Restructuring for the sake of it, without a clear sense of what you’re trying to achieve and where you’re going can be expensive, it can destroy morale, and it can totally de-rail progress on the things that matter. There seems to be quite a bit of that happening in the public sector at the moment.
Take the recent establishment of the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MoBIE). Many of the component parts of the new ministry had already been the subject of restructuring under National.
The Ministry for Science and Innovation was barely a year old when it was disestablished to become part of MoBIE. As David Shearer revealled today, that short-lived Ministry managed to clock up over half a million dollars in ‘branding’ and promotional costs, all for an entity that no longer even exists.
I think David Shearer has summed things up pretty well:
“MSI now stands for Ministry of Silly Integrations. For over two years science and innovation officials have been in one merger or another. The plain fact is that mergers stall policy development and that’s why there hasn’t been an innovation policy to speak of from this government.”
I totally support the drive for better public services, but let’s not waste money restructuring every time there is a new Minister who wants to mould their own little empire.