26 September 2023

‘Closing the Gap’ open to new report

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The Productivity Commission has taken a new approach to reporting on Closing the Gap initiatives, with its first Annual Data Compilation Report.

The Commission said the Closing the Gap Annual Data Compilation Report (July 2021) provided a snapshot of measurements under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Introducing the Report, Commissioner for the Productivity Commission, Romlie Mokak (pictured) said previous National Agreements focused on monitoring life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“This Agreement goes further to include monitoring of Government actions and how they can influence these outcomes,” Mr Mokak said.

He said the actions centred on key reforms in shared decision-making; building the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Sector; transforming mainstream Government organisations; and improving data-sharing with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Mr Mokak said targets and indicators for the reform areas were agreed in November 2020.

“We don’t yet have data for reporting on these actions,” he said.

“Our initial focus will be on getting the data we need so we can track results.”

Chair of the Productivity Commission, Michael Brennan said monitoring of implementation of these reforms would provide transparency and show whether parties to the Agreement had ‘walked the walk’.

Mr Mokak said the Agreement was now 12 months old, but the most recent available data for monitoring the socio-economic outcomes were only just hitting the commencement date for the Agreement.

“It is likely to be some years before we see the influence of this Agreement on these outcomes,” Mr Mokak said.

The Commission’s 94-page Report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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