1 May 2018: The Government announced in January 2018 that the Better Public Services programme would not continue in this form. These pages have been archived.

In March 2017, IBM published a report "Interagency performance targets: A case study of New Zealand’s Results programme". The report was written by Dr Rodney Scott  (University of New South Wales and SSC) and Ross Boyd (SSC), and includes experiences and lessons from the Better Public Services Results programme from 2012-2016.

The report describes the New Zealand context: what was achieved in New Zealand’s public management reform in the late 1980s, and the consequent increase in the complexity of working across agency boundaries.

The report goes on to describe how the BPS Result programme was designed to improve cross agency and system level work by focusing on a few problems and making agencies jointly accountable for achieving ambitious targets. The report identifies the following features of the BPS Results that contributed to the success of the programme:

  • results are few and specific, so their relative importance is greater. They are also seen as worthwhile, which appeals to the public service ethic
  • targets convey the level of government ambition and create a sense of urgency
  • public reporting creates a strong signal that these are important and enduring government priorities
  • participants feel committed to improving each of the BPS Results, seeing them as important priorities for government and for New Zealanders, and this joint commitment has persisted over four years without any sign of decline
  • narrowing participation to the core agencies means greater responsibility for each party
  • collective responsibility creates a focus on achieving results rather than avoiding blame
  • cascading collaboration means collective responsibility is felt down through agency hierarchies.

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