The Report on Government Services 2010 is being released. This is the fifteenth edition of the Report, produced by a Steering Committee of senior officials from Australian, State and Territory governments for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The Steering Committee is chaired by Gary Banks, Chairman of the Productivity Commission.
Mr Banks observed that the Report promotes open and informed debate about the performance of government services across the country. 'The information in this Report is important to us all: everyone relies on government services at different stages of their lives. Such services are particularly important for the more disadvantaged members of society. Improving government services is therefore important to the community. It is also important economically. Governments spent over $136 billion on the services covered in this year's Report, equivalent to around 13 per cent of Australia's national income'.
During 2009, COAG endorsed a high level officials' review of the Report, which found that it had made an important contribution and should continue to be the key tool to measure and report on the efficiency and effectiveness of government services. There is a link to the review report on the Steering Committee website.
Gary Banks drew attention to significant improvements in this year's Report, including alignment of education and training performance indicators with those in the related National Agreements. (The Steering Committee collates National Agreement performance information for the COAG Reform Council.)
Other improvements in the Report include new information on access to aged care residential services for veterans, new juvenile justice performance indicators, enhancement of the Health preface to include data on risk factors, and new data on housing access and affordability.
Reporting on services to Indigenous Australians has improved over recent years and remains a priority. Developments in this Report include: enhanced reporting of participation by Indigenous people in the VET system, and additional reporting of Indigenous recipients of Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia services.
Further information on each service covered by the Report is summarised in the attached Fact Sheets. Improvements in the 2010 Report are outlined in chapter 2 'Recent developments in the Report'. The most recent data and any errata will appear on the Steering Committee's web page.