Parliament

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

 

Setting the benchmark for public management

3 December 2003 Media Statement

Setting the benchmark for public management

Finance Minister Michael Cullen today tabled legislation which will ensure New Zealand continues to set the world benchmark for public management.

“The Public Finance [State Sector Management] Bill is designed to strengthen the public service, make it more transparent and flexible, allow a more integrated response to complex social problems involving a number of state agencies and invigorate the culture of the state sector.

“The bill stems from the 2001 Review of the Centre and represents the first major change to state sector governance in a decade. It integrates the Fiscal Responsibility Act into the Public Finance Act 1989, amends the Public Finance Act and the State Sector Act 1988 and creates a new Crown Entities Act,” Dr Cullen said.

“Because the proposed changes are more technical than political, the government is seeking cross-party support for the bill. We offered briefings to all parties and have briefed all but New Zealand First which elected not to take up the offer.”

Measures to improve transparency and accountability include:
- a stronger differentiation between the Budget Policy Statement and the Fiscal Strategy Report so that the BPS focuses more on the upcoming budget while the FSR concentrates on the government’s short and long-term fiscal objectives;
- a requirement on the Treasury to report every four years on the fiscal outlook and risks over the next 40 years with specific reference to the implications of an ageing population;
- inclusion in the budget of a statement on the impact on revenue flows of recent government tax decisions;
- requiring departments, Offices of Parliament and Crown Entities to report to Parliament annually not just on their finances but also on their intended and actual performance and;
- applying these reporting requirements, with appropriate modifications to recognise special sensitivities, to the Security Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Security Bureau.

Crown entities encompass a diversity of organisations, from schools and hospitals to Radio New Zealand, Te Papa and the Commerce Commission. They account for almost half of the state sector administrative budget and employ two thirds of the state workforce. Most are governed by boards.
The bill sets a framework for board fees, requires that fee levels and staff remuneration are disclosed in the annual report, outlines board members’ duties and makes it clear that the Minister can remove them for non-compliance and that they are not entitled to compensation should they cease to hold office for any reason.

“This should prevent a repeat of the large sums of money paid in 1999 to departing members of the Tourism Board, the golden handshakes paid in 1998 and 1999 to a number of senior executives of the Fire Service Commission and the resignation in 1999 of the Chief Executive of the Lotteries Commission following public concerns at the amount he was paid.

“All these incidents damaged public confidence in the institutions of government. The public needs to be aware that we are moving to prevent a recurrence,” Dr Cullen said.

Provisions in the bill to provide greater flexibility include:
- allowing more than one minister to be responsible for a Vote while making it clear which Minister is answerable to Parliament for each appropriation;
- making it easier for departments to deliver or contract services on behalf of each other;
- enabling ministers to make fiscally neutral adjustments between departmental output classes covered by the same appropriation without further reference to Parliament, while maintaining accountability by requiring performance reporting on the individual output classes.

Dr Cullen said the proposed amendments to the State Sector Act aimed to foster leadership and staff development within the wider state sector and to build a cohesive sense of values, ethics and standards.

“The New Zealand public service is recognised as one of the least corrupt in the world and the rules which govern it as among the most sophisticated and transparent.

“The changes the government is proposing today will build on both these strengths and safeguard them into the future,” Dr Cullen said.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>

 

Government: Fair Pay Agreements To Improve Pay And Conditions For Essential Workers

The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>

ALSO:


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:

PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels