Digital transformation in the fourth age of public administration

SPEECH: Terry Moran considers the capability of the public sector in this new age — what he calls Public Administration 4 — and whether we’ve learned the lessons of the earlier three. Five principles to take the sector forward.

The vast majority of public servants find it a little difficult at the moment to make sense of where the public sector stands.

Is it competent or not, valued or not, efficient or wasteful, meeting the needs of Australians, staffed by capable people, prepared for the future or stuck in the past?

The answers given are too often flavoured with untested policy assumptions, ideology or political convenience, even insincerity. There is no really fair reckoning of how the public sector stands overall. A little history might help. “We have done it before and need to shape up to do it again.”

I would like to talk today about Public Administration 4, its central characteristic — the impact of new technologies — and its predecessors and five principles to guide the further evolution of our systems of public administration in line with this profound change.

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