- Title page
- Operating Environment
- State Services Development Goals
- Capability of the State Services Commission
- Leadership and coordination
- State Services Commission interventions and the development goals
- Implementation and milestones
- Other business
- Financial statements
- Glossary of terms
We now operate in an environment where there is an increased sense of urgency about raising performance across the State Services. In some ways this is not new. There has always been a level of government and community concern about the performance of public institutions. In recent years this has led us to focus much more on addressing the need for greater certainty around standards of conduct of State servants, for better coordination across a very complex State sector, and for more emphasis on outcomes as well as outputs. To this end there has been considerable change and development. The State Services Commission has changed; our role in standards of integrity and conduct has been reinvigorated, our performance management of Public Service chief executives has been reviewed and strengthened, and we have worked with other central agencies to design and roll out the Managing for Outcomes Programme. The State Services have often responded well to the need to perform better in these areas. Previous SSC Statements of Intent have noted the increased appetite among government agencies for collaborative approaches, and moves to work in partnership with local government.
But much more needs to be done. Public trust in the integrity and effectiveness of the State Services remains a critical, and intensifying, issue for us. It is made even more urgent by the fact that government investment in State Services capability over the past few years has been considerable. The Government and the public rightly expect to see results from an investment of this magnitude.
In this connection it is important to recognise what has not been addressed over the past few years. The complex system of institutions that make up our State Services has remained too disparate both in the ways that individual agencies work and in how they relate to each other. Moreover, the divide between Public Service on the one hand, and Crown entities on the other, has continued.
Our ability to respond better to these challenges is now much enhanced by changes to the law and to government policy that extend the role of the SSC. There has been a major change in the statutory framework governing the State Services:
- The State Sector Amendment Act (No 2) 2004 extends the State Services Commissioner's role beyond the Public Service to include responsibility for setting minimum standards of integrity and conduct that are to apply in all or any Crown entities (with exceptions).
- The new Crown Entities Act 2004 reforms the law relating to Crown entities to provide a consistent framework for the establishment, governance and operation, and to clarify accountability relationships between Crown entities, board members, the Crown, and Parliament.
The amendment to the State Sector Act means a far-reaching change in the nature and role of the SSC. From being, in fact, a Public Service commission, the SSC will become a true State Services Commission exercising a leadership role across the State Services. This is what gives rise to the need for change within the SSC as our existing structure and culture no longer supports our business given the change in role and expectations.
The new legislation provides a framework for addressing the key challenges of our operating environment by:
- ensuring uniformity in the way in which standards of conduct and integrity are developed, expressed and applied across the State Services
- developing better coordination in access to, and better performance in the provision of, services for the public
- investing in the capability of State agencies to meet present and future needs
- encouraging public trust in the State Services.
These aims are what underlie the State Services Development Goals. The process of achieving the Goals is intended to draw the State Services together into a coherent whole. The Goals are sufficiently important for our future direction that they form the backbone of this latest SSC Statement of Intent.