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Public sector could save $400m a year - Treasury


Policy wonks point to performance benchmarks.

Colin Williscroft
Wed, 08 Jun 2011

The government could save between $230 million and $400 million a year if its departments and agencies all reached average levels identified in performance benchmarking standards used in a recent Treasury report.

Minister of State Services Tony Ryall told the government administration select committee this afternoon he did not expect those standards, identified in the Better Administrative Support Services programme, to be met overnight.

However, they were a good way the public sector could make significant savings without adversely affecting the level of service they provided.

Key opportunities for saving identified in the Bass report included leveraging knowledge and scale across agencies; streamlining, automating, and standardising processes, and having more common systems.

Government departments could also save money by seeing whether they needed all the office space they were paying for, he said.

Chief executives of government departments recognised that savings had to be made and were committed to doing so, despite the tough economic times, Mr Ryall said.

The State Services Commissioner, Iain Rennie, said until programmes like Bass were introduced, not a lot of significant performance measuring information about the state sector had been collected.

The commission was not asking government departments to do anything it was not prepared to do itself.

Mr Rennie said the commission had run the Bass programme rule over itself and, as a result, it was looking for new premises.

In its current premises on Molesworth St, every staff member had more than 25 sq m of space, whereas the standard was only 17 sq m.

The commission was now looking at moving to smaller premises, most likely early next year. 

Colin Williscroft
Wed, 08 Jun 2011
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Public sector could save $400m a year - Treasury
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