Sunday, 17 August 2008

Public Sector Australia - whatever happened to frank and fearless

In what may prove to be a seminal study of the Australian public servic , 'Whatever happened to frank and fearless' , Kathy MacDermott of ANU plots the changes in the culture of the Australian Public Service.

According to the APO weekly briefing, her study includes an evaluation of the lament of many contemporary commentators of the purported loss of traditional public service values of impartiality, intellectual rigour and - most importantly - the willingness of public servants at all levels to offer frank and fearless advice to their superiors and their ministers.

APO also cites MacDermott as bringing to her analysis an insider’s sensibility and a thorough forensic analysis of the impact of some 20 years of relentless administrative ‘reform’ on the values and behaviour ofthe APS.

The study begins in the Hawke-Keating eras, with MacDermott arguing that structural and cultural change compromising the integrity of the public service reached its apogee towards the end of the eleven years of the Howard government.

http://epress.anu.edu.au/anzsog/frank_fearless/pdf/whole_book.pdf
(176p)
Copyright of The Australian National University, ANU E Press
SOURCE: APO Weekly Briefing, 7 August 2008

Also acknowledgments to The Source, NLNZ

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