• Service: Advisory, Management Consulting, Topics, Federal Budget, Government, Public service reform
  • Industry: Government, Federal Government
  • Type: Business and industry issue, Regulatory update
  • Date: 13/05/2014

Tax Insights

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Michael Hiller

Michael Hiller
National Leader, Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare

+61 7 3233 3299

Federal Budget 2014: Contestability framework 

by Michael Hiller, National Leader - Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare



One of the more understated initiatives in the Federal Budget is the implementation of a contestability framework for the review of government functions.

Around the world, there is a realisation that continuing to manage government activities in the same way will not achieve the step change required to protect public service provision into the future.


A different approach is required. One that encourages the development of a sustainable public sector economy supporting a wide range of delivery models and providers, and the market behaviours to better influence cost, quality and productivity outcomes.


By focusing on the public sector’s core activities – regulation, policy and service delivery – contestability involves rethinking the role of government and shifting the public sector mindset from ‘need to deliver’ to ‘responsible for outcome’.


We are seeing contestability frameworks being used to test government services to ensure the public is provided with the best possible outcomes at the best possible price and quality.


Effective market engagement is fundamental to this. Contestability encourages the public sector to effectively engage with the market and providers - whether private sector or not-for-profit, multinationals or small business – as well as with citizens.


These diverse connections are critical for encouraging the innovation required to deliver services for a lot less as well as to provide the services that the public really wants, not just those that they are used to getting.


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Federal Budget 2015

Federal Budget 2015
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Contestability: Rethinking public service delivery

This factsheet provides an overview of the concept of contestability and how governments are using it to 'shake-up' public service delivery.

Contestability frameworks: An approach for governments

Globally, governments are using contestability frameworks to reshape public service delivery as they seek to prepare for the challenges of the future.