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New chief exec for 'monster' department

State services commissioner Iain Rennie today appointed Ray Smith chief executive of the Department of Corrections.Current chief executive Barry Matthews has had an at times rocky relationship with Corrections Minister Judith Collins.

NBR staff
Tue, 23 Nov 2010

State services commissioner Iain Rennie today appointed Ray Smith chief executive of the Department of Corrections.

Current chief executive Barry Matthews has had an at times rocky relationship with Corrections Minister Judith Collins.

The agency, with 7184 fulltime staff, was recently described as a "monster department" by Finance Minister Bill English.

Mr English said the department was on track to get even bigger. In five years' time, it's anticipated to have 12,500 staff, making it the largest government department.

Corrections was most recently in the news when Gen-i and Optimation bagged around $140 million in IT and telco services contracts.
Mr Smith has been in his current role of deputy chief executive, Child, Youth and Family at the Ministry of Social Development since July 2006.

"Ray Smith currently leads an organisation of 3000 staff and is responsible for a budget of $450 million. He has implemented a number of key government initiatives, built a high performing senior leadership team and has improved the morale of the staff and lifted the organisation’s image.

"He has extensive experience in leading and successfully managing change, in large, complex service delivery organisations. He has demonstrated the ability to ensure that organisations achieve the government's priorities while improving the delivery of services to their clients," Mr Rennie said.

From 2001 to 2006, Mr Smith was deputy chief executive, Work and Income at the Ministry of Social Development where he led various initiatives to reduce the New Zealand’s unemployment figures. He was responsible for delivering employment and income support to approximately 900,000 New Zealanders, from 145 service centres, and led 4,500 staff across New Zealand.

Before that, Mr Smith held a number of senior management roles in Social Development, including national commissioner of the Department of Work and Income, from 1998 to 2001, and national service delivery manager, New Zealand Income Support Service.

Mr Smith has been appointed for a five year term and will take up the position when the current chief executive, Barry Matthews, retires at the end of this year.

NBR staff
Tue, 23 Nov 2010
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New chief exec for 'monster' department
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