An Analysis of Governmental Performance in Australia Essay

An Analysis of Governmental Performance in Australia Essay

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Research and Referencing Assignment
ARTS1840 – Semester 1, 2010

Critical analysis

The Australian Journal of Public Administration’s research and evaluation paper explores the parliamentary scrutiny of government performance in Australia. It observes the processes the Commonwealth Parliament of Australia can use to make ministers and public servants accountable for the performance of their relevant departments. These decisions are made on the basis of performance data that each department is required to provide as well as parliamentary committee inquiries.
Thomas’ article highlights that the publication of performance data is not accountability – rather, there must be consequences following an examination of this data.
To assess parliament’s performance in its ability to scrutinise various government departments, the article draws attention to the two houses of parliament. The House of Representatives is generally under strict government control while the Senate is very rarely controlled by the ruling government, giving it a greater ability to scrutinise government performance. (Thomas 2009: 373)
The article states that there are two primary documents used to represent performance to parliament. These are the required annual reports and the estimate reports from various departments. The annual reports are required to be submitted to parliament by October 31st every year (Thomas 2009: 374). Initially, these documents focused on the financial side of the department in question, but have begun to cover other areas relevant to performance.
The argument presented by Thomas generally provides praise for the Commonwealth Government’s reforms on introducing mechanisms to keep the public service accountable (Thomas 200...

... middle of paper ...

...ty during the Howard years: 1996-2007’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 54 (2): 225-247.
Raffin, L (2008). ‘Accountability or inability: to what extent does House of Representatives question time deliver executive accountability comparative to other parliamentary chambers? Is there need for reform?’, Australasian Parliamentary Review, 23 (2): 66-85.
Singleton, G (2008). ‘The Senate a paper tiger?’, in Aulich, C and Wettenhall, R (eds), Howard’s Fourth Government: Australian Commonwealth Administration 2004-2007. Sydney: UNSW Press, pp. 75-94.
Thomas, P (2009). ‘Parliament Scrutiny of Government Performance in Australia’, The Australian Journal of Public Administration, 68 (4): 373-398.
Vander Wyk, J and Lilley, A (2005). ‘Reference of Bills to Australian Senate Committees’,, accessed 26 March 2010.

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