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Performance Improvement Framework Review

In 2013/14, we participated in a review of the Treasury's performance under the PIF. These reviews are undertaken periodically to assess how well government agencies are placed to deliver on their mandates. The lead reviewers of the review were Patsy Reddy and David Butler, to whom we owe special thanks for their thorough analysis and insightful feedback.

The review provided us with an opportunity to stand back and reflect on our performance and to consider how we can do things better and whether the changes we have been making in what we do and how we do it are actually helping us to become a better Treasury.

The review recognised the good work we have done to help deliver some of the Government's priorities, such as housing and social welfare reform, and it indicated that we have delivered our core functions effectively; for example, advising the Government on creating a stable macroeconomic environment and improving economic performance, as well as supporting the Minister of Finance to develop and deliver his fiscal strategy. The review also recognised the Treasury's leadership role in developing the Living Standards Framework.

The ratings show we have made good progress towards our goal of lifting our performance. In respect of our core business, reviewers rated the effectiveness of our stable and sustainable macroeconomic environment outcome as "strong" (rated "well placed" in 2010), and our improved economic performance outcome was rated "well placed" (rated "needs development" in 2010). While the rating for our higher performing State sector outcome remained "needs development", we will be looking to drive similar improvements in this area.

In our organisational management, eight of the 17 dimensions were rated "well placed" and one was rated "strong". This contrasts with four of the 17 dimensions rated "well placed", and none rated "strong", in the 2010 review. No ratings were rated "weak" in either review.

The "strong" rating for 2013/14 pertained to our primary role of advising the Government and engaging with Ministers. Success for the Treasury means being best-placed to support Ministers, both now and in the future. We see this as being at the heart of our stewardship responsibilities and we will be working to maintain this standard.

Four dimensions moved from "needs development" to "well placed" between 2010 and 2014. These related to characteristics such as leadership, strategy, culture and engagement; all areas that have been the focus of specific attention and investment in recent years.

Of course, there are other areas that were rated "needs development"; and in which there is room for us to improve. These included Leadership and Workforce Development, Management of our People and Improving our Effectiveness and Efficiency. We agree with the reviewers that we can and should do more if we are to perform to the best of our ability and to achieve our vision to raise living standards for all New Zealanders.

On balance, the PIF findings were positive for us; while clearly identifying the reality of the performance challenges we face, the review also affirmed that we were already headed in the right direction to resolve them. We remain committed to lifting these dimensions over forthcoming years and our ambition is high. In the remainder of this section, we outline the work we are doing to address the gaps.

It is early days, but we have already begun to embark on a number of actions that will address the issues that this review, and a number of others reviews we commissioned during the year, have shed light on. Many of these actions sit within our change programme. Broadly speaking they concern how we retain, attract and grow our staff; work together, how we collaborate with others; and how well we engage with our stakeholders.

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