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Independent review praises PM's department

24 May 2001 Media Statement

Independent review praises PM's department

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet performed well during the demanding transition to coalition governments under MMP, according to an independent review released today by Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Two former senior public servants – ex-State Services Commissioner Don Hunn and economist Alf Kirk –reviewed the roles, scope and operation of the department against the needs, requirements and expectations of the Prime Minister and the coalition Cabinet.

The reviewers concluded that the move to coalition governments has increased workloads and complicated government processes, and raised expectations of the general public, sector groups and political allies to be consulted, making the task of co-ordinating government policy more difficult.

Despite these factors, the reviewers noted that "the department has done well during a very testing time.”

The review recommends initiatives designed to improve the department’s ability to serve the Prime Minister and Cabinet. These include:
- increasing resources to improve the department’s ability to deliver quality services to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet; and
- widening the department’s skills and experience base to provide a wider perspective.

Helen Clark said the department’s budget has increased by $750,000, up 1.2 per cent on the previous year, in line with the review's recommendation.

"The department is already initiating many of the review’s recommendations.

"The review has played an important part in ensuring a key department continues to provide me and the government with quality advice and services," Helen Clark said.


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