Machinery of Government

Machinery of Government refers to the allocation of functions and responsibilities between departments and ministers. In Victoria, these matters are the sole responsibility of the Premier.

General Orders

The Premier issues General Orders, which allocate responsibility for the administration of Acts of Parliament to ministers. A General Order is usually published after each election, or when large-scale changes are made, and is the guiding document for defining the Minister responsible for each piece of legislation and his/her ministerial powers and responsibilities.

Supplements to the most recent General Order can amend this allocation, or add responsibility for additional Acts of Parliament to ministers.

Acts are not allocated under General Orders where it is unnecessary, including where the responsible Minister is specified in the legislation and for private acts or spent legislation.

View Victorian Government General Orders and Supplements to General Orders

Public Administration Act 2004 Orders

Departments can be created, abolished and altered by an Order in Council under the Public Administration Act 2004. Staff and work units can also be transferred between departments by declaration of the relevant Minister. The relationship of ministers to departments is governed by convention and convenience, according to the Acts for which each Minister is responsible.

Administrative Arrangements Orders

Acts can include references to departments, ministers and other officers by titles that become incorrect when machinery-of-government changes are made. In order to address this problem, the Governor in Council may make Administrative Arrangements Orders under the Administrative Arrangements Act 1983. Periodically these changes are codified by Statute Law Reform Acts, and the references are formally amended.


Last updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013