Go to top of page

Legal and authorising environment

The department’s decision-making is based on legislation and a number of other mandates. All of our staff need to be aware of and work within this environment.


Section 5(7) of the Public Sector Act 2009 requires public sector agencies to:

  • implement all legislative requirements relevant to the agency
  • administer and review the legislation.

The Minister for Education and Child Development and the Minister for Child Protection Reform are responsible for implementing and administering powers under the relevant Acts and regulations. In many cases these responsibilities are delegated to the Chief Executive. 

More information on legislative responsibilities under each of the ministers’ Acts is also outlined in The Ministers’ and Chief Executive’s legislative responsibilities (PDF 359KB).

Delegations and authorisations

Delegations and authorisations are formal documented processes based on legislation that establish who has the power to make decisions and take specific actions in the department.  

Our line managers will ensure all staff are informed of the delegations and authorisations for their role as part of the induction process. All of our staff must act and make decisions in agreement with their delegated authority.

The delegations intranet page (staff login required) lists the categories of delegations and authorisations used in the department.

Relevant corporate offices maintain delegations, and must ensure they are updated annually or in line with changes to relevant legislation. Changes to delegated authorities must be approved by the chief executive.

COAG and national agreements

There are a number of national, multilateral and bilateral agreements and memoranda that ministers with the Commonwealth of Australian Governments (COAG) agree to. These set out joint policy and program areas that are binding and require implementation, monitoring and reporting.

State memoranda and agreements

There are a number of intra and inter-government agreements and memoranda that the ministers or chief executive agree to enter into from time to time. Formal agreements may set out:

  • joint policy and program areas
  • decision-making authorities for practice
  • monitoring and compliance
  • funding arrangements.

All memoranda and agreements must be drafted in consultation with the department’s legal services directorate.

Our relevant corporate offices maintain these agreements and must communicate their requirements to relevant staff, who then enact the obligations.

Premier and Cabinet circulars and treasurer’s instructions

Premier and Cabinet circulars and treasurer’s instructions are used to communicate matters of whole-of-government policy, resource management and issues of strategic importance to the state.

Circulars and instructions are binding, and require implementation and monitoring as per individual stipulations.

Relevant corporate offices maintain these agreements and must communicate their requirements to impacted staff, who in turn enact the obligations.

Department for Education Strategic Plan 

The Department for Education strategic plan authorises decision-making at the corporate and site level. They also determine the planning and operational responsibilities of the agency.

Royal commissions, coroner’s recommendations and external reviews

From time to time there are commissions and external reviews that make recommendations about the policy and practices of the department. Recommendations that come out of these and are accepted by the government  require full implementation, monitoring and reporting.

Responsible staff are accountable for ensuring policy and practice changes are effectively communicated to relevant staff and monitored. Relevant staff are responsible for enacting required policy and practice changes.


Office of the Chief Executive

Level 9, Education Centre
31 Flinders St

Phone: 8226 1540
Emaileducation.CE [at] sa.gov.au