James Whelan | The Drum

We often hear about ‘trimming the fat’ in the public service but is there enough thought behind this popular phrase? CPD public service program research director Dr. James Whelan joined panellists Tim Wilson, Andrew Clennell and Scott Stephens on ABC’s The Drum on Monday night to discuss the findings of our new study The State of the Australian Public Service: An Alternate Report.

The study found that despite an increase of in Australia’s population of some 3 million people, the number of public servants employed by the government are around the same as they were in 1990.

“Any claims about an exploding public service personnel need some scrutiny” said Dr. Whelan, “the surplus fetish at the moment is the main basis for that argument”.

Increasing community expectation on the public service places current public servants under greater strain; politically they are “caught in the headlights” as conservative ministers call for dramatic slashes to their budgets. However our study has found that the prevailing community attitude supports an increase in funding to APS if it would result in better services.

Discover the facts behind the rhetoric.

WATCH Dr. Whelan and the panel on ABC’s The Drum here

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