Hurrah for NZ’s public service – it has taken the silver medal on global “effectiveness” index

New Zealand ranks second overall in the latest International Civil Service Effectiveness index.   Our public service scores top marks for integrity, capabilities and procurement.

The 2019 InCiSE Index covers 38 countries (seven more than in the previous version) and uses 46 more metrics and five more data sources than previously. It has also explored ways of including non-OECD countries and developing countries.

InCiSE attempts to define the core characteristics of an effective central government central service. Effectiveness is then assessed based on two interrelated components: Core functions – the key things a civil service does (“what”).

There are 11 core function indicators, then Attributes – the main characteristics of a civil service that can drive what they do (“how”). There are six attribute indicators

As in the 2017 results, the four Commonwealth countries in the Index (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK) continue to rank in the top five countries. The Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) also rank highly, with all but Iceland in the top 10.

NZ’s integrity score is well ahead of other leading countries in the index and it achieves the maximum score for almost half of the metrics within this indicator.

This top position for procurement is primarily because of its maximum scores for three metrics:

  • the extent of e-procurement functions within government procurement systems;
  • the role of the central purchasing body; and
  • the extent to which policies are in place to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to take part in central government procurement.

This suggests that New Zealand has positive lessons to share with other countries which wish to improve in these areas.

New Zealand’s capabilities ranking reflects very strong scores for many of the metrics. This includes achieving maximum scores for the metrics assessing the extent of IT and influencing skills in the workplace.

Scores  for the job-related learning metric are very  strong as well.

Tax administration is the main indicator where New Zealand’s performance is less strong relative to other countries.

At Point of Order we trust NZ’s public service will hold on to its high world ranking for longer than the Black Caps.

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