Michael Brennan, deputy secretary of Treasury’s fiscal group, will replace Peter Harris as the next full-time chair of the Productivity Commission.
Brennan has both public service and political staffer credentials, having also served as a deputy secretary for the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance, as well as staffer to former finance minister Nick Minchin and former Victorian treasurer Kim Wells.
Treasurer Scott Morrison announced the statutory 5-year appointment, which commences from September 11, in the wake of public disquiet about yesterday’s appointment of the next Treasury secretary — Philip Gaetjens — who was chief of staff to two former Liberal treasurers.
Morrison said the Brennan was unanimously recommended by a panel of two departmental secretaries and the public service commissioner:
“In April 2018, I requested that the Secretary to the Treasury, Mr John Fraser undertake a full merit-based selection process for the Chair position. Mr Peter Harris advised that he would not seek reappointment when his current term as Chair expires on 10 September. A Selection Advisory Committee, Chaired by Mr Fraser, along with the Australian Public Service Commissioner, Mr John Lloyd and the Secretary of the Department of Health Ms Glenys Beauchamp as other members of the committee, conducted interviews and provided their Selection Report to me.”