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Report on Government Services

  • At a glance
  • Media release

This report was released on 18 February 2000. It has been produced by the Steering Committee for the Review of Commonwealth/State Service Provision (SCRCSSP). The report has been published in three volumes.

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Media release

The fifth annual Report on Government Services 2000, released today, examines the recent performance of governments in the important areas of education, health, justice, emergency management, community services and housing. These services are central to the wellbeing of all Australians, and account for about $55 billion of governments' expenditure.

The report is the most comprehensive source of comparative information on the performance of these services throughout Australia, and the output of a cooperative project involving more than 80 agencies from all governments. The report was compiled by the inter-governmental Steering Committee for the Review of Commonwealth/State Service Provision.

The Chairman of the Steering Committee, Gary Banks, said 'Getting policy right in these areas is hard, but must be a priority for all governments. They are increasingly aware of the need for good information to learn from each other's experience when assessing policy options, developing new service delivery programs, or setting budgets for existing programs.'

The report identifies similarities, but also important differences in performance indicators across the Commonwealth, States and Territories. The costs of providing many services differ widely (for example, as reported in the vocational education and training chapter). Outcomes also vary across the country, with examples including immunisation rates (discussed in the general practice chapter) and fire deaths (in emergency management). Performance data in each of the services covered by the report should aid better understanding of the causes of such differences.

Mr Banks, who is also Chairman of the Productivity Commission, noted 'each of the services covered raises complex measurement issues. This makes it important to present and interpret the information very carefully. The data has some way to go. For example, data enabling comparisons across jurisdictions of learning outcomes for schools and on quality in hospitals is not yet available. But good progress is being made overall.'

Some advances in reporting this year include:

  • for services for people with a disability - data on client and family views about a broad range of service attributes (pp. 1037-1042)
  • for housing - Commonwealth Rent Assistance performance data for the first time (p. 1401)
  • for police - expenditure by service delivery area (community safety and support, crime investigation, road safety and traffic management and services to the judicial process) (p. 523).

Progress has also been made in improving reporting on the access of Indigenous people to mainstream services (see fact sheet), but considerably more remains to be done.

Background information

Lawrence McDonald (Head of Secretariat) 03 9653 2178 / 04 584 905

Leonora Nicol (Media and Publications) 02 6240 3239 / 0417 665 443

Errata

The following data were amended after the Report went to print.

Volume 1

Page 127 Table 2A.24 All schools (per cent)
Apparent retention rates for NSW, to year 12, 1997 should be 67.2 and not 61.4.

Page 244 Table 3A.30 VET costs per adjusted annual curriculum hours
Please delete footnote 'a'.

Volume 2

Page 670 Last paragraph, third sentence.
Should read 'Supreme/federal courts in the Commonwealth and all States and Territories except SA finalised 76 per cent of civil cases within twelve months, on average.'

Page 720 Table 8A.20 Expenditure less in-house revenue per primary lodgment
All courts (civil) have changed.

Page 737 Figure 9.8 Recurrent expenditure per population, 1998-99.
Tasmania data should read 41.31 (not 42.16), and Australia data should read 62.85 (not 62.87).

Page 757 Figure 9.18 Cost of prisons, 1998-99.
The columns for: Tasmania should be 70.67 (not 82.99) for 'Open plus periodic detention', and 135.70 (not 139.04) for 'Total'.
The columns for: Australia should be 109.96 (not 110.15) for 'Open plus periodic detention', and 140.86 (not 140.91) for 'Total'.

Page 779 Table 9A.6 Recurrent expenditure, 1998-99
Tasmania data should read (from top) 2316 (not 2720), 14 133, 16 450 (not 16 853), 70.67 (not 82.99), 159.81, 135.70 (not 139.04), 3048, 6.38, 19 497 (not 19 901), 472, and 41.31 (not 42.16).
Figures for Australia should be 235 095 (not 235 499), 677 377, 1 048 382 (not 1 048 786), 109.96 (not 110.15), 158.95, 140.86 (not 140.91), 130 086, 6.45, 1 178 468 (not 1 178 848), 18 751, and 62.85 (not 62.87).

Page 816 Table 9A.53 Tasmania, descriptors, prisons
For 1998-99 expenditure ($'000), the correct figures are: 18 870 (not 19 274), 2421 and 16 450 (not 16 853).

Volume 3

Page 1054 First and second paragraph
First paragraph data should read 67 187 (not 69 100), 53235 (not 53 200) and 128474 (not 118 300). Second paragraph data should read 61 409 (not 62 500), 84939 (not 90 700 and 48 404 (not 48 400).

Page 1055 Figures 12.20 and 12.21
Revised data for figure 12.20 (from left) are; 72 911, 55 527, 70 826, 86 496, 53 235, 128 474 59 912 '..', 67 187. Revised data for figure 12.21 (from left) are 84 939, 48 404, 69 544, 57 143, 61 565, 60 275, 65 911, '..', and 61 409.

Page 1056 First and second paragraph, and figure 12.22
First paragraph data should read 29 155 (not 28 700), 47 478 (not 47 500) and 18 094 (not 18 100). Second paragraph data should read 33 940 (not 34 700) and 56 563 (not 56 600). Revised data for figure 12.22 (from left) are; ;29 220, 47 478, 18 094, 27 848, 25 193, 30 161, '..', '..', and 29 155.

Page 1057 Figure 12.23
Revised data for figure 12.21 (from left) are; 39 602, 31 005, 24 134, 40 863, 34 727, 56 358, 21 200, 56 563 and 33 940.

Pages 1092 to 1094
Additional text has been added to page 1092. Tables 12A.32 (page 1093), and 12A33 (page 1094) have been updated. The revised pages and tables are available on the review web site (see below).

Page 1261 First paragraph, second sentence
Should read 'Combined Commonwealth and State and Territory government funding increased (in real terms) in all jurisdictions from 1997-98 to 1998-99 (table 14A.63).'

Page 1333 Tables 14A.62, 14A.63 and 14A.64
In Table 14A.62 all data for ACT and NT need to be transposed. In Table 14A.63 1998-99 data for ACT and NT need to be transposed. In Table 14A.64 the 1998-99 figure for the ACT should read 23.4 (not 17.5).

Page 1382 Last paragraph, last sentence.
Should read 'Nationally 95 per cent of those occupying public housing were in need (figure 15.14).'

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Descriptive Statistics Appendix

What works?

Proposed reporting framework on 'what works' to improve government service outcomes.

Read the draft reporting framework

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