Budget Paper No.6 1997/98 Northern Territory Economy
Tabled Paper 3223
Tabled Papers for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT; Tabled Papers
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competitive disciplines of the Trade Practices Act 1974 to Territory Government business divisions (GBDs), statuatory marketing organisations and unincorporated enterprises. In response to this agreement the Northern Territory Government has implemented several micro-economic reform initiatives. The most significant of these reforms is the implementation of a process of commercialisation for those activities classified as GBDs. The GBD classification was established as part of the new Financial Management Act 1995 and incorporates those Government activities which recoup a significant proportion of their operating costs through charges on users. It includes those activities which sell goods and services to the public (such as the Power and Water Authority), as well as activities which sell services to other Government agencies (such as NT Fleet, NCOM and the Government Printing Office). The commercialisation process seeks to improve the efficiency of GBDs by increasing reliance on market based mechanisms and competition in order to promote allocative efficiency. Commercialisation is based on the concept of competitive neutrality which requires that GBDs not exploit their legislative or fiscal functions to advantage their own businesses over real or potential private sector competitors. In simple terms this means that public sector enterprises will be subject to the same levies, taxes and charges as their private sector competitors. This not only enables comparison with the private sector, but also potentially allows for greater competition for government inputs. 0 5 10 15 20 25 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996* Northern Territory Commonwealth Local '000 persons Source: ABS Cat. No. 6248.0 Public Sector Employment (as at March) Figure 15.1 * NT Treasury Estimate Public Sector 88