A PM who believes in measuring performance

The Post reports:

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon’s new “delivery unit” is not just designed to monitor the public sector’s performance, but also his own Cabinet ministers.

Briefings to Luxon, obtained under the Official Information Act, show how the new unit is expected to help the Government hit nine targets across health, education, crime, welfare, and climate, that were announced last month. …

Meeting targets would be the responsibility of a Cabinet minister and department chief executive — such as Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Director-General of Health Dr Diana Sarfati for meeting targets on reducing emergency departments and elective surgery wait times.

The agencies responsible for targets would have until the end of June to produce “delivery plans”, to be approved by their minister. The delivery unit will then brief Luxon on whether the plans are sufficient.

Ministers will then provide quarterly reports on the target to the Cabinet Strategy Committee, which is made up of Luxon and 15 high-ranking ministers — the first being due at July’s end.

The delivery unit would provide “independent commentary” alongside this about whether the target is being reached — and immediate advice directly to Luxon if targets are not tracking well.

If a target is “high-risk”, Luxon will hold quarterly “performance meetings” with the minister responsible. If the target is tracking well, the meetings will be held every six months.

So the Luxon approach is:

  • Have clear targets
  • Make a Minister and CE accountable for achieving them
  • Require delivery plans on how the targets will be achieved
  • Have independent assessment of the delivery plan
  • Have quarterly reports on progress towards the targets
  • Hold six monthly performance meetings with Ministers if on track, and three monthly if not yet on track

Now this isn’t rocket science, but my God think what a difference it would have made if the last Government had done this.

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