Drug problems in Australia
Freedom of Information Bill 1978 and aspects of the Archives Bill 1978
Senator Peter Baume at Parliament House in 1990 addressing officers from the Department of Industrial Relations on the Senate estimates process
The resulting May 1979 report is considered a ‘watershed’, with ‘far-reaching effects’ on government administration and service delivery throughout Australia. The committee’s painstaking report highlighted the inadequacy of existing methods for measuring the success of government programs and the failure of government to report outcomes and achievements to Parliament.
The committee argued that systematic, transparent and ongoing performance evaluation and reporting would result in a ‘more equitable, efficient, effective and accountable’ system.
Accepting almost all of the report’s recommendations, the government spent the 1980s implementing government-wide performance evaluations using monitoring measures such as program budgeting, corporate plans and performance indicators. Parliamentary scrutiny of program outcomes has been improved by performance audits undertaken by the Australian National Audit Office and reported directly to Parliament.
The committee’s inquiry is now regarded as ‘an important milestone in the encouragement of better reporting of program performance by government agencies’ and has been commended for its forward-thinking insistence on evidence-based policy and decision-making.
National Library of Australia, nla.obj-156310500