Public Service Reform and Policy Capacity: Recruiting and Retaining the Best and the Brightest

  • Peter Aucoin
  • Herman Bakvis

Abstract

In discussions of state policy capacity one area that is often neglected is the recruitment, retention and development of professional staff. This chapter addresses this issue by examining the effects of public service reform on government policy capacity in respect of the quality of public service staff. In doing so it argues that public service reforms over the past two decades — or at least in countries that have been highly receptive to the new public management paradigm — and a general political climate that is critical of bureaucracies have made it difficult to recruit and retain ‘the best and the brightest’. This is a critical failing for those regimes in which public servants are expected to function as ‘partners in governance’ with political executives, having leadership roles in respect of corporate, government-wide responsibilities as well as for individual departmental or agency responsibilities.

Keywords

Vortex Marketing Coherence Arena Defend 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aijala, Kirsi (2001) Public Sector — An Employer of Choice? Report on the Competitive Public Employment Project (Paris: OECD).Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong, Jim, Nick Mulder and Russ Robinson (2002) Strengthening Policy Capacity: Report on Interviews with Senior Managers (Ottawa: The Governance Network).Google Scholar
  3. Aucoin, Peter (1995) The New Public Management: Canada in Comparative Perspective (Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy).Google Scholar
  4. Aucoin, Peter and Donald J. Savoie (1998) Managing Strategic Change: Learning from Program Review (Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Management Development).Google Scholar
  5. Australian Management Advisory Committee (2003) Organizational Renewal (Canberra: Public Service Commission).Google Scholar
  6. Australian Public Service Commission (2003) New Challenges for the Australian Public Service (Canberra: Public Service Commission).Google Scholar
  7. Australian Public Service and Merit Protection Commission (2000) Building Corporate Capability: The APS in Transition (Canberra: Public Service and Merit Protection Commission).Google Scholar
  8. Bakvis, Herman (2000) ‘Rebuilding Policy Capacity in the Era of the Fiscal Dividend’, Governance, vol. 13 (1 January), pp. 71–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bakvis, Herman and Luc Juillet (2004) The Horizontal Challenge: Line Departments, Central Agencies and Leadership (Ottawa: Canada School of Public Service).Google Scholar
  10. Belcourt, Monica and Simon Taggar (2002) ‘Making Government the Best Place to Work: Building Commitment’, New Directions, vol. 8, pp. 1–43.Google Scholar
  11. Boston, Jonathan (2000) ‘Organizing for Service Delivery: Criteria and Opportunities’, in B. G. Peters and D. Savoie (eds), Governance in the Twenty-first Century (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press and Canadian Centre for Management Development).Google Scholar
  12. Boston, Jonathan, John Martin, June Pallot and Patrick Walsh (1996) Public Management: The New Zealand Model (Auckland: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  13. Bourgon, Jocelyne (1997) Fourth Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada (Ottawa: Privy Council Office).Google Scholar
  14. Bourgon, Jocelyne (1998) Fifth Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada (Ottawa: Privy Council Office).Google Scholar
  15. Bourgon, Jocelyne (2002) ‘A Unified Public Service: Does it Matter?’, paper presented at the CPAM Biennial Conference, Glasgow, 11 September.Google Scholar
  16. Brans, Marleen and Diederik Vancoppenolle (2003) ‘The Professionalization of Policy Analysis’, paper presented at the conference on Challenges to State Policy Capacity, City University of Hong Kong, 5–6 April.Google Scholar
  17. Cabinet Office (2004) Civil Service Reform: Delivery and Values (London: Cabinet Office).Google Scholar
  18. Campbell, Colin (2001) ‘Juggling Inputs, Outputs, and Outcomes in the Search for Policy Competence: Recent Experiences in Australia’, Governance, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 253–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Campbell, Colin and John Halligan (1992) Political Leadership in an Age of Constraint: The Experience of Australia (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press).Google Scholar
  20. Canadian Public Service Commission (2002a) The Road Ahead: Recruitment and Retention Challenges for the Public Service (Ottawa: Public Service Commission, February).Google Scholar
  21. Canadian Public Service Commission (2002b) Executive Succession Reconsidered: Planning for the Public Service (Ottawa: Public Service Commission).Google Scholar
  22. Canadian Treasury Board Secretariat (1999) Building a World Class Workforce (Ottawa: Treasury Board Secretariat).Google Scholar
  23. Christensen, Tom (2001) ‘Administrative Reform: Changing Leadership Roles?’, Governance, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 457–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Christensen, Tom and Per Lægreid (2003) ‘Autonomization and policy capacity — the dilemmas and challenges facing political executives’, paper presented at the conference on Challenges to State Policy Capacity, City University of Hong Kong, 5–6 April.Google Scholar
  25. Foster, C. D. (2001) ‘The Civil Service Under Stress: The Fall in Civil Service Power and Authority’, Public Administration vol. 79, no. 3, pp. 725–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Galt, Virginia (2002) ‘Governments Looking for a Few Good Workers’, The Globe and Mail, 31 December.Google Scholar
  27. Gregory, Robert (2003) ‘All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men: Putting New Zealand’s Public Sector Back Together Again,’ International Public Management Review, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 41–58.Google Scholar
  28. Halligan, John (1993) ‘Policy Advice and the Public Service’, in B. G. Peters and D. Savoie (eds), Governance in a Changing Environment (Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press and Canadian Centre for Management Development).Google Scholar
  29. Halligan, John (2001) ‘Politicians, Bureaucrats and Public Sector Reform in Australia and New Zealand’, in Guy Peters and Jon Pierre (eds), Politicians, Bureaucrats and Administrative Reform (London: Routledge), pp. 157–68.Google Scholar
  30. Halligan, John and John Power (1992) Political Management in the 1990s (Melbourne: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  31. Himelfarb, Alex (2003) Tenth Annual Report to the Prime Minister of Canada on the Public Service of Canada (Ottawa: Privy Council Office).Google Scholar
  32. Hood, Christopher (2000) ‘Relations Between Ministers/Politicians and Public Servants: Public Service Bargains Old and New’, in B. G. Peters and D. Savoie (eds), Governance in the Twenty-first Century (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press and Canadian Centre for Management Development).Google Scholar
  33. Ingraham, Patricia, B. Guy Peters and Donald Moynihan (2000) ‘Public Employment and the Future of the Public Service’, in B. G. Peters and D. Savoie (eds), Governance in the Twenty-first Century (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press and Canadian Centre for Management Development).Google Scholar
  34. Keating, Michael (2003) ‘In the Wake of “A Certain Maritime Incident”: Ministerial Advisers, Departments and Accountability’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 92–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kroeger, Arthur and Jeff Heynen (2003) Making Transitions Work: Integrating External Executives into the Federal Public Service (Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Management Development).Google Scholar
  36. Lægreid, Per (2000) ‘Top Civil Servants Under Contract’, Public Administration, vol. 78 no. 4, pp. 879–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lindquist, Evert (1998) ‘Getting Results Right: Reforming Ottawa’s Estimates’, in Les Pal (ed.), How Ottawa Spends (Toronto: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  38. Matheson, Craig (2001) ‘Staff Selection in the Australian Public Service: A History of Social Closure’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 43–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. New Zealand State Services Commission (1998) Assessment of the State of the New Zealand Public Service (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar
  40. New Zealand State Services Commission (1999a) Briefing for the Minister of State Services (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar
  41. New Zealand State Services Commission (1999b) High Fliers: Developing High Performing Policy Units (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar
  42. New Zealand State Services Commission (1999c) Measuring Human Resource Capability in the Public Service (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar
  43. New Zealand State Services Commission (1999d) Minds Over Matter: Human Resources Issues Affecting the Quality of Policy Advice (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar
  44. New Zealand State Services Commission (2000) Pieces of the Puzzle: Machinery of Government and the Quality of Policy Advice (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar
  45. New Zealand State Services Commission (2001) A Cross-Jurisdictional Scan of Practices in Senior Public Services: Implications for New Zealand (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar
  46. New Zealand State Services Commission (2002a) Career Progression and Development Survey 2002: Results for the New Zealand Public Service — Highlights (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar
  47. New Zealand State Services Commission (2002b) Human Resource Capability Survey of Public Service Departments (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar
  48. New Zealand State Services Commission (2002c) The Review from the Centre — One Year On: Getting Better Results for Citizens, Ministers and Staff (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar
  49. New Zealand State Services Commission (2002d) Senior Leadership and Management Development (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar
  50. OECD (2001) ‘Developing Public Sector Leadership for the 21st Century — Executive Summary’, in Public Sector Leadership for the 21st Century (Paris: OECD).Google Scholar
  51. OECD (2002a) ‘Public Service as an Employer of Choice’, OECD Observer, June.Google Scholar
  52. OECD (2002b) Distributed Public Governance: Agencies, Authorities and other Government Bodies. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  53. Office of the Civil Service Commissioners (2001) Wanted — Diverse Talent For a Modern Civil Service (London: Office of the Civil Service Commissioners).Google Scholar
  54. Pierre, Jon (1993) ‘The Marketization of the State: Citizens, Consumers, and the Emergence of the Public Market’, in B. G. Peters and D. Savoie (eds), Governance in a Changing Environment (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press and Canadian Centre for Management Development).Google Scholar
  55. Podger, A. S. (2002) ‘Beyond Westminster: Defining an Australian Approach to the Roles and Values of the Public Service in the 21st Century’, paper presented at the IPAA Seminar, Canberra, 2 May.Google Scholar
  56. Podger, Andrew (2003a) ‘The Public Sector of the Future’, paper presented at the Government Business Conference, Terrigal, NSW, 27 February.Google Scholar
  57. Podger, Andrew (2003b) ‘Innovation with Integrity — the public sector leadership imperative to 2020’, paper at the national conference of the presented Institute of Public Administration of Australia, Brisbane, 24–28 November.Google Scholar
  58. Pollitt, Christopher (2000) ‘How Do We Know How Good Public Services Are?’, in B. G. Peters and D. Savoie (eds), Governance in the Twenty-first Century (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press and Canadian Centre for Management Development).Google Scholar
  59. Pollitt, Christopher (2003) ‘Ministries and Agencies: Steering, Meddling, Neglect and Dependency’, paper presented at the conference on Challenges to State Policy Capacity: Global Trends and Comparative Perspectives,. Hong Kong, 5–6 April.Google Scholar
  60. Pollitt, Christopher and G. Bouckaert (2000) Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  61. Reid, Gary, Suzanne Liska and Jacqueline Mochai (2002) The Accelerated Executive Development Program (AEXDP) (Ottawa: Hay Group, for the Public Service Commission of Canada).Google Scholar
  62. Roberts, Alasdair (2001) ‘Altered States: Public Service Restructuring and Governmental Capacity’, in R. Chaykowski (ed.), Globalization and the Canadian Economy (Kingston: School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University).Google Scholar
  63. Ryan, Bill (2003) ‘Harder yards ahead: The second stage of public sector reform in New Zealand’, International Review of Public Administration, vol. 8, no. 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Saint-Martin, Denis (2000) Building the New Managerialist State: Consultants and the Politics of Public Sector Reform in Comparative Perspective (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  65. Schick, Allen (1996) The Spirit of Reform: Managing the New Zealand State Sector in a Time of Change (Wellington: State Services Commission).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Aucoin
  • Herman Bakvis

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations