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State Sector Review Step In The Right Direction

“The review report on the core of the state sector released by the Minister of State Services today is welcomed by the PSA as a significant step in the right direction”; says PSA national secretary Paul Cochrane. The PSA was part of the review team that produced the report and supports the recommendations to rebuild a coherent and co-ordinated public service.

We have over 170 agencies of State in New Zealand serving a population of less than the size of Sydney. This means 170 different Chief Executives, 170 different pay systems, 170 different offices for the public to have to deal with. This fragmentation is a direct result of the breaking up of the public service over the last ten years. We are pleased the government has accepted the folly of this approach and is attempting to bring things together again but in a gradual and pragmatic way. The last thing want to see is another round of rapid restructuring.

However, the PSA is concerned that recommendations from the report may not have gone far enough in gluing back the pieces of the public service. “We would have liked to seen a group given a mandate to provide leadership for the whole of the public service through a public service leadership board, not just the individual departments they work in,”, said Mr Cochrane. “Also we supported departments and agencies being grouped together to form more formal networks than recommended in the report so that departments would be required to work together”, he said.

“But on the whole the report’s recommendations go along way to dealing with the fragmentation and contract driven public service model we have had for the last ten years. At the heart of this report is a focus on providing good services to the public through improved co-operation and co-ordination of government departments and that’s got to be welcomed” said Paul Cochrane.

The PSA will be included on the implementation group charged with developing the changes recommended in the report.

A PSA discussion paper on the Review of the Centre can be viewed at www.psa.org.nz

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