Benchmarking government: Report on Government Services (RoGS) – 25 years on

Linda McGuire, Elizabeth Prior Jonson, Steve Perryman, Tui McKeown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Robust indicators and measures for outputs and outcomes against agreed objectives are the holy grail of performance reporting. Transparent performance reporting can be a means to improving accountability to taxpayers for public funds and responsiveness to users. The Report on Government Services (RoGS) for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is widely seen as ‘an exemplar of benchmarking in a federal system.’ Twenty-five years on, RoGS has been institutionalised and the approach to performance reporting was central to the COAG reform agenda. Annual reports compare the equity, effectiveness, and efficiency of outputs and outcomes across governments in six key areas – childcare, education and training; health; justice; emergency management; community services; and housing and homelessness. Performance indicators and measures have increased the accountability of state and territory governments for their management of public funds. The significance of RoGS is the unprecedented scale and scope of performance indicators and its longevity. The services benchmarked in the 25th report in 2020 accounted for $247 billion, representing 70% of government recurrent expenditure and 13% of GDP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-1001
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Administration
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • accountability
  • benchmarking
  • federalism
  • performance reporting
  • Productivity Commission

Cite this