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State Services Commissioner Announces Retirement

State Services Commissioner Announces Retirement
25 January 2008

Mark Prebble, the State Services Commissioner, said today that he intends to step down from the job in the middle of this year.

"When I was appointed four years ago, the Government asked me to establish a renewed leadership role for the State Services Commission (SSC). That has led to three main priorities in the job.

"First, is the traditional SSC role in setting standards; the most important step was the issue of the Code of Conduct for the State Services, late last year.

"Second, is a revival of the SSC role in pointing the direction for improved management in government agencies. The Development Goals for the State Services were issued in 2005, and the first milestones were substantially met in mid-2007.

"Third, is a new role for SSC in measuring the effectiveness of government agencies in meeting the needs of New Zealanders. This too is in place, and the first of regular surveys will be published in the next couple of months.

"Though the programme now has real momentum, a succession of minor health problems has affected my own work rate. In this job, I believe it is more important to serve well than it is to serve my time. Accordingly, I have decided to move aside to allow the next Commissioner to bring fresh ideas and fresh energy to the job,” Mark Prebble said.

The State Service Commissioner’s appointment has a 5 year term, and Mark Prebble’s term formally ends in mid-2009. His planned last day of work is now 30 June 2008. The notice period allows time for a new Commissioner to be selected well before the election period and for a lengthy overlap and transition before taking up the role.

"I have completed over 30 years of work in the Public Service, nearly half that time as a senior manager in The Treasury, The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the State Services Commission. It has been a great privilege to be entrusted with these roles, but it is now time for me to move on," Mark Prebble said.

Under the law the State Services Commissioner is appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. As has happened with previous appointments of State Services Commissioners, the appointment process will be handled by the Minister of State Services. The position will be publicly advertised in the next few weeks.


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