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Results of public services reviews released

20 December 2006 Media Statement
Embargoed until 2pm

Results of public services reviews released

Associate Minister of Finance Trevor Mallard today released several reviews commissioned as part of the government's ongoing commitment to continuously strengthen and improve public services for New Zealanders.

The reviews released today are:
• Reviews of Care and Protection Systems (CYF)
• Central Agencies
• Capital Asset Management
• Information and Communications Technology
• Employment Relations in the State Sector
• Enhancing Productivity through People Management Practices
• Defence Capital Asset Management

"One of the objectives of this review process was to further enhance and strengthen public services for New Zealanders. The reviews build on previous work and were aimed at making sure that core government spending is well managed and achieving the desired results," Trevor Mallard said.

"The process of reviewing expenditure and services so we can make continuous improvements is an ongoing one for this government. These reviews will help inform our decisions about expenditure going forward, so we can make better use of existing resources to ensure there is value for money.

"The bulk of the reviews released today focus on the working of public sector managements systems to ensure that quality services are delivered for the resources used. In some areas the findings have reinforced that we are doing things reasonably well while elsewhere we have agreed to the recommended improvements.

"For example the three central agencies (State Services Commission, Treasury and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet), will assume clearer leadership over capital asset management and ICT investments.

"Similarly, the review into Child, Youth and Family found that all existing work in the areas of demand management and management of care services is contributing to greater sustainability of the care and protection service, but it also made a number of specific cross-government recommendations.

"The Labour-led government has always been committed to rebuilding the public service after severe cutbacks by National in the 1990s. We are working hard to make sure the services that the New Zealand public receives in health, education and other areas are as strong as possible, while we maintain our commitment to sound and prudent fiscal management as the economy grows.

"This approach has been reflected in the December report by Standards and Poors, which noted that New Zealand's public sector has a "robust fiscal profile" and "central government expenditure control has been good.

"As I have previously said, these reviews were not aimed at cost-cutting, but were intended to assist government to get more nimble at moving resources to where they have the greatest impact within the agency. A number of the reviews released today are focused on getting government agencies to work together to get better results – and for systems and processes to be improved," Trevor Mallard said.

The reviews into immigration fees, land transport sector, and the health sector will report next year as these reviews are coordinating with other work in those areas.

The reviews released today are available on www.treasury.govt.nz/exgreviews - and include relevant Cabinet papers, the review reports and fact sheets for each review.


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