Public Sector 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.

The Soft Incompetence of Low Expectations

The NSW Government is making a fuss over elective surgery waiting times. But the grand trumpeting of performance is more like a child's raspberry. Throw in ridiculously lax targets, broken processes, no use of technology, difficulty finding information and politicians who defend the department and you have...nightmare for our poorest.

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.

Hard Questions for Get Healthy NSW

NSW Health has been promoting Get Healthy Information and Coaching Services, which offers a personal health coach and up to 10 free coaching calls to help live a healthier life and lose weight. Since health coaching is privately available, it is odd that NSW Health feels the need to sponsor a program to tell people to eat less and go outside, and to offer it to someone like me. Even more concerning is the cost-benefit basis for this program, the basis for the evaluation, and whether or not the money could be better used in areas of direct, damaging need.

Some Hobbies Are More Equal Than Others

When the current Federal government spends $740 million on arts and culture each year, you'd think those painters and sculptors and dramaturgs and video masturbators would be reasonably happy. That doesn't even include State and Local government cash. But no. And their Greens protectors want more.

Analysis Serving Ideology

The unprincipled misuse of industrial, workplace, heritage, discrimination, FOI, international and planning laws for political purposes is common. But it's getting worse. Now we have politics-by-bureaucratic-analysis, or lack thereof.

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 […]

Again, PolComms After The Fact

We have the argument on education spending we needed 2 years ago, one week after announcement of cuts. In an op-ed, in a Sunday paper, that the mainstream media will almost certainly ignore. Primacy and recency people. First media message, last media message is what is remembered. Ask people now what they know of the […]

Make a Damn Case

What any reforming government needs is an electorate that has been shaped to be more likely to accept reform. Maybe not for any specific change; sometimes you just have to spring-it-on-them. No, what is needed are voters with a feeling for the broad issue, and that some action is warranted, even if they aren’t sure […]

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 […]

Interesting Idea, Lousy Source

Voters don’t realise that electing a new government has the limited effect of changing about eight people in a single Minister’s office, who may oversee 15,000 entrenched public servants. So Godwin Grech’s suggestion  of a post-election spill of all SES-level public servants is worth considering. Pity that coming from him it undermines its own argument […]

Revolutionaries Become What They Hated

The flood of the revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy. The chains of tormented mankind are made out of red tape - Kafka

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 […]

Not Just AusAid Funds Political Activity

Tim Wilson in  The Australian  highlights the issue of AusAid-funded political activity. The problem being that public funds go to NGOs for service delivery, who then undertake political and advocacy activities in parallel. NGOs are  frequently political players that contribute to party political campaigns on politically-contentious issues: NGOs are within their rights to lobby for […]

Bigger Impact: Public Sector Costs or Flexibility?

In the aftermath of the recall election in Wisconsin – driven by public sector unions opposing Governor Walker’s aggressive reforms – Reihan Salam discusses the lessons from that state and fellow-reforming state Indiana. The post discusses insights from Josh Barro and Stephen Smith  (on transport union rules, well worth reading), as well as Governor Daniels […]