Ian Watt to help Australian government on money matters

By on 07/07/2015
Dr Ian Watt retired from his role as secretary to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) in November 2014

Australia’s former top civil servant has been asked to help the federal government improve some of its grant allocation.

Ian Watt, former secretary to the prime minister’s office and Cabinet, will look at better ways of giving money to universities, 9News reports today.

He will review research block grants with a particular focus on making sure universities pursue opportunities to work with industry and commercialise their work.

Watt has until November to provide suggestions to the government on how to allocate research funding in a simpler and more transparent way.

Watt retired from his civil service role in November 2014 after working for the government for 30 years.

He has since been replaced by Michael Thawley, who recently sparked controversy by telling a conference that China was “not willing or able to play a serious global leadership role.”

His comments provoked reaction from current prime minister Tony Abbott, as well as John Howard, who led the country from 1996 to 2007.

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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