Statement of Intent 2012/15

Ombudsman:
Dame Beverley Wakem
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Language:
English

The Ombudsmen are appointed by Parliament to give effect to a number of key democratic measures aimed at safeguarding the rights of individuals and promoting government accountability and transparency.  In essence, we investigate, review and inspect the administrative conduct of state sector agencies and provide advice and guidance in order to ensure people are treated fairly in New Zealand.  

 The activities we carry out are balanced between:

  • specific interventions in relation to individual complaints about state sector agencies that we receive from members of the public; and

  • more general interventions to investigate and inspect significant and systemic issues and to provide advice and guidance, with the aim of contributing to wider administrative improvement in the state sector. 

We operate in an environment where our stakeholders have high expectations, and there is an ever-changing demand for our services.  Our functions have been progressively expanding, and we need to remain relevant and able to respond in a rapidly evolving model of public service delivery.

In the last decade, our Office has nearly doubled in size and workload, and taken on new jurisdictions and new expectations as to the overall contribution we can make in ensuring fair treatment in New Zealand.  Given the resource constraints that we operate under, our current staffing levels do not meet work capacity requirements.  This has led to a need to develop better and smarter ways to manage our work.

Our challenge over the medium term will be to:

  • achieve quality outcomes which:

    • deliver fair and practical solutions to complex problems; and

    • contribute to an overall improvement in standards of government administrative conduct; and

  • act in a timely and cost effective way within a tightly constrained fiscal environment. 

To ensure that we can provide effective and efficient interventions that make the best use of available resources, we have reviewed and revised our operating model over the last year in a process of continuous practice improvement.  Progressive implementation of our revised operating model will be a major focus of the period covered by this Statement of Intent.   This model preserves our practices that have stood the test of time, but realigns them to meet current business needs and better reflect our overall purpose and strategic direction. 

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