- 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
Managing in a Changeable Operating Environment
The State Services Commission is continuously scanning our environment as part of our role in improving the performance of the State Services. Our regular interactions with State Services agencies, our central agency partners and Government all help us to understand the context in which we operate.
There are approximately 215,000 State servants, comprising 10% of New Zealand's workforce and responsible for around 31% of New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product. They are spread across 35 Public Service departments, approximately 200 other agencies and close to 2,600 school boards of trustees.
These numbers illustrate the influence that high performing State Services have on the overall economic and social well-being of New Zealand. Today, high performance has to be achieved in a more challenging operating environment, as detailed below.
The key consideration in the State Services' current operating environment is the economic crisis facing the world economy. Falling growth rates, lower commodity prices, falling demand for our exports, rising unemployment and expected falls in annual tax revenues mean that the State Services need to work more efficiently and effectively within existing baselines.
New Zealanders expect more responsive, timely, convenient and personalised services delivered by the private sector and are increasingly expecting the same levels of high quality, value for money services from the State Services.
Demographic trends indicate that over the next 50 years the proportion of older New Zealanders will increase, as will the proportion of our population who are of Maori, Pacific or Asian ethnicity. Our increasingly diverse population will require changes to employment and people management practices and further consideration of how to deliver services in a targeted and effective way to customers with increasingly different needs.
Continued technological change and shifting expectations from both employees and citizens mean that government agencies need to make smart choices in the use of technology as both an enabler and as a service delivery channel. Web-based and wireless technologies allow people to communicate and access information and services when they want and how they want.
The Government expects an increasingly professional and apolitical State Services where advice is sought and received in a free and frank way. It is looking to the State Services to deliver better front line service delivery with a focus on results and real value for money. Agencies will need to adjust their focus to ensure these priorities are delivered.
The Commission's senior management team undertakes a monthly scan of all Commission-wide strategic risks. High level risks are managed directly by a member of the senior management team. Lower level risks are managed by third tier managers, with oversight from relevant senior management team members.
We have identified a number of strategic risks within our operating environment, including:
- the risk to employee engagement from organisational change
- the risk of poor compliance with contract management policies.
In addition to its standard internal management controls and risk management processes, the Commission is implementing an externally-chaired Risk and Audit Committee in line with best practice guidance from the Office of the Auditor-General. The Committee will provide independent checks and balances over the operation of the Commission's risk management and internal control frameworks.