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Review of the Museum and Art Gallery services : a report to the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs



Review of the Museum and Art Gallery services : a report to the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs

Other title

MAGNT Review December 2004 Morgan; Internal review of MAGNT. Final report March 2004


Morgan, Gary


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




"This Review has looked at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory’s outputs relative to benchmark museum and art gallery activities and outputs around Australia and relative to international trends in museum practice. This Review has also considered possible service outcomes set against three funding scenarios." - Executive summary


This review was commissioned by Risk Management Services of the Department of the Chief Minister for the Northern Territory, on behalf of the Department of Community Development, Sport and Cultural Affairs. The review was put to Tender in October 2004, with the Tender awarded in November 2004. - Introduction; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

Executive summary -- Part A: Introduction - Background -- Outputs of this review. Part B: Outputs of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory - A comparison of the MAGNT outputs in activities of collection development and management, public programs and research relative to those of other state museums and galleries - A discussion of the MAGNT outputs relative to national and international trends in museums and galleries - A consideration of the scientific focus of the MAGNT in terms of a) its management and outcomes relative to other museums and b) its contribution to Northern Territory economic activity and Government programs - A comparison of per square metre exhibition costs at the MAGNT relative to other institutions - A comparison of the acquisition budget of the MAGNT relative to other institutions. Part C: Possible budget scenarios - A discussion of three budget scenarios for the MAGNT with their consequent service outcomes. Part D: Summary of recommendations. Part E: Sources and acknowledgements. Part F: Appendices 1-8




Museums -- Northern Territory -- Public opinion; Museums -- Evaluation; Public relations -- Museums -- Northern Territory

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



xviii, 124 pages ; 30 cm.

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/458000; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/457995

Page content

MAGNT Review December 2004 Morgan 67 5. Enhancing the visitor experience and services to the public 6. Enhancing the back-of-house operations and outputs Visitor safety and staff OH&S are only separated because in general staff will be better informed about the infrastructure and operations of the museum and thus able to avoid risks. There is no suggestion that the safety of staff is any less important than the safety of visitors. Secondly, collection care is placed before visitor utility because of the obligation of the Board to care for the heritage of the Northern Territory. Thirdly, in the case of parameters 5 and 6, addressing the latter (back-of-house operations) may in fact contribute to achieving the former (better service to the public). Indeed, none of the above can be seen as entirely separate. The second comparators are the Five Year Business Development Plan and Five Year Building Masterplan that have been endorsed by the MAGNTs Board. The Plans are set down in the Internal Review March 2004 although costings are not included. (The Consultant understands that no detailed costings have been done at this time; securing the services of a Quantity Surveyor is noted as a first step in the Five Year Building Masterplan.) As these Plans reflect the recommended position of the Board, it is appropriate to ask to what extent can the three funding scenarios deliver on the Five Year Plans? 8.2 Changes in MAGNT funding in past years It is germane to this discussion to consider the trend in MAGNT funding over recent years. The Stanton Partners Report (January 2004) was scoped to focus on the current funding of the MAGNT, assess whether current budget levels were adequate for current activity, look at options for reducing costs and increasing revenue, consider workloads of staff, determine funding required to continue current programs and discuss how to manage a deficit funding situation. The Stanton Report dealt at some length with options for reducing costs and increasing revenue and many of the suggestions in this respect are sound. The other scoped aspects of the review were more cursorily addressed. The primary budget issue identified in that report was a decrease of 24% in the total budget (of the MAGNT) and a reduction of 42% in the operating budget on a CPI adjusted basis since 1992/93. This budget reduction is subsequently referred to in the Internal Review March 2004. The methodology used by Stanton Partners in calculating this budget trend is not described. A budget reduction of this magnitude over ten years would be very significant indeed. MAGNTs achievement in delivering on increasing audiences over that same period would be even more laudable than it is in any case. However discussion with stakeholders has revealed that this quantification of decreasing resources is misleading. The operating environment of the MAGNT has changed substantially in the period since 1992/93. In 1997 the MAGNT ceased its statutory authority status and was incorporated into a new Department of Arts and Museums. Corporate services functions and budgets of the MAGNT and several other agencies were integrated within the Department. Subsequent budgets for the MAGNT were reduced by the commensurate amount but the corporate services (HR, Finance,