One of the roles of the state is to ensure parity in process, if not outcomes. However, for certain areas, enforcing strict levels of compliance generates a greater demand for state intervention. For example in Singapore, the Workplace Safety and Health Act was amended in 2006 to focus on Workplace Safety & Health systems and outcomes, rather than merely on compliance, to allow for flexibility and robustness in the regulation to keep pace with technology and the nature of work. Setting and monitoring outcomes of individual agencies, while useful, is insufficient. In recognition of this, the Ministry of Finance and other Ministries have therefore worked to jointly establish whole-of-government outcomes along with suitable indicators to track our progress towards achieving them. In addition, when the state is better able to measure outcomes, greater possibilities in funding design, beyond grant funding, open up to states to more effectively measure and manage their resources and increase their impact, for example, with the incorporation of behavioural insights.
The operating environment for the state has changed. Networks dominate institutions as the dominant organisational form. The influence of non-state actors, in particular multinationals has expanded. Jurisdiction has grown beyond boundaries. Technological change has outpaced society. Consequently, the role of the state has had to evolve and to succeed in this new operating environment, the state needs to both increase the “supply” of the state and reduce the “demand” for the state.