The Report on Government Services 2004 was released today. This is the ninth Report in a series initiated by COAG in 1993. The Report examines the performance of governments in the provision of education, justice, emergency management, health, community services and housing. These services absorb nearly 60 per cent of government recurrent expenditure, equivalent to over 10 per cent of gross domestic product.
The Report is produced by the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, comprising senior officials from the Australian, State and Territory governments.
The Steering Committee is chaired by Gary Banks, Chairman of the Productivity Commission. Mr Banks noted that the Report's quality and scope continue to improve each year, signalling the significant collaborative effort across governments and their continued commitment to performance reporting.
Gary Banks drew attention to the new outcomes-based framework of performance indicators in this year's Report which accentuates the Review's focus on equity, along with efficiency and effectiveness of services. Another important development in this year's Report, is the expansion in reporting of primary and community health care.
Mr Banks emphasised that reporting on services to Indigenous Australians remains a priority, with data quality on the performance of individual services continuing to improve. These data complement the Review's separate reporting on outcomes for Indigenous Australians, in the report Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators, 2003. Mr Banks commended participating governments on their endeavours to improve reporting on services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.