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Future of the public service

Analysis and Comment (12)

Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. Not everyone’s cup of tea. Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. Not everyone’s cup of tea. 準建築人手札網站 Forgemind ArchiMedia

Is anyone asking people what they want from the smart cities of the future?

Future cities, where infrastructure adapts to our needs, offer are an enticing prospect. But who is in the driving seat as these urban developments crop up around the world? We need to make sure that the…
The long-held belief that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector is not supported by theory or evidence. The long-held belief that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector is not supported by theory or evidence. www.shutterstock.com

Pursuing ‘efficiency’ in the public sector: why privatisation is not necessarily the answer

“The reality is that government employees around the world are known not to be as efficient as the private sector.” —Paul Fletcher, Liberal Party, Member for Bradfield “The efficiency of the public system…
The role of politicians and public servants are blurred in countries such as China, which announced its new leadership last week. The role of politicians and public servants are blurred in countries such as China, which announced its new leadership last week. EPA/Adrian Bradshaw

Looking to Asia to reform Australia’s public service

What will the Asian Century mean for public administration in Australia? This probably isn’t the first question that occurs to people pondering the implications of shifting economic and political power…
Terry Moran has called for the strengthening of the Australian Public Service. Terry Moran has called for the strengthening of the Australian Public Service. Alan Porritt / AAP

Terry Moran: time for an inquiry into the public service

Terry Moran was Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2008 to 2011. He is now President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and a governor of the Committee…
Former Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Terry Moran AC, has called for the strengthening of the Australian Public Service. Former Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Terry Moran AC, has called for the strengthening of the Australian Public Service. Alan Porritt / AAP

Terry Moran in conversation: full transcript

Terry Moran was Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2008 to 2011. He is now President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and a governor of the Committee…
Peter Shergold, pictured here at COAG with former prime minister John Howard, was Australia’s top public servant from 2003-2008. Peter Shergold, pictured here at COAG with former prime minister John Howard, was Australia’s top public servant from 2003-2008. AAP/Alan Porritt

Peter Shergold: political staffers aren’t killing the public service

In 2007, soon after becoming prime minister, Kevin Rudd found himself unable to attend the Christmas party of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) of which I was the secretary. This…
The earthquake at l'Aquila was a tragedy, but blaming experts and governments doesn’t help. The earthquake at l'Aquila was a tragedy, but blaming experts and governments doesn’t help. EPA/Grillo

Blame game the enemy of good policy when disaster strikes

The decision of an Italian Court to convict six scientists and one government official of manslaughter for the failure to predict the magnitude of a devastating earthquake in L’Aquila in central Italy…
There’s no point idealising the Hawke years. The public service has changed with the news cycle. There’s no point idealising the Hawke years. The public service has changed with the news cycle. AAP/National Archives of Australia

We won’t save the public service by looking backwards

Something is wrong with policy debate and deliberative processes in Australia. Everyone has a view on what is wrong with the public service, from Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott…
The UK’s recent rail fiasco shows outsourcing isn’t always the answer. The UK’s recent rail fiasco shows outsourcing isn’t always the answer. EPA/Andy Rain

To outsource or not to outsource? It all depends…

As governments increasingly come under fiscal stress, many leap at the opportunity to cut costs by outsourcing services. The current flurry of activity around outsourcing, gaining much attention in the…
David Cameron has championed the ‘Big Society’ - but is it the right fit for Australia? David Cameron has championed the ‘Big Society’ - but is it the right fit for Australia? Andy Rain / AAP

Will a smaller state create a bigger society in Australia?

Public service reform is never far from the minds of newly elected governments, particularly in times of fiscal constraint. The pressure to cut budgets combined with a determination to “do something” about…
Are cuts the best way to achieve efficient Government? Are cuts the best way to achieve efficient Government? Joe Castro / AAP

Slash, burn and churn: public service cuts miss the mark

I was sitting in a session at the Institute of Public Administration Congress recently where Greg Hywood, the CEO of Fairfax, boldly announced that the public sector simply did not understand cuts. Not…
It takes more than a code of conduct to foster good departmental relationships. It takes more than a code of conduct to foster good departmental relationships. AAP/Alan Porritt

Dealing with ministerial advisers: a practical guide for public servants

The role of ministerial advisers and their relationship to public servants has been the subject of aserious public debate in recent weeks. Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott caused…