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Review about better public services welcomed

23 February 2006

Review about better public services welcomed

The Public Service Association is welcoming today’s announcement from government that the review of state sector spending will be a targeted exercise aimed at strengthening public services rather than cutting them.

The PSA represents over 50,000 public service workers in central and local government, the health sector and in community services.

“We are pleased that this review is about ensuring that spending in the public service is focussed on delivering better outcomes for the public rather than job losses or cuts in public services,” said Brenda Pilott, National Secretary of the PSA.

“Reviews of expenditure in the public service brings back bad memories of Bill Birch’s ‘razor gang’ in the early 1990s which saw massive cuts in funding to public services,” said Brenda Pilott. “By focussing on key areas in the state sector, we are hopeful that this review will improve productivity and efficiency.”

“The election campaign showed how opposition parties will attack the important work of the public service in order to fund short-sighted tax cuts, so we welcome the approach of the government in focussing on effective use of resources to deliver quality public services.”

The programme of reviews for 2006 includes a review of the role of the State Services Commission in improving industrial relations in the state sector and in enhancing workplace productivity through improved people management practices.

“Since the launch of our Bargaining Strategy last year, we have had concerns that the State Services Commission has not promoted a consistent approach to bargaining throughout the public service. We are pleased that Government have responded to these concerns by making this a focus for the review.”

“We know from the experience of our members that people management practices are not as good as they could be in many areas of the state sector so we are glad this will be considered as part of the review.

“Workers in the public service have an important role to play in discussions about improving productivity. The PSA has been leading work in determining how public servants can deliver better outcomes for government and the public.”

The programme for 2006 includes a review of drivers influencing the performance of Child, Youth and Family.

“Another review of Child, Youth and Family is concerning given that they are still implementing the findings of the 2003 baseline review,” said Brenda Pilott. “While the increased funding to CYF was welcomed, a review this early may not show its impact.”

“The PSA welcomes the commitment from Government that we will play and active role in this review and we look forward to engaging constructively with government throughout this process,” said Brenda Pilott.

ENDS

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