Taking Stock: Assessing Public Sector Reforms (collective work)

Edited by B. Guy Peters and Donald J. Savoie
McGill-Queen's University Press
1998, 417 pages
ISBN 0-7735-1743-x

In the last two decades governments have invested a great deal of time, money, and political capital in reforms to make the public sector more efficient. They have, however, invested little in evaluating the effectiveness of their efforts, accepting many of the reforms because of a belief in a particular approcoach to governing or an ideological commitment on the part of politicians. This collection of essays "takes stock" of these reform measures and their impact on public administration.

This volume offers the reader an international perspective on some important public sector reforms that have occurred in a number of countries over the past fifteen years. Despite the difficulty of assessing the long-term impact of the civil service reform initiatives in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, France, the United States, and other developed countries, the authors of the following chapters have richly documented some of the successes and failures of these various reform initiatives. Their individual contributions raise fundamental questions about the impact of the reform movement on the future role of the public service, on the administrative structures and policy-making capacity of governments, and on public sector values and accountability, among others. A concluding chapter draws out some of the lessons learned form the various reform efforts and makes some predictions about what we may expect from future reform initiatives.

About the Author: Donald Savoie holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance (Tier 1) at the Université de Moncton. He has won numerous awards, including the 2016 Donner Prize for What Is Government Good At? He has been made an Officer of the Order of Canada (1993), elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1992), and received seven honorary doctorates from Canadian universities.