Put the human back into human services: Paul Shetler


Unity and Achievement

In the rush to radically redesign service delivery to make it quicker, simpler and cheaper, public servants must also be kinder and more understanding, listen humbly to the public’s needs, and treat people with humanity.

“Simpler, clearer, faster and more humane public services” is Paul Shetler’s goal as the federal government’s digital transformation chief, he said on Tuesday at a breakfast hosted by the Institute for Public Administration Australia, ACT Branch.

Those first three comparative adverbs almost go without saying — they’re all about cutting costs — but the need for “more humane” public services is a less familiar exhortation in the Australian public sector than in the UK, where Shetler was last employed in a similar role.

“In many ways, ‘more humane’ is why we’re in government — serving the people,” he explained.

Director of UK government digital service Paul Shetler

Paul Shetler

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