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Policy Advisory Group

The Policy Advisory Group was formally established in 1990 within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC). Prior to that time, policy advisory services were provided through the forerunners of DPMC.

The Group consists of a director and 13 policy advisors, with a range of skills and experience including legal, business, economic and social policy.  The mix of skills changes from time to time, with changes in staff.

The role of the Policy Advisory Group is to support the Prime Minister as leader of the Government.

Advisors provide free and frank advice on all items of government business, including issues of the day directly to the Prime Minister and, on occasion, to other ministers.  The Group contributes to policy development across the full range of government issues, and supports the Prime Minister in all Cabinet Committees.  From time to time Advisors lead policy projects specially commissioned by the Prime Minister to "cut through" on issues of significance.

The Policy Advisory Group facilitates cross-government linkages amongst agencies working on related issues and seeks to ensure that officials' advice takes account of broader government priorities.  Where possible the Group takes a medium to longer term view that incorporates a strategic perspective, to ensure policy coherence.  The Group also has an important role in providing the Prime Minister with up-to-date information on emerging policy issues and giving support to his office.

Working with the State Services Commission and the Treasury, the Policy Advisory Group promotes a collective approach to lifting performance of the State sector.  This collective approach provides leadership that enables the public service as a whole to carry out the business of government to best effect.

The Policy Advisory Group puts a high value on maintaining excellent relations with public sector agencies. It is important for DPMC to be viewed as ‘honest brokers’, particularly in its coordinating role.