Productivity Archive

First Steps to Better Service Delivery

There is no basis for claiming government must actually deliver services - only that it ensures they are delivered. The IPART review due in September is a great chance to address long term public sector delivery problems. If only BOF has the guts to sell and then execute the review findings.

Online Opinion – All The Wrong Innovation

My latest article at OnlineOpinion on how government and academic approaches to innovation measure the wrong things, ignore the unseen, and propose the wrong solutions.  

We All Know Gazetted School Days?

The NSW RMS has released the Top 10 Misunderstood Road Rules. At first glance, not a bad idea. Roundabouts, left turns, merging, headlight use and a few others hit the list. All quite helpful really. And then we come to school zones.

When In Doubt, Coerce

In lieu of good policy settings and great execution, this government specifically contributes to a worsening environment in industrial relations, cost, regulation and confidence, then coerces those businesses stupid enough to still be operating to subsidise union workers.

e-Conveyancing: Disrupting Lawyers

COAG reforms aren't a model of productivity and service improvement. One need only look at the boxticking festival that is the National Quality Framework that governs child care. But you can legitimately hold out hopes for a disruptive kick to legal and conveyancing productivity with the new national scheme.

Other People’s Money

We have a recurring lungful of union corruption (HSU, AWU), the disinterment of Roozendal-Macdonald-Obeid deals, Mr Tinkler’s largesse with his creditors’ cash, union misuse of superannuation control,  unfunded Federal dental, NDIS, pension, and Gonski schemes, and an array of bureaucratic taxes and social policies that blithely assume away their impact on businesses and consumers (child […]

Evidence of the New Divide

So the Queensland ALP and media go in hard on Premier Newman over token public sector cuts. Net result: zero. Two party preferred remains around 60-40. That the Qld LNP have held their vote in the face of such an attack augurs well. Token cuts they have been too. As Judith Sloan points out regarding […]

More Calls For Reform Balls

I’ve always loved Julie Novak – in the public sector reform sense of love, that is. She operates on the technical side of what is a highly political zone, but her take is the same as mine: Since public sector employment costs average about 44 per cent of general government sector operating budgets in the […]

Doctors Aren’t Always Right on Healthcare

As much as I agree with medico concerns over increasing levels of administrative costs, it doesn’t follow that there needs to be less organisational management in health delivery. Scratch most hospital specialists and you find a visceral dislike of administrators – not as individuals, but as a functional class. If you’ve ever experienced some of […]

Latest Tax Talk Needs More

As an open economy our corporate tax rate has to be on a par with comparable countries. But  this latest policy suggestion from Treasurer Swan’s  business tax working group looks like a good idea that’s undercooked. The plan: drop the tax rate by 2% and fund the $3.6bn a year by reducing concessions in research, […]

Nope, It Still Represents Culture

So now some more serious discussion emerges on Israel’s comparative economic performance after Mitt Romney’s culture comment, and Jordan Weissmann in The Atlantic  highlights four concrete reasons behind Israel’s success: Learning from hyperinflationary disaster: …”crafted a grand bargain that slashed government spending, massively devalued the currency, and severed the tie between wages and prices. It […]

Culture Matters: Why Do We Pretend Otherwise?

Another Romney storm in an American teacup. But it’s one that recurs in the world of social policy and economics. Romney made some remarks about culture and prosperity in Israel, comparing the economic effects of Israeli and Palestinian cultures. It may have been a hand-waving generalisation that you wouldn’t accept from a student, but it […]

Ignorance, Vested Interest and Age-Old Rhetoric

There has been a firestorm over Pres. Obama’s remarks on success and reward, which culminated in this beauty: If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. Full video here, but an extract: If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher […]

Hard Truths About Public Sector IT

Despite the major changes to Information Communications Technology (ICT) strategy in the NSW public sector, everywhere I turn lately I’ve been hit with the great unstated barrier: lousy execution. Changes to strategy are great: common platforms, sensible IT architecture planning, decent systems to eliminate duplicated projects and so on are an absolute must. But a […]

Tacocopter Takeaway Drone: Regulation Fail, Theory Fail

 Tyler Cowen, and Ryan Avent at Free Exchange write on how difficult it would be for an entrepreneur to get up the idea of a drone takeaway delivery device: the tacocopter. And it wouldn’t be the technology that would stop it, it would be the regulatory, legal, liability, insurance, brand protection and other social and […]