Statement of Service Performance for the year ended 30 June 2011Output Class 1: Policy Advice and Secretariat and Coordination Services
This class of outputs involves:
- providing immediate, medium and long-term impartial policy advice that is delivered freely and frankly to the Prime Minister and, at the Prime Minister’s request, to other ministers
- promoting and facilitating the coordination of interdepartmental policy development and promoting a more collective approach across the state sector to the formulation and implementation of the government’s key priorities
- providing advice to the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and ministers on constitutional issues relating to the conduct of executive government to support the conduct and continuity of government within accepted conventions and practices (this includes support for the change of Governor-General)
- providing impartial secretariat services to Cabinet, Cabinet committees and the Executive Council; and promulgating their decisions
- providing advice on the policies, processes and procedures relating to the Executive Council, Cabinet and Cabinet committees; and adapting these as required
- coordinating the policy and administrative aspects of the legislative programme as directed by the Cabinet Legislation Committee
- advising on central government decision-making processes
- providing policy advice and administrative support for the New Zealand royal honours system.
The department assists the Prime Minister in overseeing and leading the government as a whole. In addition, it supports the Cabinet decision-making process. As a central agency, the department has a clear role to play in promoting effective policy coordination across the public service. Ministers need to have complete trust in the quality of the advice and support the department offers on the proper conduct of government business within accepted conventions and practices.
|8,369||Revenue – Crown||7,063||8,441||7,063|
|–||Revenue – other||–||–||–|
|PERFORMANCE MEASURES||ACTUAL STANDARD||BUDGET STANDARD|
|Advice provided meets the department’s quality, quantity and timeliness standards.||Stakeholder feedback indicates high satisfaction.||Key stakeholders are satisfied.|
|Services provided meet quality, accuracy, impartiality and timeliness criteria.||Stakeholder feedback indicates high satisfaction.||Key stakeholders are satisfied.|
OUTPUT CLASS 1 SERVICE PERFORMANCE: POLICY ADVISORY GROUP
Policy advice to the Prime Minister
Objective Decision-making by the Prime Minister and Cabinet is well informed and supported.
The Prime Minister is regularly advised by the Chief Executive (with the support of the Director of the Policy Advisory Group, the Secretary of the Cabinet, and the Director of the Security and Risk Group in their own specialist areas) of the range of activities undertaken to facilitate cross-agency coordination of policy advice and implementation. This includes: fortnightly meetings of departmental chief executives (convened to share information on policy directions); weekly meetings with counterpart central-agency chief executives; and interdepartmental coordination of a wide range of policy priorities.
The Policy Advisory Group provided advice to the Prime Minister as necessary on all Cabinet and Cabinet committee papers in time for these to be used in Cabinet or Cabinet committee meetings.
In addition, the Policy Advisory Group provided timely briefing notes on issues of interest to the Prime Minister either in response to requests from the Prime Minister or on the Group’s initiative. Feedback from the Prime Minister on advice tendered was made available to the Chief Executive, the Director of the Policy Advisory Group, and the advisor concerned.
DPMC provided an important whole-of-government coordination and support role for the Prime Minister and Cabinet on several matters of national importance, most notably in the response and recovery phases of the Canterbury earthquakes and in relation to the Pike River tragedy.
The Policy Advisory Group played a key role following the Canterbury earthquakes. The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) led the immediate response, but soon thereafter the Government needed to complement its emergency response with policy decisions to assist the recovery and rebuild. The Policy Advisory Group has played a number of roles, including co-coordinating and leading policy development. Some staff from the Group have also been seconded into the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA).
DPMC provided advice on the establishment of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy, and played a coordinating role across agencies in advising ministers.
The Policy Advisory Group participated in a wide range of other whole-of-government processes. DPMC worked closely with Treasury and SSC to provide ministers with advice on the further potential for state sector reform. This work led directly to the formation of the Better Public Services Advisory Group, which is chaired by the Chief Executive of DPMC. In addition, the three central agencies have continued to develop and enhance the Performance Improvement Framework (PIF).
Together with the Cabinet Office, the Policy Advisory Group reviewed the level of ministerial satisfaction with the performance of the officials’ committees established in support of Cabinet committees. Policy Advisory Group staff either convened or participated in all Cabinet officials’ committees.
Objective State Sector performance is improved.
DPMC has worked closely with its central agency partners (Treasury and SSC), recognising that the central agencies are jointly responsible for leading performance improvements within the state sector, albeit with distinctive roles and perspectives. The three central agencies are committed to ensuring that better services are delivered to New Zealanders, that the state sector is high-performing, and that state sector expenditure is disciplined.
In 2010/11, amongst a range of other activities, the central agencies focused on three crucial areas:
The three central agencies share a commitment to building better public services. As part of that commitment, DPMC worked closely with Treasury and SSC to provide advice to ministers on the further potential for state sector reform, with a view to redefining New Zealand public services for the 21st century. This work has continued under the governance of the Better Public Services Advisory Group, and can also be referenced on the Better Public Services website (www.dpmc.govt.nz/better_public_services/).
The Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) is a joint initiative used in the reviewing of agencies. Central agency staff pool their knowledge of the agency being reviewed and the context in which it is operating. The information generated on the agency’s performance enables the review to identify and promote best practice and areas where a whole-of-system response may be required to lift performance.
The central agencies have promoted disciplined expenditure in the state sector to raise the quality of advice and service delivery by leading improvements in sector management and performance through a shared work programme. The Government commissioned the Review of Expenditure on Policy Advice in August 2010 to examine the cost and quality of policy advice and also the alignment between policy expenditure and the Government’s priorities. Of the 15 projects arising from the review, 10 are being implemented through the central agencies.
OUTPUT CLASS 1 SERVICE PERFORMANCE: CABINET OFFICE
Support for the proper and effective operation of the key institutions of executive government
Objective To provide impartial, efficient and effective secretariat services to Cabinet and Cabinet committees to ensure they operate smoothly and within Cabinet’s rules.
The Cabinet Office provided secretariat services to 285 (2009/10 comparison: 271) Cabinet and Cabinet committee meetings, and 45 (34) Executive Council meetings during the year. See “Meeting statistics” table.
The Prime Minister, the chairs of Cabinet committees, and ministers’ offices were consulted as required on the compilation of agendas and the acceptance of submissions for meetings.
There were 2,139 (2,121) summary cover sheets prepared for submissions to Cabinet and Cabinet committees during the past year.
Our performance target for the delivery of submissions to ministers’ offices is for all papers to be delivered by the close of business two days before the meeting. In the past year, 83 (85) per cent of submissions were received in the Cabinet Office within the Cabinet deadline for lodging papers and we achieved a delivery rate of 76 (79) per cent of all papers to ministers’ offices within the period stated in our performance target.
There were 2,407 (2,403) Cabinet and Cabinet committee minutes recorded over the year. Only 11 (15) of these required amendment by the Cabinet Office. (This excludes amendments to committee minutes made as a result of a Cabinet decision.)
All Cabinet committee minutes were prepared in time for the next meeting of Cabinet.
Ninety-five (95) per cent of all Cabinet minutes were issued within three days of the Cabinet meeting.
|Number of meetings||Number of agenda items||Average number of items per meeting|
|Cabinet Strategy Committee||13||14||1|
|Cabinet Committee on Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations||12||44||3|
|Cabinet Committee on Implementation of Auckland Governance Reforms||5||6||1|
|Cabinet Economic Growth and Infrastructure Committee||28||284||10|
|Cabinet Social Policy Committee||29||141||5|
|Cabinet External Relations and Defence Committee||10||28||3|
|Cabinet Legislation Committee||30||228||7|
|Cabinet Appointments and Honours Committee||24||261||11|
|Cabinet Expenditure Control Committee||20||57||3|
|Cabinet Committee on Domestic and External Security Coordination||4||15||4|
|Cabinet Business Committee||11||93||8|
|Cabinet Domestic Policy Committee||21||112||5|
|Ad hoc Cabinet committee on Rugby World Cup||9||25||3|
|Ad hoc Cabinet committee on Canterbury Earthquake Recovery||23||81||3|
|Subtotal of Cabinet committee meetings||239||1389||6|
|Total including Cabinet||285||2139||7|
Objective To provide impartial and effective advice to the Prime Minister and ministers to support the proper operation of Cabinet and Cabinet committees.
Six Cabinet Office circulars were prepared and issued in 2010/11 on a range of issues: Capital Asset Management in Departments and Crown Entities – Expectations; 2011 Legislation Programme – Requirements for Submitting Bids; Statutes Amendment Bill (No.3) for 2011; Government Decisions and Actions in the Pre-Election Period; and Cabinet Committee Membership – update.
The Cabinet Office provided 32 (2009/10: 25) briefing seminars to departments and interested parties on the Cabinet decision-making process. The Secretary of the Cabinet also gave briefings to a number of departmental chief executives and senior managers on ministers’ expectations for Cabinet papers.
Feedback from the Prime Minister and other stakeholders was positive.
Objective To provide impartial and effective advice to the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and ministers:
- to support the proper and effective operation of the key institutions of executive government
- to ensure the constitutional processes involving the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and ministers are appropriately facilitated and supported.
Advice and support was provided to the Prime Minister and the Governor-General on a range of matters relating to constitutional issues and the functioning of executive government.
This included support for the Prime Minister and Governor- General on HRH Prince William’s visit to New Zealand in March 2011, and for the Prime Minister on the appointment of the Governor-General designate and on the passage of the Governor-General Act 2010. Support was also provided for the changeover of Governors-General in August 2011, for responding to the Law Commission’s review of entitlements for members of Parliament and the Executive, and for effecting changes in ministerial responsibilities and appointment of new ministers. In addition, the Cabinet Office provided advice on matters relating to ministerial conduct, public duty and personal interests; undertook preparations for support of the 2011 General Election; and updated the Directory of Ministerial Responsibilities and the Register of Assigned Legislation.
Feedback from the Prime Minister and the Governor-General was positive.
Objective To coordinate the policy and administrative aspects of the legislative programme, as directed by the Cabinet Legislation Committee.
Advice and support on the management of the Government’s legislative programme and on the preparation and management of the legislative programme for the 2011 calendar year was provided to the Leader of the House and – from February 2011 – to the Acting Leader of the House, who in that month assumed responsibility for the House’s management.
Objective To provide advice on the policy aspects of the New Zealand royal honours system, support for the compilation of honours lists, and administration of the honours system.
The Honours Unit (formerly the Honours Secretariat) advised and assisted the Cabinet Appointments and Honours Committee on the compilation of the 2011 New Year Honours List (167 recipients), the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours List (169 recipients), and special honours lists (32 recipients). See “New Zealand honours” table.
|The Order of New Zealand|
|The New Zealand Order of Merit|
|Knight/Dame Grand Companion||1|
|Additional Knight Grand Companion||1|
|The Queen’s Service Order|
|The Queen’s Service Medal||130|
|New Zealand Bravery Awards|
|The New Zealand Bravery Star||8|
|The New Zealand Bravery Decoration||7|
|The New Zealand Bravery Medal||13|
|Honorary New Zealand Bravery Medal||2|
|The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration|
|The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration||7|
|Other honours and appointments|
|Grant of the title “The Honourable” for life||6|
During the reporting period, the Honours Unit dealt with requests from Commonwealth and foreign governments for approval to confer their country’s honours on New Zealand citizens. The unit has continued to work with the New Zealand Defence Force on relevant policy matters, including the New Zealand Defence Service Medal. In August 2010 The Queen approved new rules for the granting the titles “The Right Honourable” and “The Honourable”. The unit also responded to public enquiries about the honours system.
The department has implemented initiatives to improve the quality of secretariat support provided to ministers in the context of the Cabinet Appointments and Honours Committee.
Objective To maintain the records of Cabinet; and to provide related information services.
The Cabinet Office maintains records of all Cabinet and Cabinet committee meetings, administers the convention on access to documents of previous administrations, and provides advice to ministers’ offices on the storage and disposal of Cabinet papers.
The Cabinet Office receives and redirects Official Information Act requests for Cabinet documents and handles substantive requests for information about the work of the Cabinet Office. In addition, on behalf of the Prime Minister, it consults with the Leader of the Opposition about the proposed release of official information dating from previous Opposition administrations.
In 2010/11 the Cabinet Office handled 127 (2009/10: 162) enquiries and requests from ministers’ offices and departments about Cabinet papers and related information.
The Cabinet Office has led the development of a business case for an electronic Cabinet support system (CabNet). On 20 June 2011, the Cabinet approved that the CabNet project could proceed.