Intergenerational Report weakens APS integrity

Richard Mulgan   The government, and public, should expect better of the Treasury.

Latest articles

The temptations of political patronage

Attorney-General George Brandis.

Paddy Gourley   Ministers should help themselves by playing a minimal role in appointments.

SBS calmed the mob but did it act lawfully?

Sacked SBS presenter Scott McIntyre.

Markus Mannheim   An industrial tribunal will pay no heed to the broadcaster's political problems.

Dr Karl advertising campaign expands


Public Eye   Treasury more than doubled the size of its contract with the firm behind the ads.

Cost-benefit analysis and discount rates count

Bjorn Lomborg.

Andrew Podger   Policymakers need a measured response to claims of impending crisis or doom.

Who dares to discount future lives?

Queensland has suffered through a hot, dry summer despite the deluge from Cyclone Marcia.

Markus Mannheim   We can't afford to miscalculate the costs of runaway climate change.

Abbott's climate delays come full circle

Illustration by John Shakespeare

John Hewson   The Coalition once led the way but is now an international laggard.

A tough task: get Whitlam to the White House

Richard Nixon

Jeremy Hearder   Australia's ambassador had to deal with Nixon's fury at the 'lefties' in Canberra.

'Why on Earth am I doing policy work?'

Stressful work

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

The unheeded good work of government

The rate of fires and deaths while the home insulation scheme was operating was actually lower than the industry's normal rate.

Ian McAuley, Miriam Lyons   Do we really trust corporations more than elected governments?

Taking over the reins of government

From the beginning: Prime Minister Tony Abbott with his first ministry in September 2013.

J. R. Nethercote   Australia lacks a comprehensive guide on how to manage government transitions.

Why public servants can't work from jail


John Wilson   A recent judgment may seem to state the obvious, but important questions about misconduct remain.

The Bjorn legacy: Lomborg and our aid

The director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, Dr Bjorn Lomborg.

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

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.

Comments 21

Carol Mill's chaos on Capital Hill

Former 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


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.

Audit commissions and fake budget 'disasters'

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31:  Qld Premier Campbell Newman addresses supporters at an LNP function at the Brisbane Convention Centre with his wife Lisa in the Qld election. on January 31, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Glenn Hunt/Fairfax Media) Campbell Newman

Richard Mulgan   Business leaders who demand radical, unpopular policies do conservative politicians no favours.

Intelligence : sledgehammer for few lone nuts?


Public Eye   It's time for an honest, open chat about the counterterrorism budget, what it buys and the extent to which we should be willing to pay.

Immigration's moving, but what are its limits?


John Wilson   Michael Pezzullo's department can legally transfer its staff out of Belconnen, though it may face several hurdles.

Performance management has lost its purpose

Man in suit sweating during an interview.

Deborah Blackman   To perform well, an employee needs to know not only what to do, but why it matters.

If debt talk turns to tax, will the Tele stay true?

<i>The Daily Telegraph</i>'s February 12 front page.

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

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.

Gerald Caiden's 'Career Service'

Public service commissioner Duncan McLachlan, who held office from 1902-1916.

J. R. Nethercote   Fifty years ago, one of the greatest works of scholarship on the federal bureaucracy was published.

'We're struggling to manage our dud staff'


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


The Bjorn legacy

Embrace cost-benefit analyses, but be wary of their limits.

Chaos on Capital Hill

Any other secretary would have been pressured to leave.

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.