Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Crown Entity Governance & The Lotteries Commission

State Services Minister Simon Upton moved today to put the recent events at the Lotteries Commission into the wider context of an ever more transparent and accountable public sector.

"Most of the recent attention given to executive payments in public organisations has arisen from the Government requiring full disclosure of those payments.

Full disclosure of payments to Chief Executives and senior managers has been in place for some time now for State Owned Enterprises and for Government Departments. Only since March 1998 have similar reporting requirements been extended to the third major category, Crown entities.

"The Government had been dis-satisfied with the rather messy regime covering Crown entities. Since the State Sector reforms of the late 1980s, it has been explicitly a matter for boards to decide on Chief Executive remuneration in SOEs and Crown entities. The roles of Ministers and the State Services Commission for the Crown entities group, meanwhile, remained unclear. The grounds for dismissing boards of Crown entities when things went wrong were very narrow in many cases.

"These concerns led directly to the Crown entities package of 15 July. For the future, the rules are very clear. Any proposed payments outside the guidelines will be brought to the attention of Ministers. Any new appointments to boards (aside from quasi-judicial entities) will sit under the full knowledge that they remain at the pleasure of the Crown.

"Last week, following the disclosure of another unsatisfactory example from the old regime, the Prime Minister asked me to pull together all the information available to us on Crown entities and state agencies. The object was to see if there were any other employment packages that were widely out of line.

"I am concerned, but not surprised that as the management arrangements for this large and varied group of organisations have been brought out into the open, out-liers have emerged", Mr Upton said. "The ad hoc arrangements that governed them for over a decade made this almost inevitable. The July guidelines guaranteed they would see the light of day."

In the case of the Lotteries Commission, the remuneration package to the Chief Executive was inconsistent with SSC guidelines. The Lotteries Commission complied with the obligation to consult but, under the rules of the day, it was under no obligation to accept the SSC's advice.

"The Government will not be seeking to dismiss board Chair, Mr Geoffrey Thompson. While the Government may disagree with the decisions the Lotteries Commission made, it was entitled under the old regime to exercise its judgement.

"If the same situation were to arise today under the new regime, the outcome would be very different. The Lotteries Commission will not have the same freedom in respect of Mr Bale's replacement," Mr Upton said.

"Another oversight that my investigation has uncovered relates to the ACC. The ACC board failed to consult over the terms and conditions for its Chief Executive as it was required to do. The Chief Executive's overall salary package was also at the extreme upper end of the guidelines.

"The SSC is not aware of any other remuneration packages which are significantly outside the guidelines, for those Crown entities which are required to consult with it.

"The SSC is aware of instances where consultation has been less than adequate.

"Lapses in process are of considerable concern to the Government. But they must been seen as the tail end of an old regime that related to Crown entities. I am confident that the new Crown entities framework will ensure that, into the future, any proposed departures from Government guidelines will be identified and reported to Ministers well before they become a problem," said Mr Upton.

The highest rates of payment in the State Sector are for the most senior management in SOEs - TVNZ, the former ECNZ, NZ Post, and others. Most of these have already been publicised. The Minister for State Owned Enterprises is making a separate statement on SOE sector salaries.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Commerce Commission: Retail Fuel "Not As Competitive As It Could Be"

The Commission has outlined some options it considers could improve competition. There are two broad sets of options it thinks may have the potential to help create a competitive wholesale market. These are:

• Greater contractual freedom to make it easier for resellers to switch between suppliers; and
• Enabling wider participation in the majors’ joint infrastructure, notably the shared terminals and supporting logistics involved in their borrow-and-loan system.
Further options, including improving the transparency of premium petrol prices, are discussed in the draft report. More>>

 

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Bad Mail

Cabinet was updated on the process around prisoners sending mail, following the accused Christchurch gunman sending letters that "should have been stopped". All mail of "high concern prisoners" will now be checked by a specialist team and a changes to the legal criteria for witholding mail are expecting to go to a cabinet committee in this parliamentary session. More>>

Welfare: Ongoing Drug-Test Sanctions Contradicts Govt’s Rhetoric

Reports that two-thirds of beneficiaries who fail drug tests are still having their benefit sanctioned contradicts the Government’s so-called health approach to drugs. More>>

ALSO:

Welfare: More Measures To Help Those Facing Homelessness

Ministers have announced $54 million in Government funding for initiatives which will support at-risk individuals and whānau to stay in their existing tenancies. The funding will also provide additional wrap around services. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: New Strategy On Māori Reoffending And imprisonment

Authentic co-design with Māori, incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview, and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ new departmental strategy designed to address the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels