The provision of free and frank advice, as central to our system of government, is well acknowledged. Free and frank advice demonstrates and upholds the impartiality that is fundamental to maintaining a politically neutral Public Service. Having the capacity and capability to provide this underpins the integrity, legitimacy and performance of New Zealand’s system of government.

Good policy decisions, informed by free and frank advice, optimise services and results for New Zealanders, including future generations. Investing appropriately in policy stewardship means we are well placed to provide free and frank advice to successive governments.

This guidance sets out expectations that Public Service chief executives provide free and frank advice to Ministers, engage in effective policy stewardship and ensure that their agencies understand these important fundamentals. Agencies in the broader State Services may also find this guidance a useful reference point for good practice.

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