Sharechat Logo

Hipkins seeks joined-up thinking across state bureaucracy

Wednesday 26th June 2019

Text too small?

Major reforms to the law governing the public service will force far more collaboration between government agencies on the biggest policy challenges, State Services Minister Chris Hipkins says.

Announcing the largest set of public sector reforms since the passage of the then ground-breaking State Sector Act in 1988, Hipkins outlined a radical departure from current practice that will force public sector leaders to create multi-agency teams to tackle specific issues.

"Under the changes, boards, made up of chief executives from relevant government agencies, will be established to tackle the most pressing issues," said Hipkins in a statement. "These boards, or joint ventures, would be accountable to a single minister and receive direct budget appropriations. Public servants from across the system will be deployed as required."

Trying to solve complex policy challenges by using just one agency's expertise "doesn't work any more", he said. "These reforms will make groups of chief executives jointly accountable for delivering on complex government priorities. This can’t happen under the current Act.”

Elements of this approach were a feature of the way the government's first Well-being Budget, published May 30, was put together. They were detailed in yesterday's OECD report on the current state of the New Zealand economy.

"Guidance to agencies submitting bids indicated initiatives that align with one or more of the five Budget 2019 priorities and show cross-agency and cross-portfolio collaboration would be prioritised," the OECD report said.

Hipkins said the existing State Sector Act would be repealed and replaced with legislation that "shifts agencies from working as single departments to working as one, unified public service, to quickly mobilise and tackle specific issues, such as reducing child poverty, mental health services, climate change and the future of work."

This would create collective responsibility for policy outcomes among public sector chief executives and allow more flexible deployment of public servants on single-issue challenges.

The new legislation would also preserve "public service principles to the community, political neutrality, free and frank advice and merit-based appointments" and would be accompanied by a programme of cultural change. 

The new legislation will explicitly acknowledge the responsibility of the public service "to support the Crown to fulfil its responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi".

“What is good for Maori is good for New Zealand. The country is stronger when we improve outcomes for Maori,” Hipkins said on the same day as new Stats NZ well-being indicators showed far higher levels of distrust in Parliament, the courts, police and media among Maori than the New Zealand population as a whole.

A Public Service Bill will be drafted and introduced to Parliament in the second half of 2019.

(BusinessDesk)

NOTE: please be advised to read full articles from Business Desk Website, you will have to pay a subscription fee on their website.



  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comment:
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

NZ dollar consolidates weekly gain of more than a US cent
NZ dollar holds gains on improved dairy, bank capital outlook
MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; banks rally on Reserve Bank capital decision
NZ dollar rises; bank capital rules less harsh than expected
RBNZ relaxes capital requirements, allows preference shares, extends phase-in
NZ dollar extends gain amid mixed US data, possible trade progress
MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares dip on eve of major regulatory decisions
NZ dollar sees off global headwinds, holds above 65 US cents
NZ dollar holds above 65 US cents; dairy auction prices mixed
Dairy index falls on weaker butter, milk fat demand

IRG See IRG research reports