Two outstanding women are appointed to top public service jobs

Outside  the  Wellington  Beltway,  not  much   attention  has been paid to  two key appointments in the state sector.   Both  posts  go to   outstanding  women  leaders  who  for  several  years  have  fulfilled  the  early  promise they  showed  in the public service.

After  a successful  career at the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs and Trade,  where   she has  been  serving Deputy Secretary, Multilateral and Legal Affairs Group,  Bernadette  Cavanagh  will  take over as  CEO  of  the  Ministry of Culture & Heritage  from February 1.  There   had been  speculation   Cavanagh, a   daughter of   former  PM  Jim Bolger,   could be a  candidate to  succeed  Brook Barrington as head of  MFAT  when  he  moves over to the DPMC.

The  other  key  appointment  by State Sector Commissioner  Peter Hughes   is to the  post of Comptroller  of Customs,  a  role    which has  assumed   increasing  importance  because of the  reliance on  border security and management in  protecting  the  NZ   economy.        Continue reading “Two outstanding women are appointed to top public service jobs”

How happy-clappy statisticians figure out if we are privileged

The Point of Order Trough Monitor has not been calibrated to detect all extravagant spending of taxpayers’ money.  But others in the blogosphere can be relied on to pick up at least some of the squandering that happens beyond the monitor’s purview.

For example, Kiwiblog’s doughty David Farrar has alerted his readers to some nonsense at Statistics New Zealand, based on a press release from Nationals Amy Adams.

“Officials at a  technical workshop today spent an hour having participants singing, hand-clapping and playing ‘Check Your Privilege bingo’.

“Yet at the same time New Zealand continues to wait for the 2018 Census results after a shambolic process that resulted in significant data gaps and we’re yet to see anything on the last two years of child poverty statistics.

“According to the Government agency’s bingo card, it seems if you are a ‘native English speaker, Cis, white, thin, have no speech impediment, heterosexual, able-bodied, standard accent, have no criminal record, human, tall, mentally healthy, support a mainstream political party, adult, born in your country of residence, wealthy, employed or just not a red-head’, then you are privileged.
Continue reading “How happy-clappy statisticians figure out if we are privileged”

The case for filling public service leadership posts with women – then let’s look at the All Blacks

More than 50% of chief executives in public service departments for the first time are women, the Government proudly proclaimed this week.

Seventeen of the 33 public service department chief executive posts are filled by women, including acting roles.  That’s 52%, up from 14, or 44%, at 30 June 2018.

“This is an outstanding achievement,” Chris Hipkins said.

Hipkins, Minister of State Services, then noted that in addition to meeting this milestone, more women CEs

” … have been appointed to larger jobs.

“Their average job size has increased by 15% since 2016 and the job size gap with their male colleagues has narrowed to 6%, compared with a 27% gap in 2016.” Continue reading “The case for filling public service leadership posts with women – then let’s look at the All Blacks”

The PSA celebrates membership growth – but public services are expanding too

The State Services Commission declares on its website it is part of the Open Government Partnership, a forum of countries working to be more open, accountable and responsive to citizens.

The State Services Commission is leading this in New Zealand, it says, so at Point of Order we figured we would have no problem getting hold of the latest data to give a measure of the pace of growth in state sector employment numbers.

Our appetite for fresh figures was fuelled by the PSA’s celebrating growth in its membership.  Terrific –  but maybe this growth is an inevitable consequence of growth in public-sector worker numbers.

We found data to the end of June 2017 on the SSC website but wanted to ensure there was no more recent stuff. Continue reading “The PSA celebrates membership growth – but public services are expanding too”