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Thought Leadership

The ‘sports rorts’ affair shows the government misunderstands the role of the public service

The ‘sports rorts’ affair shows the government misunderstands the role of the public service

Special Feature

The government’s defence of Bridget McKenzie and the prime minister’s call for advice from the head of his department reveal a remarkable misunderstanding (or, less surprisingly, a remarkable misrepresentation) of the respective roles of ministers and administrators. In defending the actions of his deputy, Bridget McKenzie, National Party leader Michael McCormack said: if we only […]

The problem with knowing — and not knowing — a great deal about a complex policy matter, and how to overcome it
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The problem with knowing — and not knowing — a great deal about a complex policy matter, and how to overcome it

Special Feature

If we know a great deal about something, we close our minds to alternative pathways, we share our knowledge with people who support our opinion and this, in turn, creates confirmation bias, and our creativity is constricted because we think we know what’s possible and dismiss anything that sounds unrealistic. Lyn Carson shoes how to mitigate these realities of being in governance and oversight positions.

Improving cultural diversity in the public service: understand different leadership styles and be prepared to push back on resistance
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Improving cultural diversity in the public service: understand different leadership styles and be prepared to push back on resistance

Special Feature

The leadership of Australia’s public services is really white. At last count in 2018, government departments across the country had a higher proportion of chief executives from an Anglo-Celtic background than the ASX200, the university sector, or even the federal government ministry. The Australian Human Rights Commission’s Leading for change report found 84.5% of secretaries […]

Federal public servants will soon have a ‘responsibility to share’ data for public benefit, but they need to lean on the experts and be careful not to overreach
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Federal public servants will soon have a ‘responsibility to share’ data for public benefit, but they need to lean on the experts and be careful not to overreach

Special Feature

After a long period of consultation around upcoming federal data-sharing and release reforms, questions about consent and commercial use remain the most controversial. While a lot of researchers and policy-makers are keen to unlock latent value in the data held by the Australian Public Service, the need to maintain social license looms large.