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3 - Public sector performance and accountability

Improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of government will be heavily dependent on the performance of the public service.

By international standards, Australia has a relatively efficient and responsive public sector. Nevertheless a step-up in performance and the pace of change and a concentrated effort to increase productivity is necessary.

Contemporary public administration needs to be flexible and adaptable and should take a longer-term view of issues and solutions.

Throughout its deliberations the Commission has been provided with a range of views on the structure, performance and effectiveness of the Australian Public Service. There is a need to accelerate the take-up of best available management and delivery models.

The Commission was asked to examine and provide advice on public sector performance and accountability in the report. The following discussion builds on the material contained in its previous Report on the current structure of the Commonwealth Government and the recommendations on the rationalisation of public sector bodies and agencies.