The Rudd Government’s Employment Services Agenda: Is It Post-NPM and Why is That Important?
Australian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 69, No. 3, pp. 263-273, 2010
25 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 20, 2010
Perhaps the most potent symbol of the Howard Government’s faith in NPM was the Job Network. Interrogating the Rudd Government’s replacement package, this article assesses whether the recent restructuring of employment services constitutes a post-NPM environment. It is argued that there are major post-NPM elements, seen most clearly in: the softening of jobseeker sanctions; greater deliberation on policy direction and results; a more inclusive employment super-ministry and reliance on other ‘horizontal’ governance reforms; and enhanced government resources for multiple-disadvantage clients. However, categorising these changes as post-NPM is problematic because the steering mechanism remains the market-based contract, a central NPM characteristic. Theoretical difficulties in applying paradigmatic concepts to services provide additional barriers to conclusive assessments, though the Rudd Government’s employment services regime provides a basis for taking stock in the post-NPM debate.
Keywords: Rudd Government, employment services, Job Services Australia, post-NPM, public value, neo-Weberian state
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation