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Changes to public services positive move

Changes to public services positive move

The announcement by State Services Minister Trevor Mallard of the integration of the Early Childhood Development Agency into the Ministry of Education and of reviews of the Ministries of Youth Affairs and Women’s Affairs is a positive step, PSA national secretary Lynn Middleton said today.

Lynn Middleton said the radical reforms made to the public service in the 1980s led to a public service of too many separate agencies with stretched resources and insufficient funding to deliver. The Government’s review of New Zealand’s public management system, in which PSA is involved and has been from the beginning, identified this and other serious issues facing our state sector system.

“It became a multiplicity of agencies which were like companies delivering commodities to consumers, rather than services to citizens. This led to a loss of coherence and non-sharing of information and things fell through the cracks.”

“We see the changes as re-organisation rather than restructuring and do not expect job losses or agencies to lose their specialist focus. Where agencies may be merged, we envisage people continuing with their work but as part of a fuller and wider organisation.”

Lynn Middleton said the announcement today is an indication of the move towards a more cohesive and integrated public service in which each organisation should be able to share information, resources and functions and improve their capacity and capability.

“The new approach should lead to greater opportunities for public servants to develop within the public service to the benefit of themselves and their organisation and, of course, to all New Zealanders.”

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