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Preface

1 This paper provides a record of the main provisions in the State Sector Amendment Act 2013 that amended the State Sector Act 1988 (SSA) with effect from 18 July 2013 1 .

2 The main purpose of this paper is to explain the legislative changes, not to provide implementation guidance. The paper records the rationale for the legislative amendments, including the more significant shifts in thinking at various stages during the policy development, legislation drafting and parliamentary processes. This paper primarily draws on:

  • iterative drafts of discussion papers prepared within the State Services Commission (SSC) between January 2010 (SSC internal doc #1460871_1) and May 2012 (SSC internal doc #1712787 versions 1-6)
  • four of the seven "Better Public Services" (BPS) papers submitted to Cabinet in May 2012: BPS Paper Two - Better system leadership; BPS Paper Three - Departmental Agencies; BPS Paper Four - Specific Purpose Boards; BPS Paper Six - Amendments to the State Sector Act
  • the joint SSC-Treasury Briefing to the Finance and Expenditure Committee (FEC) on the State Sector and Public Finance Reform Bill, February 2013. This was an omnibus Bill that would be divided at the end of the committee of the whole House stage into a State Sector Amendment Bill, a Public Finance Amendment Bill and a Crown Entities Amendment Bill. The purpose of the omnibus Bill was to support the BPS work programme and the administrative changes needed to reshape the State services so that they are fit-for-purpose, not just for the present but for the next decade or more.
  • the joint SSC-Treasury Departmental Report on the State Sector and Public Finance Reform Bill, March 2013; and three sets of Responses to Information Requests from FEC, April 2013.

3 Key dates leading to the changes to the SSA include:

  • SSC commences its internal review of the SSA: September 2009
  • Government establishes the Better Public Services Advisory Group (BPSAG): May 2011. It provided recommendations to Government in December 2011
  • Cabinet: 14 May 2012
  • Bill introduced: 30 August 2012
  • First reading: 29 November 2012
  • Select Committee (Finance and Expenditure) report: 23 May 2013
  • Third reading: 10 July 2013
  • Royal assent: 17 July 2013

 

1 Two sets of provisions had a later commencement date: departmental agencies, and the new redundancy-related sections

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