Journal of Public Administration - Volume 39, Issue 3, 2004
Volumes & issues
Volume 39, Issue 3, 2004
Author C. ThornhillSource: Journal of Public Administration 39, pp 363 –364 (2004)More Less
The administrative systems of a state are never in equilibrium. Changes occur continuously due to e.g. new policies adopted by government; new demands by society for more or for less government involvement in matters affecting them; changes in the international arena requiring more intense government attention; changes in the economic situation; or even changes in the climatic conditions. Such changes demand a reconsideration of the administrative systems required to provide public services in accordance with the public needs or the perceived public needs.
Author P.N. PalmerSource: Journal of Public Administration 39, pp 365 –382 (2004)More Less
In recent years reform in South Africa's public sector has compelled public managers to take the interests of various stakeholder groups into consideration when dealing with "strategic" issues. Given the degree of uncertainty that invariably accompanies public sector reform, real-time management is critical in dealing with issues as they arise. With regard to the processing of any strategic issue put forward as a priority, two normative paradigms are proposed as guidelines for decision making in the public sector, particularly with reference to the management of stakeholder interests at any point in time.
Empirical research based on the erstwhile restructuring and re-engineering of the National Department of Public Works contextualises the way in which an important strategic issue can be managed over time. These paradigms can be used to train public managers in the formulation of the most effective contact strategies for specific stakeholder groups and interests.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 39, pp 383 –397 (2004)More Less
The provision of public utilities in developing countries is both essential and controversial. The responsibility of providing these utilities generally lies at the door of the government, although different options of provision are possible. The state, private sector or a combination of the two could provide it. The literature behind these different options will briefly be reviewed. From the literature it is evident that the choice of who should provide these utilities are not clear-cut. A case study of Kenya will also show the difficulties experienced by developing countries in choosing the most efficient option. Efficient provision is generally a concern based on the financial constraints in most developing countries. The aim of the article is to apply different ways of financing public utilities (provision of road construction and maintenance) and measure the effects thereof on the economy of Kenya.
Author K. MullerSource: Journal of Public Administration 39, pp 398 –410 (2004)More Less
It could be argued that the quest for integration is at the core of sustainable development implementation issues. Although there is no simple answer to the integration challenge there is no doubt that organisational integration and coordination comprise a critical ingredient in any prescription package. The reasons why it is difficult to achieve integration is encapsulated by the notion of the 'limits to governance' which describe the organisational complexities and constraints facing traditional governance. At the basic theoretical level the interactions between organisations are explained in terms of the two organising principles of competition and collaboration, while coordination could be a product of three alternative modes of governance. The general acceptance of the idea that a decentralised set of formal and informal agreements among diverse groups and organisations in the form of networks and partnerships holds the most promising institutional prospect, is explored in from two angles: firstly from a macro perspective considering the changing role of the state and secondly a bottom-up perspective focusing on the notion of organisational innovation in resource management. Finally some conclusions are drawn as to the prospects of networks being able to achieve integration and coordination in environmental management.
Author H.A. Van WykSource: Journal of Public Administration 39, pp 411 –420 (2004)More Less
Change in managing government entities takes place at breathtaking speed. Governments are currently moving away from public administration towards public management and towards a more businesslike approach in managing their affairs. Developments such as the new public management, the adoption of corporate governance in the public sector and the proclamation of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (PFMA) highlight the shift of a business outlook on management processes. During the past few years financial management and accounting in the public sector have been characterised by several developments at international and national level. The most important development was the proposal to introduce accrual-based accounting in the public sector in the near future. Public sector entities currently experience difficulties in implementing accrual-based accounting and the requirements of the PFMA. The implementation of sound financial management principles is also hindered due to various shortcomings in the administrative functions. This article deals with the current shortcomings of financial management in the public sector in South Africa and indicates how the principles and features of sound financial management practice could address these shortcomings.
The viability of electronic learning as a training strategy in the Eastern Cape : a case study of the office of the premierSource: Journal of Public Administration 39, pp 421 –437 (2004)More Less
The world is experiencing a major technological revolution and there is a new economy unleashing productivity and creating prosperity, but in a very uneven pattern. Knowledge and information are the keys to productivity and connectivity is the key to global competitiveness. Development in the information society is, above all, the development of capacity to process knowledge-based information efficiently and to apply it to production and to the enhancement of the quality of life. Under the informational paradigm, two key factors of production are necessary, namely information processing and communication infrastructure, and human resources equipped to use it. The Internet is the most direct and fundamental expression of both infrastructure and human resources and the new economy is therefore essentially mind-based (Castells, in Muller, Cloete & Badat, 2001: 159).
The key to using the Internet for developmental purposes is people's capacity to find the appropriate information, to analyse it, and focus it on whatever task they want to perform or need to be satisfied. This ultimately implies education for everybody and the expansion of education in quantity and quality is thus a precondition for information development. In this context, adult education and online or electronic learning are critical to incorporate the whole population into the new techno-cultural system, to avoid deepening the current age division. Furthermore, to facilitate electronic government initiatives, public servants need to be educated and trained. This requires large investment in human resources. An info-development model in developing nations is thus based on on-line work, online service delivery, and on-line learning all linked to local economies and local communities (Castells, in Muller et al, 2001: 161-162). This requires that priority be given to investments in human resources and the new economy calls for an education system that is attuned to the needs of organisations, sufficiently flexible to adapt to changing demands, and encourages lifelong learning.
Author Robert CameronSource: Journal of Public Administration 39, pp 438 –444 (2004)More Less
It is argued in this article that most of these papers are examples of how research of this nature should not be undertaken by scholars and that they represent an abdication of rather than a compromise of academic rigour. While scholars should be encouraged to write up their experiences of consultancy, this should be presented in a proper academic format rather than in consultant terminology. Indeed, some of the articles in top international Public Administration journals such as International Review of Administrative Sciences and Public Administration and Development are research articles that emanate out of consultancy reports. The difference between these international journals and this special edition is that the former journals' consultancy articles are presented in an internationally accepted academic format.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 39, pp 445 –455 (2004)More Less
A recent special edition of the Journal of Public Administration published a series of papers, which emanated from a consultancy project in the Northern Cape. The authors and editors believed that this publication would raise new issues in the local government sphere.