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Cutting the costs

20 September 2013

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Leo Dobes is an Adjunct Associate Professor with Crawford School of Public Policy. He currently teaches the course Applied Economics: Cost/Benefit Analysis (POGO8088).

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With the new Federal Government set to focus on infrastructure and reducing the budget deficit, there’s never been a better time for public servants to learn the ins and outs of cost-benefit analysis, according to a Crawford School expert.

Adjunct Associate Professor Leo Dobes joined Crawford School in 2006 after almost 30 years in senior public service roles. He said cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is one of the most beneficial skills public servants can have, if you know how to apply it in a practical way.

Dobes said with the new government having new spending priorities, it was the ideal time for public servants to learn or brush up on their CBA skills.

“There has never been a more important time for public servants to know how to apply cost-benefit analysis with the new government looking for cost beneficial ways of making its expenditures in the community.

“That’s what cost benefit analysis is about, looking at ways of increasing the social welfare, the welfare of society as a whole.

“If public servants and consultants don’t know how to apply CBA they can mislead the department and the minister, and then the minister can potentially mislead the parliament,” he said.

Dobes will facilitate two Crawford School Executive Education courses that will cover the basic and advanced concepts of CBA. Participants will learn practical skills to apply CBA in the workplace.

He says that the course will give people practical skills to shape good policy and learning the techniques of CBA can have a personal benefit.

“The technique can also be used in private, financial investment analysis, so people who want to buy a house or shares will be able to equate the cost and benefit to see if the purchase is worthwhile,” he said.

He added that the two days of the course will take participants from theory to practice.

“The things you learn on the first day will make you much more comfortable for the second day when we go through some practical examples where you will need to calculate the net present value of the cost and benefits.”

The first course will run from 9.30am-4.30pm on Thursday 26 September 2013 at Crawford School.

Watch an interview with Leo Dobes:

For more information about the course:

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