- Title page
- Foreword from the Minister of State Services
- Introduction from the State Services Commissioner
- Chief Executive Statement of Responsibility
- Nature and Scope of Functions
- Strategic Direction
- Operating Intentions
- Central Agencies' Shared Agenda
- Managing in a Changeable Operating Environment
- Assessing Organisational Health and Capability
The State Services Commission's strategic direction is based on our overall outcome that
New Zealanders have a high performing, trusted and accessible State sector, delivering the right services in the right way at the right prices.
To achieve this outcome, the State Services Commission needs to act with focus, urgency and impact on delivering the priorities the Government has identified for the wider State sector, while maintaining its focus on its core activities and delivering the priorities of the Minister of State Services.
The Government expects the State sector to focus on providing better and more effective front line services for New Zealanders while using taxpayers' money wisely in a time of fiscal constraint. A more focused, efficient, and productive State Services is a key element in the Government's plan for a faster-growing economy. To deliver the Government's direction, the central agencies - the State Services Commission, the Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - must lead by example and exhibit high standards of professionalism, efficiency, and effectiveness.
The key priorities that the Minister of State Services has asked the Commission to deliver are outlined below. Although the Commission will lead the work in delivering these priorities, our central agency partners will also play a key role in supporting their delivery. More details on our approach to working together can be found in the section Central Agencies Shared Agenda.
The Government has applied a global cap, effective from 31 December 2008, to the size of the core government administration to ensure that priority is given to front line services that directly benefit New Zealanders. It wants to see people and funding move into areas that will deliver the best value for money, and the best improvements to front line services.
The State Services Commission will monitor the implementation of the cap and together with the Treasury will undertake a review of the effectiveness of the management and monitoring regime for the policy. The review, to be completed in early 2010, will consider information on staffing, expenditure and progress in giving priority to the front line reported by departments to the Commission, and consultancy and personnel expenditure reported by departments to the Treasury.
Given the current economic climate, it is essential that there is restraint in pay and conditions within the State sector. The Commission will exercise a greater level of oversight and involvement across a range of employment related areas, based on the following principles:
- Any changes to pay must not lead private sector movements and must take into account the total cost and value of employment conditions.
- State sector agencies that are required to consult with the Commission regarding changes to conditions of employment are expected to demonstrate that changes in pay and employment conditions are fiscally sustainable within baselines, responsible, and demonstrate value for money.
Through the New Zealanders' Experience research programme we have identified and understand the key drivers that have the greatest influence on New Zealanders' satisfaction with, and trust in, public services State servants have also responded on their experience of integrity and conduct in their workplaces.
This evidence is informing the Commission's continuing role in leading, articulating and reinforcing standards and values, to maintain the appropriate levels of integrity and conduct among employees in the State Services.
Lifting the performance of State Services agencies through improved front line delivery of services is the focus for the State Services Commission's work programme over the next three years. While there are other areas of our work that are important and will continue, to enable this improvement in performance we will focus our efforts on three core interventions for improving agency performance and front line service delivery:
1 Advising Ministers and agencies on delivering better agency performance
2 Setting standards
3 Appointing, and managing the performance of, Public Service chief executives.
The impact of these interventions -- how they links to our outcomes and the output classes we are funded by the Government to deliver -- is set out below. The activities that will support each impact are articulated in the section Operating Intentions.
Note: The Commission's third output class, State Sector Industry Training Services (Budget: $6.1 million), supports the delivery of industry training services to the State sector. Because this output class is not central to the Commission's core business, we are examining options for transferring this function to an alternative location.
Over the next three to five years, the impact that the State Services Commission makes on the performance of the State sector through its operations will be measured by:
New Zealanders want their expectations met, they want the staff they deal with to be competent and to keep their promises, they want to be treated fairly and they want their individual circumstances taken into account. They also want the services they receive to be an example of good value for tax dollars spent. The New Zealanders' Experience research programme is a multi-year programme that provides information on New Zealanders' experiences of the services they receive from government. The Commission will be using the Kiwis Count survey as one measure of its success in contributing towards our desired impacts and outcomes in the medium term.
The first set of results from the biennial Kiwis Count survey were released in 2008. They indicated that 68% of those surveyed were satisfied with their most recent service experience. Although this is a positive start, there is room to improve. These figures provide a benchmark for satisfaction and trust in services delivered by government, against which we can track service improvements in the future. We will be running the Kiwis Count survey again in late 2009, with the results available in 2010.
The Integrity and Conduct survey administered by the Commission asks State servants about their perceptions of integrity and conduct within parts of the State Services. This survey is an important part of monitoring and maintaining levels of integrity and good conduct in the State Services. Approximately 4,600 State servants from 38 agencies took part in the 2007 survey. The survey measures how State servants view the six elements that research has shown are essential for supporting trustworthiness in the workplace:
1. Agencies of the State Services have standards of integrity and conduct that meet the State Services Commissioner's minimum standards
2. Agencies of the State Services promote their standards of integrity and conduct
3. Standards of integrity and conduct are integrated into the behaviour of State servants
4. Managers model the standards of integrity and conduct in their behaviour
5. Consequences of behaviour that breaches the standards of integrity and conduct are known by State servants
6. Agencies act decisively when breaches occur.
The survey is due to run again in early 2010. By comparing the 2007 and 2010 results, the Commission will be able to reflect on the changes in perceptions that State servants have about the trustworthiness of their colleagues.