'Portfolios, Departments and Agencies: Tinkering with the Machinery-of-Government Map

Roger Wettenhall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Australian machinery-of-government terminology, a fairly well settled view of the role of portfolios, departments, ministers and agencies and their inter-relationships has long existed, based on Westminster-system foundations. There have, however, been some challenges to that view in recent years arising from the practice of some government leaders in establishing their new governments, and, in one particular case, a Commission of Audit report. This article looks particularly at how the traditional machinery-of-government understandings have been affected by such new government formations and Commission of Audit reporting. It finds that there has been some innovative 'tinkering' taking place. There is room for speculation as to how much this terminological experimentation will affect actual practice
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-116
Number of pages19
JournalAustralasian Parliamentary Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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