Government service provision under the spotlight

By Adam Coleman

The Productivity Commission has released its Report on Government Services 2009 which details the performance of governments across a range of services.

Services in the areas of Early Childhood, Education and Training, Health, Community Services and Housing are covered in the report.

A Steering Committee of senior officials from Australian, State and Territory governments produced the report for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

Chairman of the Productivity Commission and of the Steering Committee, Gary Banks said improving government services is important economically and the report is designed to promote open and informed debate about government performance. 

“Governments spent over $132 billion on the services covered in this year’s report, more than 70 per cent of their recurrent expenditure, equivalent to around 13 percent of Australia’s gross domestic product.

“This Report is important to us all: everyone relies on government services at different stages of their life, and services are particularly important for the more disadvantaged members of society,” he said.

This year’s report includes a revised ambulance indicator framework and for the first time reports on: hospital readmissions and community follow up after an episode of mental illness; maintenance of individual functioning from the Transition Care Program for aged care; response times for child protection services; and school attendance data for students in years 1 through 10.

According to Mr Banks, services to Indigenous Australians remain a priority of the report and improvements include analysis of school learning outcomes for Indigenous students by remoteness area for each State and Territory, and data for Indigenous preschool attendance.

There has also been further improvement in the reporting of Indigenous hospitalisations data.

COAG has initiated a review to ensure this Report is appropriately aligned with the National Agreements, and to examine improvements to the Report’s scope and processes.

The Report on Government Services 2009 is available in pdf format here.

The terms of reference for the COAG review can be found here.

Further information on each service covered by the report is summarised in Fact Sheets available here.



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