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PGEx: Distributed Governance – Case Study Learnings

To improve operating efficiency or to separate administration from partisan political influence, governments may chose to assign some policy and service activities to distributed governance organizations (DGOs) which stretch out on the right hand side of the continuum. The further right they are, the greater policy and administrative autonomy they enjoy compared to traditional departments or ministries. The model rests on the premise that the mix of autonomy and control factors for a given DGO, and hence its position on the continuum, depends on the policy objectives it was set up to pursue. In other words, form follows function. This study set out to test the validity of this underlying assumption.The authors looked at 20 DGOs in three categories: utilities, adjudicative and arts funding bodies. Then they looked at the seven control and autonomy factors at play in each organization to arrive at a ranking on a 60 point scale; the higher the score, the greater the DGOs independence from central control. This is the same scoring system used in the initial conceptual construct of the continuum.

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