Productivity Commission Report on Government Services – Overview

The Productivity Commission has begun releasing its 23rd annual Report on Government Services (RoGS). It is major exercise, with separate chapters released in seven parts over the next week on all areas of government service delivery.

Government News will examine each report in depth. Our special Australia Day newsletter will highlight all sections released by Friday 26 January , with other sections to be covered next week.

The Report on Government Services is a massive exercise, providing a massive amount of comparative data on all areas of government service delivery in Australia. Data is taken from annual reports, the ABS, from departmental documents, and from academia and private sector market research.

The Productivity Commission does not draw any conclusions or make any recommendations from the data – it lets the information speak for itself. It does highlight many anomalies, and has already supplied substantial ammunition to the many critics of how government services are delivered in this country. We do well in many areas, but there is substantial room for improvement.

The Commission describes RoGS as a vital tool in holding all Australian governments accountable for the effectiveness and efficiency of government services.

“RoGS is a role model for effective co-operation across Federal, State and Territory jurisdictions in data use,” said Peter Harris, Chairman of the Productivity Commission, announcing the report.

“The 2018 Report includes new indicators to address reporting gaps across a range of services. But the data to report against many of these new and existing indicators are not readily accessible.

“The Commission’s 2017 Report on Data Availability and Use showed how governments could readily invest at modest cost for great benefit in data release” said Mr Harris. “The pity is so few advances in development of co-operative data sets – and learnings from that about what works – have been made in vital areas like education and justice in recent years.

He said that over the next 12 months the Committee managing RoGS will extend its work for the first time into consideration of what works to inform policy development. “But ultimately, the real ability to improve service quality lies with Ministers working together across governments.”

This report covers 17 areas of government services. The release schedule:

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

  • Approach to performance reporting (online only) Part A
  • Community services (aged care, disability, child protection and youth justice) Part F
  • Housing and homelessness Part G

Thursday, 25 January 2018

  • Justice (police, courts and corrective services) Part C
  • Emergency management (fire and other emergency services) Part D

(These five Sections of the Report to be covered in Government News on Friday 26 January)

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

  • Health (primary and community health, ambulance, public hospitals, mental health) Part E

(This section of the Report to be covered in Government News on Tuesday 30 January)

Thursday, 1 February 2018

  • Child care, education and training (early childhood education and care, school education and vocational education and training) Part B.

(This section of the Report to be covered in Government News on Friday 2 February)


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