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Reviews aimed at further improving public service

23 February 2006

Reviews aimed at further improving public service

The government's reviews of expenditure across government departments and agencies are aimed at further enhancing and strengthening public services for New Zealanders, Associate Finance Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"The Labour-led government is committed to ensuring that core government spending is well managed and is achieving the desired results, and this exercise builds on previous value for money exercises," Trevor Mallard said.

"We see this process of reviews as a useful part of the ongoing work of ensuring we are making the best choices in the public sector – and to seek out any inefficiencies and reprioritise and shift expenditure where necessary.

"This is sound government management, building on work already undertaken as part of our firm commitment to work to continually improve the public services we deliver to communities around New Zealand.

"In recent years we have made a number of enhancements to our public management system to ensure our state sector is performing as effectively as possible, including changes from the recommendations arising from the Review of the Centre; administrative changes to the conduct of the Budget; the Public Finance Amendment Act 2004; the State Sector Amendment Act 2004; and the Crown Entities Act 2004.

"As part of this process we have identified specific areas for focus where we believe there are opportunities to improve performance and value for money.

"The Cabinet Committee on Government Expenditure and Administration will oversee the expenditure reviews, working with vote ministers. The reviews will be conducted by the agencies involved, with input from the three central agencies (State Services Commission, Treasury and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.)

"The reviews are not aimed at cost-cutting, they are intended to assist government to get more nimble at moving resources to where they have the greatest impact within the agency," Trevor Mallard said.

The areas under review for 2006 are set out in the relevant cabinet committee paper that is available on www.beehive.govt.nz/mallard

ENDS

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