Topic: The future of Australian governance

Policy Implementation through Market and Choice Mechanisms

The 2020 summit could be extended to bring choice and “a market place of ideas” into policy formulation, selection and implementation.

2020 is a way to obtain ideas. The conference is meant to sort through the submissions and give the government a set of ideas worth considering. The next step as we understand it, is for the government bureaucracy to develop the ideas selected and decide on those worth implementing. The final step will be for the government to either implement the policies themselves or to tender the implementation of the policies to other organisations.

The problem with this process is that it is a one-off, and that choice and variety is reduced as the process continues. What is needed is a continuing market place for ideas, evaluation and for implementation.

Rather than the government evaluating the ideas or appointing a commission or study and selecting those worth considering
, why not put the evaluation process up for tender? Let the government appoint three groups from the bidders and make their evaluations available for public scrutiny and comment. The government could then select the recommended bidder and ask that it prepare a tender for implementation. The selection process could be extended to involve interested groups who could give their input and their selection. The government and the group that prepared the tender then selects the most appropriate organisation – which could be an internal government body – to implement the system.

Every step – from submission of ideas to evaluation and implementation – could be developed into a continuous and ongoing process. It could be tried immediately on itself with the task of formulating policy on how to make the best use of the ideas from 2020.

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