Renee Leon

Professor Richard Mulgan from ANU Crawford School

The Institute of Public Administration Australia’s (IPAA) Sam Richardson Award for the most influential paper published in the Australian Journal of Public Administration in 2021 goes to Professor Richard Mulgan from ANU Crawford School of Public Policy for his paper ‘Regulating the post-employment of public officials: Australian experience in an international context’ 

A judging panel that included leading public administration academics, representatives of IPAA, and young professionals from across the IPAA divisions selected Professor Mulgan’s paper from the six shortlisted articles chosen by the editors of the Australian Journal of Public Administration (AJPA). The IPAA National Council endorsed the winner last Wednesday.  

Professor Mulgan’s research considered the potential abuse of power by public officials after they have left government employment. This comes against the backdrop of the appointment of two recently retired senior federal ministers to lucrative positions with firms which had close dealings with their former departments. 

His paper analysed the Australian Commonwealth rules pertaining to ministers as well as public servants, finding issues around the definition of the offence and the comparative absence of oversight and sanctions. To make recommendations on how to remedy this, Professor Mulgan drew on international examples to strengthen Australia’s ethical regime.  

With ethics and integrity very much in the eye of public servants and the Parliament, Professor Richard Mulgan’s case study of two recent Australian ministers taking up lucrative private sector roles is timely,” IPAA National President Professor Renée Leon PSM FIPAA said. 

“The paper is a clear and careful exploration of the ethical and regulatory implications of the ‘revolving door’ for ministers or other senior officials. Written in a lucid and accessible style, Professor Mulgan’s paper offers informed and practical options for improvement in this area of public practice.” 

The IPAA National Council also endorsed the panel’s recommendation of formally recognising the paper ‘Royal commissions and policy influence’  by Professor Michael Mintrom , Associate Professor Deirdre O’Neill, and Ruby O’Connor from Monash University as a very close second. 

For further information about the Sam Richardson Award, please click here. 

Media contact: Julia Ahrens,, M: 0402 190 656  

About IPAA  

The Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) is a member-based organisation promoting excellence and pride in public service across Australia.  IPAA is a non-profit and non-partisan organisation open to all public servants, academics, and others interested in public administration.