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Government Announces Detail Of WINZ Inquiry

The Government today released the terms of reference for the Ministerial Review into the Department of Work and Income New Zealand and announced that former State Services Commissioner Don Hunn will conduct the review.

State Services Minister Trevor Mallard said the review would focus on WINZ's core responsibilities, including assessing whether the policy objectives that led to the establishment of WINZ are consistent with the Government's mandate for improving performance in social policy.

It will also examine ownership issues such as the department's strengths, weaknesses, the quality of its strategic and business plans, issues of style and culture within the organisation, and any matters impacting on medium to long term viability.

"We will use the results of the inquiry to provide us with an informed basis for Government decisions on the future policies and direction for the department," Trevor Mallard said.

"The Government is driving a culture change in the public sector. It is guided by principles of moderation, thrift, and service to the public. WINZ has a reputation for wastage and extravagance that the public find unacceptable from a government agency.

"As a government, we are determined that the public receives a professional and efficient service for their taxes. There is certainly a perception that they are not getting this from WINZ.

"The review is a chance to have this examined independently and to receive recommendations on how to address some of the weaknesses within the department.

"I am delighted that Don Hunn has agreed to conduct the review. He has extensive public management expertise and is highly regarded for his expertise in complex public sector management issues," Trevor Mallard said.

Mr Hunn will report to the Minister in late April.

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