In the past, where problems crossed agency boundaries, the two main ways to organise our work on them were voluntary cooperation between agencies, or a structural change to place the whole problem within a single agency. More recently, the State sector has used various approaches to collaboration that are stronger than purely voluntary cooperation but don’t involve changes to agency structures.

This toolkit organises and presents many of these solutions to give those grappling with cross-agency problems an easy way to find the types of solution that might be most appropriate.

The cover page explains how the toolkit is organised and how you can use it to help develop system-design options. The detailed pages form the toolkit itself, while the supplementary guidance offers a range of case studies and further explanation of the models.


The Commission has, with the support of the System Design chief executives group and officials in other departments, performed a stocktake of existing functional leads and heads of profession. This stocktake compares the roles across a range of dimensions, including purpose, mandate, decision rights, scope and approach to funding as at September 2019.

Overview Of System Leadership Roles (187KB PDF)

The Treasury has developed a Cross-agency Funding Framework to make funding cross-agency initiatives easier. The framework provides more information on funding arrangements that may work with the models for organising around shared problems in our toolkit.

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