6 Oct 2023

ACT sets out public sector performance indicators

1:32 pm on 6 October 2023
ACT Party leader David Seymour outside the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce on 29 September 2023.

David Seymour on the campaign trail last week. Photo: RNZ / Nathan McKinnon

ACT has laid out the key indicators it would ask Treasury to monitor in health, education, welfare and immigration to determine chief executive bonuses.

Party leader David Seymour was out at the airfield in Rangiora, north of Christchurch on Friday afternoon to unveil the party's "Flying Pinky" Cessna180 Skywagon plane to media.

He also highlighted his party's red tape policies, which include key performance indicators and bonuses for public service chief executives who meet them.

Departments would also be monitored by Treasury, with Seymour saying some of the key indicators would include student attendance and participation, availability and timeliness of primary healthcare services, jobseeker beneficiaries who find work, and standard wait times for processing and obtaining a visa.

These statistics are already tracked in government - although ACT wants to increase school attendance data reporting to make it available daily - but the data would now be tracked by Treasury and reported annually, affecting chief executives' pay.

"ACT in government will demand higher standards and greater accountability from chief executives and departments for the money they spend," Seymour said.

"Performance reporting of public services is haphazard, measures are cherry-picked, results can be reported in a way that isn't coherent, and it's difficult or impossible to track trends over time."

He said the cap on "excellent performance" pay for the chief executives would be removed, and the size of the bonus could be set by ministers.

"Having excellent chief executives, and incentives for excellent performance, matters. But public service chief executives have few incentives to cut waste, discover efficiencies or innovation, or deliver outcomes that the minister prioritises," Seymour said.