Michael Di Francesco

Journal article

Rules and flexibility in public budgeting: the case of budget modernisation in Australia

This paper explores the features of public budgeting that make it resistant to efforts to balance central oversight and situational flexibility. Its aim is to help explain why systemic efforts at budget modernisation in the name of ‘devolution’ may have failed to deliver expanded budget...
Working paper

Flexible governmental budgeting: Not fewer rules, just different ones

Budgeting reform over the last 25-30 years has been about trying to increase both central control and flexibility. But inflexible rules, the authors note, actually endure despite the reforms. They propose applying the concept of responsive regulation to finance departments' oversight of line agencies. This...

'Policy coherence' in Australian government

Declining state capacity to deliver policy coherence is a fixed feature of contemporary public policy literature, and in the Westminster democracies the 'hollowing out' thesis has emerged as the latest account. In the rush since the early 1980s to transform bureaucracy and force public services...