Yes (and no) Minister: can central government control semi-autonomous bodies and should it want to?

Crawford School of Public Policy
Public event audience

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 01 March 2018


Brindabella Theatre, Level 2, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Sandra van Thiel, Professor of Public Administration and Vice Dean of research, Nijmegen School of Management.


The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)

Additional links

Ministers, Ministerial offices and senior officials frequently work on the assumption that they can ‘manage’ (that is, control the actions of) or at least profoundly influence their stable of semi-autonomous agencies. But what happens when the research evidence, not to mention real life experience, suggest these bodies have many ways to compromise, manipulate or simply not comply with desired central reform directions? What factors are likely to affect agencies’ compliance and under what circumstances? And most importantly, should we be thinking about a new model of interdependence to replace principal-agent?

Professor Sandra van Thiel will discuss what really happens in the to-and-fro between Ministers, departments and public bodies.

  • Introduction by Professor John Wanna, Sir John Bunting Chair of Public Administration at ANZSOG and the ANU
  • Moderated by Dr Amanda Smullen, Senior Lecturer Policy and Governance, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU

This event is presented by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government and Crawford School at ANU.

Updated:  24 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team