whole_AbdulaiKuyiniMohammed2007_thesis.pdf (23.7 MB)
Municipal reforms in Tasmania : the impact of the purchaser-provider split on service delivery in Hobart and Sorell councils
thesisposted on 2023-05-27, 00:08 authored by Abdulai, KM
This thesis examines the purchaser-provider split in the contexts of two Tasmanian local government areas ‚ÄövÑvÆ Hobart and Sorell. In particular, it addresses whether the focus of the purchaser has been redirected in a way that prioritises the assessment and meeting of the needs of public service customers over the hitherto preoccupation with service production. This implies a clear shift of emphasis from inputs and processes to outputs and outcomes. In proceeding with that assessment, other research is reviewed along with the presentation of the results of the council case studies. The study investigates whether that split has had an effect on councils' total service spending, employment and organisational culture and practices. The behaviour of these variables over time then provides the basis for determining whether there is an asymmetry in outcomes between the two councils as a result of the introduction of the purchaser-provider split. The thesis uses a longitudinal research design to analyse data collected from interviews and secondary sources such as reports, strategic and annual plans, and newsletters. This thesis finds that local governments in Tasmania are still preoccupied with inputs and processes regardless of whether services are delivered by internal or external providers. The purchaser-provider split has been found to be unrelated to service category-level spending. The introduction of the model has not led to reductions in total municipal service spending but has decreased employment. The impact of the split on quality of services is unknown. Concern with outputs is evident although this has a weak relation to outcomes. The purchaser's attention has been drawn more to achieving outputs than outcomes, even though both are supposedly its responsibility. This evidence, although mixed, does serve to qualify earlier research results which posited improvements in delivery outcome through the split for some services.
Rights statementCopyright 2007 the Author Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references. Introduction -- Ch. 1. Public sector reform -- Ch. 2. Ideas and theories underpinning public sector reform -- Ch. 3. The purchaser-provider split -- Ch. 4. Local government reform in Australia -- Ch. 5. The modernisation of local government in Tasmania -- Ch. 6. Reform in Hobart and Sorell councils -- Ch. 7. Institutional changes in Hobart and Sorell councils -- Ch. 8. Purchaser-provider split: theory and evidence from Hobart and Sorell councils -- Conclusion