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Why have an operating expectations framework?

This principles-based framework is to help Ministers, statutory entities and monitoring departments improve the way they work together to achieve better results for New Zealanders.

The work of Crown entities is immensely important for achieving results for New Zealanders. Crown entities supply many of the services provided to New Zealanders, and so delivering services better requires the government and Crown entities to work well together. To get the best results from government investment in Crown entities, a productive three-way relationship is needed between the responsible Minister, the statutory entity and the monitoring department. All parties in the engagement process need to understand the system as a whole and where they fit within it. The operating expectations framework sets out in one place how the respective roles and responsibilities underpinning those relationships are aligned. It is a tool for Ministers, statutory entity board members and staff, and monitoring departments to:

  • understand the system and the organisation's place in it, and
  • contribute to building productive relationships in the sector between responsible Ministers, the monitoring departments and Crown entities.

Statutory Crown entities are part of the wider State sector. Changes were made in 2013 to the Crown Entities Act along with the State Sector Act, and the Public Finance Act to support the emphasis on agencies working together. From 2013 the Crown Entities Act:

  • requires entities to collaborate where practicable
  • removes the default annual approach to Statements of Intent and allows for these to cover intentions for a three year period, and
  • enables directions to support an all-of-government approach to be applied in a more targeted way.

The amendments also provide greater clarity about the role of monitoring departments and streamlined reporting. Changes in the law alone, however, will not drive changes in behaviour. Improving the way the three parties work together will achieve the intent of the legislative changes.

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