The Bjorn legacy: should we listen to Lomborg?

Markus Mannheim   Policymakers should embrace cost-benefit analyses, but be wary of their limits. 

Latest articles

Tangled web of defence pay deceptions

Military personnel's pay is still likely to shrink in real terms.

Paddy Gourley   The government's 'productivity-based' remuneration policy cannot be rationally and properly implemented.

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Carol Mill's chaos on Capital Hill

Department of Parliamentary Services secretary Carol Mills.

Richard Mulgan   The head of any other department, under similar circumstances, would have been pressured to leave by now.

UK mandarins to account to Parliament

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Public Eye   An update of the rules that guide how British public servants act before committees has them in a tizz.

Forget the census: rethink the entire ABS

Babies born on census night in 2011 at Wollongong Hospital.

Steve Hulse   The Bureau of Statistics needs to be far more than just another government data collector.

Gallipoli's other casualty: frank advice

The first lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill: another war leader who failed to encourage honest debate and advice.

J. R. Nethercote   Too few military officers and public servants were encouraged to speak freely before the disastrous Dardanelles campaign.

The age of total bureaucratisation

Photo and artwork: Jim Rice

David Graeber   Bureaucracy - public and corporate - has become the water in which we swim: its practices, habits and sensibilities engulf us.

'The boss's late emails are stressing us out'

Another late night at the office.

Yvonne Richards   The Informant's 'Coach at work' advice column. We put your workplace conundrums to an executive coach.

'Lower, simpler, fairer' taxes within reach

One possible reform is to allocate a clear share of income tax revenues to the states.

Miranda Stewart   There is little point considering federation reform separately from tax reform: they are inherently linked.

Scrutinising the costs of counterterrorism

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 15:  Tactical Police are seen at the siege at Lindt Cafe in Martin Place on December 15, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Fairfax Media)

Mark Stewart, John Mueller   Funds directed at a hazard that kills few are sometimes more productively directed at one that kills many.

Abbott's allegories of bad government

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during a doorstop at Old Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 26 February 2015. Photo: Andrew Meares

Paddy Gourley   Cheap politics is trumping good policy in the public interest.

'We're struggling to manage underperformers'

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Yvonne Richards   Public service advice column: we put your workplace conundrums to an executive coach.

Economic growth can make us happier

Illustration by Stephen Clark.

Andrew Leigh   Some argue that economic growth has 'gone too far'. We shouldn't lose sight of how much it helps us all.

Parkinson's fall: a lesson for secretaries

Martin Parkinson

Richard Mulgan   Senior bureaucrats should take part in public debates, but only with the consent of ministers and without provoking opposition parties.

The fluffy argument behind asbestos secrecy

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Public Eye   The ACT government's bizarre, and embarrassing, approach to the question of whether to tell Canberrans which houses may be toxic.

Norfolk Islanders' democracy is being stolen

An old whaling boat at Kingston, Norfolk Island.

Jon Stanhope, Roger Wettenhall  

'I don't know how to stop feeling bitter'

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Jacqueline Jago   Public service advice column. We put your workplace conundrums and questions to an executive coach.

When prejudice overwhelms good pay policy

Pay day, remuneration, money in envelope.

Andrew Podger   The labour market, not budget restraint, should determine the price of the skills the government needs.

MORE PUBLIC SERVICE NEWS

The costs of fear

Does the counterterrorism budget stack up to cost-benefit analysis?

War on 'debt deniers'

If the Telegraph wants a surplus, it will need to recant its past beliefs.

Hammer for a few nuts

Time for an open chat about what the counterterrorism budget buys.

Growth is good

We shouldn't lose sight of how economic growth helps us all.

Struggling to manage duds

We put your workplace problems to an executive coach.

Smaller government

Mathias Cormann neglects the role for independence in government.

Are bureaucrats overpaid?

It's time for a systematic review of public servants' pay.

ACT's asbestos secrecy

The government's bizarre attempts to hide dangerous properties.

Ludicrous, pay policy

Linking pay to productivity at the agency level is bad economics.

Gough: the Pied Piper

Appraisals of the Whitlam era have been marred by selectivity.

The art of delaying 

Governments can't put off decisions forever.

Sex, spies and lies?

The spurious case against one of our finest servants: John Burton.

'Bully boss is killing me'

We put your workplace woes to an executive coach.

The Speaker & 'the Aussie'

The parliamentary row that reached from London to Canberra.

How worthy are cops?

The federal police appear to be suffering from medal fetishism.

Useful job descriptions

Agencies still struggle to write effective, helpful job descriptions.

'I hate my staff'

Judy and Carina: a common tale of our lack of self-awareness.

No trust and confidence

The recent Barker case shows agencies should play it safe.