Prof. calls for reform of the Public Sector

Press Release – Ian Shirley

Friday, 15 June 2018
An Auckland Professor of Public Policy and former Director of the Policy Observatory, has called for reform of the country’s public sector. Emeritus Professor Ian Shirley has described the recent CEO appointments to key public-sector departments by the State Services Commission as ‘unwise’ and ‘premature’.

In outlining some of the challenges facing the Coalition Government Professor Shirley has called for a major reform of government.

“Despite the historical record and integrity of New Zealand’s public sector, major issues have emerged over recent years in both the performance and culture of some government departments”. As examples, Professor Shirley cites ‘housing and social welfare’ as areas that need to be reformed. “The only question is how?”

Until that happens, Professor Shirley maintains “the State Services Commission should be holding back on CEO appointments”.

Professor Shirley has written to the Prime Minister highlighting his concerns and suggesting that the Coalition Government should begin the reform process “as a matter of urgency”.

“Prior to the election campaign in 2017 it was clear that the crises in welfare and housing were in need of urgent attention”. According to Professor Shirley “the deficits in public service departments charged with addressing these issues have become even more imperative”.

“Making CEO appointments before these issues are addressed makes no sense at all and ultimately undermines any coherent review of the public service”.

Emeritus Professor of Public Policy, Ian Shirley

Previously Director of the Policy Observatory

Auckland University of Technology

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