Whole of Government Approaches: Filling Holes or Holistic Governance?

Van Gramberg, Bernadine (2003) Whole of Government Approaches: Filling Holes or Holistic Governance? Working Paper. Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.


Years of public sector outsourcing, contracting out and privatisation have contributed to the entrenchment of boundaries between government agencies. Together with the natural tendency of bureaucracies to departmentalise their work, this has created independently operating functional silos. In practical terms, it means that with both public and private bodies providing government services, the integration of those services is more difficult and there are gaps in information flow and service provision. Public-private boundaries are formal and often based on strict contractual terms. Whilst some may argue that this is a structural failing of government-private enterprise partnerships, the solution in the main has been to use a joined up approach (UK) or whole of government approach (Australia) in which individual gaps are filled rather than universal solutions imposed. This paper considers these debates in the whole of government approach. The paper commences with a discussion of outsourcing and privatisation and their associated problems for government, before moving to the solutions posed by governments. The paper argues that despite its connotations, whole of government approaches are not designed to provide universal solutions to connect the whole of government, but rather, they represent a reactive, ad-hoc array of individual solutions, often reliant on non-government actors to attend to particular cases.

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Item type Monograph (Working Paper)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/159
DOI 22
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Keywords whole of government; public sector outsourcing; privatisation; information flow; service provision; government-private
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