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Report on Government Services

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This report was released on 30 January 2004. 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 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.


The following amendments were made to the Report after it went to print.

Chapter 3 - School education

Page 3.29, 6.4 per cent should be 3.9 per cent for government recurrent expenditure per full time equivalent student, government schools.

Chapter 13 - Services for people with a disability

Australian Capital Territory Government comments

The ACT has been progressing the reform agenda set for the delivery of disability services. This follows a major Inquiry into Disability Services undertaken in 2001 and the establishment of a new department - the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services.

The agency responsible for disability services in the ACT - Disability ACT - was restructured. This included the engagement of a new senior executive team to drive the reform agenda, the establishment of a policy and planning team with responsibility for influencing the broader policy agenda, a specialised team responsible for sector development involving relationship management and a refocussed service delivery 'arm' - Individual Support Services - responsible for family and community support as well as direct accommodation support.

The ACT's reform agenda involves a partnership with people with disabilities and their families, service providers and the wider ACT community. This includes a new Disability Advisory Council established to advise the Minister for Disability and reform working groups set up to advise Disability ACT on the future directions for delivering services to people with disabilities in key areas.

While the major elements of the reform continue to be developed and will be implemented in the coming years, the ACT has already introduced a number of new and revised programs and services for people with disabilities, including:

  • The Access to Government strategy. This strategy requires ACT Departments to undertake access audits of their programs, services and facilitates to identify where people with disabilities may be excluded.
  • A new Taxi Subsidy Scheme. This updates the previous scheme that had operated in the ACT for the past 15 years.
  • An evaluation of the Individual Support Package program. This is the ACT's direct funding program to assist people purchase support services.
  • Audits of service delivery agencies in the ACT. This provided a profile on the strengths of existing service providers in the ACT and identified those areas where Disability ACT can work with and support agencies.
  • A Caring for Carers policy. This is focussed on the needs of carers in a variety of carer relationships.
  • " A review of the ACT's statutory oversight and community advocacy agencies. This followed recommendations in recent Reports to examine these systems as well as the roles and functions of the various agencies.
  • An Innovation Grants Fund. The ACT established this Fund to provide financial support to projects aimed at trailed new approaches to service delivery for people with disabilities.

In terms of its relationship with the Commonwealth, the ACT is pleased that the Commonwealth-State/Territory Disability Agreement was signed during the year.

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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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