Policy implementation and administrative architecture : using the purchaser provider model to implement ACT health and community care delivery policy

  • James Patrick Collins

    Student thesis: Professional Doctorate


    In their seminal work on policy implementation, Pressman and Wildavsky (1973:143) have argued that 'there is no point in having good ideas if they cannot be carried out.' The use of a New Public Management (NPM) service delivery approach in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) health area, referred to as the Purchaser Provider Model (PPM),was seen as one of those good ideas. The then-ACT Government hoped that the use of this model as part of its public policy reform agenda would assist it in successfully achieving its goal of restraining the growth of ACT public health care costs. The PPM was in operation between 1996 and 2002,when it was discontinued, suggesting a policy implementation failure. In this thesis, the PPM is used as a case study as a basis for supporting the argument that the administrative architecture through which public policy is implemented plays a crucial part in the success or otherwise of the implementation of that policy, especially in the area of public service delivery. The administrative architecture is defined as, the administrative components that have been designed to assist the implementation of public policy. To undertake the analysis the PPM is expressed in terms of the following three extremely important components of the administrative architecture: - the configuration of role and role relationships; - resource allocation arrangements; and - the performance management framework. Pattern matching logic in conjunction with the literature is used to show how crucial was the part played by the above components and hence the administrative architecture in the implementation of public policy. While the thesis provides compelling evidence (based on the case study and the academic literature) to support its claim, the crucial part played by the administrative architecture in the implementation of public policy, especially in the area of service delivery, has hitherto received little attention in the implementation literature.
    Date of Award2009
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorChris Aulich (Supervisor) & Jennifer Stewart (Supervisor)

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