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Q&A – Ministry of Women’s Affairs Changes

Questions and answers - Ministry of Women's Affairs

How many staff are in the Ministry of Women's Affairs?

24.

Ministry staff positions are not affected by this review outcome.

What is the background to the sector reviews?

Sector reviews were suggested in the government's 2001 appraisal of New Zealand's public management system, the Review of the Centre. The Review of the Centre identified four areas for improvement:

- focus more on results/outcomes;

- becoming more citizen and community centred;

- building the culture, people and leadership; and

- better integration of structures and processes.

This Review recommended a series of initiatives to address fragmentation and improve alignment of state sector agencies with government objectives. The full Review report can be found at: www.ssc.govt.nz

How did the review come about?

In March, the government asked the State Services Commission to review the Ministry for Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Women's Affairs. The government was committed to continuing the work of Women's Affairs and Youth Affairs but believed that there could be areas for improved sector performance.

Based on the role and purpose of each ministry the review:

- examined the capability needs each ministry has to deliver its outputs, now and in the future to achieve outcomes (the description of the capability needs was informed by extensive consultation with governmental stakeholders, including management and staff);

- developed criteria to evaluate options to enhance the capability in each ministry;

- identified structural and non-structural (virtual administration and enhancing the status quo) options to build and maintain capability, and their associated risks; and

- evaluated these options against the criteria.

Who undertook the review?

The review work programme was led by the State Services Commission (SSC) and involved a project group of representatives from the Treasury, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), the Public Service Association (PSA) and the acting chief executive of the ministry. Staff from the ministry have had the opportunity to take part in the review process through being directly consulted by the SSC.

Why was the review outcome different for the two ministries?

Although these two departments are both "population ministries" their specific roles, relationships with other departments, and current situations differ significantly. While both Youth Affairs and Women's Affairs have an over-arching cross-government focus, Youth Affairs sits closely with the social development interests of the Ministry of Social Development. In addition, the capability issues are significantly different - with Youth Affairs facing challenges in its external environment while Women's Affairs has a number of internal and external issues.

What other sectors have been reviewed?

The government recently announced the results of a justice sector review, which resulted in a merger of the Department of Courts into the Ministry of Justice.

What is the purpose of the reviews?

The government is always seeking ways to improve the performance of the state sector. This work programme follows on from the government decision in its last term to improve the performance of the social sector by merging the Department of Work and Income with the Ministry for Social Policy.

The purpose of the sector reviews is to consider ways to improve whole-of-government effectiveness to achieve results for New Zealanders. The reviews are intended to increase alignment between government agencies and reduce fragmentation where this is a barrier to improving performance.


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