Public Sector Archive

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 […]

Sunlight A Starting Point for Council And Public Sector Reform

When I asked Leichhardt Council (NSW) to respond to questions about performance and constantly received the answer “We do not collect that information”, it became obvious that the Sunlight Test applies to performance management as much as to unethical behaviour. The Sunlight Test (sometimes Sunshine Test), originally defined by US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis in […]

The Problem Is Austerity For Thee, Not For Me

Much as David Uren talks sense, in his Anzac Day Oz piece I can’t help but feel there is a core point he doesn’t see. The thrust of his article is that the electorate won’t wear cutbacks, especially when the case for it is abstract and distant from their lives. Across the world, governments are […]

Hockey Kicks Over The Too-Hard Basket

Set aside the question of short term political impact. Joe Hockey’s speech  to the Institute for Economic Affairs is welcome and long overdue on the issues alone. And when I say overdue, I mean decades overdue for anyone with an historical eye and economic understanding. It is only now, after European and American financial failures […]

More Layers Of Accountability: Less Accountability

The kneejerk bureaucratic or authoritarian response to public failure is to add layers of supervision, direct control and oversight. Catallaxy raises this question about forensic experts in the US, but it speaks to all public sector activity. Indeed, dig a little deeper in conversation about service delivery, and with a very large percentage of people […]

Stupidest Euro-Organisation Ever

Just when concerns are increasing about the effects of widespread government funding and control of scientific research, up pops the idea of ScienceEurope. And just at the time that the Euro-cratisation of national agencies is coming most into question. And just when the decline of productivity-enhancing innovation is hitting the developed world. Check out the […]

Eastern States Celebrity Death Match

If I had a dollar for every demand to abolish state governments I’ve heard, I wouldn’t need to make the big bucks blogging. It seems whenever there is a half-baked thought about government, up pops abolishing the States. Set aside the fact the Constitution is based on residual powers for the States; that the Senate […]