Australian Journal of Public Administration

Cover image for Vol. 74 Issue 1

Edited By: Helen Dickinson, Maria Katsonis, Adrian Kay, Janine O'Flynn and Anne Tiernan

Impact Factor: 0.435

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 35/46 (Public Administration)

Online ISSN: 1467-8500

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Sam Richardson Award 2013

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IPAA are delighted to announce the winner of the 2013 Sam Richardson award is Michael Di Francesco, for his paper 'Under Cover of Westminster: Enabling and Disabling a Public Service Commission in New South Wales'. Click here to read the article, and here for the list of past winners.

Recently Published Articles

  1. How High Should They Jump? An Empirical Method for Setting Municipal Financial Ratio Performance Benchmarks

    Joseph Drew and Brian Dollery

    Article first published online: 24 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12152

    Failure to take account of the environmental challenges facing councils can result in inappropriate or unattainable performance benchmarks which may give rise to unintended consequences. To address this problem, we develop an empirical method for allocating performance benchmarks with respect to the current level of performance and environmental constraints facing individual local authorities. We demonstrate this technique in a case study using data drawn from New South Wales local authority operating ratios.

  2. What Do We Talk About Now? Reflecting on Publications in AJPA 1970–2015

    Catherine Althaus

    Article first published online: 23 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12150

    This article reflects on 45 years of articles published in the Australian Journal of Public Administration (AJPA), providing commentary not only on the journal's status and future but also the state of public administration in Australia. The analysis builds on a first study conducted in 1997, continuing the themes of institutional affiliation, subject matter and research methodology as key categories for AJPA article analysis. The context for the analysis is the advent of the journal's new editorial team. The article concludes that several opportunities present themselves for AJPA's future including performing a strategic stocktake of the discipline and debating its merits as well as marking out what might make for a peculiarly Australian form of public administration (if any) in the contemporary era.

  3. Determining the Optimal Size of Local Government: The Case of Tasmanian Councils

    Rui Cunha Marques, Michael A. Kortt and Brian Dollery

    Article first published online: 13 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12151

    The optimal size of the most significant functions performed by Tasmanian councils was estimated. Results indicate that water supply and sewerage services were more efficient, while activities related to community health and safety and information systems warrant improvement. However, since the costs of water supply and sewerage services are higher, the elimination of these inefficiencies would result in greater cost-savings.

  4. The Concept of ‘Merit’ in Australia, China and Taiwan

    Andrew Podger and Hon Chan

    Article first published online: 24 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12148

    The article provides an overview of an AJPA symposium on the application of the ‘merit principle’ in China, Taiwan and Australia. Other symposium articles focus on China and Taiwan, while this overview also provides a description of the Australian approach. The article draws out the different approaches in the three countries relating these to each country's institutional arrangements and histories, and to its culture. It also identifies the different challenges each country faces as it looks to apply merit, and how these relate in particular to the role of government in each country, the relationship between politics and administration, and the country's culture.

  5. Unintended Consequences: Implications of the 2014 Australian Defence Force Pay Deal

    Sue Williamson, Michael O'Donnell and Joshua Shingles

    Article first published online: 24 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12149

    In 2014, Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel were granted a modest pay rise of 4.5 per cent over three years. This article uses the concept of the psychological contract to argue that the pay rise breaches the Australian Government's obligations towards ADF personnel that is likely to have unintended consequences.