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12. Be transparent and accountable to the public

  • Measure and monitor the effectiveness, value and consequences of your service throughout its lifetime, and report publicly.
  • Test end-to-end, early and often with users, and continuously improve services in response to user feedback.
  • Be open and transparent in decision-making, including in the use of automated systems.
  • Communicate how taxpayer-funded services serve the interests of citizens, communities, society and the economy.

Why it matters

Taxpayer funded services need to serve the interests of the people of New Zealand, its communities, society and economy. Publicly demonstrating how it adds value, and who it adds value to, helps justify the investment in developing and operating the service.

It’s also important to understand the impact of a service on people’s whole interaction with government. This will provide insights about how to improve and evolve the service to meet changing user needs at both the agency and system levels.

New Zealand is seen as one of the world’s most open, transparent and least corrupt countries. We are rightly proud of this reputation and should develop services that support this ongoing status. Government accountability is a keystone of our democratic process, and builds public trust, which drives greater uptake of our services.

How to meet this principle

As a minimum you should demonstrate:

  • how you baseline, measure, continually monitor and publicly report on how your service contributes to an overarching outcome or purpose
  • how you use user research and prototype testing to identify the value of your service to your users, and understand the potential effects of your service on other government services, including where you source the data and the limitations thereof
  • consider what, if any, metrics are available to measure against current means of delivering the service
  • identify influences external to your service that may impact its measures of success.


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