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Chapter 5: Government Objectives and Delivery

...The highest priority government objectives need to be delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible and quality asset management is required to get the most from new and existing investment.  This allows more or better services to be provided at lower cost to taxpayers...

  • Chapter summary
  • Government objectives
  • Delivery mechanisms
  • Investing well
  • Owning well
  • Future developments

Chapter summary

Governments have many objectives and limited resources with which to deliver on them. Delivering on these objectives effectively and efficiently allows for more or better public goods and services to be delivered with a given amount of funding, or alternatively, to deliver current levels of service at less cost to taxpayers.

There are alternative options available to deliver on government objectives, with new options emerging over time such as cloud computing technologies. These delivery mechanisms have differing costs, benefits and risks that need to be robustly evaluated. Crown ownership should not be seen as the default option. Alternative methods of delivery can have benefits over ownership for attaining optimal value for money.

To ensure value for money, the highest value investment options should be implemented. Governments need to continually assess whether existing assets still align with objectives, and if not, consider freeing up capital resources for other uses. Better information and a more systematic decision making approach to investment would support this.

Asset management is critical to ensuring that maximum benefit is generated from Crown assets on an on-going basis. There is evidence of a gap between current and desired levels of asset management practice within capital intensive Crown entities and departments. This suggests there is scope for improvement.

While steps have been taken in recent years to improve capital allocation and investment decisions, an initial assessment suggests there is a case for greater coordination in improving asset performance and decision making. However, it is important that coordination does not reduce agency accountability.

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