Legislative milestone for public service reform

Comments Off | 11-29-2012

The State Sector and Public Finance Reform Bill concluded its first reading debate in Parliament this afternoon, says State Services Minister Jonathan Coleman.

“This omnibus bill is one of the initiatives by the government as part of its Better Public Services reforms,” said Dr Coleman.

“It is progress towards a more innovative, efficient public sector that delivers better results for New Zealanders,” he said.

Other parties have been consulted on the proposals in the State Sector and Public Finance Reform Bill, which amends the State Sector, Public Finance and Crown Entities Acts.

The proposed changes provide a wider range of public sector management tools to support and encourage:

• Government agencies collaborating more and organising themselves around results.

• Government agencies sharing functions and services,  co-ordinating on purchasing goods and services, and developing systems together in order to leverage the scale and expertise of the state sector.

• Greater financial and reporting flexibility and the provision of more meaningful performance information to Parliament.

• Stronger leadership at the system, sector and departmental level to achieve the desired change in the performance of the state sector.

Delivering better public services is one of the Government’s four priorities for this term.

“A claim made by the New Zealand First associate finance spokesman Andrew Williams today that this legislation will give the Prime Minister “complete dictatorship” over the State Services Commissioner is nonsense,” said Dr Coleman.

“The clause 6 (J) Mr Williams referred to is being carried over in identical wording from the current legislation, which has been in existence since 1988,” he said.

More information on the Government’s Better Public Services reforms, including the pre-introduction Parliamentary briefing provided to other parties and the Cabinet papers and decisions approving the legislative proposals, can be found at:  www.ssc.govt.nz/bps-background-material

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