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Q&A on new Ministry of Youth Development

Questions and Answers on new Ministry of Youth Development

How many staff are in the Ministries?

There are about 28 staff in Youth Affairs, and approximately 5,200 in Social Development.

How will the merger affect staff at the two departments?

All Youth Affairs staff (with the exception of the chief executive) will be offered positions with the Ministry of Social Development to start on 1 October 2003 with an integration process being managed by the Ministry of Social Development.

It is likely that some Youth Affairs positions will disappear or change following the merger. However, the chief executive of the Ministry of Social Development and the government is committed to completing this transition with few, if any, staff redundancies.

The chief executive's position at Youth Affairs will become redundant and a new general manager of the Ministry of Youth Affairs will be appointed.

No positions in the Ministry of Social Development will be lost. However the youth policy functions will be brought together in the Ministry of Youth Development.

The PSA has been consulted on the merger and will be involved in the merger process.

What is the background to the sector review?

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 2003, the government asked the State Services Commission to review the capability needs of 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 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 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 State Services Commission.

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 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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