March 4th, 2010
A crucial phase in the process to lift public sector performance has been reached this week. As part of the budget process, state departments and agencies are reporting back to Ministers on how they are dealing with their baseline expenditures to deliver the “significant and enduring changes to the way they operate,” demanded by the PM. This follows the Govt decree most agencies will not get additional funding, eliminating the customary bidding process for new money. Departments have been looking at reorganising their back-office functions, sharing support services with other Govt agencies, and making better use of technology.
The Govt is also seeking better techniques to manage its $200bn worth of assets. Just what, if any, savings can be achieved may not be visible until the budget is unveiled in May. Already the pips are beginning to squeak, as disclosed by Radio NZ’s cri de coeur last week and the head of the Govt Communications Security Bureau Sir Bruce Ferguson declaring the challenges the bureau face have been made “more daunting” by financial constraints. The bureau, he says, provides unique intelligence, “creating a decision-making advantage for the Govt.”
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