The use of a business plan is becoming increasingly relevant to the private sector but is not used widely in the public sector. The aim of this thesis was to explore whether business planning principles could be applied to a public sector unit to achieve the benefits associated with business planning.
To examine this a business planning was undertaken on the Chemical Residues Laboratory, Yeerongpilly. The format used was a description of the organisation and its mission statement, the gathering of strategic information and assessment of the forces both internal and external; and a study of the impact of these.
The situation statement shows that the laboratory has been operating very effectively in the delivery of its services to clients. The strategic review of the animal industries reveals that the demand for the laboratory services will continue in the future. The major client will continue to the beef industry because of its high value and its focus towards exports and the looming increased competition from South America.
A review of changes in Government policy, in particular with regard to the role of government instrumentations in providing commercial services, show that these will have a major effect on the laboratory.
Issues in the laboratory, particularly staff issues, were explored using a consultative process and this identified the major concerns of the staff as their perceived lack of recognition by the Department and uncertainty about the future.
Overall the future roles of the laboratory were found to be the major issue confronting the laboratory and suggestions of what these roles may be were advanced.
In examining the Chemical Residues Laboratory using a business planning approach this essay has demonstrated that applying business planning principles to a public service unit can provide the same benefits as it does in the private sector. It could be usefully applied more widely in the public sector.