By Andrew Podger
Andrew Podger’s monograph, The function of Departmental Secretaries, own reflections at the breadth of duties this present day, is a vital contribution to the wider public coverage discourse in Australia. Andrew has been, from time to time, an unflinching commentator on problems with bureaucratic functionality, responsibility and responsiveness to executive. Andrew’s reflections are drawn from his personal reviews in the internal circle of Australian policy-making. during this monograph, he offers a hugely nuanced portrait of the function of Commonwealth departmental secretaries. even supposing a ‘player’ himself at key moments in fresh coverage background, Andrew is a dispassionate and considerate observer of occasions. this isn't basically a memoir: this paintings is wealthy in research and Andrew bargains a few ‘lessons discovered’ to be heeded (or now not) by way of the current and destiny generations of coverage practitioners.** [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]
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Additional info for The Role of Departmental Secretaries: Personal Reflections on the Breadth of Responsibilities Today
Ministers expect even new secretaries to know about the department’s (and the portfolio’s) responsibilities and programs, or at least to ensure the minister has ready access to experience and expertise, which the secretary must be able to complement even in the early days. The secretary is expected quickly to have sufficient knowledge and understanding to add value in discussions about programs and policies, drawing on broader experience of government such as the culture and orientation of central agencies, the perspective of state governments, the time and other practical constraints of legislation and administration.
Howe’s advisers were particularly keen to exclude her entirely from involvement in the regional economic development program despite her nominal responsibility for local government, which was critical to the program. When Michael Wooldridge was Minister for Health and Family Services (1996–98), relations between the ministers seemed generally positive, but I always felt sympathy for Judi Moylan, who had to carry responsibility for the 1996 cuts to aged care and child care with little public support from the senior minister and his ERC colleagues who were the decision makers.
Thus, every proposal 39 The Role of Departmental Secretaries was endorsed exactly as recommended with just two exceptions, and we had been extremely careful with the drafting of the minister’s submission. On Better Cities, the decision included the minister’s vision for the program, including that it would be a continuing one, but deferred the amount of new capital to be provided each year. Belatedly, there was some celebration, particularly when new funds for Better Cities were also subsequently agreed.