1 This paper is written for public servants and other employees in the State Services who deal with machinery of government issues. It sets out the main lines of thought adopted by the State Services Commission (SSC) for machinery of government analysis, especially for determining which organisational form is best suited to carry out government functions.

2 This paper is by no means a compendium covering all possible machinery of government questions or situations. It does not deal comprehensively with all aspects of analysis. Its aim is to set out the main lines of thinking that inform high quality policy advice on machinery of government issues. More detailed analysis will be required on most machinery of government issues, including consultation with the SSC and other agencies, especially the Treasury.


PLEASE NOTE: This guidance document is currently being updated and will eventually be replaced and archived. We have produced supplementary guidance material on the following topics, available at

  • Departmental agencies
  • Public Finance Act Schedule 4A companies
  • Organisational forms chart
  • The 'Due Diligence' process.

If you would like to be kept informed of updates, please let us know at:

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