Part 7: A strategic plan for the Conservation Services Programme

Department of Conservation: Administration of the Conservation Services Programme – Follow-up audit.

Preparing a strategic plan for the Conservation Services Programme

In our 2002 report, we concluded that, as a matter of best practice for management of the research programme, the Conservation Services Programme be planned, costed, and carried out within the context of a strategic plan.

What progress has been made in implementing our recommendation?

In preparing the Conservation Services Programme’s Annual Plan 2004-05, DOC relied upon an Interim Strategic Statement. This statement provided a framework for the policy direction of the Conservation Services Programme for that year.

DOC, in consultation with interested parties, is drafting a strategic plan for the Conservation Services Programme for the period 2005-10. Once finalised, the strategic plan and the 5-year research plan will underpin development of the Conservation Services Programme’s annual plans that fall within the same 5-year period.

In line with our recommendations in 2002, the draft strategic plan makes progress on:

  • the current and potential sources of adverse effects of commercial fishing on protected species;
  • a priority order of the protected species most at risk from the adverse effects;
  • a priority order for the development of research; and
  • clear criteria for including other protected species in projects.

DOC provided us with a revised version of the monitoring section within the draft strategic plan. The revision describes how the Conservation Services Programme could be monitored and evaluated.

The draft strategic plan does not specifically provide information on consultation and its timing. It does provide information on the steps that will be followed to prepare the annual plan.

In 2002, we recommended that the strategic plan include indicative budgets. This information does not appear in the Conservation Services Programme’s draft strategic plan, but indicative costs are included in the draft research plan.

Our conclusions

DOC has prepared a draft strategic plan for the Conservation Services Programme for 2005-10, in consultation with interested parties. The draft strategic plan includes most, but not all, of the factors that we recommended be included.

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