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Report on Government Services

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This report was released on 28 January 2011. 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

Report on Government Services 2011

The Report on Government Services 2011 is being released. This is the sixteenth 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 awareness about the performance of government services across the country and helps drive improvements. 'The information in this Report is important to us all. Everyone relies on government services at different stages of their lives and they are particularly important for the more disadvantaged members of society. Improving government services is therefore important socially, but it is also important economically. Governments spent over $150.5 billion on the services covered in this year's Report, equivalent to around 12.3 per cent of Australia's national income'.

Gary Banks drew attention to a number of further advances in this year's Report, including alignment of health, community services, and housing and homelessness performance indicators with those in the related National Agreements. (The Steering Committee also collates National Agreement performance information for the COAG Reform Council.) Other improvements include the development of data quality information and extended time series for many indicators, and the inclusion of brief case studies for selected service areas. New information was also reported on: falls resulting in patient harm, and self-harm, in hospitals; general practitioner waiting times; selected adverse events in residential aged care; new juvenile justice indicators; and new material on housing and homelessness. Reporting on services to Indigenous Australians has also improved further and remains a priority.

Information on each service covered by the Report is summarised in the attached Factsheets. Improvements in the 2011 Report are outlined in chapter 2. The most recent data and any errata will appear on the Steering Committee's web page.


The following errata have been issued for the Report on Government Services 2011. The applicable prefaces, chapter and attachment tables have been amended on the website to reflect these errata.

Part E: Health Preface

Total expenditure on health care services in Australia as a percentage of GDP for the years 1998-99 and 2007-08 has been revised due to a change in the methodology used to calculate GDP. Data reported for 2008-09 are already based on this methodology and have not changed. For 2007-08, the percentage has changed from 9.1 per cent to 8.8 per cent and for 1998-99 has changed from 8.0 per cent to 7.8 per cent. This change will mean that for health expenditure as a percentage of GDP, there will have been a slight increase from 2007-08 to 2008-09 rather than a slight decrease and, the increase from 1998-99 to 2008-09 will be 1.2 percentage points rather than 1.0 percentage point.

The revisions affect the chapter text on page E.8.

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Part F: Community services Preface

Disability services expenditure data for 2008-09 for WA have been revised. Due to a cell formula error, 2008-09 expenditure was overstated for WA by approximately $38 million. The revisions affect the following:

  • table F.1 on page F.8
  • figure F.1 on page F.9.

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Chapter 14: Services for people with disability

Expenditure data for 2008-09 for NSW, Victoria, and WA have been revised. Due to a cell formula error, 2008-09 expenditure was overstated for WA by approximately $38 million, while 2008-09 expenditure was understated for NSW and Victoria by approximately $30 million and $21 million respectively due to incorrect treatment of payroll tax. The revisions affect the following:

  • chapter text on page 14.10
  • chapter text and the associated figure 14.31 'Administrative expenditure as a proportion of total recurrent expenditure' on pages 14.69 to 14.71.

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Chapter 16: Housing

Data for 2007-08 relating to households residing in public housing were incorrect and have been revised. The revisions affect the proportions of households in public housing in WA, SA, the ACT and the NT in attachment table 16A.89 in the 2011 Report.

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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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