The Treasury has released its fifth report on the cost, efficiency and effectiveness of administrative and support (A&S) services across 26 public sector agencies. This report assesses the efficiency and effectiveness of agencies' back office functions, with a goal of supporting and freeing up resources for front line public services.
The report covers five functions: Human Resources, Finance, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Procurement, and Corporate and Executive Services. Findings are based on the year ended 30 June 2014 and two preceding years.
The Treasury's target is for all public sector agencies to reach the upper quartile result of back-office efficiency and effectiveness against comparators by 2022.
"This is an ambitious target," says the Head of Government Finance Profession and Chief Government Accountant, Paul Helm. "We are calling on agencies to evaluate themselves against others with a similar operating context, and to implement the lessons learned from the top performers. This benchmarking report provides that ability."
The establishment of Functional Leaders and the appointment of Heads of Profession for the A&S functions enable a co-ordinated approach to pursuing opportunities highlighted throughout the benchmarking report. "These positions support agency senior leaders to set targets and develop action plans to improve their agency's efficiency and effectiveness. Chief Finance Officers will play a central role in the performance management and analysis of A&S services, with a particular focus on efficiency," says Paul Helm.
This year's report shows that A&S costs were relatively similar to last year at $1.68 billion (up $43 million) across the five functions. This follows a $140 million increase in the prior year, from 2011/12 to 2012/13.
The majority of the increase since 2011/12 in ICT expenditure is mainly attributable to the cost of asset refresh, systems modernisation, and transition to common ICT capabilities; that are critical for delivering better public services to New Zealanders in the years ahead.
Each agency's individual report will be published on their website by 12 August. Links to each of these reports will be available on the Treasury's website at: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/statesector/performance/bass/benchmarking