Policy Buzz: State Sector and Crown Entities Reform Bill - Is the Wheel Being Reinvented?

Tēnā koutou and welcome to the second edition of Policy Buzz – a fortnightly snapshot of hot topics in the Public Sector and a forum to share your thoughts and ideas on how these issues affect you and your work within government.

State Sector and Crown Entities Reform Bill

Following on from my last article, the State Sector and Crown Entities Reform Bill is still very relevant in terms of discussion points.  Quite a few people out there have made comments about the frustration of working in a siloed environment, and that more cross-agency collaboration would make their work a whole lot easier.

Lip Service

A lot of this discussion has got me wondering whether this Bill is just a lip service to more modern ideas of cross-agency collaboration. Sure, it makes a lot of sense to work alongside other agencies toward shared policy goals, like child poverty reduction; but - How easy is it really in this current frame work, and do you think this Reform Bill will make any difference?

Is the Wheel Being Reinvented?

Cross-agency collaboration isn’t a particularly new idea, and many areas have been working together for some time towards shared goals. Let's talk about the Better Public Services initiative for instance. Albeit it was scrapped earlier this year, this saw the Social Sector Forum working together on shared social sector priorities to achieve targets’. 

Or let's take MBIE's Better for Business initiative, which seeks to enable the government to improve the services provided to businesses and enhance the customer experience. According to MBIE, there are over 20 agencies delivering in excess of 300 services to businesses. It's not difficult to see how this can discourage new businesses from getting it right the first time. 

MBIE's initiative has since brought together 10 government agencies committed to making significant improvements to the business experience with government; working closely with businesses to identify key pain points and design ways to achieve better business outcomes.

This is probably most relevant to me as a Contract Recruiter and to a lot of you as Contractors. What does this actually mean though? And a question for contractors:  Do you feel your work is being duplicated across other agencies, or are bigger projects using a “simplified approach”?

Advisor vs Analyst vs Senior

Many people I speak to raise questions about the disparity in role titles within certain agencies, like why does someone with the title of ‘Senior Advisor’ in one Ministry, have the same responsibilities and job description as someone else in another Ministry titled ‘Advisor’? In some roles this may depend on the level of work and the ‘pay band’ you fit within. For others it’s easier for those hiring managers just to use the blanket title of ‘Advisor’ or ‘Analyst’ regardless of seniority.

All of these issues and ideas are being covered in the Reform Bill, which received 178 responses that will (hopefully) help to shape the future of New Zealand’s Public Sector in the coming years. Whether or not this will happen is a different story! 

What Do You Think?

Please comment and share your thoughts on the questions I’ve raised, I’d love to hear about what you think!    

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Lisa Johnston - Senior Consultant | 


Policy Buzz