The Report on Government Services 2005 has been released. This is the tenth edition of the Report, under a collaborative process initiated by Heads of government in July 1993. The Report examines the performance of government services in the areas 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, demonstrating governments' continued commitment to this historic initiative in performance reporting.
Gary Banks drew attention to the way the Report had expanded since 1995 in its coverage of services and its focus on indicators of outcomes for the community. This year's Report includes new indicators for children's services, and services for people with a disability.
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 report, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators, 2003, the next issue of which will be published in May 2005.
Mr Banks also noted that, notwithstanding the considerable advances in performance reporting over the past decade, there remained scope for improvement in a number of areas, including school education.