Government

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Gagging clauses in contracts permit purchasers of research to modify, substantially delay, or prohibit the reporting of findings. stallio/Flickr

Governments shouldn’t be able to censor research results they don’t like

Government departments often commission research to help them understand and respond to policy issues. But they impose contract conditions that threaten to undermine the integrity of the work.
It’s got truth serum in it? PA

Hoax calls to the PM are the price we pay for democracy

The ease with which a hoaxer was recently able to call the prime minister’s mobile phone, pretending to be the head of GCHQ, highlights a major dilemma for democratic political leaders. Cameron said he…
10 years on from UK FoI laws, the keyhole looks to be getting smaller. Mopic

The future of freedom of information looks far from certain

In the UK, thanks to the freedom of information (FoI) laws, the right to know has become routine. Ten years old this month, freedom of information laws have enabled us to inspect a public document, obtain…
Today’s state and territory leaders have an opportunity to emulate the founders of the federation and make history by breathing new life into Australia’s system of government. AAP/Lukas Coch

Rebalancing government in Australia to save our federation

Federation in 1901 is now the middle point between 2014 and the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. Despite this, most views of federation, if Australians have one at all, are probably shaped by its…
The smiling face of mundane government. mrlerone

Mundanarchy: the insidious rule of inanimate objects

Popular conceptions of government tend to derive from media representations of politicians in action, political speeches, yesterday in parliament, elections, scandal, controversy and so on. And the politics…
All rise. UK Parliament

How scientific principles came to be used by government

The introduction of scientific principles into government decision-making began with the publication of the Haldane Report in 1918. Haldane believed that research should play a key role in government and…
Partisanship aside, extreme weather events linked to climate change pose an enormous threat to the Western, legal-political system of government. EPA/Steve Pope

The great governmental challenge of climate change

The recently released fifth report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stresses the connection between climate change and severe weather events around the world, including devastating…
Buying power doesn’t always stack up as the best measurement for who we are and how far we’ve come. Shutterstock/ MaleWitch

More pie in the sky - economic progress no slice of life

In the verbal volley between Gillard and Abbott, Swan and Hockey, there is a conversation that we are not hearing. It bubbles below the consciousness of mainstream Australia, a conversation that is old…
We won’t realise the impact of state cuts to vocational education for many years. AAP/Joe Castro

The neglected sector: the year that changed TAFE in Australia

This year, the majority of TAFEs across the country have been threatened by state government changes to the sector. In New South Wales and Victoria, vocational education has seen institutional closures…
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…
State governments are looking at changing the way they deliver education. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

The policy and politics of education cuts

At a time when the Commonwealth sponsored Gonski Review of School Funding is recommending an increase of $5 billion a year plus for schools around Australia, it may seem odd that some state governments…
The final pieces of the historical puzzle around the 1975 Whitlam dismissal are not as sensational as they first seem. Image courtesy of National Archives of Australia. NAA: A6180, 13/11/75/33

Mason’s role in the 1975 dismissal ‘unprecedented’? Hardly …

Much hyperbole has been generated by the recent revelations concerning Sir Anthony Mason’s involvement in the 1975 dismissal, but for the most part it shows ignorance of the past. Earlier this week, The…
The PM should look to her successes in education and build on them by adopting the Gonski recommendations. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Stop playing on schools funding fears and get on with Gonski

Howʼs this for a radical thought to start the week - a robust contest of ideas around how we educate Australian students to an internationally competitive standard. Too quixotic? Perhaps, but it would…
Should the government subsidise university places when graduates gain so much from a tertiary education? Flickr/pamhule

University subsidies: do graduate winners need another prize?

After releasing my report, Graduate Winners: Assessing the public and private benefits of higher education, the question I have most been asked is: if university fees go up, will students still come? It’s…

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