Author Archives: Andrew Podger

Andrew Podger

About Andrew Podger

Andrew Stuart Podger, AO is a retired Australian senior public servant. He is currently Professor of Public Policy at the Australian National University.

Engaging with China about public administration reform

As some politicians and commentators call for containment of China, it is time to put forward the case for engagement instead. It can only assist with our understanding of China’s huge challenges, and maybe  help encourages continuing reform.

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We Need a Royal Commission into Robodebt

A Royal Commission into Robodebt could shed light on future policy and administration issues, some going beyond social security writes Whiteford, Podger and Stanton from ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy.

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Federalism does not need an ongoing ‘National Cabinet’

Australia has so far been successful in its response to the COVID 19 pandemic, a major reason being the constructive role of the ‘National Cabinet’. But there is good reason to be highly sceptical about the ongoing role for the … Continue reading

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Book Review: “Hidden Hand” – Exposing how the Chinese communist party is reshaping the world (The Conversation 10.7.20)

In Hidden Hand, China scholars Clive Hamilton and Marieke Ohlberg examine the Chinese Communist Party’s influence in Europe and North America in a similar way to how Hamilton dissected the CCP’s influence in Australia in his 2018 book, Silent Invasion.

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ANDREW PODGER. New Normals: Likely, Unlikely and to aim for. Part 2

A desirable new normal in economic and social policy will require a new normal in Australian politics. For a decade or more we have suffered from hyper-partisanship and the constant campaign. Good policy is no longer recognised as good politics. … Continue reading

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ANDREW PODGER. New Normals: Likely, Unlikely and to aim for. Part 1

As governments transition out of the current restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help the economy towards recovery, it is worth exploring what the future might or should look like.

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ANDREW PODGER. COVID-19 crisis shows a strong public service is vital

The convid-19 epidemic has shown how much Australia relies on an effective public service, free from politics. This, however, is in spite of the over-politicisation and under-resourcing of the service over recent years.

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ANDREW PODGER. In defence of an apolitical, professional public service( The Mandarin 24.2.2020)

I cannot let Laurie Patton’s opinion piece go unchallenged. It is a recipe of despair in its dismissal of fundamental principles of responsible government.

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ANDREW PODGER.The ‘sports rorts’ affair shows the government misunderstands the role of the public service.(The Conversation 30.1.2020)

The government’s defence of Bridget McKenzie and the prime minister’s call for advice from the head of his department reveal a remarkable misunderstanding (or, less surprisingly, a remarkable misrepresentation) of the respective roles of ministers and administrators.

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ANDREW PODGER.-Trying to make sense of the Thodey Report and Morrison’s Response:(The Conversation 19.12.2019)

The final report of the Independent Review of the APS is much more substantial than its Interim Report. That is hardly a high hurdle, but its 18 page bibliography suggests considerable reflection beyond the (mostly disappointing) submissions and commissioned papers.

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ANDREW PODGER.- Grattan Ducks its own Push for a Sensible Discussion of Private Health Insurance.

In their first ‘Saving Private Insurance’ report in August, Stephen Duckett and Kristina Nemet from the Grattan Institute presented a most helpful framework for assessing the future role of private health insurance in Australia in the context of our universal … Continue reading

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ANDREW PODGER. Politics and Administration under the Second Morrison Government: Making the Partnership Work.

The relationship between politics and administration has been likened to the Chinese Yin and Yang: a dichotomy of almost opposites but simultaneously a complementary partnership in which neither can survive without the other. That is the challenge the new Morrison … Continue reading

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ANDREW PODGER. More Carefully Designed, a Stage Three Tax Measure Could Be a Responsible and Genuine Reform

At the time of last year’s budget, I wrote a [1] revealing how neither the Government’s nor the Labor Party’s then proposed tax changes would simplify the personal income tax system or offer genuine long-term reform. This was largely because … Continue reading

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Andrew Podger. Australia’s ‘welfare system’: Family assistance and tax elements.

Policy Series While it is important to consider our tax and transfer arrangements as a single integrated system, there are various (overlapping) parts to it: retirement incomes (including superannuation tax arrangements and the age pension), the core welfare system (pensions … Continue reading

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Andrew Podger and Peter Whiteford. Inequality and Australia’s Welfare System

Policy Series Inequality is a complex issue. It is affected by many factors, so that it can increase as a result of beneficial changes as well as socially undesirable ones, and can decrease because of changes that reduce overall social … Continue reading

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Andrew Podger. A fair, effective and sustainable retirement incomes system.

Fairness, Opportunity and Security Policy series edited by Michael Keating and John Menadue. In his introduction to this series, Ken Henry said he could not recall a poorer quality debate, on almost any issue, than what we have had in … Continue reading

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Andrew Podger. Integrating aged pensions and superannuation.

Just as the Abbott government sorely needs a coherent health policy, welfare policy and family assistance policy, it should also put time and effort in 2015 into investing in a coherent approach to retirement incomes instead of focusing narrowly on … Continue reading

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Andrew Podger – Health reform, co-payments, fee for service and doctor contracts.

The recent suggestion of a modest user charge on patients of bulk-billing doctors, and the immediate reaction in the media, suggests the need for a more careful study of the appropriate role of co-payments in our health insurance system, and … Continue reading

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