2014/15 Better Administrative and Support Services (BASS) Report

The 2014/15 Better Administrative and Support Services (BASS) report provides comparative information on the cost, efficiency, and effectiveness of five administrative and support-service functions across 26 agencies. This will be the sixth year that the BASS report has been completed.

Findings are based on data from the financial years 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15. Functions include Information and Communications Technology (ICT); Human Resources (HR); Procurement; Finance; and Corporate and Executive Services (CES). The latter includes activities such as legal services, communications and information management.

Some results for the Ministry include:

Information and Communications Technology

  • ICT costs are low compared with peers (4.05% compared with a peer group median of 8.31%)
  • System availability is comparable with peers (99.28% compared with the median of 99.78%).

Human Resources

  • Ratio of HR staff to employees has risen slightly and is consistent with peer group (82.97 employees per HR FTE compared to the large agency median of 82.97).


  • Procurement costs are below the peer group median (0.32% compared with 0.81%)
  • Percentage of professionally qualified procurement practitioners in the Ministry is significantly higher than the peer group median (68.42% compared with 101%).


  • Finance costs are on par with the peer group median (0.97% compared with 0.91%)
  • Capability/maturity measure is unchanged and on par with comparable agencies (2.2 out of 4, compared with 2.4).

Corporate and Executive Services

  • Communications, information management and legal services make up the bulk of CES
  • Percentage of communications staff with professional qualifications is significantly higher than the peer group median (94.44% compared with 66.67%).

Comparisons with Other Agencies

Comparisons with other agencies can be difficult and may reflect differences in operational and recording practices rather than cost structures. Some reasons for differences could be:

  • Support services provided for sector-facing activities and systems 
  • Support provided to a large number of schools and teachers
  • Size of the school property portfolio and the large number of capital programmes
  • Distributed nature of Ministry functions.

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