John Halligan

John Halligan is a Research Professor of Government and Public Administration, School of Business and Government, University of Canberra, Australia.

His research interests are comparative public management and governance, specifically public sector reform, performance management and government institutions. He specialises in the Anglophone countries of Australia and New Zealand, and for comparative purposes, Canada and the United Kingdom. Current studies are Corporate Governance in the Public Sector, Performance Management, and a comparative analysis of public management.

John Halligan’s recent co-authored books are Managing Performance: International Comparisons, Routledge, London, 2007; and Parliament in the 21st Century, Melbourne University Press, 2007.

orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9709-5939

Public Sector Governance in Australia »

Authored by: Meredith Edwards, John Halligan, Bryan Horrigan, Geoffrey Nicoll
Australia lacks a scholarly book that covers recent developments in public sector governance in Australia and blends cross-disciplinary perspectives from law, management, public administration and public policy. The primary reason for writing this book is to fill the gap in the treatment of this subject, and to provide insights from empirical evidence and current practice. The book provides the first comprehensive theoretical and empirical work on governance in the Commonwealth public sector. It addresses the issues that emerged under the Howard government as well as their handling under the Rudd and Gillard governments. The book aims to enhance understanding of and communication about public governance across government, industry and the community. The authors bring to this book expertise gained from political science, public administration and policy, public and private sector law.

The Centrelink Experiment »

Innovation in Service Delivery

Authored by: John Halligan, Jules Wills
Centrelink was established in 1997 as part of the Howard government’s bold experiment in re-framing social policy and re-shaping service delivery. Centrelink was the embodiment of a key tenet of the Howard vision for public service: a specialised service delivery ‘provider’ agency separated from the policy functions of the ‘purchaser’. Carved out of a monolithic Department of Social Security, Centrelink was established along ‘business lines’ operating 320 service centres and delivering payments to 10 million Australians. Although enjoying ‘monopoly provider’ status, the organisation was required to deliver services to many different clients on behalf of its ‘purchasing departments’ (up to 25 in total) under the terms of quasi-contractual service agreements. It was meant to demonstrate a greater level of both transparency and accountability for the administration of payments amounting to over $60 billion of Commonwealth expenditure. For many years there was a real ‘buzz’ around the Centrelink experiment and staff and clients were generally enthusiastic about the transformation. However, after around eight years, the experiment was reined in and Centrelink was placed under closer ministerial direction and under a new managing department. The experiment continues, but its trajectory reflects the different pressures impacting on such dedicated ‘services delivery agencies’. John Halligan, Professor of Government at the University of Canberra, is a foremost Australian expert on public sector governance and has published extensively on the evolution, form and behaviour of the public sectors in Australia and overseas. This volume is the culmination of an exhaustive empirical study of the origins and experience of ‘the Centrelink Experiment’. I commend this book to researchers, policy practitioners and students with an interest in policy innovation, change management and the realpolitik of public sector reform. John Wanna, Sir John Bunting Chair of Public Administration, The Australian National University