The government’s announcement of a $500 million public sector productivity fund is welcomed, albeit long overdue.
Whilst the government still believes the public service needs to be smaller, it acknowledges that simply slashing staffing levels will no longer deliver an agile public sector equipped to meet the demand for faster, simpler and more efficient service delivery.
“A more digital and flexible public sector is required and it is refreshing to see part of the much loathed public sector efficiency dividend reinvested for that purpose,” said Scott Hartley, Public Sector Industry Lead, Grant Thornton Australia.
To this end government has committed to the public service implementing the Australian Government Public Data Policy and collaborating with the private and research sectors to collect, manage and share data, along with new digital technologies to deliver quality services faster and at lower cost.
“Whilst this collaborative approach is encouraging, further reform to government procurement practices is required to give those mid-market businesses that are the focus of this budget, the opportunity to compete with the bigger players in securing government business,” said Mr Hartley.
This along with further reform to public service employment conditions to promote flexibility, competiveness and easy transition between the public and private sectors will deliver a public service that is truly agile and sustainable and leverages the best of Australian business.
“Public Sector Productivity is no longer an oxymoron with the government’s announcement of a $500m public sector productivity fund.
“The government has acknowledged that the answer to public sector savings is investing in technology to deliver services faster, simpler and more efficiently.
“Further reform to public sector procurement practices are required to make it easier for medium enterprises to do business with government,” said Mr Hartley.
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