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3.10 Ministers

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A Minister is the principal executive officer of departments and agencies of government as well as a Member of Parliament.

There is only limited and indirect mention of the role of Ministers in the Constitution Act 1889. There is a limit of 17 Ministers, one of whom must be a member of the Legislative Council.(20) Our system of government assumes that Ministers are individually responsible for the administration of the Western Australian departments and agencies within their portfolios, and are collectively responsible with others Ministers for the decisions and operation of the Cabinet.

Although Ministers are responsible for the departments under their control, they are not expected to be involved in the detailed administration of a department. Day to day administration is handled by the department itself, usually headed by a Chief Executive and supported by a number of public servants. The Minister is however accountable for the department and may be called on to answer parliamentary questions concerning its operations.