- Title page
- Foreword from the Minister of State Services
- Introduction from the State Services Commissioner
- Chief Executive Statement of Responsibility
- The Nature and Scope of our Functions
- Our Operating Environment
- Our Strategic Direction
- Our Medium-term Measures of Success
- Operating Intentions
- Organisational Health and Capability
- Managing Risk
- Departmental Capital and Asset Management Intentions
Our Operating Environment
New Zealand’s State Services are responding to shifting expectations of service delivery in an environment of considerable financial constraint, and we are reconfiguring the way we work to lead delivery of this change.
The State sector
There are around 220,000 State servants, comprising 10 percent of New Zealand’s workforce. They are spread across 32 Public Service departments, 350 other agencies and close to 2,600 school boards of trustees. The State Services and the wider State sector deliver a wide array of services to New Zealanders and have a critical role to play in New Zealand’s economic recovery. Where we collectively focus our efforts and expenditure has a real impact on the functioning of the economy and to New Zealanders’ daily lives.
Changing expectations of service delivery
New Zealanders have high expectations of the services they receive from the State. To meet those expectations, agencies have to rethink how they deliver services to respond to significant technological, social and demographic change. An increasingly diverse and ageing population will require more flexible targeting of services for increasingly different needs. A networked and ICT-enabled world is changing the flow of information and increasing expectations for easily accessible services that can be shaped by the user. The complexity of lives and businesses brings a complexity of interfaces with the State Services that demands improved coordination or integration to get results, reduce costs and improve accessibility.
This change becomes more challenging in an environment of constrained finances. The overall economic outlook for the medium term is one of a slow and fragile recovery. This means that continued fiscal constraint and a reduction in baselines is an ongoing reality for agencies. Any new money will be invested in priority frontline services, and any increases will be smaller than in the past. Resources will have to be reprioritised and every effort made to identify efficiencies and realise savings. Financial constraint does not mean we should assume reductions in the quantity or quality of necessary services are inevitable. What it means is that agencies will have to make critical decisions about the services they deliver and the way they are delivered – determining which services really matter and working out how to deliver them for less money.
Two major earthquakes have had a significant impact on the people of Canterbury, its infrastructure and the economy, not only of the region but New Zealand as a whole. The State Services have a critical role to play and will need to devote significant resources to the rebuilding and recovery of Christchurch.
State sector change
The Government has a clear commitment to State sector reform that will reduce the State sector’s size as a proportion of the New Zealand economy through a focus on core priorities, the reduction of lower-value funding and the elimination of duplication and waste. This will include consolidation of agencies and functions where this has the potential to improve the direction, focus and results of the sector as a whole.
To deliver and sustain the step changes in service delivery and cost-effectiveness required, the State sector will have to become better at change itself – at anticipating, innovating and implementing. Agencies will need to identify the really critical results they contribute to and focus resources where they matter most. They will have to work together across agency boundaries to get things done. They will have to be able to make meaningful assessments of the impact of their work and build what they learn into how they do things differently.
To support agencies, sectors and the State Services system to deliver on the change that is required we will be explicitly prioritising key shifts in the way we work with the State Services. These shifts will underpin delivery of our outcomes, objectives and outputs and are the focus of our new business strategy and operating model.
Delivering on the results that matter
We will work with other system leaders to develop and articulate the direction for the State Services. We will have a clear view on what really matters – the results required, what needs to change to achieve them and who will make the change happen. We will work with chief executives to explicitly prioritise agency and sector results and will hold them to account for their progress. With other central agencies, we will play a key leadership role in the reform of the State sector.
This priority will be driven through the outputs of Objective 1: A public management system that delivers results at a lower cost and Objective 2: State Services that are well led.
Proactively addressing system, sector and agency performance
Performance issues will be proactively addressed at the system, sector and agency level. Leaders will need to focus on the best models for the integration, governance and organisation of public services. Where delivering results is beyond the remit of a single agency, cross-agency governance or service integration will be established. We will build on the Performance Improvement Framework programme to partner with chief executives to embed a culture of performance excellence in which agencies and sectors build the capability to self-evaluate.
This priority will be driven through the outputs of objective 1: A public management system that delivers results at a lower cost and Objective 2: State Services that are well led.
Appointing and developing system leaders
We will appoint and develop chief executives who can exercise effective sector and system leadership, as well as lead their agencies. We will work with chief executives to develop talent and succession management for critical system positions and will communicate to emerging leaders the requirements for future leadership in the State Services.
This priority will be driven through the outputs of Objective 2: State Services that are well led.
Addressing emerging trust and integrity risks
While New Zealand has a strong record on issues of trust and integrity, an environment of fiscal constraint can place increased pressures on individuals and organisations. We will identify and address emerging risks to the trust in, and integrity of, the system.
This priority will be driven through the outputs of Objective 3: State Services that are trusted by the public.
Modelling our expectations
The revision of the State Services Commission business strategy and operating model is an opportunity to ensure that we are modelling the results we want for the system in our own organisation.
This priority will be driven through our work to strengthen organisational health and capability.