The Report on Government Services 2006 has been released. This is the eleventh 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 account for 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 Australian, State and Territory governments.
The Steering Committee is chaired by Gary Banks, Chairman of the Productivity Commission. Mr Banks noted that governments' continued commitment to performance reporting meant the Report's quality and scope continued to improve each year.
Mr Banks drew attention to the Report's increasing focus on measuring the outcomes government services deliver to the community. This year's Report includes expanded reporting on learning outcomes for schools and new outcome indicators for hospitals.
Mr Banks emphasised that reporting on services to Indigenous Australians remains a priority. Data in this report complement the Review's separate publication, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators, the second issue of which was published in July 2005.
Mr Banks noted, however, that despite the improvements in the Report over the past decade, there remain gaps in reporting, and scope for improvement in the timeliness and comparability of data.