Financial management reform in the New Zealand public sector

I was originally attracted to The Treasury by the significant programme of reforms of financial management in the New Zealand public sector that were being implemented in the early 1990s.  This involved wholesale changes to budgeting, financial reporting and accountability in the public sector, based on the State Sector Act 1988, Public Finance Act 1989, and related legislation.

I produced a number of publications during this time, including:

  • McCulloch, B. W. New Zealand Leads in Government Management Reform. Government Accountants Journal (US), Spring 1993.
  • McCulloch, B. W. Accounting and Management Reform in New Zealand Government. Administrative and Managerial Reform in Government: A Commonwealth Portfolio of Current Good Practice, Commonwealth Secretariat, April 1993.
  • McCulloch, B. W. and Ball, I. Accounting in the Context of Public Sector Management Reform. Financial Accountability & Management, 8(1), Spring 1992.
  • McCulloch, B. W. A Capital Charge for Government Departments. Accountants’ Journal (NZ), October 1991.
  • McCulloch, B. W. Critical Success Factors for Public Sector Financial Management. Accountants’ Journal (NZ), March 1989.

I was also later involved in drafting the Public Audit Act 2001, which established the Controller and Auditor-General as an Officer of Parliament, and reformed the law relating to the audit of public sector organizations.

[Update]  Here is a 2017 summary of current financial management practices in New Zealand (not by me – extracted from: OECD/IFAC (2017), Accrual Practices and Reform Experiences in OECD Countries).