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 www.pc.gov.au/gsp a compendium of all of the Indigenous data in the Report.