Most public managers in Australia and New Zealand can look back on careers spent mainly in a time of expansion – both in government’s roles and activities and in the financial human resources to support them. The expectations of the communities that public officials serve have grown likewise, such that government has been increasingly seen as the solution to many problems and needs within our society and economy.
But we now live in very different times. Year on year growth can no longer be taken for granted, government expenditure commonly exceeds revenue and traditional policy advisory, administrative and service delivery tasks are coming under considerable pressure. While the core objectives of promoting economic prosperity and community wellbeing remain, the fiscal fallout from the GFC and emerging additional budgetary pressures are raising new questions about the extent of government’s role and how it is be discharged
- How can governments ensure a vibrant economy and sustainable fiscal position in these new settings, while addressing important social needs?
- Where and how should governments best direct their efforts to reduce disadvantage?
- What has to change about our institutional arrangements and the division of responsibilities between jurisdictions, the public and other sectors, and the state and citizens?
- What are the implications for public servants, particularly for skill sets and organisational arrangements?
ANZSOG’s Annual Conference 2014 will draw on ideas and experiences in Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world, to help us navigate these stormy waters. It will seek to inform, challenge and motivate you as we consider what lies ahead for governments, and those who service them, in the 21st century.