The Purple Public Administration of Saskatchewan
Fullmer, C. Scott
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The public service in Saskatchewan has had difficulty defining the relationship with the political masters. It has been a long held principle that the public service should be willing to serve the elected despite ideological differences. The classical Woodrow Wilson model of public administration has been problematic due to a drift in the recognition between responsibilities of administrators and politicians, sometimes called the “grey” or “purple” zone in policy making. This paper argues that the new public management approach which promotes an exchange of contracts between administrators and politicians has lead to a toxic and adversarial relationship between politicians and administrators. A more formal recognition of the “purple” zone in public policy will enable the province to better tune the performance of management in the public sector and will better define the roles of both administrative and political decision-makers.