Western Australia has a geographically dispersed population spread over a land mass that is more than 11 times the size of Victoria. It has a cyclical and largely commodities-based economy that is experiencing a downturn, which – coupled with other financial parameters - is putting significant financial pressure on the State’s capacity to deliver services.
The current economic and financial conditions, and the recent change of Government in Western Australia, presents an opportunity to rethink the State’s public sector design, practices and service delivery models.
The State Government recognises that while Machinery of Government changes can deliver efficiencies through a reduction in duplication and overlap, more substantive cultural change is necessary to build a sustainable, responsive and high performing public sector.
Accordingly, the Government seeks independent advice on how to deliver different, better and lower cost services to regional and metropolitan populations into the future.
In particular, the Government would like to receive advice on:
measures to develop a more effective, outcome focussed, adaptable and accountable public sector that is aligned to the Government’s strategic priorities;
measures to deliver services in an efficiently and financial sustainable way; and
measures to provide different, better and lower cost services, where appropriate.
Terms of Reference
The Service Priority Review is to review, report on and make recommendations with specific reference to:
Achieving cultural change within the public sector (e.g. promoting risk based decision making, promoting innovation and radical efficiency, improving accountability, and identifying incentives and disincentives to improved performance).
Promoting a culture of collaboration in the achievement of outcomes for the community.
Promoting public service innovation that delivers transformative public policy and service delivery that is different, better and lower cost.
Identifying opportunities to further consolidate public sector entities1 into departments or other entities aligned with Government’s strategic imperatives (or other means to better align and coordinate roles and responsibilities across public sector entities).
Identifying opportunities to deliver Government services, programs, projects and other initiatives more efficiently or effectively, including through a whole of Government digital strategy, or to no longer be delivered.
Developing and implementing whole of sector key performance indicators to ensure more effective delivery of services to the community and support for economic activity and job creation.
Attracting and retaining a skilled public sector workforce with the capacity to meet emerging economic, social, environmental and technological challenges.
Achieving greater economies and efficiencies in Western Australia’s public sector administration, including opportunities to reduce bureaucracy and red tape within Government, improve workforce management processes and facilitate workforce renewal in a fair and transparent manner.
The above issues are to be considered in the context of relevant previous reviews and experiences, both within Western Australia, other States and Territories, nationally and internationally, while recognising existing Machinery of Government changes and implementation. Wherever possible, the recommendations should be clear and specific.
Governance Arrangements and Reporting Timetable
The Service Priority Review is to be conducted under a direction of Cabinet and is to be undertaken by the following panel:
Iain Rennie (chair)
The panel may invite submissions or consult as appropriate with any relevant stakeholders during the course of carrying out its functions.
The Service Priority Review will be supported by a secretariat located within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet consisting of a small group of public sector officials. The secretariat will work under the direction of the panel.
Unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Premier, the panel will report to the Premier through the Director General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and the Public Sector Commissioner as follows:
Interim Recommendations by 15 August 2017
Final Report and Recommendations by 16 October 2017 [On 22 September 2017, the Premier agreed to a request by the panel for an extension to the delivery of the final report. The extension was sought to ensure the panel gives proper consideration to the feedback received on the interim report. The final report and recommendations will be delivered to the Premier on 30 October 2017]