- Title page
- State sector reform legislation
- The Crown entity system
- About this guidance
- What are the monitoring department's functions?
- Appendix 1: Ministers' powers in relation to Crown entities
- Appendix 2: Central agencies' statutory responsibilities
- Appendix 3: Crown entities and accountability to Parliament
- Appendix 4: Glossary of public sector terms
Appendix 2: Central agencies' statutory responsibilities
The State Services Commissioner (the 'Commissioner') and the Treasury have statutory responsibilities or powers regarding Crown entities and/or the Crown Entities Act 2004 (CEA), and Ministers should seek their support as appropriate.
The State Services Commission (SSC) and the Treasury are jointly responsible for the administration of the CEA. The Treasury administers Part 4 (Crown entity reporting and financial obligations) while the SSC administers all other parts of the CEA. The State Sector Act, Public Finance Act and CEA provide the State Services Commission and the Treasury with powers to require the production of information from Crown entities to allow them to carry out their respective functions. These complement Ministers' information rights under the Crown Entities Act.
The CEA provides for the Ministers of Finance and State Services to jointly direct entire categories or types of statutory entities, or to smaller aggregations of entities, to comply with specified requirements to support a 'whole of government' approach (see s. 107). Such directions may not be issued to single entities. If departments are considering advising Ministers whether an issue could be addressed through a CEA section 107 direction, they should first seek the advice of the SSC and the Treasury. Consultation must occur with affected entities and stakeholders before such a direction can be issued (s. 108).
Consultation with the SSC and the Treasury is necessary on any machinery of government proposal that could result in the establishment of a new organisation that might be a Crown entity, including a proposal to establish a trust. The SSC and the Treasury have shared interests in reviewing the operations and performance of an entity or group of entities (especially if Ministers exercise their powers under s. 132 of the CEA to review the entity's operations and performance).
Lead responsibilities of the State Services Commission
The SSC jointly administers the CEA (with the Treasury) and assists the Minister of State Services. The recent amendments to the State Sector Act provided new powers to the Minister of State Services to assess the system capability and performance of Crown entities, and new provisions for government Workforce Policy Statements that can apply to Crown entities.
The Commissioner's mandate under the State Sector Act includes responsibilities regarding:
- providing advice and guidance on, and setting minimum standards regarding, matters of integrity and conduct in Crown entities (does not apply to Crown Research Institutes)
- reviewing the State sector system in order to advise on possible improvements to agency, sector, and system-wide performance
- reviewing governance and structures across all areas of government, in order to advise on:
- i the allocation and transfer of functions and powers
- ii the cohesive delivery of services
- iii the establishment, amalgamation, and disestablishment of agencies, and
- promoting and reinforcing standards of integrity and conduct in the State services.
The Commissioner must also act on a wider range of matters affecting Crown entities if directed by the Prime Minister or a responsible Minister for an entity. The Commissioner has responsibilities under the Act to review and advise on the remuneration packages of Crown entity chief executives (see s. 117) and, if so directed by the Governor-General, to review and advise on collective employment agreements applying to entity employees (see s. 116).
Lead responsibilities of the Treasury
Advice from the Treasury should be sought when interpreting the Act on:
- budget and expenditure information and processes
- the application of rules set down under the Act relating to: the acquisition of securities; borrowing; the giving of guarantees; the granting of indemnities; and the use of derivative financial instruments, and
- the interpretation of, and compliance with, reporting requirements.
Consultation with the Treasury is part of normal business practice on all issues that impact on expenditure or revenue, or that have financial, fiscal or economic implications. This includes all performance and reporting issues that may influence decisions on value-for-money.