Time for the public sector to take out the rubbish | Josie Pagani



Time for the public sector to take out the rubbish

The public service is dominated by jargon, defensiveness and issues-management rather than frank long term thinking and accountability.

Performance has deteriorated since the public sector was changed to shuffle managers between departments rather than promoting sector experts. Consequently, expertise has eroded. When endless meetings and complexity are in favour, you get a public sector that selects people who are... good at meetings and complexity. Instead of daring innovators we get risk-adverse bureaucrats.

The Public Service Commission suggests even more shuffling of managers between departments. It’s like saying the only problem for Fletcher Building is that failing executives haven’t had the chance to mess up more divisions.

What’s needed is a transformational overhaul of public sector management. That can’t be left to the public sector to pursue itself. It no longer has the capability. Just as failed CEOs have to carry the can – even if their accountability is symbolic, firings are part of what leaders are compensated for.

The new Government needs to wield the axe.

Josie's Post column is here.

Get Email Updates