Ministers’ Courts and Courting Ministers

With Anne Tiernan (Griffith University), the project will examine the institutional development and everyday working practices of Prime Minister’s, Premier’s and Ministers’ private offices. It aims to identify the structures, procedures, rituals and routines of the advisory system supporting contemporary ministers. By interrogating the attitudes, beliefs and practices of each of the key parties to the advisory relationship about how things are done, we seek to find out who supports ministers in their departments, private offices and elsewhere; and how they are supported – the formal and informal practices developed to ’fit’ the needs of ministers. We also seek to assess the institutional memory of the advisory system, once embedded in the public service, but now dispersed across the hybrid and ever-changing advisory systems; and the effectiveness of the advice as assessed by key stakeholders: provider, recipient, and ‘outsiders’ (e.g. acknowledged experts in the policy field, former departmental secretaries). We have been awarded a grant of AUD 142,800 by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). The project started in March 2012.


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