Competing for Influence

Competing for Influence

The Role of the Public Service in Better Government in Australia

Authored by: Barry Ferguson

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Amidst growing dissatisfaction with the state of government performance and an erosion of trust in our political class, Competing for Influence asks: what sort of public service do we want in Australia?

Drawing on his experience in both the public and private sectors – and citing academic research across the fields of public sector management, industrial organisation, and corporate strategy – Barry Ferguson argues the case for the careful selection and application of private sector management concepts to the public service, both for their ability to strengthen the public service and inform public policy. These include competitive advantage, competitive positioning, horizontal strategy and organisational design, and innovation as an all-encompassing organisational adjustment mechanism to a changeable environment.

But these are not presented as a silver bullet, and Ferguson addresses other approaches to reform, including the need to rebuild the Public Sector Act, the need to reconsider the interface between political and administrative arms of government (and determine what is in the ‘public interest’), and the need for greater independence for the public service within a clarified role. This approach, and its implications for public sector reform, is contrasted with the straitjacket of path dependency that presently constricts the field.

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Competing for Influence »

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Part 1—Public Law and Citizenship

  1. Court Records, Archives and Citizenship (PDF, 0.2MB)Kim Rubenstein and Andrew Henderson doi
  2. Aspects of Citizen Access to Court Archives (PDF, 0.2MB)Ernst Willheim doi
  3. When the Carnival is Over: The Case for Reform of Access to Royal Commission Records (PDF, 0.2MB)Hollie Kerwin and Maya Narayan doi

Part 2—Histories and Jurisprudence of Australia

  1. A Matter of Records: The Federal Court, The National Archives and ‘The National Estate’ in the 1970s (PDF, 0.2MB)Ann Genovese doi
  2. Framing the Archives as Evidence: A Study of Correspondence Documenting the Place of Australia’s Original High Court in a New Commonwealth Polity (PDF, 0.5MB)Susan Priest doi
  3. Accessing the Archives of the Australian War Crimes Trials after World War II (PDF, 0.2MB)Narrelle Morris doi

Part 3—Institutional Experience and Responsibility for Records

  1. A Conversation with Warwick Soden (Principal Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Court of Australia) (PDF, 0.2MB)Interviewed by Kim Rubenstein and Ann Genovese doi
  2. A Conversation with Louise Anderson and Ian Irving (Former Native Title Registrars, Federal Court of Australia) (PDF, 0.2MB)Interviewed by Ann Genovese and Kim Rubenstein doi
  3. Providing Public Access to Native Title Records: Balancing the Risks Against the Benefits (PDF, 0.2MB)Pamela McGrath doi
  4. Archiving Revolution: Historical Records Management in the Massachusetts Courts (PDF, 1.1MB)Andrew Henderson doi
  5. Sentencing Acts: Appraisal of Court Records in Canada and Australia (PDF, 0.2MB)Trish Luker doi

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