Strong leadership needed to help public sector transition to more efficient modelDOWNLOAD
Wednesday 14 May 2014: The planned Budget cuts to the public sector aimed at reducing duplication and waste and streamlining government services need to be carefully managed to produce the desired outcomes, said Deloitte National Public Sector Leader, Andrew Johnstone-Burt.
“The Government needs a strong public service and will therefore need to be focussed on retaining the core capabilities that will be critical if they are to build sustainable organisations with high productivity,” said Johnstone-Burt.
The Prime Minister’s stated agenda of creating a smaller government, which involves consolidating and scrapping more than 70 government bodies by July 2015, will naturally involve considerable disruption and uncertainty.
“With so much change being forecast, it will be critical to ensure there are strong strategic change leaders in place to manage the transition. Government agencies will need to invest in the right people to facilitate this.”
The move foreshadowed in this Budget towards greater use of shared services across Government agencies is also expected to create ongoing challenges and a greater focus on large scale finance and technology systems upgrades and process re-engineering. Johnstone-Burt noted that agencies will need to invest in building their own capabilities in parallel with working with the private sector.
“With the private sector currently running a high level of utilisation, the Federal Government will need to be careful not to overestimate how quickly the market will be able to deliver the capacity needed.
“While budgetary savings are clearly the Government’s priority, a focus on cost-reduction can also lead to innovative business models to achieve better public outcomes. The Government needs to achieve the right balance between efficiency and effectiveness.
“Consolidation can be seen as an opportunity to think differently, as well as a challenge. The digital transformation of government offers the chance to develop new approaches to solve evolving community needs, at the same time as creating cost-savings.”
Notes to Editors
Deloitte’s Federal Budget 2014 website
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