Australian Journal of Public Administration

Cover image for Vol. 74 Issue 4

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

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

Impact Factor: 0.416

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 38/46 (Public Administration)

Online ISSN: 1467-8500


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  1. Research and Evaluations

    1. Anti-Corruption Watchdog Accountability: The Limitations of Judicial Review's Ability to Guard the Guardians

      Sarah Withnall Howe and Yvonne Haigh

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12185

      This article examines the limitation of judicial review in providing accountability to anti-corruption watchdogs. It submits the effects of these limitations are not properly recognised by fourth branch integrity theory or national integrity system theory. It concludes it is not sufficient to claim the judiciary is the answer to the question ‘who shall guard the guardians?’

  2. Research and Evaluation

    1. Public Sector Collaboration: Are We Doing It Well and Could We Do It Better?

      Peter Wilkins, John Phillimore and David Gilchrist

      Article first published online: 29 DEC 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12183

      Reports by Auditors-General and Ombudsmen in Australia and New Zealand are analysed to identify lessons regarding public sector collaboration. The analysis indicates that while continuing existing approaches may assist to improve collaboration there is a need to adopt more systematic approaches to organisational capacity for collaboration.

    2. The Australian Experience of Municipal Amalgamation: Asking the Citizenry and Exploring the Implications

      Roberta Ryan, Catherine Hastings, Bligh Grant, Alex Lawrie, Éidín Ní Shé and Liana Wortley

      Article first published online: 28 DEC 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12182

      This article questions the importance of the issue for municipal amalgamation for the Australian electorate despite its salience in public administration reform programs.

    3. Success and Failure in Environment Policy: The Role of Policy Officials

      Kathleen Mackie

      Article first published online: 26 NOV 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12170

      The article provides an insight into policy success and failure drawing on in-depth interviews of 51 Australian federal government environment policy officials and case studies to unearth whether they think new policies will succeed, and what factors they think are key to policy success. It argues policy theory would benefit from renewed focus on the backroom and unspoken role played by officials in pursuing policy success and avoiding failure.

    4. The Big Society in Australia: A Case of ‘Non’-Policy Transfer?

      Rob Manwaring

      Article first published online: 14 OCT 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12164

      The Big Society was a flagship policy initiative launched by the UK Conservative party in 2010. This paper uses a policy transfer heuristic to examine the likelihood of potential variants of this agenda taking place in Australia. The case highlights both strengths and limits of the policy transfer heuristic.

  3. Controversies-Commentaries

    1. Developing Management Practices to Support Joined-Up Governance

      Gemma Carey and Patrick Harris

      Article first published online: 5 OCT 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12169

      Joined-up working is proving to be a major management challenge. In this paper, we bring a number of concepts to bear on the management of joined-up and cross-boundary working in public management of complex social issues.

  4. Research and Evaluation

    1. Providing an Integrated Response to Family Violence: Governance Attributes of Local Networks in Victoria

      Stuart Ross, Lucy Healey, Kristin Diemer and Cathy Humphreys

      Article first published online: 10 SEP 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12162

      This research reports on the experiences of integrated family violence committees established in Victoria, Australia, and the features of their governance associated with effective committee functioning. A survey of committee members found that the main challenge for effective service integration was establishing and maintaining effective partnerships between collaborating organisations.

    2. See No Evil, Hear No Evil? Assessing Corruption Risk Perceptions and Strategies of Victorian Public Bodies

      Zeger van der Wal, Adam Graycar and Kym Kelly

      Article first published online: 25 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12163

      In seeking out what works best for agencies to manage their own integrity two approaches are commonly debated, a “values” based approach on the one hand, and a “compliance” approach. Building on research data three elements which blend values and compliance are described: effective, committed and responsible agency leadership (Tone at the Top); specific corruption prevention strategies; and comprehensive and targeted training programs.

    3. Slow Change at the Top: ‘Old Hands’ and ‘Accidental Executives’ in New South Wales Local Government

      Theresa Smith-Ruig, Bligh Grant and Alison Sheridan

      Article first published online: 23 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12160

      This article examines the career paths of General Managers in local government. It documents the genedered environment of the sector and the ‘accidental’ nature of leadership in the sector, suggesting that local government ought to be promoted as a career of choice, particularly for women.

    4. Commercial Lobbying in Australia: Exploring the Australian Lobby Register

      Darren Halpin and John Warhurst

      Article first published online: 3 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12159

      This article provides the first analysis and review of the Australian Federal Lobby Register. It documents the size and structure of the Australian commercial lobbying scene. The article examines the changes in the lobby world as a consequence of a change of government. It concludes with a discussion of future research.

    5. Less Haste, More Speed: The Fit for the Future Reform Program in New South Wales Local Government

      Joseph Drew and Brian Dollery

      Article first published online: 10 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12158

      This paper provides a critical assessment of the Fit for the Future program. We show that it contains errors, relies on unreliable data and neglects important factors. This could have serious consequences given the potential impact the Fit for Future program will have on NSW local government.

  5. Research & Evaluation

    1. Co-Production of Public Services in Australia: The Roles of Government Organisations and Co-Producers

      John Alford and Sophie Yates

      Article first published online: 27 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12157

      Based on a telephone survey of 1,000 Australian adults, this research replicates a five-country European study focusing on three policy domains: neighbourhood safety, environment, and health. It adds to the emerging empirical literature on citizen co-production.

    2. Rules and Flexibility in Public Budgeting: The Case of Budget Modernisation in Australia

      Michael Di Francesco

      Article first published online: 27 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12156

      This paper explores the features of public budgeting that make it resistant to efforts to balance central oversight and situational flexibility. It applies a taxonomy of general ‘budget rules’ to illustrate the trade-offs between control and flexibility using an analysis of budget reform in the Australian federal government over the last 30 years.

    3. Collaborative Governance in the Reform of Western Australia's Alcohol and Other Drug Sector

      Lynda Berends, Alison Ritter and Jenny Chalmers

      Article first published online: 19 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12154

      We examined the process for alcohol and other drug sector reform in Western Australia using Emerson et al.'s (2012) integrative framework for collaborative governance. Increased service funding, a partnership policy, leadership, and consequential incentives were important. Our findings suggest that financial arrangements should be added to the framework.

    4. Going It Alone or Playing to the Crowd? A Critique of Individual Budgets and the Personalisation of Health Care in the English National Health Service

      Iestyn Williams and Helen Dickinson

      Article first published online: 15 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12155

      This article critiques the introduction of personal budgets into health care in the United Kingdom, drawing out lessons for Australia. At the heart of the discussion is the tension between the virtues of tailored service provision and empowerment of the patient/service user on the one hand, and the benefits of a strong social contract, public trust in institutions, and collective identity on the other.

  6. Research and Evaluation

    1. Not Centralisation but Decentralised Integration through Australia's National Mental Health Policy

      Amanda Smullen

      Article first published online: 3 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12153

      This article challenges dominant perceptions of Commonwealth centralization in Australia's federal system. While it recognizes that the Commonwealth has entered a range of policy fields not anticipated by federal founders, it argues that this does not equate to a generalized uni-directional and hierarchical orchestration of state/territory policy and service provision. The crucial case of mental health policy is presented as an alternative scenario in Australia's federal experience. Theoretically key challenges from the multi-level governance literature are proffered against the centralization thesis. Brief empirical analysis then highlights the role of the Commonwealth as a conduit of horizontal and vertical flows of knowledge through the national mental health policy agenda. While disconnect and diversity between the national ambitions and realization at state/territory level are revealed, it is argued more proceduralization and bottom up dialogue present an alternative route towards decentralised integration.

  7. Research & Evaluation

    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. Watchdogs as Satellites of Parliament

      Peter Wilkins

      Article first published online: 10 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12142

      Statutory provisions for the Auditor General and Ombudsman are reviewed and a new model conceptualising watchdogs as satellites of Parliament is presented and assessed in the context of the debate about where watchdogs fit in our system of government and the designation of some watchdogs as officers of Parliament.

    3. Financial Accountability: The Contribution of Senate Estimates

      Graham Bowrey, Ciorstan Smark and Ted Watts

      Article first published online: 28 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12116

    4. Is Biggest Best? A Comparative Analysis of the Financial Viability of the Brisbane City Council

      Elisabeth Sinnewe, Michael A. Kortt and Brian Dollery

      Article first published online: 24 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12118


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