4 June 2014

Yesterday Trans Tasman released its fifth annual evaluation of State Services  agencies and the pecking order of agency chief executives.  A purist would see a misnomer in the awards which are for the Department of the Year – although agencies that are neither Public Service Departments nor non Public Service Departments are also part of the catchment; and only State Services chief executives are in contention for the award of Public Sector Chief Executive of the year.

Inland Revenue Department was named as the 2014 Department of the Year.  IRD was among the top five agencies last year, but the judges saw a ‘‘clear improvement in customer engagement’’ over the past 12 months. IRD is now seen by the public to be more than just a compliance agency, being recognised “…as a crusader which goes after people who try to avoid their tax obligations….’’

Graeme Wheeler , Governor of the Reserve Bank, was named as the Chief Executive of the Year.

Previous Departments of the Year have included the Treasury, the Ministry of Social Development and the Department of Corrections.  As in previous years some agencies are criticised more in the TransTasman report than others – State Services Commission is on the receiving end again this year. And David Smol, last year’s Chief Executive of the Year recognised for his endeavours in amalgamating agencies into the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, has been criticised this year for disappointments flowing from that amalgamation.