State Services Commissioner and Head of State Services, Iain Rennie, has today announced the designation of 'key positions' in Public Service Departments as part of work to build leadership capability of the Public Service.

These key positions are mostly second tier management and Chief Information Officer (CIO) roles. The jobs are considered critical for the effective functioning of the Public Service and are integral to the delivery of better public services for the New Zealand public. There are 80 positions currently designated as key positions.

Key positions are designated under new provisions in the State Sector Act that were recently passed into law. Once a position is designated as 'key' the Chief Executive of that department must gain the approval of the State Services Commissioner before making an appointment to that position. This function has been delegated to the Government Chief Information Officer for appointments to CIO roles. Over time, the Commissioner and GCIO's roles in the appointment process will help to ensure that highly skilled leaders with further potential are being placed into critical roles where they can have the biggest impact.

"As a Public Service we need to do more to make sure our talented and high potential leaders are getting the career development and experience they need to lead departments and deliver better public services to New Zealanders," Mr Rennie said.

"By designating these roles as key positions we are taking a considered and strategic approach to getting the right people in the right place to deliver high quality services," said Mr Rennie.

Other changes being made to the Public Service's leadership development system include: work to  attract and develop high performing graduates; a State services wide system for recognising talented emerging leaders earlier in their careers and helping them grow and develop their skills; ensuring all agencies have succession plans in place for senior management roles; and creating a management information system that captures the experience, skills and competencies of high potential leaders consistently across agencies.

"The changes to our leadership development system will help us increase the depth and breadth of the pool of leaders within New Zealand's Public Service and help our talented leaders reach their full potential," he said.

The recently passed amendments to the State Sector Act make important changes to help the Public Service function as a single system focused on achieving results and delivering better public services. Other changes mean Chief Executives are required to ensure future sustainability and act in the best interests of the Public Service as a whole. Chief Executives can also be transferred to lead other Departments more easily and will be given more flexibility to innovate and try new approaches to delivering services.

The current list of key positions is available on the State Services Commission website


Media enquiries:  Tim Ingleton, SSC Communications 021 240 7810

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