CEO recruitment and performance review

Modernising local government and helping to deliver services to the community.

The objective of stage one of the Local Government Act review was to:

  • modernise local government; and
  • better position local government to deliver services to the community. 

This reform delivers on the following principle which underpinned stage one of the review:

  • modernising: embracing contemporary models for governance and public sector management.

The current system

  • The position of a local government Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a uniquely important role.
  • The CEO is responsible for implementing council decisions, the operations of the local government including employing staff and is instrumental in setting the workplace culture of a local government.
  • The current Act provides significant autonomy for councils in the recruitment, selection and performance review of CEOs.
  • High profile problems at a portion of local governments across the State have highlighted the level of support needed by councils to enable them to successfully complete these important tasks.


The department undertook consultation on the topic of CEO recruitment and performance review during stage one of the Local Government Act review consultation.  A copy of the consultation paper can be found below.

The following sections outline what was heard during consultation and how the feedback has informed changes to the Act.

What you’ve told us

  • Community members believed councils should be required to use a third-party in CEO selection.
  • Community members also supported third-party involvement in CEO performance review.
  • Many local governments believed that current practices should be retained, with local governments encouraged to involve third-parties.

Ideas for change

  • Require local governments to use a third-party, specifically the Public Sector Commission (PSC), in CEO recruitment, selection and performance review.
  • Standardise advertising and recruitment procedures to ensure fairness and transparency in decision-making. 

Policy position

On 1 August 2018 the State Government announced their policy positions on the stage one priority reforms, including their position on CEO recruitment and performance review.  

The following report provides further information on the findings from consultation and the Government’s decision regarding CEO recruitment and performance review: 

CEO recruitment and performance review policy position

Reforms introduced 

On 27 June 2019, the Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was passed by Parliament. This Amendment Act introduced the power to prescribe mandatory minimum standards covering the recruitment, selection, performance review and early termination of local government CEOs (CEO Standards).  

Please refer to Reforms introduced for more information on the Amendment Act, and frequently asked questions on the reforms.  


Consultation on the CEO Standards

The Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019 introduced the requirement for there to be mandatory minimum standards for CEO recruitment, performance review and early termination.

The introduction of these standards is intended to ensure best practice and greater consistency in these processes among local governments.

The department sought feedback on draft CEO standards, with submissions closing on 6 December 2019.

A copy of the draft CEO standards can be found here: Draft CEO Standards and Guidelines

The feedback is currently being considered and will inform the drafting of the mandatory minimum standards.

Page reviewed 23 March 2021