Initially, the State Public Services Commission (SPAN) was established by order of the North Borneo (Public Service Commission) Order in Council, 1963, which was gazetted on 1 March 1963 in the Government Gazette No. S. 43/63.

After Sabah achieved its independence through the Malaysia federation on 31 August 1963, the existence of SPAN was allocated under Section (I), Article 36(1) of the State Constitution.

Other than that, SPAN's authority was also allocated under Article 135 of the Malaysia Federal Constitution. According to Article 37(10) of the Sabah State Constitution, the Commission is required to present a report of execution of assigned tasks to the Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri for presentation in the State Legislative Assembly.