The Department of the Premier and Cabinet is central to the functions of Executive Government in Western Australia.
“Executive Government” broadly refers to the arm of government responsible for carrying out or administering laws enacted by the legislature. The term is also used in relation to Ministers from the governing party who make policy decisions and are responsible for the administration of government. Executive Government in Western Australia includes the Cabinet, the Executive Council and the Public Sector.
While Western Australia's constitutional laws provide for the Governor to act as Head of State, most of the Governor's constitutional powers are exercised on advice from Government Ministers, principally the Premier.
Government Ministers meet as a body called the Cabinet, which is chaired by the Premier. The Cabinet operates as a deliberative body that determines the legislative and executive policy of the Government. Cabinet meetings are held on a weekly basis, with meetings regularly scheduled for regional parts of Western Australia.
Cabinet is fundamental to the operations of Executive Government, but it is not recognised in the Constitution and its decisions have no legal force except to the extent they are put into effect by individual Ministers.
The Executive Council is the supreme decision making body of Government and comprises the Governor (as Chair) and all Cabinet Ministers. Members of the Executive Council are appointed by the Governor on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen. Its principal purpose is to advise the Governor on matters relating to administering government in Western Australia. Where applicable, it gives legal form to Cabinet decisions, which have no legal status in their own right.
The Public Sector is made up of the various government departments and agencies. Its role is to administer and enforce the laws of the State and implement the legislative and executive policies of the Government of the day.