Over a 20 year period, governments have invested a great deal of time, money and political capital in reforms to make the public sector more efficient. They have however, invested little in evaluating the effectiveness of their efforts, accepting many of the reforms because of a belief in a particular approach to governing or an ideological commitment on the part of politicians. This collection of essays "takes stock" of these reform measures and their impact on public administration. Scholars from six countries investigate the effects of reforms in a number of areas, including budgeting, personnel management and accountability. While reforms have been beneficial in some of these areas, success has been far from universal. By comparing and contrasting measures in Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, contributors isolate and evaluate factors - such as individual political leaders and the complexity of government - that influence the success or failure of reforms.