Chris Eccles, top NSW bureaucrat, resigns

One of NSW's top bureaucrats, Chris Eccles, has quit after the Premier, Mike Baird, announced his position would be readvertised to attract "the best possible person".

Mr Eccles resigned as head of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet after deciding not to reapply for his job.

Mr Baird thanked Mr Eccles for his contribution. The position will now be thrown open to candidates from around the world.

“The Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet is a key role, and I want to ensure the position is filled by the best possible person,” Mr Baird said.

“I respect Mr Eccles’ decision and I thank him for his hard work and diligence".

Mr Eccles' resignation takes effect immediately. Deputy secretary Simon Smith will act in the role until a permanent appointment is made.

In a statement the Premier said candidates would be considered from the "public and private sector, both domestically and internationally".

There has been speculation that the secretary of the Department of Family and Community Services,  Michael Coutts-Trotter, who is married to the federal Labor MP Tanya Plibersek, is in the mix of potential candidates. It is understood that under former premier Barry O'Farrell, Mr Coutts-Trotter was seen as an obvious successor to Mr Eccles.

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