Officials are looking at cutting costs in the public service by creating hubs of consultants inside agencies, instead of relying on external ones.
The government has asked 39 departments to find savings of 6.5 to 7.5 percent.
The briefing to the incoming Minister for the Public Service advised Nicola Willis against any hiring freezes or capping pay to cut costs.
Instead, it said pools of skilled staff could be moved around between agencies.
It also suggested having in-house hubs of consultants to do away with expensive external consultants.
National campaigned on cutting the spend on external contractors and consultants by $400 million a year, from over a billion at present.
The briefing said New Zealand had a lot of government departments by international measures, and some could be merged or disbanded.
Agencies were very decentralised.
“There is a need for mechanisms ensuring that … people and their skills can be flexibly deployed to where they are most needed, regardless of agency boundaries.”
This could also reduce competition between agencies for talent, which drove up costs.
The Public Service Commission said it wanted to talk to the minister about more strategic workforce planning, “a more structured mobility model” or an “in-house consultancy hub” for major projects that “could otherwise rely heavily on external consultants”.
But moves to cut contractors face a high hurdle when it came to IT upgrades, according to another briefing, to the incoming Digitising Minister Judith Collins.
Sector spending on contractors for major digital projects “contributed significantly” to overall contractor spend throughout 2022 and 2023, it said.
“In the short to medium term, it will be challenging to unwind government’s reliance on digital contractors due to the specialist nature of and high industry demand for digital talent.”
Budget 2023 provided $27m to build sector tech skills.
This is one of a number of briefings to incoming ministers released on Thursday. Read more: