Roundtable on Service Delivery Reform in Federal Systems in a Time of Austerity

The Panel from left to right: Gary Sturgess (Australia and New Zealand School of Government/UNSW), Leslie Seidle (Senior Forum Advisor – Canada), Clive Grace (Senior Forum Advisor- UK), Wolfgang Renzsch (Jean-Monnet-Chair for European Studies at Magdeburg University Germany)

On 12 July, the Forum in conjunction with the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet held a workshop in Melbourne, Australia. The workshop on service delivery reform in federal systems in a time of austerity focused on promoting continuous improvement in public services and brought together International experts from Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The workshop was structured into two sessions and was aimed at a broad audience of government practioners and political leaders from both state and federal governments in Australia, as well as relevant Australian NGO’s, civil society and academia.

The discussion revolved around challenges for public administrators. Challenges that compel administrators to identify substantial reform options to meet changing citizen expectations and associated political demand to modernise public administration, increase service delivery efficiency and achieve more client-focused government.

The workshop addressed such questions as:

· What are the practical implications of an emphasis on "austerity” for service delivery reform?
· What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks of joint service delivery in a federal system like Australia?
· Which, if any, policy challenges, programs or services might benefit from such an approach?
· What specific factors have facilitated reform in the case studies? What have been the results?
· What other ideas for potential models of service delivery reform in a federal system are triggered by these reflections?
· What are the opportunities, challenges and lessons for future Australian reform proposals?

Australia is an important partner of the Forum. Its current liaison jurisdiction is the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet on behalf of the Governments of Australia.

Clive Grace speaking to the assembled audience of officials representing the Australian Governments

Gary Sturgess (Australia and New Zealand School of Government/UNSW)

Leslie Seidle (Senior Forum Advisor – Canada) presents to the assembled participants

Clive Grace: The Impulse of Austerity: Case Studies in Joined-up Service Delivery

Leslie Seidle: Joint Service Delivery in Federal Countries

Wolfgang Renzsch: Service Delivery in Federal Systems: The German Case

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