Australian experience reveals an increasingly post-truth approach to economic evaluation, with governments ignoring or avoiding professional expertise when promoting their favoured projects and policies. Lack of formal guidelines for economic evaluation, such as those promulgated by Congress and successive American presidents, are a partial explanation. A concomitant hollowing-out of public service expertise in economic analysis has also occurred. More importantly, public sector agencies have even lost much of their capability to understand and assess evaluations carried out on their behalf by commercial consultants. An effective antidote to this deskilling would be the production and publication of analyses of major government policy and project proposals, as well as the development of a standardised analytical framework, reinforced with training for public servants.
|Australian National University
|Published - 2017