Statements of Responsibility
I am satisfied that the information on future operating intentions provided by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in this Statement of Intent and the Information Supporting the Estimates is in accordance with sections 38, 40, 41 of the Public Finance Act 1989 and is consistent with the policies and performance expectations of the Government.
Hon John Key
28 April 2010
In signing this statement, I acknowledge that I am responsible for the information contained in the Statement of Intent for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. This information has been prepared in accordance with the Public Finance Act 1989. It is also consistent with the proposed appropriations set out in the Appropriations (2010/11 Estimates) Bill, as presented to the House of Representatives in accordance with section 13 of the Public Finance Act 1989, and with existing appropriations and financial authorities.
28 April 2010
Chief Financial Officer
28 April 2010
Introduction from the Chief Executive
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s core role is to support effective executive government. We provide a wide range of professional support and impartial advice to the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet, and, through the Clerk of the Executive Council and Government House, to the Governor-General. We also have a particular responsibility to exercise leadership across the public service with our central agency colleagues in Treasury and the State Services Commission (SSC), and to ensure coordination across agencies and departments in support of the policy priorities of the Government of the day.
The nature of much of the work of the department remains unchanged from year to year, although there are always different policy issues to address as economic and social circumstances alter and ministers’ priorities are determined. A core requirement for all DPMC staff is to be responsive to the needs of ministers and the Governor-General, and to anticipate emerging issues as far as possible. In common with the wider public service, DPMC employees have a critical obligation to be politically impartial and, where required, to provide free and frank and high-quality advice in a timely manner.
The major planks of the Government’s policy programme for the coming year were outlined by the Prime Minister in his statement to the House of Representatives on 9 February 2010. The principal policy priority is restoration of New Zealand’s economic health in the wake of the global financial crisis. Six main drivers of policy were outlined by Mr Key: a growth-enhancing tax system; better public services; support for science, innovation and trade; better regulation, including regulations around natural resources; investment in infrastructure; and improved education and skills. DPMC will continue to work actively with other government agencies to prosecute this agenda in support of the Government. It will also continue to deal with the normal range of government business and service provision, and to manage risk.
A general election must be held at some point before the end of 2011. The proper conduct of elections is one of the most important responsibilities in a democracy. The Cabinet Office has a central role to play in the post-election processes of government formation; it will be commencing preparations for the upcoming election, and the subsequent government-formation period, during the course of this financial year. Cabinet Office will also be supporting the Prime Minister in the appointment of a new Governor-General.
Since late 2008, DPMC has been charged with implementing a major conservation upgrade of Government House Wellington. This project, which has been allocated more than $40 million in taxpayer funding, is scheduled to be almost completed in the current financial year. As well as ensuring that the refurbishment is completed within budget and to a high standard, a key priority for the department this year is that Their Excellencies the Governor-General and Lady Satyanand will be able to return to their Official Residence as planned in 2011. Activities to mark the 2011 reopening, and to commemorate the centenary of the House in October 2010, are currently under consideration.
This year will also see two of the department’s business units, the National Assessments Bureau and the Domestic and External Security Group, move to a new building. They will relocate to Pipitea House in Thorndon, where they will join staff from the Government Communications Security Bureau. This move will be one of a number of steps being taken to improve the performance of and coordinate the government’s security and intelligence agencies; other steps include working more closely together and better aligning the activities of a number of agencies which have external and domestic security responsibilities. The Chief Executive of DPMC also serves as chair of the Officials' Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination (ODESC), and has been tasked to improve coordination and leadership across the sector.
Together with the SSC and Treasury, DPMC will be giving particular attention over the coming year to lifting the performance of the public service. Ensuring both the effective management of short-term service pressures and the improvement of long-term service provisions will be a priority for the department. There is an increasing need for more effective and responsive services that deliver value for money to New Zealanders, within a tightly-constrained fiscal environment. DPMC has a key role in helping to drive these improvements, through aligning the efforts of individual agencies in support of government priorities.
The staff of DPMC recognise fully the privilege they have been given in working at the centre of our democratic system of government, and the responsibilities they have for ensuring that their work in the varied roles they undertake is of the highest standard. Our mission remains to serve the Government of the day to the very best of our ability, in an impartial and fully professional manner.
Maarten Wevers, CNZM