For me this is a fascinating subject, and definitely combines my two loves, people and business. With a background in commerce and psychology, I've always been interested in how these come together.
There is no doubt that today governments at all levels are facing major fiscal challenges. And as a result, they are looking for ways to manage their debt, more innovatively finance key infrastructure projects, and make the most of flatter revenue streams.
"Deeply understanding our client's challenges helps us develop inventive ways to resolve them."
National Partner in Charge, Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare
At the same time, the community's expectations of the services and infrastructure they receive from government is changing, with growing demands that these better reflect the recipient's specific circumstances.
Think beyond the square
Ensuring government can meet such diverse needs today, and well into the future, requires new thinking and new approaches. How such challenges have been dealt with in the past isn't going to deliver the efficiency and service outcomes that are now required. New ways are needed.
Government is increasingly less a self-contained box – the sole supplier of all public services – and more an integrated system that embraces partnerships to tackle ever-increasing and complex challenges.
I believe that not only must government use its strategic partners to help create an active market for the most cost-effective provision of services but that the organisations they work with need to ensure they too have the right skills and capabilities in place to help. KPMG is no different.
Governments are acknowledging that they don't have all the answers and are increasingly empowering communities to look for their own solutions and to define the services that they really want and value.
Put simply, governments can no longer try to be all things to all people.
With the reality of continuing fiscal constraints, this will increase as the search continues for more efficient and more relevant ways to deliver public services.
For those looking to fully engage with government as they look to bring in 'outside' ideas, influences and expertise, opportunities will grow. Especially as governments change how they interact with their communities to become more citizen-focused.
Walk this way – putting ourselves into our client's shoes
For KPMG this means deeply understanding the unique challenges facing the public sector, especially regarding infrastructure and healthcare. We can then bring an informed perspective to the complex issues and help to develop new ideas and approaches to resolve them. This can include facilitating new alliances or partnerships between both public, private and not-for profit sectors, helping to create innovative strategies to help manage these complex challenges.
From my experience working across all levels of government in Australia and also in the energy, natural resources and financial services industries, I understand that sometimes organisations must be more open and ready to take risks to tackle their challenges. Government is no different. Big changes are sometimes required and this can’t always be achieved in small incremental ways or by just doing more of the same.
There are unique opportunities for government to establish collaborative partnerships to address the challenges. With the right partners, some new ideas and long term thinking, I am confident Australian governments can achieve positive change and create new ways of delivering services to citizens beyond everyone's expectations.
The strategic conversations taking place and the new approaches in play makes right now an exciting time to be working across the infrastructure, government and healthcare sectors.