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'Ways to Improve Australia #2: Government Spending Should Be Removed From the Control of Politicians'






     Australia needs an Independent Board such as the Reserve Bank Board to oversee government spending.

I strongly feel of all the 101 Ways To Improve Australia I have listed in this book, this is perhaps the simplest and most effective way to improve Australia.

Why leave something as important as government spending in the hands of elected politicians and current governments?

The money wasted on defence spending and unsuitable defence equipment is a good example. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been wasted.

In a recent survey by global consultants McKinsey, the US and Australia came at the bottom of a list of 33 countries ranked according to how efficiently they spent their defence budgets in the analysis prepared.

The US-based company was called in by the Rudd Government to carry out a massive internal search for waste in the Australian Defence Force and the Department of Defence. It recommended that the government should force Defence to find savings of $20 billion over a decade to help pay for major purchases of ships, submarines, aircraft and guns.

That advice triggered an extensive waste elimination program within the department.

The McKinsey study says the US and Australia are the world's worst performing countries with regard to "equipment output for every dollar spent".

When governments provide free money we should not be surprised that there are strong incentives to take it.

The Building the Education Revolution (BER) program is a case in point. Julia Gillard's critics claim she was responsible for overseeing the spending of $16.2 billion on the BER, including a $1.7 billion blowout and up to $8 billion in waste through mismanagement, gouging and state government substitution.

The Victorian Auditor-General, Des Pearson said he would examine the outcomes of the BER work conducted in that state, judged by a federal task force as being slow, lacking quality and at times providing questionable value for money, as part of a broad assessment of waste and budget overruns in major projects.

Critics of the BER program claim huge cost overruns have been committed and covered up. As a nation, Australia eventually outlaid upwards of $16 billion of funding to get maybe as little as $10 billion worth of projects on a value-formoney basis.

NSW alone appears to have chalked up a figure of almost $1 billion in inflated costs on BER projects.

Two of the more important reasons the BER program has witnessed such blowouts is that the commonwealth is not good at overseeing state procurement and states and territories have vastly different procurement practices and planning expertise on the ground.

Some states, such as NSW, do not appear to have had a strict control over their costing structures and may not have used robust benchmarking of costs of similar projects in commissioning their educational investments under BER.

Is Julia Gillard accountable for these things? Perhaps not directly, but she authorised the program knowing these factors were present.

Some states were given next to no time to digest what they were being asked to provide and do. She is also guilty of being too specific in the insistence on classrooms, halls and libraries when schools often wanted other facilities or more integrated infrastructure. She is also culpable for not monitoring the cost overruns with which the states were complicit. And not exercising value for money criteria is unlawful under commonwealth financial laws.

Most of the accountability for poor oversight goes to state education departments and treasuries that gladly spent federal dollars with some abandon.

When over-spending does occur on projects such as the BER, the commonwealth can opt to provide extra funds to ensure the facilities are completed, or it can claim the program is capped and then projects will have to be cut or left incomplete.

This is a strong example of the current government repeatedly proving their ideology is to over-spend, invent new taxes, run up ever increasing deficits by overspending and then create a need to invent still more taxes.

This dangerous cycle, combined with allowing individuals who have little or no financial management experience to run an entire economy, especially one as large as Australia, is economic suicide.

It also leads to vote buying, abuse of the democratic process and enables minority factions to control what is meant to be a majority ruled democratic system.

Imagine if interest rates were set by the Treasurer? How this would be influenced by popular politics? It clearly wouldn't work!

This is why an independent Reserve Bank board is free to operate without undue government influence. The Reserve Bank Board has skilled and experienced business people recruited to the board, not individual politicians who usually lack the business or financial skills required for such an important task.

I strongly believe Australia must and should move to electing an Independent Board filled with the best business and finance brains the country can hire to oversee and manage government spending and to recommend and find efficiencies and cost savings in the public sector.

This would put the power of tax revenue back in the hands of the people and away from the clutches of inexperienced, biased and often incompetent politicians who have clearly shown they can't be trusted with the most important part of running a country that is, its economic management.

This change alone would revolutionise our political system and bring true accountability to our spending and ensure Australia's wealth is no longer squandered to minority interests or biased and/or unskilled, or simply incompetent politicians.

Combined with my idea of a political system where voters get to vote on major policy this would ensure power is put back into the hands of voters who truly care and want to have their say in how our country is run.

Jamie McIntyre is the founder of the 21st Century Group of companies and CEO of 21st Century Education. He is also bestselling author, successful entrepreneur, investor, sought after success coach, internationally renowned speaker and world-leading educator. www.jamiemcintyre.com

Jamie McIntyre is the founder of the 21st Century Group of companies and CEO of 21st Century Education. He is also bestselling author, successful entrepreneur, investor, sought after success coach, internationally renowned speaker and world-leading educator. http://www.jamiemcintyre.com






Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com

Jamie McIntyre is the founder of the 21st Century Group of companies and CEO of 21st Century Education. He is also bestselling author, successful entrepreneur, investor, sought after success coach, internationally renowned speaker and world-leading educator. www.jamiemcintyre.com


Posted on 2013-02-05, By: *

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