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Federal Public Sector Reform: Business is Well Advised to Pay Close Attention (email sent 6/10/09)

Adam Lewis
McKinsey & Co

Re: Business must have role in reform of public sector, The Australian, 6/10/09

I noted with interest your suggestion about the requirements for effective public sector reform, and warning about the dangers of using crude methods.

However, while crude methods are certainly a major risk, inappropriate goals can also harm government effectiveness. One issue that your article did not refer to was the Prime Minister's suggestion about the creation of a more open US-style bureaucracy, and there are reasons to suspect that this goal would be undesirable under Australia's quite different government structures (see Looking for a Better Public Service: Intellectual Populism?).

Thus, in seeking to provide advice about public sector reform, it is suggested that McKinsey & Co consider the appropriateness of the goals being sought as well as the dangers of using crude methods to achieve change. Mr Rudd should by now be well aware of the latter risk (see Queensland's Worst Government?).

John Craig