Advancing Public Sector Innovation
Patricia Kelly is a Deputy Secretary at the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and Chair of the Steering Committee overseeing the Public Sector Innovation Management Advisory Committee Project.
One of the issues that the Gov 2.0 Taskforce is looking at is how to “build a culture of online innovation within Government”. However, online innovation is only one component (albeit at important one) of the “innovation system” within the public sector. There is innovation in policy making, in program management, and in service delivery. There can be innovation in how the public sector interacts with citizens, stakeholders and clients outside of the digital realm. There can be innovation in how public problems are thought about and in how the public sector works with others to solve them. It may involve innovation at the organisational level. Many of these innovations overlay the Gov 2.0 sphere but the innovation system is broader than that.
The Review of the National Innovation System Venturous Australia: building strength in innovation identified public sector innovation as an area to be explored with significant potential for gains. Out of this, the Management Advisory Committee of the Australian Public Service is looking at the questions of how innovation in the public sector can be fostered and embedded in the culture. The Management Advisory Committee is a forum of Secretaries and Agency Heads that advises the Government on matters relating to the management of the APS. This project is liaising closely with the Gov 2.0 Taskforce, and will be reporting in a similar timeframe.
We have released a discussion paper setting out some of the main outstanding questions about how innovation in the public sector can be carried out more broadly. The discussion paper, and the associated call for submissions, can be found here. We would be grateful for any submissions entered by close of business on Friday 11 September – this is a complex issue and we are keen to get a number of different perspectives to inform the report.
The project team is also looking to form a loose network of people interested in these issues of the practice of innovation in the public sector. If you are keen to be involved, please email email@example.com noting your interest.
Let me finish this post with a question – if you had just one suggestion for the Management Advisory Committee on how innovation could be embedded in the culture of the APS, what would it be?