Foreword from the Public Service Commissioner

Controlling sensitive expenditure: Guide for public organisations.

I often say the Public Service cannot operate without the trust and confidence of the people we serve.

New Zealand has a high degree of public trust and confidence in our system of government, but we can’t take this for granted. It’s something we need to work hard every day to maintain.

Many public agencies exercise special powers or influence over people’s lives, and with this power comes responsibility. A responsibility to perform our duties in a manner that upholds the trust that New Zealanders have in us.

We must always be accountable and transparent.

I welcome these updated guidelines from the Controller and Auditor-General. The principles, guidelines, and examples contained in this document provide further guidance for senior managers and staff across the public sector, reinforcing the importance of ensuring that we perform at all times in a manner that stands up to rigorous parliamentary and public scrutiny.

The guidelines complement the Chief Executive Gifts, Benefits and Expenses model standards I have issued. Senior public servants need to model the behaviour that they want to see from their agencies. I expect that those public servants will continue to make their decisions based on the good judgement they have exhibited to date and informed by the principles outlined here.

The public’s trust and confidence is our licence to operate.

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Peter Hughes
Public Service Commissioner

27 October 2020