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Performance reporting and other services to government bodies

The Commission provides secretariat services to the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, and has done so since the Review’s commencement in 1993. The Steering Committee’s major outputs are a collaborative effort, with more than 80 Commonwealth, State and Territory government agencies contributing to: the Report on Government Services; the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators report; and the Indigenous Expenditure Report.

Report on Government Services

The Report on Government Services 2019 was the twenty‑fourth in this series. The Report provides comparative performance information on 17 government service delivery areas that contribute to the wellbeing of Australians — spanning child care, education and training, health, justice, community services, emergency management, housing and homelessness. The services covered in the 2019 Report collectively account for $235 billion of government recurrent expenditure, equivalent to about 14 per cent of GDP. As part of the continued development of the Report, a staged transition to interactive online reporting commenced in 2018‑19 with the transition of Housing and Homelessness material.

Complementary to the national performance reporting on government services, the first pilot review on ‘what works’ to improve service outcomes was completed. The review considered what works to support carers of older people with dementia to prevent or delay entry into residential aged care. A second review, which relates to systems for protecting children, is due to be completed in 2019‑20.

Reporting specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

The Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators (OID) report, commissioned by COAG in 2002, measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The latest report was the seventh edition of the report and was released in November 2016.

COAG agreed to the reporting of Indigenous expenditure in 2007, with the Productivity Commission assuming secretariat responsibilities in November 2008. The Indigenous Expenditure Report (IER) seeks to contribute to understanding of the levels and patterns of expenditure on services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians across over 150 expenditure categories. The report does not attempt to assess the adequacy, effectiveness or efficiency of government expenditure. The latest IER was published in October 2017, and was the fourth edition.

In May 2019, consultations commenced to consider what is produced for these reports (content and presentation) and how it is produced (governance). Outcomes from these consultations will be considered in 2019‑20 including implications for the next OID report which is expected to be released in late 2020.

National Agreement reporting

The Commission supports the provision of information to assess performance against the six National Agreements agreed by COAG under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations. During 2018‑19, the Steering Committee collated performance information for the National Indigenous Reform Agreement, and incorporated applicable indicators and data from the other five National Agreements in its Report on Government Services.

Performance Reporting Dashboard

In addition to the reports the Commission publishes on behalf of the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, the Commission also maintains the COAG Performance Reporting Dashboard. In 2018‑19, the Commission published its second update of the Dashboard, which provides a single, streamlined source of information on progress towards COAG’s key commitments.