Machinery of government (“MoG”) changes are the formal transfer of functions from one department to another. These changes may occur at any time, but are most common following an election, particularly where there has been a change of government. MoG arrangements are used to align functions in a way that governments believe will assist in delivering their policy priorities.
The Committee has examined the process, costs and effectiveness of the departmental restructure that occurred following the November 2014 election. The Committee has inquired into the benefits of the MoG changes and the effectiveness of those changes in supporting Government through research and consultation with Government departments.
Secretaries with experience of other MoG changes at both state and federal levels of government observed that, in their opinion, the MoG transition following the 2014 Victorian election had been achieved in a relatively efficient, seamless and timely manner.
In addition to examining the effectiveness of the departmental restructuring, the Committee has investigated the accuracy of recording associated costs, which involved an exploration of the inconsistencies observed in the different responses given to this Inquiry and to the Parliament’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee. The Committee has also examined internal departmental restructures and staffing and office relocations.
The Committee notes that undertaking this Inquiry has, in itself, proven to be a valuable process which has led to focussed thought about, and more transparent evaluation of MoG processes by departmental leadership, if not directly by government.