The Ministry of Education has been told to change its culture from the top down and mend damage caused by major misadventures such as the Novopay payroll debacle.
A report for the State Services Commission, Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet says the ministry needs to improve its risk management and mend poor relationships with education groups.
Radio New Zealand's education correspondent said the report was completed several months ago and follows a performance review held two years ago.
Principals Federation president Philip Harding said the report still rings true. But the Secondary Principals Association said the ministry is improving under the leadership of its new chief executive, Peter Hughes.
The ministry said it is changing its culture with a focus on teamwork, service and accountablity.