A Higher Performing State Sector
Page updated 8 Jul 2016
A Higher Performing State Sector that New Zealanders Trust, Delivering Outstanding Results and Value for Money is one of the Treasury's three outcomes. Through our work in this area we aim to ensure that the State sector delivers value for money in achieving the Government's priorities.
The Treasury's other outcomes are Improved Economic Performance and A Stable and Sustainable Macroeconomic Environment.
The quality of expenditure, regulation and other interventions by State sector agencies has a significant impact on the living standards of New Zealanders. It impacts both directly and indirectly on New Zealand's stocks of financial and physical capital, human capital, social capital and natural capital. Given the significant impact it has, the State sector needs to do the right things in the right ways at the right time and they must be affordable.
The Government has set a challenge for the State sector to make more progress on a number of key results and to deliver better services within lower allowances for new spending.
Meeting this challenge will depend on focusing on government interventions, whether spending, regulation or government ownership, that have the biggest impact on New Zealanders' living standards and that have benefits that outweigh their costs to society. Keeping this focus on effectiveness and efficiency is important, regardless of the fiscal situation. As raising taxes or debt to finance government expenditure and assets has economic costs, we need to make the most of every dollar that is spent.
The Treasury's role is to ensure that state institutions deliver sustained improvement in results and in their capability to advance government priorities in the future.
The Treasury's interest in improving State sector performance arises from its combined roles as the Government's lead financial and economic advisor and through both our Central Agency (along with the State Services Commission and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) and performance monitoring roles. The shared central agency approach to State sector performance allows greater collective leverage on performance issues. The Treasury has a particular focus on the Crown's overall balance sheet and expenditure.
As a Central Agency, the Treasury works with SSC and DPMC to provide advice on the design of State institutions (the systems and structures of the State sector) and to support, and sometimes lead, changes to these. The central agencies are working together to take forward the Government's Better Public Services programme of State sector reforms.
The Treasury has an important role to play in providing advice to the Government on the economic and financial implications of proposed and existing government interventions. It also has a role to play in supporting agencies to build their financial capability to better deliver results now and in the future. For example, work to strengthen how the government manages its investments and assets includes use of evidence-based tools such as the Investor Confidence Rating.
To find out more about the Treasury's objectives and priorities concerning improved State sector performance, please refer to our latest Statement of Intent.
How Are We Doing?
Research and Policy Publications
Treasury Working Papers and Policy Perspectives Papers are commissioned as part of our core function in developing and providing advice to the Minister of Finance. Papers relating to the State sector can be found through the Public Sector subject link in the Publications Index.
Treasury's senior management, including the Chief Executive, regularly attend speaking engagements where they present on topics related to the Treasury's work programme, including improved state sector performance. Notes from these engagements can be found at Speeches in the Publications section of this website.
Recent speeches include:
- Managing the Crown Balance Sheet to Raise Living Standards (26 March 2014) - Speech by Vicky Robertson, Deputy Chief Executive to the Treasury
- Stewardship of the Public Service: Serving New Zealand’s Needs and Changing the Way We Do Business (15 April 2013) - Speech by Gabriel Makhlouf, Secretary to the Treasury
- Leading through Change - The Challenge for the Treasury and the State Sector (2 March 2012 - Speech by Gabriel Makhlouf, Secretary of the Treasury
- Role of Public Sector Performance in Economic Growth (1 April 2011) - Speech by Andrew Kibblewhite, Deputy Chief Executive of the Treasury
- Public Sector Performance: the New Zealand Experience (10 March 2011) - Speech by Fergus Welsh, Chief Financial Officer of the Treasury
- Public Sector Management: a Treasury Perspective on Contracting for Outcomes and Managing Risks (24 November 2010) - Speech by Gabriel Makhlouf, Deputy Chief Executive (now Chief Executive) of the Treasury