Annual Report of the State Services Commission for year ending 30 June 2012.

Published on 17 October 2012. To download or print, use the PDF file under 'Related resources.'

Introduction

In past Annual Reports I have provided the Annual Report on the operations of the State Services Commissioner as required under the State Sector Act 1988, and then separately presented an overview on the State Services Commission as foreword to the Annual Report on the operations of the State Services Commission.

This year I have combined my reports as the State Services Commissioner and as Chief Executive of the State Services Commission and integrated information on the performance of the State Services with that of the State Services Commission itself.

This reflects that in my role as Head of State Services, with the support of the State Services Commission, I have responsibility for working in partnership with other central agencies and collaboratively across the system to ensure that we continually improve the performance of the State sector.  

The State Services Commission only performs well if the State sector has performed well.

In addition, the information containing remuneration of Chief Executive and State sector senior staff is no longer presented in the Annual Report and can be found online at www.ssc.govt.nz/rem-senior-state-sector-staff-to-30june12.

Foreword of the State Services Commissioner

In the past year New Zealand has hosted the Rugby World Cup, had a general election and continued to be challenged by the global economic outlook and the effects of the Canterbury earthquakes. Individuals and organisations across New Zealand rose to these challenges – and the State Services played key roles.

The Government recognises the importance of a high performing State Service, and has tasked the State Services Commission (SSC), with our central agency partners, to lead the implementation of the Better Public Services programme.

Better Public Services requires the State sector to work together and think differently to deliver better public services for less.  The Government has outlined ten result areas for the State sector to achieve on over the next five years.  The result areas address complex social issues which have challenged New Zealanders for many years.  These include reducing long-term welfare dependence, supporting vulnerable children, boosting skills and employment and reducing crime.  The result areas also include making it easier for businesses and for New Zealanders to interact with government.  Each result has a lead Minister and Public Service chief executive who is accountable for demonstrating real progress towards achieving that result.  Targets have been published for each result.  Every target is relevant and challenging.  Achieving on these targets will make a real difference for New Zealanders.  

To achieve on the Better Public Services targets government and non-government agencies and individuals will need to work collaboratively.  While agencies are still central to how the State sector operates, focussing our practice and interventions at the level of sectors and the system will enable the State sector to leverage off its combined resources and perspectives.

This system and sector-based approach influences how I select Public Service leaders. Expectations on chief executives have risen.  In the past year I have made nine appointments and reappointments of high quality individuals who have the capability to meet those increased expectations.

SSC cannot stand still if we hope to provide credible leadership and support for the State sector.  To guide our work in leading a State sector that New Zealand is proud of, and to reposition SSC to meet rising Government and public expectations for improved services, SSC has implemented a new business strategy.  We have made a number of changes in the way we work, and in what we deliver.  As examples: we worked with chief executives to review the way we identify and develop future Public Service leaders – and have implemented a new programme in this area.  We also reviewed the Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) and will continue to develop the PIF framework as we look to further raise performance expectations.  

New Zealanders can be proud of the integrity and conduct of their public servants.  Vigilance is always crucial as the ability of government agencies to carry out their work is directly dependent on the trust held in them by New Zealanders.  SSC’s work programme maintains its focus on ensuring we have a state sector that is trusted by New Zealanders.

I will continue to drive improvements in all of SSC’s work programmes to make sure they are effective in driving improvements from the system, and are cost efficient.

Much of SSC’s work is undertaken with its central agency partners.  Collectively, SSC, the Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) work as the Corporate Centre and are responsible for improving performance across the State sector.  In early 2012 the three central agencies launched Central Agencies Shared Services (CASS).  CASS provides finance, ICT and human resources functions for the three Corporate Centre agencies and is the first of its kind in the public sector.  It is a demonstration of the commitment of these agencies to effective service delivery, efficiency and value-for-money.

The year in review has been an especially challenging, yet rewarding one for SSC. We have developed and implemented a new business strategy and are well advanced with our organisational transformation programme. We have, with our central agency partners, developed and implemented the Better Public Services Programme and CASS initiative while continuing to provide high quality advice to Ministers and agencies.

The year ahead will be equally challenging and rewarding for SSC as it works with Ministers, agencies, sector leads, functional leaders and as part of the Corporate Centre to deliver results and better services for New Zealanders.

Iain Rennie
State Services Commissioner

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