Friday, 3 February 2012

Premier announces accountability and responsible government panel


FREDERICTON (CNB) – Premier David Alward announced today a new advisory panel to help establish a more focused, efficient system of program and service delivery.

"We must make significant changes to how we spend public money if we are to balance the budget and continue to deliver services that are affordable and sustainable," Alward said. "This panel will help move that vision forward."

The Premier's Panel on Accountability and Responsible Government will advise and assist government to implement business practices designed to preserve or enhance services, reduce costs and monitor process improvements with a mandate that includes providing advice across government.

The panel will be chaired by Robert Youden, a partner in Savarin Consulting and chair of the board of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Youden will be joined by a number of independent business people with expertise in key areas. A full list of panelists will be released in the coming weeks.  

"New Brunswick is a small province with limited resources and like any organization, government needs to focus on key areas to be effective," Youden said. "I am looking forward to working with the civil service’s leadership to implement business best practices; and to improving the level of service while spending less money."

The panel will report regularly to the premier over the course of the next year. Their initial work will be aligned with government renewal efforts and will focus on:

●    creating an action plan to identify cost savings opportunities including activities such as process reviews, benchmarking studies, and examination of current business practices;
●    establishing a set of targets and performance measures and creating a process to ensure that the critical metrics are managed appropriately; and
●    reviewing progress in priority areas and making recommendations to improve or accelerate change and meet targets.

"Through government renewal, we are working to change the culture of government by introducing formal process improvements, balanced scorecards and performance monitoring," Alward said. "Altogether, these measures demonstrate how we will involve New Brunswickers to restore fiscal stability and live within our means."