Skip to Content
 Close search

Reforms in government services 1997

Steering Committee report

The Steering Committee Report, Reforms in Government Services 1997, was released on 16 June 1997.

The report consists of three case studies which examine the implementation of a shift from grant funding to purchasing of community services in South Australia, output based funding of public acute hospital care in Victoria, and competitive tendering and contracting of the management of correctional centres in Queensland. A survey of developments in these service areas in the other jurisdictions is also included.

Download this report

  • Media release
  • Contents

Hospital funding, prisons and community services: how reform is implemented

'In public sector reform good implementation is as important as good policy. Too little work has been done in Australia which examines the practical issues associated with implementation of major social policy reforms,' Mr Bill Scales, Chair of the Steering Committee for the Review of Commonwealth/State Service Provision said today. 'And implementation is often difficult.'

Mr Scales was releasing the report, Reforms in Government Service Provision 1997, which examines the implementation of:

  • casemix funding of public acute hospitals in Victoria
  • competitive tendering and contracting of prisons in Queensland
  • reforming funding arrangements with the charitable sector in SA.

The report also documents how all other States and Territories are implementing reforms in these areas.

'This report - part of the work of a cooperative Commonwealth, State and Territory project to improve the performance of government service provision - is the first broad examination of how a series of important reforms were implemented,' said Mr Scales. 'By looking closely at individual reforms it is possible for decision makers to identify those lessons which can be applied to their human services programs.'

'This report is not an evaluation of the reforms, but more a way for the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to learn from each other,' Mr Scales said.

Background information

02 6240 3330

Copyright, Preface, Contents, Abbreviations

1 Introduction

2 Purchasing Human Services in South Australia
2.1 This case study
2.2 The reform
2.3 Related developments
2.4 Deciding what to purchase
2.4.1 Clarifying responsibilities
2.4.2 Community goodwill - a dimension of quality
2.4.3 Using for-profit providers
2.4.4 Fostering cooperation among providers
2.5 The purchasing process
2.5.1 Determining the appropriate price and quality
2.5.2 Apportioning risk
2.5.3 Determining the contract length
2.5.4 Considering the cost of contracting
2.6 Managing providers
2.6.1 Monitoring external providers
2.6.2 Using rewards and sanctions
2.7 Transitional issues
2.7.1 Reducing transition and transaction costs
2.8 Emerging issues
2.8.1 Moving other providers to a purchasing environment
2.8.2 Exposing inhouse providers to competition
2.9 Conclusion

3 Casemix Funding of Public Hospitals in Victoria
3.1 This case study
3.2 The reform
3.2.1 Incentives and disincentives
3.3 Environmental factors
3.4 Specifying outputs
3.4.1 Defining hospital outputs
3.4.2 Classifying outputs
3.4.3 Defining quality
3.5 Setting the level and structure of prices
3.5.1 Determining the price
3.5.2 Funding exceptional cases
3.5.3 Improving competition
3.6 Managing providers
3.6.1 Financial monitoring and coding audits
3.6.2 Monitoring the quality of care
3.6.3 Using rewards and sanctions
3.7 Implementation issues for public hospitals
3.8 Transitional funding
3.9 Future issues
3.9.1 Treatment of capital
3.9.2 Achieving the appropriate mix of services
3.10 Conclusion

4 Competitive Tendering of Prisons in Queensland
4.1 This case study
4.2 The reform
4.2.1 Objectives
4.3 Background to the reform
4.4 Defining the service
4.4.1 Determining what services to contract
4.4.2 The scope of each contract
4.4.3 Defining the services
4.4.4 Determining the length of contract
4.4.5 Addressing economies of scope between policy advice and service provision
4.4.6 Maintaining cooperation among competing providers
4.5 Selecting and managing providers
4.5.1 Issues for the purchaser
4.5.2 Issues for the provider
4.6 Addressing community concerns
4.6.1 Information to the public
4.7 Conclusion


A Survey of Community Services

B Survey of Public Hospital Funding Arrangements

C Survey of Prison Contracting


Printed copies

This publication is only available online.

Publications feedback

We value your comments about this publication and encourage you to provide feedback.

Submit publications feedback