are; how they are employed; how their roles have changed; and how they contribute to effective public governance.