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Government responds to standards board report

Sunday 11 March 2001 Media Statement

Government responds to standards board report

Government Ministers will be signing statements of commitment to the state sector following acceptance of the first report of the State Sector Standards Board.

The board was established last year to prepare a draft statement of the Government's expectations of the State sector and provide an annual report on the ethos of the State sector.

State Services Minister Trevor Mallard said today that Cabinet had agreed to act on the board’s recommended statement of expectations.

"This describes the values - integrity, honesty and respect - that state servants and state organisations should observe. It provides a set of principles to ensure those values are demonstrated in practice. It paints a clear picture of the values that the Labour-Alliance Government expects State agencies to observe in their decision-making.

“At the same time, the Government is taking an unprecedented step in New Zealand, and making a reciprocal commitment by Ministers to the State sector. Following the board's recommendation, Ministers will formally sign up to their role as stewards of the State sector. We are recognising that the performance of the State sector will be substantially influenced by the actions and processes of Ministers acting collectively and individually.

“These two statements mean that the Government has opened a new chapter, in New Zealand, in building a sound relationship upon which Ministers and officials jointly endeavour to serve the community.”

Trevor Mallard said the State Sector Standards Board's report reaffirmed the critical role of the State sector.

"The report shows that there are core values that are more important in the State sector than they are in other organisations.

"It also stresses the need for the State sector to work harder towards a more 'whole of government' approach.

"The board has pulled together several major aspects of public management in New Zealand and provides a challenge to the Government and the State Sector to improve performance.

"I would like to thank Kerry McDonald and the other members of the State Sector Standards Board for a job well done," Trevor Mallard said.


A full copy of the State Sector Standards Board report is available on the Government web site:

Reporters please note:

1. The statement of expectations is likely to apply differently according to types of organisations. Responsible Ministers will communicate the statement to chief executives of departments and boards of non-company Crown entities. In the case of Crown companies and State owned enterprises, shareholding Ministers will discuss the expectations with boards of directors, emphasising any element of the expectations that are particularly relevant. Boards will take into account elements of the expectations to which shareholding Ministers and boards agree.

2. The standards board was set up in November to advise the Minister on a statement of expectations, from the Government, that will apply to Government departments, Crown entities, and State owned enterprises. The board was the result of a pre-election commitment. The expectations statement was proposed in the Ministerial review of the Department of Work and Income. Board members are: Kerry McDonald (chair); Angela Foulkes; John Martin; Rangimarie Parata Takurua; Elmar Toime; and Jim Turner.

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