The positive system changes already made have been based on greater collective impact; more effective results are made possible when our agencies work together.
This approach is not yet well enough embedded. Collaborative inter-agency and sectorial work still tends to be regarded as an 'add-on' rather than as core business-as-usual. And barriers can exist where investment is needed to create a better system - but the investment‟s benefits are not 'captured' at the agency level. Too often the agency focus still trumps the customer focus.
As Ministers you can expect that we will address issues that may impede the results approach becoming universally embedded. We do face challenges because of the system's 'vertical' nature and the fact that most work is done by single agencies, with separate funding, and strong 'upward' accountability to a single chief executive and Minister. This means there are some issues in working more 'horizontally' across agencies. The incoming Government should hold us accountable for ensuring these issues are resolved and significant progress made. We would welcome dialogue on this because there are opportunities for Ministers to lead work across traditional portfolio boundaries. The current intention to move towards a much greater element of population-based budgeting, rather than agency appropriations, is one such opportunity.
We need to agree pragmatic ways of funding investment in common system-wide capabilities which will improve results for New Zealanders, but where individual agencies do not have a strong incentive to invest. This is particularly relevant now in the area of ICT investment, where the ICT Strategy and Action Plan is recognised as being central to achieving the vision of radically transforming the way all New Zealanders use ICT to connect with public services. We will take responsibility for working through these issues and for proposing a way forward to Ministers.