Government’s Priorities and Line-by-line Review
Following the general election in 2008 the new Government required all departments to undertake a line-by-line review of their expenditure. The intention was to provide value for money by ensuring services were relevant to government priorities and were being delivered in an efficient and effective manner. Chief Executives were required to review their services based on:
- efficiency and effectiveness of expenditure
- alignment with government priorities
- savings identified and freed up
- programmes inconsistent with government priorities that should be stopped
- programmes that may be inconsistent and should be further reviewed
- programmes that are not effective or efficient
- programmes that are probably not effective or efficient and should be reviewed.
The Ministry offered up savings totalling $6 million, but as this included a reduction in Crown revenue of $1.7 million in services that were subject to cost-recovery from the fishing industry, the net saving to Government was $4.3 million.
Savings of this magnitude enabled government to fund priorities for fishing such as:
- improving frontline fishery officer policing
- providing for research to better quantify recreational fishing catches
- implementing a catch-effort reporting process for recreational charter vessels
- continuing to support research and development for aquaculture
- other government services.
Reviews following the line-by-line decisions
Following from the line-by-line expenditure review, the Ministry, in collaboration with industry, began a series of projects intended to support economic development of the fishing industry and maintain the long term sustainability of New Zealand’s fish stocks.
The review of observer services aims to address what the observer programme needs to achieve, how it can be more cost-effective, and how observer services can best be delivered. An initial view on generic models for service delivery has been discussed with independent advisors.
The review of scientific research services will address the process for how research projects are agreed, how research can be most effectively and efficiently undertaken and how it can be best finalised and taken through to implementation. A project plan has been approved and analysis is currently being undertaken to identify process improvements that can be initiated in the short-term.
Analysis work in five key areas (Process, Planning, Priority and Engagement; Strategic Provision; Funding; Aquatic Environment; and Information Integration Services) has commenced. Interviews with representatives from the Ministry, industry (including quota owners), service providers, Te Ohu Kai Moana and DOC will inform the review. Engagement with groups representing environmental and recreational interests will also be included in the review.
The review of the regime governing discarding of fish at sea will address how the current regime operates and explore options for improving practicality and effectiveness. Desktop studies are in progress to collect relevant information in support of the review (case law, existing discards management data available within the Ministry, and international strategies for managing discards).
The international fisheries strategy is designed to develop a strategy consistent with Fisheries 2030 for Ministry-related areas of international policy. There has been a very high level of engagement in the process. The Ministry has incorporated written feedback from industry and environmental NGO representatives into a draft high-level strategy document and is now working to finalise the draft strategy document to be forwarded to joint Ministers for endorsement.