Fiscal Consolidation and Public Sector Reform

… one of the Atlas Resource Pages

Canada’s response to the Coronavirus crisis has left all levels of government and most public institutions with unsustainable levels of expenditure relative to revenues from their pre-crisis sources. At the same time, the crisis has exposed institutional weaknesses and distinguish what is really important from what is less so, and has generated new and potentially more efficient ways of doing business. It has also highlighted the stark differences in employment and pension security between workers in the public and private sectors. Taken together, these create the classic conditions for serious exercises of fiscal consolidation and public sector reform.

Fiscal consolidation and public sector reform in Canada and Ontario

For an overview of Government of Canada reform exercises from 1867 to 2000, including the 1962 Glassco Commission Report, the 1990 Public Service 2000 Report, and the 1995 Program Review, see Kenneth Kernaghan’s Treasury-Board-sponsored “Milestones to the Millennium – Serving the Public Good” at, accessed 28 April 2020.

For Ian Clark and Ben Eisen’s post-financial-crisis thoughts on “Frugal public management principles for an era of austerity” see Policy Options, October 2010 at, accessed 28 April 2020.

For Rachel Curran’s 2016 review of the Harper Government’s “Strategic and Operating Reviews” see “Why Trudeau needs to embrace expenditure reviews,” Policy Options, July 2016, at, accessed 28 April 2020.

For Ontario’s 2012 “Drummond Report,” Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, PUBLIC SERVICES FOR ONTARIANS – A PATH TO SUSTAINABILITY AND EXCELLENCE, see, accessed 28 April 2020.

For the Clerk’s 2013-2015 Blueprint 2020/Destination 2020 initiatives, see, accessed 28 April 2020.

For Ontario’s 2017 Transforming the Ontario Public Service for the Future, see Public Service Transformation.

Concepts in public sector reform

Management Differences between Public and Private Sectors

Bardach’s Things Governments Do

Pendulum Metaphor

Performance Improvement and Performance Leadership

New Public Management

Red Tape Reduction

Service Standards

Human Resource Management Reforms

Performance-Related Pay

Good Governance

Codes of Conduct

Internal Control

Modern Comptrollership

Public Sector Innovation

Public Sector Leadership and Communication

Digital Government and e-Government

Quality Service and Service Standards

Integrated Service Delivery



Gartner Hype Cycle

Not-Invented-Here (NIH) Syndrome

Hawthorne Effect

Open Policy Making

OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation

Encouraging Innovation by Rewarding Risk

Public Service Transformation

Social Tools and Organizational Performance

Deep Policy Reform vs. Normal Policy Making

Innovation Hub

Policy Lab

Nesta – a Global Innovation Foundation

Management Improvement Methodologies – TQM, Six Sigma, and Lean

Change Management

Concepts in fiscal consolidation

Programs and Budgeting

Contrasting Purposes of Evaluation

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Benefit Programs

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 28 April 2020.