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Cabinet decision on Ministry of Social Development

11 April 2001 Media Statement

Cabinet decision on Ministry of Social Development

The Department of Work and Income and the Ministry of Social Policy will form the basis of a new Ministry of Social Development, State Services Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

Trevor Mallard said Cabinet agreed this week that a new Ministry based on the Department of Work and Income and the Ministry of Social Policy should be the Government's primary adviser on strategic and cross-sectoral social policy, as well as continuing to deliver income support and other social services to the community.

The new Ministry will be called the Ministry of Social Development.

"This will impact on the Ministry of Social Policy as well as DWI. However, it will not impact on other agencies in the short term.

"Even for MSP and DWI, it will be a relatively small change. We will not be readvertising everyone's jobs and spending millions on rebranding. What we are chasing is quality advice, both cross sectoral and strategic, and an approach to service delivery informed by social development.

"The Ministry of Social Development will be flexible enough to change in the future."

The position of the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development would be advertised within the next fortnight.

Trevor Mallard said Cabinet's decision was part of a wider Government objective to strengthen the centre of the public service.

"We do not wish to undertake wholesale reform or restructuring of the public service. But we are looking for a plan for significant improvement, which could be developed and put in place for implementation over a period of years.

"We are beginning to develop terms of reference for a review of the centre. Some of the things I think are important are:

- whether the large number of departments we have is appropriate
- whether some activities of crown entities should be performed departmentally
- the policy/operations division questions
- whether there are unnecessary compliance costs resulting from very legalistic contractual approach
- whether the current regime restricts appropriate devolution
- building the leadership
- training and employment issues.

"Cabinet's decision this week is part of this process," Trevor Mallard said.


ENDS

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