Not what they seem: An analysis of strategic service delivery partnerships in local government

Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australasian Journal of Canadian Studies, 2010, 28 (2), pp. 59 - 74
Issue Date:
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Council amalgamation has always been the favoured policy instrument of almost all Australian state governments to increase the operational efficiency of local councils. However, a host of recent Australian state and national inquiries have concluded that shared service provision by groups of cooperating municipalities represents a superior means of achieving the same end. One consequence has been a concerted effort by British commercial companies to introduce Strategic Service Delivery Partnerships under the guise of shared service models into Australian local government. Using the example of the Ipswich City Council in the Australian state of Queensland, this paper argues that Strategic Service Delivery Partnerships do not constitute bona fide shared service PC!rtnerships, they do not overcome the well-known problems of traditional methods ofcontracting out complex council services, and they possess other unfortunate characteristics. This renders Strategic Service Delivery Partnerships unsuitable for most forms of local government service provision.
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