The Executive is that part of government that carries out or administers the law.
Parliament functions under the concept of responsible government. The Executive is usually controlled by those Members of Parliament who have a majority in the Legislative Assembly. By convention, the Executive is led by the Premier with the support of Cabinet. This means that those who control the Executive, principally the Minister, are also a part of the Parliament. The leaders of the Executive are therefore held accountable in Parliament for their actions.
The leader of the majority party is appointed by the governor as the Premier and chooses his Ministers from the party membership in the Legislative Assembly and Council.
Under the control of the Executive are:
Government departments and agencies, (e.g. Department of Transport, Environment, Agriculture, Education and Training)
statutory authorities (e.g. Lotterywest, Disability Service Commissions State Library)
government trading authorities (e.g. Western Power, Water Corporation).
This collection of publicly funded or supported organisations are sometimes described as making up the “public sector” and they must all be accountable to a Minister, who is in turn accountable to the Parliament.
Should the Parliament lose confidence in the performance of the Executive, a motion of ‘no confidence’ may be moved in the Legislative Assembly and, if successful a new government must be formed or elections held.