State sector still in need of a cull

20/08/2011

Roger Kerr asks a very good question:

Two things in my view are much more important than rearranging the bureaucratic furniture.

The first question that should be asked is whether we need parts of the furniture at all.
On coming to office John Key as minister of tourism abolished the Ministry of Tourism.  Has anybody noticed or cared?

I am sure there are still many parts of the furniture we don’t need and I neither noticed nor cared that the Tourism Ministry had gone.

Second, instead of focusing on restructuring the bureaucracy (often by establishing advisory groups of bureaucrats), the government would do better to focus on leadership by top quality CEOs . . .  The government would find that top CEOs would solve many of the problems of bureaucratic sprawl and inflated headcounts by themselves.

I am not among those who criticise high pay for state servants in general. The good ones earn their salaries and the best would more than justify their pay if they reversed the bureaucratic sprawl.

National has made a good start to reducing the burden of the state but there is still more to be done and good CEOs would play an important role in doing it.


Australian honour for Roger Kerr

02/08/2011

Sir Roger Kerr, executive director of the Business Roundtable has received an Alan McGregor Fellowship from Michael Darling, chair of the Centre for Independent Studies:

Business Roundtable chairman Roger Partridge said the awards are given to honour individuals who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of the principles of free markets, a liberal society, and personal responsibility.

“This is a great honour for Roger Kerr and the Business Roundtable and it’s great to see the work he and the organisation have done over the years recognised in this way. . .

Mr Darling noted in his citation that Roger Kerr “has personally commissioned, overseen and made extensive editorial contributions to all of the work produced by the Business Roundtable, totalling more than 200 books and reports and well over a thousand articles, op-eds, submissions, media releases, speeches and policy backgrounders.”

Mr Darling also quoted New Zealand Institute of Economic Research chairman Michael Walls who, in awarding Mr Kerr the 2001 NZEIR Qantas Economics Award, said: “No single individual has done more over the past 15 years to persuade important parts of the business sector to support economic policies which, though often contrary to the interests of individual firms, were in the interest of the country as a whole.”

That last sentence bears repeating: “No single individual has done more over the past 15 years to persuade important parts of the business sector to support economic policies which, though often contrary to the interests of individual firms, were in the interest of the country as a whole.”

People who promote economic liberalisation and personal responsibility are often criticised for being selfish. But it’s protection which helps individual businesses at the expense of other businesses, consuemrs and the country.

 Former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, was the only other award recipient.


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