New Treasury secretary appointed

An Australian has been chosen for the role.
Caralee McLiesh.

Dr Caralee McLiesh has been appointed as secretary to the Treasury and chief executive, replacing Gabriel Makhlouf.

The secretary to the Treasury, the largest of the public service chief executive roles, oversees the country's public finance system and is the principal economic adviser to the Minister of Finance and the government.

State services commissioner Peter Hughes said McLiesh is a highly respected economist with strong fiscal, economic policy and financial management credentials.

The Australian is managing director at Technical and Further Education (TAFE) New South Wales in Australia where she leads an organisation of about 17,000 people with a budget of $A1.8 billion. She has held that role since September last year and before that was in several deputy secretary roles at the NSW Treasury for a decade.

One of her achievements while at the NSW Treasury was developing Australia's first social impact bond aimed at delivering better services to families at risk. She was awarded the Public Service Medal of Australia in 2017 for that work.

The Treasury role is for five years from September 16. Until then deputy secretary, budget and public services at Treasury, Struan Little, will be acting secretary.

McLiesh replaces Mahklouf who leaves his job this week to take up a new position as governor of Ireland’s Central Bank. He received glowing tributes last week from government ministers and his boss at his farewell function despite an inquiry into his actions and the advice he gave the finance minister over leaked budget information.

The SSC is also investigating how budget information was accessible and became public before Grant Robertson delivered his second budget last Thursday. Makhlouf originally claimed there had been a systematic hack on the Treasury website, which later turned out to be the National Party simply using the search function online to get early access to budget information.

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