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Terms of reference: Review of targeted programmes

Terms of reference: Review of targeted programmes

Coordinating Minister, Race Relations Trevor Mallard today released the Terms of Reference for the government’s review of targeted policy and programmes.

Trevor Mallard says the review will cover: Targeted policy – what was intended and the reasons for it; and Targeted programmes – how the policy is delivered and its impact.

"The review of targeted policy and programmes is a priority for the government. The objective of the review is to give ministers and the public assurance that policy is being developed on the basis of need, not on the basis of race," Trevor Mallard said.

"In addition, at some later date, a review of statutory references to the Treaty of Waitangi may be undertaken. But this will not be confirmed or otherwise until the government makes its final decision on the nature of an inquiry into the Treaty of Waitangi."

Trevor Mallard said the State Services Commission would coordinate, monitor and report on the Review activities.

"This is consistent with the State Services Commissioner’s statutory role of reviewing the performance of departments and chief executives.

"The first priorities for the Commission will be to appoint staff to the Review Unit and to develop a work plan for the Review programme. The work plan will be developed in consultation with relevant departments and will be sent to the government in mid-May 2004 for consideration," Trevor Mallard said.

The terms of reference are attached.

Terms of Reference:

Ministerial Review Unit to oversee review of targeted policy and programmes


The Coordinating Minister, Race Relations requires assurance to be provided to Ministers that policies and programmes are targeted on the basis of need not on the basis of race. In addition, at some later date a review of statutory references to the Treaty of Waitangi may be undertaken. This document details the terms of reference for a Unit within the State Services Commission in relation to this work.

Review Scope

The Review comprises:

policy – what was intended and the reasons for it; and

programmes – how the policy is delivered and its impact.

Consideration will also be given to reviewing how the range of provisions for participation by Maori in statutory processes are working in practice.

The scope of the Review does not include processes to settle historic Treaty claims.

SSC Role

The Unit within the SSC will not normally undertake Reviews. It will plan, coordinate, monitor and advise on Review activity. Where necessary, it will be involved in the conduct of a Review, including the preparation of urgent reports for Ministers.

The SSC Unit will define criteria to assist departments to identify policies and programmes for review. These will assist departments to manage the demands of the Review and their business as usual commitments. The Unit will also establish criteria to aid departments in reviewing the selected policies and programmes.

The Unit will give advice to the Coordinating Minister, Race Relations, and other Ministers where relevant, about the quality of the departmental process of selection and review of policies and programmes against the Review criteria, and judgements about the quality of advice from departments following their completion of reviews.

The Unit will work closely with all government departments covered by the ambit of the review.

Ministries of Social Development, Mâori Development and Pacific Island Affairs roles

The Ministry of Social Development leads coordination of the Government’s strategy to reduce inequalities. The current work programme includes development of a report to the Social Development Committee in early May on key future policy priorities for reducing inequalities. This work will inform the work of the Unit. It will be an objective of the Unit to see that the Government’s programme to reduce inequalities addresses inequalities both within and between ethnic groups.

The Ministry of Mâori Development evaluates and reviews the policy and performance of public service departments to assist the Ministry to lead and influence policy aimed at the achievement of Mâori specific outcomes.

The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs has the mandate to advise and support actions across the whole range of government activity to improve the status of Pacific Island peoples.

Although the work of the Unit relates to the Review of targeted policy and programmes generally rather than in relation to Mâori and Pacific Island peoples, the Ministry of Mâori Development and Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs are well placed to be key contributors to the work of the Review unit.

Role of Public Service Departments

Departmental Chief Executives will generally be responsible for the actual selection of targeted policies and programmes (on the basis of the criteria developed), carrying out the reviews of policies and programmes selected, and tendering advice to their responsible Minister and the Coordinating Minister, Race Relations on any action to be taken, following consultation with the Unit.

Departments are responsible for managing their reviews within their baselines.

Functions of the Unit

In respect of the Review of targeted policy and programmes, the Unit will:

develop a work programme, including priority reviews and timeframes, for consideration by Cabinet;

develop and promulgate for consideration by Cabinet, in close liaison with the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Mâori Development and Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, and in consultation with departments, criteria to assist departments to select policies and programmes for Review;

establish a schedule for departments to provide progress reports to the Unit and advice to Ministers;

design a consistent approach to departmental reporting to minimise transaction costs and maximise transparency;

define and promulgate, in close liaison with the Ministry of Social Development and in consultation with departments, criteria to be applied in the Review of targeted programmes and policies;

maintain an overview of the response by the Public Service (initially the Unit will work with the Public Service; if over time it needs to work with entities in the wider State Sector it may be necessary for the Prime Minister to direct the State Services Commissioner under Section 11 of the State Sector Act);

provide advice and assistance to departments about how to apply the Review criteria; and where necessary coordinate the work programmes of departments, e.g. where there is complementary or interdependent policy/programmes;

provide progress reports on the Review to the State Services Commissioner and the Coordinating Minister, Race Relations;

provide advice to both the Coordinating Minister, Race Relations and the responsible Minister on the quality of departmental Reviews, including judgements about the quality of advice from the department on what action is required;

develop Guidelines for designing needs based policies and programmes in the future;

support and liaise with the Minister’s office on matters related to the Review; and

communicate and consult with Public Service Chief Executives, as primary stakeholders, and others as appropriate, particularly when developing criteria referred above.

The Unit may at some time in the future undertake a review of statutory references to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Indicative Resources

The Unit within the State Services Commission will be established with a core of 5 team members (either on fixed term contract or on secondment).

3 FTE senior policy analyst.

1 FTE Vote analyst.

1 FTE Advisor to support and liaise with the Minister’s office in respect of the Review.

One of these will be the Director of the Unit.

The Unit will have some Communications capacity, but the varying demands for this over the life of the Review are yet to be determined.

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