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 Stephen Bartos: relax, CoA cuts not as bad as you think
Text size :
TAGS National, Australian public service, Commission of Audit
The Commission of Audit suggests slashing 15,000 jobs from the public service and making mandarins more efficient. That’s reasonable and not as dramatic as it seems.
The Commission of Audit estimates that its recommendations could lead to a loss of 15,000 Australian public service jobs. But that is less frightening for the public service than it appears.
Some are likely to arise from privatisations, which do not necessarily lead to job losses. For example, privatising the Defence Housing Authority would mean a change of ownership, but people will still be needed there to deliver housing to Defence personnel. While privatisation sometimes does lead to staffing reductions, it is not always the case.
Second, the government is not likely to accept all the recommendations. There may well be fewer job cuts than the commission recommends.
But most importantly, at least any cuts that come in the budget would be associated with specific initiatives, so public servants affected will know where they stand. There are good and bad ways to cut. The Commission of Audit sensibly rejects across-the-board efficiency dividends as a “blunt instrument” that has reached its limits.
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.
Stephen Bartos is executive director of ACIL Allen Consulting based in Canberra and an expert in public sector finance and governance. He was formerly deputy secretary at the Department of Finance.
Read Related Content
The public service feared the worst from Joe Hockey's first budget. But bureaucrats were mostly spared -- for now.