Bill English, Jonathan Coleman
15 March, 2012
Challenging results set for next three-five years
The 10 results set by the Prime Minister for the public sector over the next three to five years focus on some of the biggest challenges facing New Zealand, Finance Minister Bill English and State Services Minister Jonathan Coleman say.
The results will cover five themes:
- Reducing long-term welfare dependency.
- Supporting vulnerable children.
- Boosting skills and employment.
- Reducing crime.
- Improving government interaction with New Zealanders.
"In setting these results, the Prime Minister has acknowledged they are difficult and incredibly challenging issues," Mr English says. "They’re the kind of issues governments all around the world are grappling with.
"Achieving these results will stretch our public agencies. We appreciate we’re setting our sights high, but we’re determined to focus on the issues that are important to New Zealanders and get on top of them.
The challenges will be particularly acute in improving how government interacts with New Zealanders through a one-stop online shop for New Zealanders and businesses, Mr English says.
Dr Coleman says a sharper focus on delivering results is a major theme of the Better Public Services Advisory Group report issued today. The Advisory Group of senior people from business, NGOs, and government was set up in May last year.
"The report sets a clear direction for change," Dr Coleman says. "It looks at how the public sector can provide value for money and be innovative in delivering high quality services.
"I believe it provides thoughtful and pragmatic recommendations about how we can achieve those goals – the Government is already progressing some of them and is considering others."
The Advisory Group recommends the public sector be organised to deliver the results that matter most to New Zealanders.
"It also backs a drive for more contestability in providing services, where agencies consider whether it would be better to outsource to non-government agencies or the private sector," Dr Coleman says.
The Advisory Group will be retained to ensure the next stages of the Better Public Services programme produce real and demonstrable change on the ground – and within the desired timeframes.
The Government's new approach will see public sector leaders given more flexibility to operate in different ways. This will require some changes to the State Services Act and Public Finance Act to allow this to happen.
The Better Public Services Advisory Group report is available at: www.dpmc.govt.nz/sites/all/files/bps/bps-report-nov11.pdf