The State Sector Amendment Act 2013, which came into force on 18 July 2013, sets out for the first time in legislation the role of the State Services Commissioner.
The Commissioner's role is to provide leadership and over-sight of the State services so as to ensure the purpose of this Act is carried out, including by -
(a) Promoting the spirit of service to the community; and
(b) Promoting the spirit of collaboration among agencies; and
(c) Identifying and developing high-calibre leaders; and
(d) Working with State services leaders to ensure that the State services maintain high standards of integrity and conduct and are led well and are trusted; and
(e) Overseeing workforce and personnel matters in the State services; and
(f) Advising on the design and capability of the State services; and
(g) Evaluating the performance of Public Service Leaders, including the extent to which they carry out the purpose of this Act; and
(h) Supporting the efficient, effective and economical achievement of good outcomes by the State services; and
(i) Promoting a culture of stewardship in the State services."
The office of State Services Commissioner (the Commissioner) is central to New Zealand's politically neutral, professional and permanent Public Service.
The current office of State Services Commissioner descends directly from that of the Public Service Commission. The Public Service Commission was established in 1912 to employ all public servants, so protecting the Public Service from political interference and enabling the preservation of the political neutrality of the Public Service.
The Commissioner and Deputy State Services Commissioner are appointed by the Governor-General in Council on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The Deputy State Services Commissioner has all the functions, duties and power of the Commissioner, subject to the Commissioner's control.
The Commissioner has roles in both the State Services and the State sector.
"State Services" is the term for the organisations that serve as instruments of the Crown in respect of the Government of New Zealand. It consists of:
Some of the Commissioner's responsibilities extend beyond the State Services to the wider State sector. The "State sector" is broader than the "State Services", and consists of the organisations whose financial situation and performance is reported in the government's annual financial statements. It consists of:
The State Services Commissioner's authority is received in four ways:
The Commissioner's core roles and responsibilities relate primarily to individual Public Service departments and their chief executives. The Commissioner:
These roles will also apply to any departmental agencies and their chief executives, once established.
The Commissioner has other responsibilities relating to the operation of the Public Service as a whole, the State Services or wider State sector. Refer to full details, including functions, in the amended Section 6 of the State Sector Amendment Act 2013.
The Commissioner has a variety of important roles with regard to employment relations. These include: