No risk in sovereign responsibility, government tells public sector

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The Abbott government has flagged reforms to the federation to clear up responsibilities in state and federal bureaucracies in a speech to public sector leaders.

The Abbott government has promised to untangle policy responsibility and reform the federation to boost productivity in a speech to public sector leaders in Canberra tonight.

Delivering the annual Paterson oration to kick off the Australia and New Zealand School of Government conference, Attorney-General George Brandis outlined the government’s reform agenda of removing regulatory burden and driving productivity for economic growth. Brandis was a late replacement for Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who Brandis said was called away to handle developments in the MH17 crash recovery.

The government has initiated a white paper process to examine the federation and government responsibility, which Brandis said would address the “vertical fiscal imbalance” and result in “clearer roles and responsibilities”.

“Now is the time to make each level of government sovereign in its own sphere,” he told the audience in Parliament House’s Great Hall.

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