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‘Sir Humphrey’ in public sector productivity study

‘Sir Humphrey’ in public sector productivity study

National Party State Services spokesman Gerry Brownlee says there are “definite shades of Sir Humphrey” in a study to determine whether it is possible to measure public sector productivity.

“Labour has hired 1.5 people, to work for two years on a study where ‘the key outcome sought from Statistics New Zealand's feasibility study into measuring public sector productivity is to determine whether it is possible to measure public sector productivity in New Zealand’.

The study is due to start in July, with results in June 2010.

“If we accept Wellington workers are among the highest paid in the country with an average salary of $65,869*, then this study will conservatively cost taxpayers nearly $200,000 in salaries, plus overheads.

“Yes, it is tricky measuring public sector productivity, but other countries are managing it. We still appear to be deciding whether it’s feasible at all, when we already know what the answer is.”

The UK had the Atkinson Review, which was a year-long review of the measurement of UK government output and productivity. Ironically one of those consulted as part of the review was Len Cook (formerly the NZ Chief Statistician). **

“Sadly, even Michael Cullen has had to admit in areas like health, the taxpayer hasn’t been getting enough bang for its buck.

“Labour isn’t taking this issue seriously. When the core Government bureaucracy has blown out to become the fastest growing sector in the economy, we’d expect them to be putting more urgency into actually doing something about it. If others can, why can’t we?”


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