The number of Public Service departments went up again on Friday when substantial parts of the Security and Intelligence Act 2017 came into force. As s 7 of the Act states, the NZSIS is now a department of State – adding it to the other 29 listed in Schedule 1 to the State Sector Act. The Act also confirms that the GCSB continues as a department of State.
Interestingly, few other agencies are prescribed by statute as being departments of State. The Oranga Tamariki Act which established the 28th Public Service department earlier this year did not specify that the agency was a department of State. Inclusion in Schedule 1 to the State Sector Act creates a department as part of the Public Service (non-inclusion confirms that some agencies are “non Public Service” departments ), and by implication, makes public servants of departmental employees.
NZSIS “spooks” are now public servants.