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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Department of Premier and Cabinet Circular

C2021-07 Department Liaison Officers


Department Liaison Officers (DLOs) are government sector employees assigned to Ministers’ offices from agencies within Ministers’ portfolios. The Department of Premier and Cabinet must be notified of all DLO assignments by emailing the notification form to People&Employment@mins.dpc.nsw.gov.au prior to commencement.

Function and Subject

Ministerial Operations (1)
Department Liaison Officers


Detailed Outline

The Minister may request that the head of a government sector agency within the Minister’s portfolio assign a DLO to the Minister’s office.

The role of the DLO is to provide the Minister’s office with a readily accessible source of knowledge and skills regarding the operations of the government sector agency or agencies within the Minister’s portfolio area/s.

DLOs are primarily assigned to perform agency contact roles supporting the relationship and communication between the agency and the Minister’s office. DLOs may also be assigned to perform specialist advisory roles where they can remain politically neutral and to give advice regarding agency policy and procedures. DLOs may also be assigned to perform administrative roles to support communication between the agency and the Minister’s Office. The DLO’s role should be agreed between the Minister and the agency head prior to commencement.

DLOs are not members of a Minister’s staff. A DLO must be an employee (either temporary or ongoing) of the agency from which they are assigned. DLOs remain employees of their home agency under their agency terms and conditions of employment and are subject to their home agency’s code of conduct. An agency contractor cannot serve as a DLO.

The following guidelines apply to the assignment of DLOs to Ministers’ offices:

  • Payroll and leave administration for DLOs will be provided by the home agency, with leave and other matters affecting the performance of the DLO role considered in consultation with the Minister's office.

  • Day to day, DLOs will be supervised by the Minister’s Chief of Staff.

  • Employee-related costs of DLOs are to be met from the budgets of home agencies. Other costs, for example, mobile telephone, office equipment, transport and accommodation for official business, are to be met from Ministers' office budgets. This does not preclude a DLO from using existing agency administered assets in the performance of their duties (for example, laptops, tablets, phones etc).

  • DLOs must be politically neutral and impartial while assisting the Ministers to achieve their objectives. DLOs must avoid party political activities in the performance of their duties.

  • DLOs may remain in a Ministers Office during the caretaker period before an election should their position continue to be required at the time. Particular care should be taken to ensure duties remain politically neutral.

  • DLOs should be identified by government sector agencies having regard to the skills, knowledge and experience required, in accordance with the relevant employment framework applying to the government sector agency.

  • Commencing DLOs should be advised in writing, and accept the terms and conditions applying to the assignment (for example, pay rate, employment status and end date). At the completion of a DLO assignment, ongoing agency staff return to a role in their agency at the same grade as they held prior to the assignment.

  • DLO assignments are temporary and should generally not exceed 18 months. Assignments beyond 18 months may be approved by the agency head.

  • DLOs are not to be issued with agency credit cards and must not exercise any agency financial delegations.

  • It is the responsibility of the employing home agency to ensure that the Department of Premier and Cabinet is notified of all DLO assignments:

    • Notifications must be made prior to commencement and must include commencement date, home agency employment status, home agency salary or grade, full-time equivalency (FTE), end date, and emergency contact details.

    • The DLO Notification Form (attached) must be completed by the home agency and returned no later than the day of commencement.

    • Where a DLO assignment is extended, the Department of Premier and Cabinet must be notified via an updated DLO notification form.

    • Early departures should be notified via email to the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

    • Commencements, extensions and departures (including early departures) should be notified via email to People&Employment@mins.dpc.nsw.gov.au.

Timothy Reardon


Who needs to know and/or comply with this?

Executive agencies related to Departments
Separate agencies

AR Details

Date Issued
Mar 16, 2021
Review Date
Dec 31, 2022
Replaced By


02 9228 5555
Publishing Entity
Department of Premier and Cabinet
Issuing Entity
Department of Premier and Cabinet