The Jim Carlton Annual Integrity Lecture 2021

In this lecture Professor Glyn Davis AC speaks about the diminishment of the Australian Public Service’s (APS) capacity to provide 'frank and fearless' independent advice to governments. A loss of integrity and job security, loss of policy capacity, the ascendency of consultants over public service advice, and a drift of influence to ministerial staff who work outside public sector accountability frameworks are some of the areas of concern that have led to the APS’s diminished role within government. Glyn challenges us to rethink this loss of capability in our public agencies, and the consequences for integrity and informed debate in and beyond Parliament.

This lecture draws on Glyn’s recent experience as a member of the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service, commissioned by Prime Minister Turnbull and reporting late in 2019 as Our Public Service Our Future.

Jim Carlton was closely involved in the establishment of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, just one of his many contributions to high level policy advice and skilled administration. He was a Cabinet Minister in John Howard’s government, then became CEO of the Australian Red Cross and, later, a member of the Accountability Round Table (ART).

This lecture was a collaboration between the Accountability Round Table (ART) and the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies at the Melbourne Law School.

The ART is a non-partisan group of citizens with diverse backgrounds (journalists, lawyers, academics, former politicians and judges) and extensive experience in parliament, government and the courts. It is dedicated to improving standards of accountability, transparency, ethical behaviour and democratic practice in government across Australia.

The CCCS is a research centre based at Melbourne law School, the University of Melbourne. It undertakes and promotes research on constitutional law and government, and provides a focal point for scholars and practitioners interested in these areas.