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Report on Government Services

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This report was released on 7 February 2003. It has been produced by the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (SCRGSP). The report has been published in two volumes. Also released with the report are attachment tables. These are not part of the printed report but are available on this web page.

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Media release

The Report on Government Services 2003 was released today. The Report examines the performance of the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments in the provision of education, health, justice, emergency management, community services and housing. Collectively, spending on these services accounted for $70 billion in 2001-02 (or around 24% of total government expenditure).

The Report is the product of the Review of Commonwealth/State Service Provision which is overseen by a Steering Committee comprising senior officials from the Commonwealth, States and Territories.

The Steering Committee is chaired by Gary Banks, the Chairman of the Productivity Commission. Commenting on this, the eighth Report, Mr Banks noted that the Report continues to improve in quality and coverage. This, he said, was in no small part due to the high level of cooperation between governments and their commitment to performance reporting.

Mr Banks singled out the reporting of nationally comparable learning outcomes in school education for special mention. This, he said, represents an important step forward, and hopefully one that will continue in future reports.

Mr Banks commended participating governments on their endeavours to improve reporting on services for Aboriginaland Torres Strait Islander people. While data availability remains a problem, each year the Report increases its coverage. This year, the Review will be publishing on its website a compendium of all of the Indigenous data in the Report.


The following data were amended after Report on Government Services 2003 went to print.

Education Preface

Page B.15 - table B.9: unit costs for the ACT, the NT and Australian government primary schools, and Australian government secondary schools are incorrect. As a consequence the percentage differences from the national averages are also incorrect.

Protection and Support Services

Child protection efficiency data

An error has been identified in the 2001-02 child protection efficiency data presented in the 2003 Report. The error reflects the inadvertent use of 2000-01 data as the denominator for the indicators and affects the commentary on pages 15.30 and 15.32, figure 15.13 and table 15A.2 (see revised content below). The expenditure, notification, investigation and substantiation data for 2001-02 are correct and unchanged.

The revised 2001-02 child protection efficiency data are lower for all jurisdictions than the erroneously published data. This reflects an increase in the reported number of notifications, investigations and substantiations between 2000-01 and 2001-02.

Revised content - Child protection efficiency indicator results

Total expenditure on child protection per notification in 2001-02 ranged from $3420 in WA to $1769 in SA (excluding Tasmania and the ACT) (figure 15.12a). Total expenditure on child protection per investigation in 2001-02 ranged from $6007 in Victoria to $2585 in Queensland (excluding Tasmania and the ACT) (figure 15.12b). Total expenditure on child protection per substantiation in 2001-02 ranged from $14 827 in NSW to $5933 in Queensland (excluding Tasmania and the ACT) (figure 15.12c).

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2009 Review of the Report on Government Services

COAG endorsed the review's recommendations at its 7 December 2009 meeting.

The Steering Committee endorsed the Independent Reference Group's Review of the Report on Government Services' performance indicator framework Report in September 2010.

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