Government agencies around Australia are standing up to support the campaign to end violence against women today for White Ribbon Day.
ALL THINGS P: The federal government wants to know which open data would be most useful to business, researc
The business community is reasserting its authority to contribute to the policy debate, says Business Council of Australia's Jennifer Westacott. We ne
We recently moved our readers to a new system. You may need to reset your password here to login.
Not a member ? Join here for free.
Forgot your password?
Home Features Mary Ann O’Loughlin on federalism, demands of public service
Text size :
TAGS COAG Reform Council, Council of Australian Governments, federalism, federalism white paper, Mary Ann O'Loughlin
Mary Ann O’Loughlin drove the COAG Reform Council before it was abolished in June. She reflects on federalism and public service with The Mandarin.
Mary Ann O’Louglin
Mary Ann O’Loughlin was packing up her desk when The Mandarin first spoke to her. The seasoned public servant was executive councillor and head of the secretariat of the Council of Australian Governments Reform Council, the body set up by John Howard in 2006 to drive regulatory reform and expanded by Kevin Rudd to examine education, health and indigenous disadvantage.
But on June 30 O’Loughlin and a staff of around 25 under chairman John Brumby walked away after the Abbott government abandoned the program (the Reform Council was administered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, but jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the states and territories). The government says the work of the council can be taken up by federal departments.
O’Loughlin’s team monitored COAG agreements and measured performance — a mixed bag in recent years — with regular public reporting. That reporting, O’Loughlin says, means “you’re putting some pressure on government to perform”.
Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.
The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
Jason Whittaker is managing editor of The Mandarin based in Melbourne. He has written for and edited political, business and culture publications for a decade. He spent two years as editor of sister Private Media publication Crikey.
Read Related Content
Tony Abbott has soothed bristling state premiers, angered by $80 billion in broken agreements, and set the federalism and tax reform white papers back on track.