|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
No research has yet been undertaken into the role of the Public Works Department in the construction and supervision of public buildings and the way in which the Department exercised its responsibility for public works.
It is clear that the civil establishment of the Department always included a very significant number of architects, engineers, draftsmen and inspectors who were responsible for the preparation of plans and specifications and the preparation of estimates for furniture and fittings.
It is also apparent that most of this work was undertaken by contractors but the role and responsibility of the Department in the letting and supervision of contracts is yet to be researched. Until 1964, statutory responsibility for the design, construction and maintenance of public buildings, the approval of plans and specifications, the consideration of tenders, the supervision of contracts and the approval of requisitions for buildings, furniture and repairs was vested in the Board of Land and Works (VA 744).
In 1987 a Minister for Housing and Construction was appointed and assumed responsibility for the fitout of Government accommodation and the maintenance of air-conditioning in Government buildings. The Department of Property and Services was formally created by Order-in-Council on 16 May 1978. It was originally principally concerned with coordinating the provision of centralised services to other government agencies. In 1988 the Department assumed responsibility for the supply of furniture, stores and equipment, fitting out government accommodation, maintenance of air-conditioning, and related survey and drafting functions for government constructions from the Ministry of Housing and Construction.
This function was transferred in 1991 to the Department of Finance and from 1996 the Department of Treasury and Finance. Presently, in 2001, it is exercised by the Victorian Government Property group within that Department.