SAPC reaches its first year anniversary.

The South Australian Government established us on 22 October 2018. Our job is to advise the Government on lifting South Australia’s productivity and competitiveness, two of the pillars supporting our living standards.  We do this through public inquiries into matters that the Premier specifies; researching matters we think are important to South Australia’s future; and advising the Premier on lifting productivity growth and competitiveness.

Our first year has been very busy.

We built our organisation – our staff team, who are the Office of the SAPC, and our current four Commissioners, who collectively are the Commission – from a standing start. Sadly, one of our first Commissioners, Professor Paul Kerin, died in December 2018.

Since 22 October 2018 we have completed one inquiry and have nearly completed two more.

The first inquiry – the part one of a two stage look into government procurement – delved into procurement of goods and services.  The final report was submitted to the Premier on 17 May.  We made 30 recommendations, of which the government accepted 28 in full and the others in part.  Importantly, the government set clear deadlines in its response.

The current two inquiries – the second stage of government procurement and local government costs and cost drivers – will be completed in November.  I expect that our recommendations will lead to significant changes to procurement and in our understanding of the cost drivers of local government.  We will keenly await the government’s response to these two inquiries.

We can do two inquiries at the same time because our team – the Office of the SAPC doubled in size over the last six months to a current total of the equivalent of 13 full-time people.

Our research program focuses on South Australia’s economic performance, to understand how to lift productivity and competitiveness.  We have made progress and will push further on this work, which is the foundation of our capability and expertise to advise the government.

Stakeholders, their views and the verifiable evidence they offer are crucial to the success of public inquiries.  Our work depends on interested people and organisations, both to make our recommendations to government better and to help make the case for change to South Australians. We must always respectively listen, hear and take account of stakeholders’ views.

That said, we are required to be independent.  We must hear, evaluate and acknowledge what stakeholders tell us, and we make up our own minds.  I believe our work in this first year has delivered the evidence of our commitment to these qualities.

We thank all the people and organisations who have participated in the Commission’s public inquiries and other activities over this year.

With your help we will grow further and contribute more to South Australia in our second year.

Please keep visiting our website for the latest information about what we are doing.

Dr Matthew Butlin