NSW Government Appoints Chair of Better Services

Today the NSW Government announced the appointment of economist Stephen Sedgwick as the independent chairperson of the Better Services and Value Taskforce.

The Better Service and Value Taskforce was announced in the 2009/10 NSW Budget with a mandate to critically examine government agency spending line-by-line to target savings and improve service delivery across NSW government departments.

The initiative is part of the Government’s aim to deliver efficiency dividends by cutting the spending throughout government by 1 per cent a year for the next two years and by 1.5 per cent a year for the two years after.

The Taskforce will focus on three areas:

  • Critically examine all areas of spending in government agencies.
  • Strategically review the performance of all state-owned corporations and ensure they are performing to commercial standards.
  • Rationalise whole-of-government spending in areas such as IT and legal services.

The first department for examination will be the Department of Education.

Mr Sedgwick is a former secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Finance, Director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne, and director of the Asian Development Bank in Manila.

The Taskforce will include the Secretary of NSW Treasury and the Director-General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Support will also be provided the new Expenditure Review Directorate in NSW Treasury. Mr Stephen Brady has been appointed to head the new directorate.

As required, temporary independent members with relevant specialist expertise will be brought on to review steering committees to provide advice on specific issues, such as IT.

The Taskforce will meet on a monthly basis and when required.

This is part of the Better Services and Value Plan which encompasses the public sector amalgamation of 160 government agencies and offices into 13 departments.

To view Hawker Britton’s guide to the amalgamation click here.