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This twelfth annual report from the Review of Government Service Provision examines the performance of all Australian governments providing education, justice, emergency management, health, community services and housing. These services account for 60 per cent of government recurrent expenditure and over 10 per cent of gross domestic product.

Heads of government (now the Council of Australian Governments or COAG) established the Review of Government Service Provision (the Review) to provide information on the effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia (see terms of reference, p. xxv). A Steering Committee, comprising senior representatives from the central agencies of all governments, manages the Review with the assistance of a Secretariat provided by the Productivity Commission. The Review was established in 1993 to:

  • provide ongoing comparisons of the performance of government services
  • report on service provision reforms that governments have implemented or that are under consideration.

The Report on Government Services, now in its twelfth edition, is a tool for government. It has been used for strategic budget and policy planning, and for policy evaluation. Information in the Report has been used to assess the resource needs and resource performance of departments. It has also been used to identify jurisdictions with whom to share information on services.

The data in this Report can also provide an incentive to improve the performance of government services, by:

  • enhancing measurement approaches and techniques in relation to aspects of performance, such as unit costs and service quality
  • helping jurisdictions identify where there is scope for improvement
  • promoting greater transparency and informed debate about comparative performance.
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