13 November 2012

The New Zealand chapter of Transparency International launches work on updating the National Integrity System assessment today. TI (NZ) has gathered influential partners to steer the collation and analysis of good-government measures which will have international comparability. “A National Integrity System is the sum total of institutions, processes, people, and attitudes that collectively work to create trust by ensuring that entrusted power is exercised with integrity in any given society.”

TI (NZ) proposes to enhance the “standard” NIS carried out by TI in more than 100 countries, by including more consultation and more detail about public, private and NGO sectors – echoes of the Open Government Partnership – and “an active implementation phase” promoting recommendations flowing from the NIS assessment.

The initial New Zealand NIS, undertaken in 2003, was a very quiet affair, published by TI (NZ) without the contribution which the State Services Commission sought to make. Today the Auditor General, as the Platinum Partner of TI (NZ), will share the launch platform with State Services Commission, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Transport, Statistics New Zealand, Serious Fraud Office, VUW School of Government, Office of the Ombudsmen, Human Rights Commission, Bell Gully, Deloitte, KPMG, PwC and the Gamma Foundation.

In addition to plenary sessions with prominent presenters, the launch will include 20 topic workshops on 13 integrity pillars –adapted from Jeremy Pope’s metaphor that an integrity system is an ancient Greek temple with mutually reinforcing pillars. The notion of pillars is obviously thought relevant for this rework of the New Zealand NIS despite Professor Sampford suggesting that the NIS in Australia when assessed in 2005 was better portrayed as a birds nest – although the model illustrated in a joint Griffith University / Transparency International (Australia) publication is very geometric .