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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Secretary's foreword

Rhys Edwards

In 2009-10, one of the strategic priorities for the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC) was to develop a strategy to encourage Tasmanian Government agencies to work more collaboratively in the development and implementation of policy initiatives.

While there are currently some excellent examples of collaboration across Government, improvements can always be made. With greater budget constraints and service needs becoming increasingly complex, agencies must work together to meet the requirements of our stakeholders, and deliver better policy and service outcomes for all Tasmanians.

Issues such as climate change, social inclusion, reducing health inequalities, homelessness, overcoming Indigenous disadvantage and the integration of information and communications technology cannot be addressed by any one agency acting alone. A greater joint focus across Government on these issues and other Government priorities is critical to achieving successful outcomes.

The Policy Division of DPAC has developed this paper, based on a review of literature and approaches in other jurisdictions. It provides guidance on the types of situations where a collaborative approach would be beneficial to addressing policy issues and the critical factors for success. It is intended to be used as a guide to promote best practice collaboration across Government. For this reason, there has been broad consultation across Government in developing the approach.

In preparing this paper and the associated materials, DPAC is seeking to encourage a culture of cooperation across government. We need to build a culture in the public service that supports, models, understands and aspires to whole-of government solutions. This will require leadership at all levels, including Heads of Agency, Deputy Secretaries, Directors, and Managers, who should champion collaborative projects and consistently model critical behaviours such as collegiality. It also requires all public servants, whatever their job, to think about how they can work with others to improve outcomes for the community. Coordination, cooperation, negotiation and openness need to be truly valued in a collaborative environment.

I hope the approach outlined in this paper fosters discussion and leads to improved collaborative relationships across Government.

Rhys Edwards
Department of Premier and Cabinet

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