Why Does Government Slow Down When There’s a Change in Leadership?


This week has brought a change to the NSW top leadership team, with Dominic Perrottet being announced as the Premier of NSW.

Experience has shown that there can be delays in processes and policies when there is a leadership spill. However, the public can be assured that the Government is doing everything it can to minimise this disruption and get on with the job of governing the State, a task doubly important especially at this critical point in the pandemic.

While the vast majority of us were enjoying the long weekend, a number of staff from the Department of Premier and Cabinet were busy constructing briefing packs for the new leadership team to help them get up to speed with issues as diverse as finance, human resources, legislation, communication, and the status of major projects, including key collaboration points with the Federal Government.

Once this information has been assembled and approved, meetings are held with the new leadership team to deliver this information and discuss their personal communication styles and expectations. In the background, more mundane yet vital activities are taking place, such as letterheads being changed and new signature blocks developed.

This is a time of excitement and tension for NSW Government employees. While it is unlikely that the staff you meet at NSW Service Centres are directly involved in the transition activities discussed above, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ve heard about it from their managers. If you happen to notice any delay in your interactions with the NSW Government, please understand that there is a good reason for this. Leadership changes are part of our democratic process, and a little understanding, courtesy and respect go a long way to help smooth the road.

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