- Title page
- Our Vision
- Our Roles and Responsibilities
- Operating Environment
- Central Agencies Shared Outcomes
- Achieving our Vision
- Challenges the State Services Commission Faces
- Measuring Progress
- Risk Management
- Other Business
- Financial Statements
- Statement of Responsibility
- Introduction and Highlights
- Financial Highlights
- Departmental Capital Expenditure
- Forecast Financial Statements
- Statement of Forecast Service Performance
- Output Class Descriptions
- Service Performance
- Glossary of Terms
- Appendix One: The Structure of the State Services Commission
Achieving our Vision
Excellent leadership by Public Service chief executives of their departments is essential to a high performing department and a high performing Public Service.
A core responsibility of the State Services Commissioner is to appoint and employ Public Service chief executives on behalf of the Crown and to review the performance of each chief executive on behalf of their Responsible Minister. The effective recruitment, performance management support and ongoing development of chief executives are key functions to sustain excellent leadership of highly professional government agencies able to deliver quality services for New Zealanders.
As chief executives focus on the Government's three themes, there is an expectation that they will use the Development Goals as a way to lift their contribution to these themes and the overall performance of their agencies. How chief executives integrate the work within their agencies, as well as across agencies, around the Government's themes and the Development Goals will be a focus of the performance management relationship between the State Services Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners, and the chief executives.
The SSC regularly reviews its approach to chief executive performance management to ensure that it continues to reflect good practice. The most recent review is nearing completion and a number of enhancements will be implemented in the coming year.
A well performing State Services can make a huge difference - to New Zealand's success as a country and to the people who make up our society. More than 190,000 people work for the State Services. That is 13% of New Zealand's workforce.
Improving productivity in the State Services and providing good value depend to a large extent on the capabilities and commitment of State servants. It is not sufficient to hope that the State Services will attract and retain quality State servants. The combined effects of a tight and shrinking global labour market, the different and more demanding expectations of a new generation of employees, the inevitable change in career opportunities in the State Services and increasing expectations of the public, require a significant change in how State servants are attracted, developed, engaged and retained.
These two Development Goals are about ensuring the State Services has positive workplaces populated by high performers. They are about ensuring that the State Services employers can compete in what is projected to be an extremely challenging labour market over the next two to three decades. They are about excellence, performance and results, and most definitely not about mediocrity or just getting by. They are about positioning the State Services for the 21st century world of work, where the work done will be different from today, and will continue to change.
The needs and aspirations of State Services employees are changing and many current employment and management practices have not kept pace with this change. Many traditionally accepted employment and people management practices are becoming increasingly irrelevant and/or counter-productive to improved results in the face of the changing nature of work and our changing workforce. The Development Goals in general, and goal 1 in particular, constitute a platform from which these fundamental changes are being expressed and addressed.
Looking ahead, the SSC's people strategy will target the following areas of concern - attraction, development, retention, and engagement. Key initiatives for phase one of the implementation of Development Goals 1 and 2 through to 2007 include:
- attracting and hiring the best: understanding the labour market and ensuring the State Services is positioned well to attract and select high calibre candidates.
- development: ensuring the frameworks, tools and practices exist to support staff development.
- engagement: ensuring workplaces are positive and engage the support of State servants.
These are part of a strategic, whole-of-sector approach to materially enhance the State Services' ability to attract, develop and retain a workforce that will meet the needs of the Government and New Zealanders.
The milestones associated with this goal are the most developed and structured. This is because work on e-government began in 2001 and has been progressing since then2. The E-government Strategy is currently on track to achieve the 2007 goal that Networks and Internet technologies are integral to the delivery of government information, services and processes. Achievement of this goal is required to achieve Government's vision for New Zealand leading the world in the use of ICT. Authentication is central to the success of this strategy.
A 2005 survey identified that more than 400 e-initiatives were underway in government agencies, with more than 100 data exchanges in place between government agencies. The e-government programme is working across the public sector, including local government, to ensure that on-line services are customer-centric in design and provide accessible, coordinated and trusted services, to support the Development Goals for the State Services.
Critical issues that will receive particular attention are:
- building support for collective initiatives, where there are limited benefits for early adopters but substantial benefits where a critical mass is achieved
- securing public uptake
- continuing to build confidence in the SSC as a credible supplier of operational services
- aligning priorities for technology investment and organisational change across agencies and departments.
The e-government work programme includes strategy, policy, technology projects, resources and standards, and operations, which together deliver the results expected by Ministers and the public. Looking forward, the focus is on supporting electronic delivery of citizen-centric government services, the ways that services are designed, governed and managed, as well as how they are packaged and presented when delivered electronically.
The SSC's work to support this e-government future includes standards and architectures, governance and management, and commissioning and managing the development and operation of shared infrastructure for use across government.
Some of the key initiatives that comprise the work programme for the coming year include:
E-government Strategy review
The E-government Strategy was initially launched in April 2001, and was reviewed and updated in June 2003. It is an aspirational statement of the Government's vision and commitment to using public sector information and technology to improve public sector performance in delivering results to New Zealanders.
The E-government Strategy review will test some of the basic assumptions about e-government in New Zealand (e.g., emphasis on supply, not demand; creating the standards and foundations, agencies delivering e-government; e-government as an enabler of change) to determine whether there is any need for a:
- change to the direction (goals) of the E-government Strategy; and
- change to the approach to implementation of the E-government Strategy.
The revised strategy will be available by June 2006, with implementation to be rolled out in 2006/07.
All-of-government Authentication Programme
This programme will allow people using government services online to conveniently, securely and privately identify themselves, and to confirm that identity at subsequent interactions with those agencies.
In 2006/07 the project will move beyond the initial implementation phase:
- The standards for authentication will be actively managed to ensure their effective use.
- The all-of-government shared service for the management of Internet logons (the Government Logon Service) will be available for agency operation, subject to successful completion of the pilot.
- The programme will further develop, with the Department of Internal Affairs, government's ability to leverage existing investment in high-quality evidence of identity processes to develop an online Identity Verification Service.
The SSC will continue to develop, support and promote use of the E-government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF) - a set of interoperability standards and guidelines mandated by Cabinet for use by core Public Service agencies.
Government Shared Network
The Government Shared Network (GSN) is a high speed broadband network connecting participating government agencies and will be a foundation for transformational improvement in the State Services. The GSN makes a valuable contribution to the Digital Strategy connection goal that New Zealand will be in the top quarter of the OECD3 for broadband uptake by 2010.
The use of telecommunications by many government agencies can be significantly improved by adopting a corporate approach to security, connection and cost effectiveness.
There is a current and increasing danger to the integrity of government information systems. The security of government information systems will be significantly improved by consolidating expertise and resources at a small number of network connections.
The GSN will provide connection at the telecommunications network layer, which will help to achieve collaboration between agencies for data exchange, shared services and joint service delivery.
Significant improvements in cost-effectiveness can be achieved through consolidated use of network services. The GSN will replace and rationalise duplicated services currently employed by government agencies and deliver a full suite of converged voice, video and data transmission at a lower unit cost than that currently available to many agencies through existing supply arrangements.
Public Sector Intranet (PSI)
The SSC will implement and promote a central location for agencies to:
- promote guides/resources that other agencies might/should use
- help discover what other agencies are doing
- locate contacts in other agencies
- find information on good practice in the New Zealand public sector.
During the pilot phase there has been wide take up of the Intranet by agencies, and ongoing work will aim at expanding the content and coverage across the State Services.
The SSC is the custodian of the infrastructure and services provided for all-of-government operations for:
- Shared Workspace - a secure, electronic, shared workspace for supporting networks, projects, and policy development across government.
- Directory - an authoritative directory of agency contact information.
- All-of-government web portal - www.govt.nz - a single site for access to services from all government agencies.
- SEEMail - the standard used across government to provide secure electronic transfer of email.
- Domain name moderation - assessment of requests for '.govt.nz' names that gives citizens confidence in their communications with government entities.
The SSC will continue to strengthen this function, which was established in 2005/2006 to provide ongoing support for the operation of all-of-government infrastructure for the State Services. More details are available at
The Coordinated State agencies goal is about supporting and promoting State agencies to work together to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of services to New Zealanders. Public management systems and clarity of accountabilities have improved substantially over the last two decades. Since 2001, departments have been expected to define clearly the outcomes they are pursuing on behalf of the Government and how their activities contribute to the results required. Agencies have also increased their cooperation as they have worked together to achieve results, particularly with shared services. Accountability to Parliament has been strengthened by means of improvements in the transparency of information presented to Select Committees, and the Crown Entities Act 2004 consolidated similar governance and accountability requirements for Crown entities.
- there are still gaps. For example:
- the accountability challenge is to establish cross-entity, cross-sector or all-of-government accountabilities in a manner that makes a meaningful connection with shared results; and
- organisational structures generally do not facilitate a focus on shared outcomes.
The Coordinated State agencies goal aims to ensure the total contribution of government agencies is greater than the sum of its parts. The SSC will, over the next year, focus on the following priority areas.
Ensuring the public management system supports the Government's three themes
Working with central agencies and cluster agencies leading the work on the Government's three themes, the SSC will examine the public management system's ability to achieve good coordination among departments and Crown entities.
Crown Entities Act 2004 - implementation support
The SSC will provide support for departments in their roles in relation to Crown entities. Ongoing work, with other central agencies, will continue to target support for Crown entities and monitoring departments to better manage for results, including updated guidance and networking support. The SSC is also updating guidance for board appointment and induction; and continuing to provide advice on Crown entity chief executive remuneration.
Development of trans-Tasman institutional arrangements
The SSC is engaged in a specific project looking at coordination arrangements internationally. Interim governance and accountability arrangements for a joint therapeutic products agency between New Zealand and Australia are in progress. Cabinet has directed that, as part of the work, the SSC is to lead the discussions on generic trans-Tasman arrangements. This includes the identification, negotiation and development over the next three years of generic governance and accountability frameworks.
Improving performance - expenditure reviews
The SSC will continue to support the Minister of State Services and other Ministers to improve performance through their programme of expenditure reviews and other enhancements to public sector management arrangements.
The combined effect of achieving the Development Goals on employment, excellent State servants, networking, coordination and trust is that New Zealanders experience accessible, responsive and effective services.
At the high level this goal seeks to enhance access, responsiveness and effectiveness, and improve New Zealanders' experience of State Services. The path to achieving this goal includes achieving the 2007 milestone of no wrong door - any New Zealander accessing government services will be referred appropriately to the organisation best able to address their concerns.
Research is needed to determine whether the State Services (generally or specifically) is poor, average or good in terms of accessibility for New Zealanders, and in terms of important dimensions of accessibility like inter-agency referrals. In March and April 2006 the SSC undertook a pilot study in Rotorua which identified how accessible and responsive services in that community are. The pilot also tested SSC's research methodology. The results of this work are not available at the time of preparing this Statement of Intent, but when the results are available the SSC will, as appropriate:
- share examples of good practice
- identify barriers that prevent access to government services
- identify and promote interventions (specific and general) to support improved performance, especially in relation to 'no wrong door' i.e referral services
- expand the inquiry method to other communities, or modify and expand it
- define expectations in relation to achieving the 2007 'no wrong door' milestone.
This work is intended to increase the capacity of the State Services to learn from New Zealanders' views on what works, and what does not, in terms of access to services.
The SSC is embarking on new research in the coming year, consistent with the Development Goals on access, coordination and trust. This original research will generate new data, information and knowledge that will allow the SSC to better understand how New Zealanders think about the State Services and, therefore, how they might describe their experiences with them. There is clearly a difference between 'customer satisfaction' when purchasing a piece of whiteware, and 'customer satisfaction' when paying a fine, or even receiving a benefit.
The 2007 milestone for this goal is that agencies of the State Services demonstrate their commitment to earning trust by working with the State Services Commissioner to develop and promote codes of conduct.
The strength of any government lies in the extent to which it earns and holds the respect of its citizens. Respect comes from the confidence people have in the integrity of government and the services it provides. Everyone employed in the State Services has a part to play in earning public respect and maintaining confidence in government.
New Zealanders expect government agencies to comply with the letter and the spirit of the law. They expect decisions to be made fairly and impartially. They expect that public money will be spent prudently and public assets will be used and cared for responsibly. They expect that State servants will behave ethically, and be conscientious and competent in their work.
Where expectations are not met, people lose trust in government: they don't seek the help they are entitled to; they don't provide information necessary for delivering effective services; they resist paying tax and become increasingly resentful of the State Services. A perceived 'integrity failure' in one part of government can impact negatively on the opinion people hold of all the State Services.
Over the past two decades, most OECD countries have experienced a loss of trust in government. The 2005 Study of Values survey4 indicated that opinion in New Zealand is going against that trend. The report indicates that 56% of respondents have 'a great deal' or 'a lot' of confidence in the Public Service. This is a substantial change from previous surveys.
Confidence in the Public Service
New Zealand continues to be regarded internationally as corruption-free, rated second place in 2004 and 2005 by Transparency International in its Corruption Perceptions Index.
The SSC's work programme over the coming year focusses on the following elements:
Trustworthy State servants
The SSC undertook an engagement programme with Crown entities to identify integrity and conduct provisions already in place, and explore whether setting additional standards may contribute to increased trust in government. The next stage of this major project focusses on the setting of minimum standards and whether they should be applied to different agencies by way of a code of conduct.
Maintaining and building high public trust in the State Services
Ensuring agencies deliver services in a way that builds trust is also important for achieving the goal. Two activities are planned for this coming year:
- Foundation research to measure New Zealanders' experience of State Services, and
- Working with agencies to survey employees to establish a baseline to measure the trustworthiness of State servants and the effects of the integrity focus.
2 For more information, refer to the e-government website at:
3 OECD refers to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
4 The New Zealand Study of Values is a part of the World Values Survey (WVS), which consists of interviews with representative population samples in 60 countries.