2. What is “New Public Management‟? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend for the delivery of human services? What are its implications for non-government welfare organisations?
The early 1980s and 1990s saw the emergence of New Public Management (NPM) theory of running public organizations. This concept originated from the UK and USA during the times of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan. It has since been implemented in other OECD countries like Canada and New Zealand. In Australia NPM was introduced by the Hawke-Keating Governments (1983-96) and extended by the Howard Government (1996-2007). The governments of the time, increasingly under political pressure to cut down expenditure and administration costs turned to the public sector for ideas and hence the birth of the NPM (Gruening, 2001). This paper seeks to define NPM and list its advantages and disadvantages in the delivery of human services. The
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It appears as if people are currently being screened out of services rather than being screened in. Limits have also been put in place regarding how many times people can access a service for example one can only receive food vouchers (an emergency family service) 3 times a year, live in a specified area with proof of residence which screen out the homeless (Uniting Care Wesley website). This may not be enough for many people who are going hungry, but again reducing costs is the main focus. The introduction of NPM marked the departure of Australia from a welfare state to a post welfare state where welfare is no longer universal to all citizens but for a selected few (Jamrozik 2009). An example is the Australian Health System. Even though health provision is universal through Medicare, there is a gap between private and public health services. The rich can get services much quicker than the poor who only depend on Medicare. Jamrozik (2009) argues that complex surgery may be immediately available in the private sector while those on Medicare can wait for up to 3 years.
Outsourcing is risky because poorly managed contracts can result in cost overruns, wasted resources and impaired performance (Romzek and Johnston (2002) in Paulsen, 2006). This goes against the NPM main goal of cost cutting. Also, privatization promotes inequality among the public because it involves