This is part of a series of articles on the future of government. Terry Moran discusses the reinvention of government with the Centre for Public Impact, a BCG Foundation.
Terry Moran is a man of firm convictions and has been an outspoken critic of managerialist approaches to policy-making — particularly top-down (or centre-out) outsourced models — but should we reject them completely? He expounds his views in conversation with the Centre for Public Impact’s Sarah Novak.
“In the 1980s and 1990s in Australia, managerialism was used as basis for defining outputs and then giving providers of services much greater independence to deliver under funding agreements,” said Moran.
“But if you don’t have an ideological understanding of what the public sector should do, then by outsourcing the delivery of services you may as well say, ‘The citizens who need these services can find their way to market. We’ll just put a price on this service and either give the money to a provider or directly to the client themselves, as is the case with disability payments.’
“I’m not against managerialism, or even outsourcing, per se, but I’ve seen too much incompetently executed outsourcing, particularly around vocational education and training, employment services and early childhood development. Where I’ve seen it work well has been when it’s been put out to organisations, such as faith-based non-profits, where the ethos is very different from the private sector.”
SOURCE: Sarah Novak and Terry Moran. “Reinventing Government Starts at the local level.” Centre for Public Impact, 01 April 2019.
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