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Charter of Operations

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to this charter of operations for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision at its 19-20 April 2010 meeting.

(1) This charter of operations sets out the governance arrangements and decision making processes for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (the Steering Committee). It should be read in conjunction with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)-endorsed terms of reference for the Steering Committee. Additional information on the Steering Committee's policies and principles can be found in the introductory chapters of relevant reports and the Roles and responsibilities of Review participants document.


(2) COAG established the Steering Committee in 1993, to produce ongoing comparisons of the efficiency and effectiveness of Commonwealth, State and Territory government services (through the Report on Government Services [ROGS]) and to compile and assess service provision reforms.

(3) In December 2009, COAG confirmed the ROGS should continue to be the key tool to measure and report on the productive efficiency and cost effectiveness of government services, as part of the national performance reporting system.

(4) The Steering Committee comprises senior officials from the central agencies (First Ministers, Treasuries and Finance departments) of the Commonwealth, States and Territories. The Steering Committee is chaired by the Chairman of the Productivity Commission.


(5) In recognition of the value of expert technical advice, and the need for collaborative action, the Steering Committee may include observers from relevant data agencies.


(6) The Steering Committee and its working groups are supported by a Secretariat located within the Productivity Commission. The Secretariat is a neutral body and does not represent any jurisdiction.


(7) The Steering Committee may establish working groups, cross‑jurisdictional or otherwise, to provide expert advice. Working groups typically comprise a convenor drawn from the membership of the Steering Committee and State, Territory and Commonwealth government representatives from relevant departments or agencies. Working group members should have appropriate seniority to commit their jurisdictions on working group matters and provide strategic policy advice to the Steering Committee.

(8) In recognition of the value of expert technical advice and close relationships with data development bodies and agencies, working groups may include observers from relevant data agencies or, where a data agency is not available, Ministerial Council data sub-committees. Furthermore, working groups may consult with data agencies or sub-committees, as appropriate, on technical issues requiring expert consideration.

Working groups
(9) Working groups may contribute to and comment on drafts of Steering Committee reports, and make recommendations to the Steering Committee on matters related to their areas of expertise.
(10) Working groups are advisory bodies and do not endorse report content. As far as practicable, working groups adopt a consensus approach to making recommendations to the Steering Committee. Where working groups do not reach consensus, alternative views should be provided to the Steering Committee for decision.
(11) As far as practicable, the Steering Committee adopts a consensus approach to decision-making. Where consensus is not reached, decisions are based on majority vote of Steering Committee members, with each jurisdiction's members having one joint vote. (Observers may not vote.) Should the Steering Committee be equally divided, the Chairman has a casting vote. Governance and decision-making arrangements
(12) Steering Committee members from one jurisdiction may choose not to publish information relating to their own jurisdiction but may not veto the publication of information relating to other jurisdictions.

(13) The Steering Committee may draw on the expert advice of its Secretariat, working groups and of specialist data and other organisations, but it is not bound by such advice.