Community Sector Engagement in Govt Policy Innovation
6 June 2013 at 11:28 am
A former head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and founder of the Centre for Social Impact, Professor Peter Shergold has told a national forum that there is a great untapped potential for community organisations and social entrepreneurs to contribute to Australian policy innovation.
Professor Peter Shergold was speaking in Canberra at the launch of a new publication called State of the Nation. His chapter in the book sets out an agenda for reform of the Australian Public Service and discusses what he says is the important role of the public service in giving confidential advice to government, and in the delivery of some services.
“But it was important not to have a monopoly either in policy advice or in delivery,” he said.
Shergold said there was great scope for the public service to collaborate more with the community and private sectors for delivering services more efficiently and effectively, with increased quality and greater opportunity for people in need of support to choose their own services.
“Government should pay for outcomes, and expect innovation by providers – not discourage innovation by over-regulating private providers of services,” he said.
Shergold was the Macquarie Group Foundation Professor at the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) at UNSW and Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney. He was the founding CEO of CSI from 2008 – 2011. As Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2003-2008, Professor Shergold was the nation’s most senior public servant.
The State of the Nation: aspects of Australian public policy (edited by Don Markwell, Rachael Thompson, and Julian Leeser with the Menzies Research Centre), brings together 15 independent experts to critique policy and performance in diverse policy areas under the Rudd and Gillard Governments since 2007.
The book was launched by the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.
Other participants include the former Australian labour movement adviser Kevin Morgan on the failures of design and implementation of the NBN; the chairman of the historic McClure Review, Patrick McClure AO, on the state of Australia's welfare system; the CEO of Mission Australia, Toby Hall, on homelessness; and the former Australian Ambassador to and Chairman of the GATT, Alan Oxley, on trade policy.