Better Pubic Services Results

July 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Snapshot July14

So six targets well on track, two on track but changes not embedded and three making progress but not on track for the target.

The changes so far are:

  1. Those on jobseeker support for more than 12 months down from 78,000 to 68,932
  2. Early childhood education participation rate up from 94% to 96%
  3. Infant immunisation rate up from 75% to 91%
  4. Rheumatic fever incidence rate up from 3.7 to 4.3 (so wrong direction with 36 more hospitalisations)
  5. Assaults on children down from 3,176 to 3,111
  6. 18 year olds with NCEA Level 2 up from 68% to 78.6%, Maori from 45% to 63% and Pasifika from 51% to 71%
  7. 25 to 34 year olds with a Level 4 qualification or higher up from 53% to 54.5%
  8. Crime down 16% since 2011, violent crime down 11%, youth crime down 30%
  9. Reoffending rate has dropped by 12.2% which is 2,242 fewer recividist offenders
  10. Effort for business in dealing with Government has increased from base of 100 to 102 (wrong direction)
  11. 42% of transactions with Govt are onlne, up from 30%

I am a huge fan of this approach of having quantified measurable targets that the Government can aim for, and be measured against. It makes Government more accountable and focused on outcomes, rather than outputs or inputs.

Tags:

30 Responses to “Better Pubic Services Results”

  1. Pete George (23,687 comments) says:

    Interesting to see the Herald and Stuff headlines on this:

    NZ Herald: Govt lags on some targets

    Stuff: Govt failing to meet many key targets 

    They did detail successes and lags/”failures” though.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. EAD (1,329 comments) says:

    Interesting to note on the very same day as we get the above on how wonderful our political elite are, we get the following headline:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10292723/Govt-failing-to-meet-many-key-targets

    The real truth is that governments are inherently corrupt and dishonest and statistics say anything you want them to say. I remember an old joke that goes something like the following:

    Q) the difference between government statistics and a lie?

    A) A lie can be used to hide good news.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. flipper (4,218 comments) says:

    But those cannot be correct.

    The MSM says the Government is “failing to meet its own targets”.

    Oh, sorry, it is the MSM.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Bill Courtney (162 comments) says:

    The percentage of students leaving school with at least NCEA Level 2 has increased steadily since NCEA was introduced in 2003. The 2003 percentage of school leavers with at least NCEA L2 was 53%. It is political rhetoric to focus only on improvements since 2008. Also, consider that the National government in its first term focused almost exclusively on driving National Standards in primary and intermediate schools. So it did almost nothing to impact on secondary education and NCEA results.

    However, like all second term governments, National must decide whether it now paints the “Gosh, haven’t we done well story” or it still paints the picture of a system in “Crisis”, so it can blame the previous government / teacher unions / etc. and then drive the balance of its “reform” policies.

    The main point to note here is the glaring discrepancy between ever improving NCEA results and declining PISA international results. Go figure.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. EAD (1,329 comments) says:

    haha – very good flipper. As one who often slams the MSM and their distortion of the truth or of hiding key facts, I admit in this case I look quite hypocritical using them to query the use of certain government statistics.

    I guess in this case it is a matter of “Pick your propaganda” :)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. mikenmild (11,776 comments) says:

    There may be a place for some specified outcomes. For the Better Public Services targets, however, the attribution is not entirely clear, that is we cannot be sure to what extent government policies have contributed to the achievement of the outcomes sought. Also, I would question why there is a need to privilege these 10 things over the myriad other things that the government wishes to achieve. Selection of these targets runs the risk of goal displacement, as other important initiatives might not be pursued due to the focus on these targets.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Pete George (23,687 comments) says:

    EAD, if you look past both the Stuff and thr Herald headlines and opening paragraphs they report of both failures and successes.

    DPF chose a different headline and more rose tinted reporting.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Redbaiter (9,632 comments) says:

    “Selection of these targets runs the risk of goal displacement, as other important initiatives might not be pursued ”

    Like the latest expresso coffeee machine for the tea room?

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    You just gotta love the way figures and charts can be manipulated to present any outcome you wish to display.

    Try adding demographics and other measurements to them, such as global trends, and suddenly, its not quite as pretty. Of course, its good to see the obligatory ‘failed trend’, because then people think it must be true, if they include a small failure. Jeez, this stuff is 101 – do people still fall for it?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. SGA (1,143 comments) says:

    As presented there’s a couple of odd features to these graphs –
    Is the target on 4. (Reduce Assaults on Children) in the right place? Looks odd – why would the target be set the higher than rate in 2010?
    3. Rheumatic fever and 9. Costs to business – how can small increases count as A “Progress, but issues to resolve”?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. virtualmark (1,540 comments) says:

    DPF, I’d recommend checking the title of the post.

    [DPF: Ta, corrected. Whoops!]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. mikenmild (11,776 comments) says:

    Like concentrating on rheumatic fever (although that’s not going too well) at the expense of other child health measures.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. flipper (4,218 comments) says:

    Poverty, child poverty, yes.

    That must be a problem because the would-be social engineers tell us that crappy, uncaring parents are our problem. And to make sure of that they present a convincing”: case, they have constructed their own definition.

    When I was attending primary school in Napier, my Father ran his own logging hauling business, and my mother was the “senior” typist clerk in the town’s leading law office. We owned (well, were buying) our own home, my mother had a new Morris 8 car, and the family assistance payments received went into savings accounts for my brother and I. Once I even got to fly in a DC 3 from Napier to Wellington for an eye surgery consultation. (Actually the road party from Paraparaumu to Wellington took longer than the flight to Paraparaumu).

    But I was “poor”, and my younger brother was poor, because we could not afford to attend Hereworth School in Havelock North, and, crime of crimes, when it rained we ran to school in our bare feet. Gumboots? What were gumboots?

    The social engineers of 2014 have so skewed the definition of poverty that my brother and I would be classified as “poor” by their idiotic definition. And they go further than gumboots to include Sky and paid holidays (we took a tent and went to a river to hunt eels).

    The poverty issue in 2014 is parental selfishness and deliberate, uncaring neglect. I take no responsibility whatsoever. The social engineers can get stuffed.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. greenjacket (487 comments) says:

    “Better Pubic Services Results”

    Snigger.
    Can you be more specific about these services David?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. flipper (4,218 comments) says:

    Apols….
    Post immediately above is in wrong thread. Should be GD.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Flipper

    Poverty was never a good choice of word to describe what we have in New Zealand. I prefer to call it deprivation, in that some children are deprived of what is deemed to be minimum standards expected for all children in this country, at this particular time.

    Like you, I too played in puddles in bare feet, and on the streets, and in drains as a child. However, today, that is not acceptable. It is deemed unacceptable for a child to go to school without footwear -either by choice, or through a lack of shoes.

    There are children that in NZ are deprived according to the values of what is expected for a NZer. That is no fault of their own. Whilst their parents may or may not be responsible due to their own mismanagement, the fact remains these children are missing out and therefore lack the ability to reach their true potential and become self sufficient adults.

    The question we have is what are we going to do about it – because clearly what we have been doing has made the situation worse, and certainly not fixed it. It is insanity to keep doing what we have always done, and expect different results.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. flash2846 (289 comments) says:

    @SGA says:
    Is the target on 4. (Reduce Assaults on Children) in the right place? Looks odd – why would the target be set the higher than rate in 2010?

    Possible reason: The increase in the Maori population maybe.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Slipster (183 comments) says:

    @Judith, re: 101 stuff.

    But dear Judith, your own diatribes (including the above) fall far, far short of even 101 standards of basic propaganda skills.
    To quote (ahem) “someone”: “Jeez – do people still fall for it?”

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Slipster (183 comments) says:

    And a similar observations to EAD:

    So you think that countering provable facts and figures with your innuendo, sarcasm and mouldy ‘humour’ is somehow convincing?
    Think again.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. wreck1080 (3,970 comments) says:

    I’m skeptical about these stats.

    Even commercial organisations manipulate stats to make managers happy. That would be even worse in govt.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. mikenmild (11,776 comments) says:

    There is a tremendous temptation to adjust figures when the figures matter in terms of ‘success’. We have seen this recently with the Police burglary statistics in South Auckland. I’m not saying any of the Better Public Services figures have been fudged, but the incentive is always there when an approach to success relies on specifying targets.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. thedavincimode (6,877 comments) says:

    DPF

    These stats would be far more enjoyable if they included the 9 years of Helengrad.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. thedavincimode (6,877 comments) says:

    milky

    Sad but true. I don’t know if these stats are subjected to any sort of independent review (eg Audit NZ) but they should be, and there should also be provision to ensure that there is no political interference in data presentation (although the KPIs are ultimately and almost inevitably politically influenced).

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Stop whining about the stats being juked.

    Yes, it could happen.

    No, there is no evidence that it is happening.

    Foregoing any attempt to monitor the success of governmental programs would in no way help improve real results.

    In fact, in the absence of any monitoring the quality of service is almost guaranteed to decline.

    Sure, you can claim that GDP is measured incorrectly, but it is retarded to think that getting rid of it put us on the path to increased economic growth.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. mikenmild (11,776 comments) says:

    I’m more concerned about the choice of these targets and elevating them above the thousands of other things that the government is trying to achieve. Concerns about the likely behaviour of those made responsible for such targets is a more specific, and lesser, problem.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Albert_Ross (311 comments) says:

    Mikenmild, are you saying that you would have chosen different targets (in which case, which ones) or that you would treat all targets as equally important?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. mikenmild (11,776 comments) says:

    No, I’m not saying that at all. I’m just questioning the usefulness of selecting such specific targets and elevating them above so many other areas of policy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. kthxbai (1 comment) says:

    @Judith:

    Like you, I too played in puddles in bare feet, and on the streets, and in drains as a child. However, today, that is not acceptable. It is deemed unacceptable for a child to go to school without footwear -either by choice, or through a lack of shoes.

    Judith, this isn’t thinking, this is parroting. “Deemed unacceptable” – by whom? On what objective grounds? Health risk? Hygeine? Offensive to polite society? Headmasters don’t like it? Show us the research and above all show us an objective argument. Define negative outcomes in some sort of real terms.

    Like you, I went to school with bare feet, ate beef only at easter and one of the neighbour’s non-laying chooks at Christmas, otherwise it was a relentless diet of old mutton and homegrown cabbage, carrots and potatoes. No music or dancing lessons, not a single holiday. I had 3 changes of clothes. I came home filthy each day from jumping in muddy puddles, climbing trees and rough play. It never occurred to me that I was in any way deprived even though most of the kids I mixed with had substantially more than I did.

    It didn’t occur to me to feel deprived for the simple reason that I wasn’t. I had enough to eat, a warm bed in a very cold house, enough warm clothes and plenty of fresh air and sunshine. School was free except for stationery and lunch, as it still is.

    Genuine deprivation where children’s opportunities are restricted as a result is serious and needs to be addressed, but people who think like you trivialize the issue by broadening it to meaninglessness.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. virtualmark (1,540 comments) says:

    DPF, I’d recommend checking the title of the post.

    [DPF: Ta, corrected. Whoops!]

    DPF, maybe not so much :) But don’t get me wrong, I’m all for better pubic services.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. lazza (382 comments) says:

    Outstanding reportage. Another BIG UP for Bill E and his performance improvement/accountability of Guv Depts.

    Now for Local Government.

    Come October 2014 and and at long last we will see public reportable Council financial benchmarks. Can’t wait,

    Auckland Council Mayor, Crs and Management “Be Very Afraid!” … it aint pretty.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote