The Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) is to make a number of changes to its activities in response to transitions becoming evident across the public sector.
Announcing the changes, the Dean and Chief Executive of the School, Ken Smith said the public sector was undergoing rapid change with PS staff facing increased pressure as they try to deliver public value in a more complex and demanding environment.
“ANZSOG’s work is based on a simple premise: That Governments need to focus on public value the same way the private sector focuses on shareholder value,” Professor Smith said.
“Public value entails producing goods that are consumed collectively and valued by the public, such as our public health or education systems.”
He said ANZSOG must respond to several significant drivers of change.
He said these included a declining trust in Governments which was a global phenomenon that is having an impact on all public officials, whether elected or appointed.
“The causes are complex, but the decline in trust is a key issue that every public sector leader must factor into their work,” Professor Smith said.
“It affects all the institutions of a democratic Government.”
He said another factor to be taken into account was the changing profile of Public Service staff members led by a focus on diversity and more flexible hiring practices.
He said the public’s expectations of the public sector were also changing.
“This has been happening for a long time, but in the age of the internet and social media, people are better informed, more able to connect with each other and more aware of the impact of their views and or complaints,” Professor Smith said.
“As well as grappling with issues around privacy, public managers need to see public and private data as a resource which can be used for the common good.”
Beyond that, Governments needed to become more transparent in their use of data and technology, while involving the public in decision making.
“The big question we face at ANZSOG and across the public sector broadly is how should we prepare the Public Service for these new realities?” Professor Smith said.
“The private sector is increasingly focused on ‘disruption’ and ‘innovation’, but are these models relevant for the public sector which has a different bottom line?”
He said some of the changes ANZSOG was planning include a new focus and new content for key education activities; a re-focus of its research program; greater engagement with the Indigenous peoples of Australia and New Zealand; and encouraging its students, alumni and Government owners to have greater input into all of its activities.
Source: PS News.