Hughes and ACC get top rankings

Stuff reports:

Incoming State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes been ranked not just the public service chief executive of the year – but as the most outstanding public servant of his generation.

The annual Trans Tasman Government Department Review has seen some big movers among its rankings of public service chief executives, but Hughes has stayed on top, being named chief executive of the year for the fourth time.

ACC was ranked the Government department of the year.

ACC now only has been the top ranked agency for two years in a row, but its 2016 rating was the highest of any agency in the history of the survey.

“Hughes has now been named chief executive of the Year four times, and his work at the Ministry of Education shows how leadership can make a dramatic impact in an agency and how many other agencies are being let down by lack of leadership, not just from their CEs, but also their Ministers,” says.

“The Board of Advisers once again casts the finger of blame at the State Service Commission and there is definite relief Commissioner Iain Rennie has decided to step down. Last year the advisers made a strong case for Hughes to step into the hot seat when Rennie’s term ended, and this has come to pass.

“But Hughes will find it tough going. The Commission is effectively on a last warning. If the country’s best state sector leader can’t boost its performance it is likely to be rolled up and placed under the auspices of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.” trans-Tasman warns.

Hughes earned his top ranking after turning education around from a basket case.

The board of independent advisers said he had made an “amazing improvement in a short time,” and was a class act.

There are huge expectations for Hughes as he takes up the SSC role. But under his leadership the Ministry of Education has dramatically improved.

ACC chief executive Scott Pickering was similarly impressive, the trans-Tasman panel said.

“Pickering has taken the controversy out of ACC – evidenced by a big improvement in public trust and confidence in the agency,” said one.

ACC has managed the rare feat of being able to reduce levies while also have record high levels of satisfaction and trust.

The top ten agencies are:

  1. ACC
  2. Customs
  3. Police
  4. Corrections
  5. Stats NZ
  6. IRD
  7. Defence
  8. Social Development
  9. Worksafe
  10. NZ Transport Agency
  11. DPMC

The Minister’s judged most able to get their policy agenda implemented are:

  1. John Key
  2. Bill English
  3. Chris Finlayson
  4. Judith Collins
  5. Nikki Kaye
  6. Anne Tolley
  7. Simon Bridges
  8. Gerry Brownlee
  9. Murray McCully

The agencies seem as most improved were:

  1. GCSB +0.9
  2. ACC +0.7
  3. Culture & Heritage +0.7
  4. Customs +0.6

The agencies with the biggest drops were:

  1. Reserve Bank -0.7
  2. Crown Law -0.5
  3. TEC -0.4

Note I was one of the 20 panelists.

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