The three volumes of the Commission of Audit report released today form an impressive guide to the reform of the Queensland Government over the rest of the decade. With solid analysis of policy issues across the wide range of public services in Queensland, and strong arguments in support of greater outsourcing and privatisation, the report will have a long shelf life. I have no doubt the report will one day be cited as instrumental in the inevitable privatisation of Energex and Ergon, which unfortunately the Government in its response today has rejected for now, even though sales proceeds would pay off a big chunk of State debt, as Commission head Peter Costello pointed out on tonight’s 7.30 Report.
Although some of the Commission’s recommendations were rejected, the Government has committed to implementing a large number of them and there is doubt the implementation of many of the Commission’s recommendations (e.g. contestability of public transport services, commercialisation of TAFE, among others) will have profound consequences for public service delivery and will drive efficiency and productivity improvements.
While on the theme of public sector efficiency, I should note the Centre for Independent Studies’s recently set up website Waste Watch, which is dedicated to identifying what it considers wasteful uses of public funds, such as $10k for yoga at Parliament House in Canberra.