chapter  6
27 Pages

Contractualism and performance measurement in Australia

ByLinda McGuire

Robust indicators and measures are the holy grail of performance management. The quest is central to the shift to performance measurement reflecting broader change in public management in ‘NPM heartland’ of the United Kingdom (UK), New Zealand (NZ) and Australia. NPM is shorthand for the trend to reform public services to make them more performance oriented and customer-focused (PUMA 1996). In practice, comparative studies reveal considerable diversity between and within countries (PUMA 1997a; Pollitt and Bouckaert 2000). Diversity is evident even within NPM heartland between the UK, NZ and Australia. Variation is partly explained by country specific institutional constraints. In Australia these are a Westminster system of responsible parliamentary government, the distribution of power in a federal system, and the Australian tradition of public provision of social services (Davis 1997).