Improving government transport agencies' performance - Enabling and facilitating continuous improvement in the performance of transport agencies

Delivering Better Public Services is one of the government’s key priorities. This means government agencies need to focus on improving performance, with services delivered in innovative and more effective ways, within the fiscal constraints that the government has to operate in over the coming years. This includes the improved performance of the transport sector.

The Ministry, and each transport agency, has an individual responsibility to identify and address its capability and capacity needs in order to lift its effectiveness and efficiency and deliver better value for money. This means transport agencies need to be focused on the future demands for the transport system, customer and government expectations, fiscal constraints and how they evolve their business models and capabilities to be fit-for-purpose in a changing environment.

The government needs to be satisfied that the agencies are performing well and delivering outcomes that represent value for money.

The Ministry’s role in improving the performance of government transport agencies

The Ministry advises the Minister and the government on the most appropriate government transport agency arrangements to meet the government’s objectives for transport. This includes establishing the role and regulatory powers of the entities, and their funding arrangements. The Ministry will continue to develop a clear understanding of the strategic direction of the entities as they evolve over time, and lead the transport sector when collective action is required.

A core role for the Ministry is to monitor the performance of the transport agencies (as regulators and service providers) and support the Minister to hold these agencies accountable for their performance and delivery of the government’s transport specific economic, safety and security outcomes. To do this, the Ministry needs to understand the environment in which the agencies operate, consider the strategic and funding implications and have frameworks in place to be able to assess their performance.

To deliver improved performance by government transport agencies, the Ministry will:

  • provide rigorous analysis and robust advice on the performance of government transport agencies.

Improved government transport agencies’ performance – what we intend to achieve

The Ministry has an ongoing role in supporting the governance relationship between the Minister of Transport and Associate Minister of Transport and the government transport entities. The Ministry advises the Minister of Transport on board appointments for all the transport Crown entities. The Ministry also advises on the government’s expectations of each entity, and provides specialist advice to the Minister on how the entities are meeting these expectations, including performance, capability and strategic direction. The Ministry provides advice on entities’ regular performance reports, strategic, financial and risk planning, draft statements of intent and annual reports.

The Ministry’s intended impacts in this area over the next four years, and the projects and activities that will deliver them, include the following:

Impact 8: Ongoing assurance on the performance of government transport agencies

Reforming business and regulatory models

In 2013, the Ministry completed a review of its approach to assessing and monitoring performance of government transport agencies. As a result of the review, we are implementing a range of initiatives that will enhance the relationships between the Ministry and Ministers and transport agencies. We are developing a more systematic and strategic view on how each entity can improve performance over the medium-term (including seeking the views of agency stakeholders) and considering how best to address the Better Public Services Advisory Group Report.

The Ministry is now implementing a longer-term programme for formal reviews of transport agency services, capability and funding. This will not only include a schedule of when reviews should be undertaken, but help us to identify possible synergies that emerge from the reviews.

Improved sector coordination

The Ministry also has an important leadership role in ensuring the government’s transport agencies work effectively as a whole. The Ministry’s Chief Executive chairs a Transport Sector Leadership Group that comprises the Chief Executives of all the transport agencies and State-owned enterprises. This group is working together to ensure a ‘joined up’ approach is taken, when appropriate, to key transport issues. The Ministry will work with the transport Crown entities to develop a shared set of outcomes and measures for the transport sector.

Shared services

The Ministry will continue to lead the transport Crown entities in exploring opportunities for shared business services, and subsequent implementation. The focus of this work is on business functions that will benefit from a transport sector perspective that capitalises on specialist expertise and best-practice models.

Improved government transport agencies’ performance – How performance will be assessed

Outcome measure

95 percent, or more, of the Statement of Intent’s performance expectation, are met.

For the Ministry of Transport, 90 percent of its work programme was completed in 2012/13, 90 percent of its work programme was completed in 2011/12, 98 percent was completed in 2010/11 and 90 percent was completed in 2009/10. Data for preceding years has not been gathered in this manner across the transport Crown entities.

Impact measures - ongoing assurance on the performance of government transport agencies

Increased Ministerial satisfaction on the performance of the government transport agencies as a consequence of the timely, accurate, succinct nature of Ministry specialist governance and performance advice.

Two Ministerial satisfaction surveys were completed in 2013. The Ministry average score was 60 percent.


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