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The bell tolls for the ACT Public Service

By johnboy - 3 September 2010 3

An increasingly exasperated Chief Minister has announced that he’s sending Allan Hawke in to clean up the ACT Public Service.

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said the Government wanted to be sure that the configuration of the public sector remained appropriate for meeting the broad-ranging needs of government and to deliver on the Government’s agenda for the remainder of the term, particularly in relation to major priorities such as sustainability, housing affordability and transport, which crossed traditional agency parameters.

Dr Hawke has been asked to examine:

— the capacity of existing public-sector structures to support the government of the day with strategic and direction-setting advice;
— effectiveness in delivering on government policies and objectives;
performance and accountability mechanisms;
— how existing structures differentiate between the roles of policy and regulation;
across-government coordination of service delivery; and
— structures that would improve resilience and innovation across the public sector.

While Dr Hawke has run many Commonwealth departments (Defence, Transport & Regional Services, and Veterans’ Affairs) one has to wonder if perhaps a more local government focus would help.

Sadly Mr Stanhope is already comparing this review to the infamous Costello review which justified sweeping public policy changes without ever being made public.

What’s Your opinion?


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3 Responses to
The bell tolls for the ACT Public Service
housebound 9:13 pm 04 Sep 10

Must have had a bit too much of the red stuff – that was an incoherent rant.

What I meant was: maybe the Libs should demand the Costello review (and an assessment of its outcomes), and this time the Greens should support them rather than subserviently agreeing to keeping it quiet. Then there is a point to any future review.

Still a rant, but it is appalling that public policy continues to be based on secret documents.

TVStar 12:11 pm 04 Sep 10

Goodbye Chief Minister’s Department.
Those long years of empire building, running dead on any policy that you did not like (even if the Government explicitly told you to implement it), strategic reviews and framework papers that went nowhere and just delayed anyone doing anything for another nine months: I suppose it’s all over now.
And I fear that Treasury will not escape either.

housebound 7:33 pm 03 Sep 10

They must think we all have very short memories, because even Stanhope says it is the follow-up to the slash and burn of the secret 2005-6 Costello review is on its way.
(Here’s the Costello review terms of reference: http://www.chiefminister.act.gov.au/media.php?v=3910&s=44)

In 2005, Stanhope promised this would be public, but in 2006 it was suppressed, and remains secret to this day thanks to the Greens. Hypocritically, the Greens are now pointing at the first one and blaming it for the school closures they campaigned on then allowed to stand, and are now stamping their feet, demanding that this one be made public. Although not reported on the ABC website, the TV news says the Liberals and greens are both demanding transparency this time around.

Both reports – Costello and this one – should be made public, and Stanhope will probably promise the world, until the report is delivered, that is.

Costello was about closing schools to sell off the land – any bets about what this one aims to do? My guess is this is no coincidence: http://www.chiefminister.act.gov.au/media.php?v=9899&m=51.

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