Monday, January 23, 2012

Joining-up: Experiences from the US and Australia

One of the great highlights of 2011 was the chance to work with G. Edward DeSeve, former special advisor to President Barack Obama and Adviser to Vice President Biden. Ed oversaw the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which involved spending near to US$800 billion to stimulate the US economy. Ed has written of his experience in a great report for the IBM Center for the Business of Government and you can download it for free here.

Ed spoke with a group of senior public servants from the Australian Public Service in a Crawford Inaugural Masterclass about how he used a network approach to deliver public value and how he managed the oversight of spending through an innovative web-based model. You can see this in action at where every dollar spent, every grant made is able to be tracked.

I spoke about Australian experiments with joined-up government, largely based on the large research project I have been involved with, and reflecting particular on a recent publication on the success and failure of this in relation to Indigenous Coordination Centres which was published in 2011 in the International Journal of Public Administration,  and available from my webpage here.

In addition to learning about the various aspects of his role and his deep and rich experience in serving in several administrations in the US, one of the favourite stories of the day for the participants was Ed's sparring with the satirist Stephen Colbert. A quick summary is here and Colbert's site has video.

This was the first of a series of of Masterclasses that will run at the Crawford School via the Australian National Institute of Public Policy. The next one that I will be involved in will be on Capability Reviews in the Australian Public Service later in 2012.

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