The Treasury has released the third annual administrative and support (A&S) services benchmarking report (BASS), which provides findings of the cost, efficiency and effectiveness of A&S services across the State sector.
Findings are based on data for the 2011/12 and two preceding financial years, and cover six A&S functions across 29 agencies: Human Resources (HR), Finance, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Procurement, Property Management, and Corporate and Executive Services.
This year's results show that the overall A&S costs of the participating agencies have increased modestly when compared to the first BASS exercise – a total of $37.5 million. In real terms costs have decreased by 3.5% or $55.1 million since 09/10.
"Some agencies have made progress in lifting the efficiency and effectiveness of their admin and support services, but we're continuing to pursue deeper gains. This will take time – our focus is on achieving lasting improvements by seeing the most effective operating practices adopted more widely,” says Fergus Welsh, the Treasury's Chief Financial Officer.
Cross-agency projects are currently underway across the State sector in ICT, finance, HR and legal services, and procurement reform, with a focus on reducing cost and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of these services. A Property Management Centre of Expertise is also driving best practice property management across the State sector.
The Treasury is continuing to refine BASS. In particular, additional measures are being developed to get a better understanding of ICT spend and performance.
"We need to be clearer about the business value of ICT investments. BASS can help improve our understanding of cost drivers in ICT, which can feed into better planning for the future," said Mr. Welsh.
The Treasury commissioned an independent review of the benchmarking survey in 2011/12. The review found the survey is well received by agency managers, while also highlighting the need to improve performance management capability across the State sector.
Six additional State sector agencies and seven regional councils have voluntarily adopted the survey methodology in 2011/12.
"High quality admin and support services are essential for organisations to run smoothly and lift overall performance. Ultimately the goal is to provide better public services for New Zealanders, so it's great to see more agencies putting a stronger focus on performance management in the back office," said Mr. Welsh.
Media contact:Aidan Meerman | Communications
Tel: +64 4 917 6163
Mob: +64 (0)21 396 828
Email: [email protected]