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Pay Restraint in the Ministry of Health

K Roe made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

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From: K Roe

Dear Ministry of Health,

It was announced that there was a pay freeze on people earning over $100,000 per year. For example:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politic...

I am concerned that the highest paid DHB members may find their previous jobs dissolved with new jobs created for them with the restructure such that fewer of them obtain more money for them than they have ever obtained before.

In the interests of seeing whether people work in health administration for what it can do for them (rather than what they can do for the job) please can you inform of the highest paid 10 positions the holders of them, and the amount of money they will start out costing the tax-payers?

You may think I am asking for 'personal information' that should be kept private. These are public employees, however. So the information should be made public in the interests of public accountability. If they want their pay information to be private they need to seek employment in the private sector where they will be accountable for their performance and removable from office without the expectation that members of the public matyr themselves for that cause.

Yours faithfully,

Kelly Roe.

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Luke C left an annotation ()

TVNZ and RNZ for example publish in their annual reports the number of employees earning over $100k in $10k bands. However they don't provide the position earning the amount.

What would probably be sufficient to meet the accountability purpose of the Act would be for the Ministry to list the 10 highest paid roles by salary band. The band would be a range, e.g from $x to $x. In this way, the Ministry can balance the provision of information about use of public money, while protecting the privacy of employees without disclosing the actual salary paid to a specific employee.

Such information as this is already available to the public to some extent, when a role is advertised during recruitment. Some agencies publish the salary range in their job adverts. A prospective candidate may also ask for the salary range to understand if the role will meet their expectations.

If information was published in the way I suggest, it would come as no surprise to the public that the roles paid the highest will be senior leaders in the Ministry. Those role holders would understand that given their seniority, some reasonably broad disclosure would be accepted.

I dont *think* that there would be public interest considerations that would override withholding actual salaries on the grounds of personal privacy under the Act in this request, but I haven't done the public interest test on this. The Ombudsman have guidelines and a test sheet.

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Luke C left an annotation ()

Looking at your request again it is not clear whether you are wanting highest paid at DHBs or the Ministry. If it is DHBs, are you wanting the top ten highest paid positions across all DHBs or at each DHB?

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Luke left an annotation ()

Please refrain from using this site as a way of promoting any political beliefs. Keep the request concise, and to the point.

If you get no success, a better rewording would be:
a) "What are the individual pay rates for the 10 highest-earning employees of the Ministry of Health?"
b) "Who occupies the 10 highest-earning positions in the Ministry of Health?"
c) "How many of these staff had their pay frozen following the $100,000 p.a. pay freeze announcement?"

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From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora Kelly,

 

Thank you for your email.

 

The Public Service Commission releases remuneration figures for DHB Chief
Executives. These figures are being progressively updated for the
2020/2021 year and can be found by selecting DHBs on a table on this page
of the PSC website:
[1]https://www.publicservice.govt.nz/our-wo...

 

Remuneration figures are also published in all DHB Annual Reports. 
Reports for the 20 DHBs for the 2020-21 year will be available in coming
months. These figures show board fees by member, total leadership team
remuneration and the number of FTE personnel on the leadership team, and
employee remuneration in bands of $10,000 starting at $100,000 a year.

 

Under section 28(3) of the Act you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [2][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602. 

 

Ngā mihi 

OIA Services Team 

  

[3]Ministry of Health information releases 

[4]Unite against COVID-19 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: K Roe <[FOI #16872 email]>
Sent: Friday, 24 September 2021 06:00
To: OIA Requests <[email address]>
Subject: Official Information request - Pay Restraint in the Ministry of
Health

 

Dear Ministry of Health,

It was announced that there was a pay freeze on people earning over
$100,000 per year.  For example:

[5]https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...

I am concerned that the highest paid DHB members may find their previous
jobs dissolved with new jobs created for them with the restructure such
that fewer of them obtain more money for them than they have ever obtained
before.

In the interests of seeing whether people work in health administration
for what it can do for them (rather than what they can do for the job)
please can you inform of the highest paid 10 positions the holders of
them, and the amount of money they will start out costing the tax-payers?

You may think I am asking for 'personal information' that should be kept
private.  These are public employees, however.  So the information should
be made public in the interests of public accountability.  If they want
their pay information to be private they need to seek employment in the
private sector where they will be accountable for their performance and
removable from office without the expectation that members of the public
matyr themselves for that cause.

Yours faithfully,

Kelly Roe.

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