Managing Public Expenditure in Australia  book cover
1st Edition

Managing Public Expenditure in Australia

ISBN 9781864487138
Published February 1, 2001 by Routledge
368 Pages

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Book Description

How do Australian governments budget? How well do they spend and manage our money?

Governments seem to be locked in a constant struggle with the problems of budgeting. Cabinet never has enough resources to go around, and while some agencies 'guard' public expenditure, others find endless ways to make new claims on budgets.

Managing Public Expenditure in Australia provides the first systematic analysis of government budgeting and the politics of the budgetary process. Drawing on extensive original sources, the authors examine debates and reforms in public finance from Whitlam and Fraser to Hawke, Keating and Howard, and assess their impacts on policy development. In tracking the way governments actually spend money, Managing Public Expenditure in Australia provides an alternate and complementary political history of federal government over the past forty years.

This book also includes accessible discussions on topics such as budget theory, financial management in government, and debt and deficit reduction. An explanation of new resource management techniques and initiatives help to illuminate the ongoing changes to budget and expenditure management practices.

This is an essential purchase for students, teachers and practitioners of public finance, and for anyone involved in the continuing debate over the nature and role of the public sector.

Table of Contents


Abbreviations and Acronyms

1. Budgets and Public Expenditure in Democratic Society

2. Understanding the Australian Budgetary System

3. Great Expectations: the Promise of Early Budget Reforms

4. The Enduring 'Problem' of Treasury

5. Splitting the Treasury: Humpty's Great Fall

6. More Control... More Spending: the paradox of the Fraser Years

7. Unfinished Business: Budget Reform Under Hawke

8. From Control to Management: the FMIP and Beyond

9. Surplus to Deficit: the Keating Roller-Coaster

10. The New Business of Budgeting: Expenditure Management Under Howard

11. Cutting Expenditures, Avoiding Deficits and Managing Surpluses

12. Is Public Expenditure Better Managed Now?




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JOHN WANNA is Professor of Politics and Public Policy at Griffith University. He is the co-author of Public Policy in Australia and Public Sector Management in Australia, and coeditor of the Australian Journal of Public Administration.

JOANNE KELLY is a principal research officer in Canada's Treasury Board Secretariat and a research associate of the Centre for Australian Public Sector Management (CAPSM).

JOHN FORSTER is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at Griffith University. He is a founding member of CAPSM and coeditor with John Wanna of Budgetary Management and Control.