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Improving Value Through Better Crown Entity Monitoring

Our report Improving value through better Crown entity monitoring was presented to the House of Representatives today.

Crown entities carry out a wide range of important public services and functions. In 2020/21, Crown entities were responsible for 39% of central government expenditure, 46% of central government assets, and 74% of the central government workforce. Some examples of Crown entities include ACC, Fire and Emergency, and the Productivity Commission.

Crown entities operate at arm’s length from the Government. This means Ministers have less influence over a Crown entity than they do a government department. Concerns are sometimes raised about the quality of Crown entity monitoring. In recent years, some Crown entities have had well-publicised performance issues. We carried out a performance audit to assess the effectiveness of Crown entity monitoring arrangements and identify opportunities where monitoring could be improved.

Some aspects of Crown entity monitoring are working well. There is good guidance available for Crown entities and monitoring departments, and a strong community of practice where people involved in monitoring can get support. We also saw a genuine willingness to improve the Crown entity monitoring system and draw more value from the monitoring being carried out. Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission is well placed to assume a system leadership role and is already doing some work in this space.

However, there are still improvements that could be made. Monitoring frameworks for Crown entities dont always include clear information about roles and responsibilities, set clear expectations about how performance issues will be dealt with, or reflect the scope, scale, or level of risk associated with the Crown entity being monitored. We would like to see monitoring departments doing more to influence the strategic direction of Crown entities (where appropriate), make connections across the sector, and support Crown entities to identify and resolve problems. We also think monitoring reports should include more information about the risks that Crown entities face, how they are being addressed, and what they might mean for future performance. When monitoring is done well it can help Crown entities deliver better outcomes for New Zealanders.

Our report contains a number of recommendations for monitoring departments, Crown entities, and Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission to consider to help improve monitoring.

We’d like your feedback: Our website includes a feedback form. Please tell us if you found our information useful.

Read our blog posts to find out more about the work of the Office. We also have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages that you can follow.


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