23 January 2013

The Guardian Public Leaders network has carried the State Services Commissioner’s views on what will be achieved by the proposed State Sector Amendment Act which had its Introduction in December. Last week a video of the Commissioner’s comments indicated a focus on creating a “compelling” image, a public service brand based on the stewardship by chief executives for the “best and brightest”, offering exciting possibilities for new entrants. He spoke of offering a “portfolio of experiences”. That reflects a provision in the Bill for “key positions” in Public Service departments and departmental agencies, designated because of their potential to develop senior leaders or because they are critical to the Public Service, to which appointments can only be made with the agreement of the Commissioner.

Ironically the next day the Guardian network published a critical assessment of recent experiences of “parachuting” UK public sector managers into New Zealand. The New Zealand contributor implied that the experience portfolio of two chief executives selected by the State Services Commissioner, who have prematurely returned to Britain, were insufficient to cope with the way in which the administrations differ.

New Zealand featured again yesterday in the Guardian network when the Commissioner’s comments were reprised in a column format under the byline of the network content coordinator.