Departmental Scorecard

Stuff reports:

The Ministry of Education’s Peter Hughes has been named chief executive of the year for the third time, while the State Services Commission has been labelled a “disaster”.

The sixth annual review of New Zealand Government departments by political newsletter Trans Tasman was released today, chosen by a 16-strong independent board of advisers*.

Hughes was said to have been a strong leader but many other government agencies lacked guidance at the top.

 The Ministry of Education was the most improved agency, with its rating moving from 2.4 to 4.3 (out of a possible 7) over two years, and Hughes given much of the credit.

The review dubbed the Accident Compensation Corporation the rising star of the public sector, after recovering from “significant privacy issues” and getting its finances under control.

Chief executive Scott Pickering was praised for making significant positive change, such as restoring customer services, with little public fuss.

At the other end the State Service Commission (SSC) had the worst ratings seen in the history of the Trans Tasman surveys and Commissioner Iain Rennie was said to be on the way out.

The SSC was described as a “disaster” after a year in which Rennie appeared alongside former Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton at a press conference after Sutton faced allegations of sexual harassment.

“It is untenable for an agency meant to be one of the three core agencies responsible for the quality of the public service to have such appalling ratings,” the report said.

I think the Government needs to seriously look at whether to retain SSC in its current form, or hand over its functions to other agencies. The CIO function moved to DIA some time ago. DPMC could take over the CE recruitment.


  • Peter Hughes, Ministry of Education: chief executive of the year.
  • Ray Smith, Corrections: second in overall performance of Department, and ranked second for his personal performance.
  • Scott Pickering, ACC, third ranked chief executive, and ACC took out Department of the Year.
  • Rebecca Kitteridge, SIS..
  • Bill English, Finance Minister: top-ranked Minister for success in his department (Treasury) implementing his policy agenda, and described as “the most consistent and diligent of all Ministers”.

Despite very little money for extra resources, many government departments have managed to perform well, and have also made the transition from focusing on outputs to focusing on outcomes – specifically the Government’s 10 Better Public Services targets.

* – I am one of the 16

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