Ministerial Statement of Responsibility
I am satisfied that the information on strategic intentions provided by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is consistent with the policies and performance expectations of the Government.
Rt Hon John Key
Introduction from the Chief Executive
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) works to support the Government of the day and does so by advising, leading, supporting and coordinating activities across the public sector, as well as providing specific advice and support to the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and, most recently with the transfer of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) from the Department of Internal Affairs, the Minister of Civil Defence.
The department consists of business units with a wide range of functions and responsibilities, and geographic locations. The diversity of DPMC's business is reflected in our five Outputs:
- policy advice to the Prime Minister and Cabinet
- support, secretariat and coordination services
- national security priorities and intelligence coordination
- civil defence emergency management
- support services to the Governor-General and maintenance of the official residences.
In the department we celebrate this diversity, and are working together to make DPMC a more integrated organisation. We have developed a high level shared purpose and outcome to which all units and groups contribute and support: to “advance a confident, well-governed and secure New Zealand”, with the focus of instilling a working organisational culture that together serves and supports effective government.
DPMC will be playing an important role in the 2014 general election. We consider it a privilege to support the democratic process, and we will be providing politically neutral support for the ongoing conduct of government business during this election year, within the accepted conventions and practices, and to support the Governor-General in the conduct of his constitutional role.
A key focus for DPMC will always be that the system delivers on the Prime Minister's priorities. The Government has set goals of greater prosperity, security and opportunities for all New Zealanders through building a more productive and competitive economy; returning to surplus and reducing debt; driving better results from public services; and supporting the rebuilding of Christchurch. DPMC works closely with colleagues across the public sector in supporting these priorities.
This year we will continue to advise ministers, including the Prime Minister, on progress being made against the priority results set out in the Better Public Services programme and opportunities to build on that progress. The approach of setting clear priorities and identifying how progress will be measured has had a galvanising effect on the public service and has helped us make real traction on some of the most difficult problems facing New Zealand, such as increasing the rates of infant immunisation and reducing crime rates. We will continue to work closely with responsible agencies and result leads as they tackle these result areas. A key advantage of the focus on results is we can more readily prioritise our efforts and the efforts of other agencies to where the need is greatest.
DPMC is leading a programme to improve the quality and performance of policy advice across the state services. It focuses on defining and driving policy excellence, encouraging greater collaboration, and building effective relationships between Ministers and policy officials.
Underpinning all the Government's priorities is the need for effective national security, noting of course that in New Zealand we take an all hazards approach to national security. DPMC leads policy advice in this area as well as ensuring that all the government agencies with responsibilities for national security are well coordinated and able to respond to national security issues, including natural disasters as they arise.
A key priority for us is to ensure that New Zealand will have in place world class national security strategies, capabilities and mitigation. An important recent development in DPMC's oversight of national security has been changes to the organisation of the Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination – commonly referred to as ODESC.
ODESC is the system we use to organise the collective effort of officials to prepare for and respond to national security risks, whether those risks are floods, earthquakes, people smuggling, terrorism, or any other significant risk. The changes we are making will strengthen and streamline ODESC's co-ordination, governance and decision making roles. As part of these changes I have created the new position of Deputy Chief Executive, Security and Intelligence, and am delighted to have recruited Howard Broad to take up this important role.
The recent transfer of MCDEM from the Department of Internal Affairs to DPMC is the most significant change to our organisation and structure in recent years. The transfer strengthens the alignment of civil defence emergency management with national security priorities, and DPMC's broader risk and resilience approach for New Zealand through its leadership of the ODESC system. MCDEM will continue to play an important leadership role in promoting resilience to hazard risks; developing capability and capacity in civil defence emergency management; and running a national exercise programme to test our preparedness.
A separate but interconnected priority is cyber security. The objective of our work on cyber security is to ensure that New Zealanders enjoy a secure cyber space, in which they can prosper and play with confidence. As the world becomes increasingly dependent on internet connectivity - so it also becomes increasingly vulnerable to malicious cyber activity. There is no doubt that the New Zealand public and private sectors are both attractive and vulnerable to advanced cyber exploitation. There is also no doubt that cyber insecurity presents a real cost to the New Zealand economy, acting as a drag on the benefits of enhanced internet connectivity. Through the National Cyber Policy Office, DPMC leads and coordinates cyber security work across government, to ensure there is a seamless response to cyber security issues.
Intelligence continues to play an important role in supporting our national security system. As the sector lead, DPMC has key responsibilities in terms of requirements, priority setting, risk management and performance reporting. In this context, our priority is to lead an integrated, customer-orientated and trusted intelligence community. This year we have prioritised setting up and supporting the recently strengthened Office of the Inspector-General for Intelligence and Security, so that it is able to carry out a greater range of activities, expand its statutory work programme and enhance its corresponding reporting responsibilities.
In 2015, as stipulated in the Intelligence and Security Committee legislation, the Attorney-General will confirm the terms of reference for the review of the NZ Intelligence Community and will appoint the independent reviewers. DPMC will provide support to that review as required by the reviewers.
DPMC plays a critical role supporting New Zealand's constitutional arrangements - from services to Cabinet and Cabinet committees to supporting the office of the Governor-General as a symbol of national unity and leadership. One area of particular relevance to DPMC is to assist New Zealanders' understanding about one of the most important elements of our constitutional arrangements, the office and role of the Governor-General. Since its opening in 2012, the Government House Visitor Centre has had an increasing flow of school and community groups come through, who have left with an enhanced understanding of this important part of our government and constitution.
Naturally, there will be a particular focus in 2014 on New Zealand's nation building in the context of the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War I, and next year's one hundredth anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. DPMC will also be involved in supporting any public discussion and referendums regarding our country's flag during the next parliamentary term, should that be the wish of the government elected on 20 September 2014.
Like any organisation, DPMC is heavily reliant on having the right capacity and capability to provide the high quality services expected of it by our stakeholders. Cabinet has recently agreed to proceed with the CabNet project in line with a revised business case. Next steps are to establish the project team and enter into negotiations with the preferred provider. We now have a far better understanding of the scope and complexity of the project and the estimated costs.
In terms of capability, our most important asset is of course our people. One of the key priorities for me and my leadership team is to ensure we build and sustain a strong and capable workforce that has the capability to successfully deliver on our strategic objectives and priorities. Our workforce strategy has us focusing on four key objectives:
- Ensure we reward high performance, build capability and maintain a workforce with the appropriate skills, knowledge and attributes to achieve our goals
- Increase diversity in our workforce
- Build organisational ‘fitness' for change
- Integrate more effectively with the national security and intelligence workforce.
Regardless of the extent of change after 20 September, our core role and responsibility will not change - to serve the Governor-General, Prime Minister, and the Government of the day to the very best of our ability.
In signing this information, I acknowledge that I am responsible for the information on strategic intentions for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. This information has been prepared in accordance with section 38 and section 40 of the Public Finance Act 1989.