Public Service Reform
Over the last decade or so technical and policy-making capacity in government has declined. The proposals of the State Capture Commission on procurement recommend a new agency to combat corruption but do not include suggestions on how to make procurement easier, transparent, and effective.
We propose a civilian commission on government reform, focusing on the professionalisation of the civil service. Scholarly research on major government reforms from around the world suggests that thought leaders and trusted experts are key to reform initiatives. They are the ones who build trust and support for the initiatives in question and who give reform plans the requisite authority they need to be accepted. In this vein, we suggest a research and drafting exercise carried out in public, under the glare of the media, where proposals are frequently discussed in public forums (seminars, television, newspaper articles).
The plan is to lead an expert-driven process in the public domain to build support for the process and for the outcomes: detailed policy proposals that have been properly researched, costed, and modelled and that have support from the key stakeholders (senior civil servants, business, unions, and cabinet).