CONTRIBUTION OF CORPORATE SERVICES
The Corporate Services Division provides corporate policy, professional services and advice to the Department in relation to financial, physical, information and human resources. The Division plays a pivotal role in organisational change by collaborating with business units to enable the delivery of desired departmental outcomes. The contributions of those who work in the Division are highly valued.
Clients and Stakeholders
The main clients of Corporate Services are the Minister, the Department's management and staff, and other government agencies such as the Departments of Premier and Cabinet and Treasury and Finance, and Service Tasmania. The stakeholders include all our debtors and creditors, suppliers and contractors, employee and employer organisations, and the public in general.
Provision of Services
The Division's staff deliver the majority of corporate functions, with assistance from external contractors as required.
Achievements Against Strategies Identified For 2001-2002
The Will and The Way Program
The Will and The Way program has seen a number of significant achievements this year. The inaugural Corporate Plan for DIER has been launched and the program for developing, influencing and negotiating skills (Negotiating the Way) has now involved 353 people in one, two or three-day programs. Interest is evidenced by demand for advanced and refresher programs.
The Reference Group, consisting of Divisional Representatives from across the Agency, has developed a comprehensive Action Plan and has already implemented key parts of it. This group has taken a very active role in engendering and maintaining interest in and commitment to the principles of The Will and The Way across DIER as well as publicising examples of these principles in action. Activities have ranged from arranging and facilitating meetings of Divisional Representatives, working with Divisional Representatives on local issues and preparing discussion papers on key areas of concern.
The Departmental Leadership Group (DLG), in keeping with the Corporate Plan, has begun a series of activities to enhance leadership. Working with the Reference Group, DLG has identified key issues impacting on the adoption of The Will and The Way across DIER and has instigated mechanisms for addressing them. There are indications that staff are generally having a much greater involvement in planning and decision making. An emphasis is now being placed on the important role that Branch Managers play in the process.
Performance Planning and Review
DIER introduced a performance planning and review system for Senior Executive Service officers during the year. The first evaluations of performance began at the end of the year under review. This system is designed to complement Agency programs and activities for each financial year.
The Department's performance planning and review system reinforces its Charter by ensuring a direct alignment of SES functions and responsibilities to the achievement of DIER's corporate objectives. As DIER's corporate objectives are strategic in nature, the value of the Agency's performance management system is that it brings a specific, defined and measurable focus to the achievement of long-term outcomes. This system will form the basis for future performance planning arrangements for all levels of the Agency.
Full implementation of the system will facilitate improved strategic planning, better integration of diverse Agency activities and improved delivery of services to stakeholders.
Implementation of Safety Audit
A project officer was employed for six months for the planning and consultation phase of this project. Key achievements have been the endorsement of a new Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) and Injury Management framework, a new Safety Representative structure that integrates the previously different practices in DIER's divisions, a revised OH&S policy and associated documentation and protocols. Support information and tools are now accessible to all staff from the Corporate Services Intranet page.
Implementation of the framework will continue in the 2002-03 financial year with the focus on training of managers, staff and safety representatives to ensure all legislative responsibilities are met.
The main focus this year has been on the Youth under 25 years target group through the provision of four youth traineeships. The trainees rotated through placements in different areas of the Department over 12 months, working towards achieving the competencies required to complete a Certificate 111 in Government. Targeted training was provided both on the job and as a group in "blocks" between placements. A measure of success of the program is that two trainees have already found employment in the State while a third is undertaking a university degree. Feedback from trainees and placement managers indicates that the inaugural traineeship program has been an unqualified success.
DIER sponsored six women to undertake the New Director's program short course and again supported participation in the Springboard personal development programs.
Aligned with the implementation of the new Financial Management Information System has been the implementation of receiving and paying invoices by electronic means. This project involves large volume suppliers to the Department and alleviates the need to re-key large amounts of data. This is a continuing project designed to improve efficiency and effectiveness of processing.
The Department has all of its insurable risks covered by the Tasmanian Risk Management Fund, managed by Treasury. During 2001-02 the Department substantially completed a Business Risk Review which is a major component of the Department's annual corporate planning program. It will provide the basis for ongoing assessment of the Department's response to perceived strategic and operational risks.
A number of property related issues were addressed in the year. Some of these included the upgrade to the foyer within 10 Murray Street, Hobart and associated new security arrangements; new lease for Reece House, Burnie; and negotiation of a lease for Wellington St, Launceston following the sale of this property by the Department of Treasury and Finance.
Procurement and Tendering
During 2001-02 the Department placed significant emphasis on working towards a set of consistent procurement and tendering policies and procedures covering all procurement by the Department. The procedures and associated procurement and contracting documents have been developed into Internet-capable documents, which link directly to pro forma documents maintained by Treasury. This ensures that the latest version of any document is always being used. The procedural enhancements are also designed to streamline and improve the quality and timeliness of reporting to Treasury and government on procurement and tendering issues.
In consultation with stakeholders, a defined process for production support of departmental Corporate Applications, including the Concessions Allowance and Subsidy system (CASA), Motor Registry System, Road Information Management System (RIMS), Tower Records Information Management System (TRIM) and a range of other smaller applications has been developed. The introduction of this process enables business support units responsible for the application to collaborative work with IMB staff in the effective resolution of end-users issues.
Information Management Account Management
The introduction of Information Management Account Management responsibilities has enhanced communication and resolution of information management and technology issues confronting various business units.
The development of defined Service Level Agreements (SLA) for the delivery of information management and technology for business units that have a high dependence on our services has begun. The introduction of the SLAs is scheduled to occur over the next 12 months, along with further refinement of the model.
An Acceptance Testing Kit to assist staff working on departmental projects for testing IT components has been introduced. This Kit has gained wide recognition, both in the private IT industry and public sector. It is being piloted as part of the acceptance process for the Freight Demander system.
A major upgrade of the Financial Management Information System was successfully completed which provided greater functionality.
A new reporting tool has allowed a seamless connection between the Financial Management Information System and Excel. As part of this implementation a number of reports were written for use within the Agency.
Implementation of the accrual budgeting project has begun through membership of a number of committees, including reporting and training phases of the project.
Development of an integrated approach to planning, budgeting and reporting across the whole agency has begun. The aim is to ensure that a common planning framework is adopted to ensure operating plans are aligned with DIER's strategic directions and corporate values.
A review of the Department's fleet management policies and guidelines has begun to ensure DIER's vehicle allocation and usage is primarily directed towards meeting its business outcomes and to ensure greater emphasis is placed on providing employees with a safe working environment and safe systems of work.
A whole of agency policy management framework has been developed and will be implemented in the coming year. The framework was developed to ensure all DIER policies are written, presented, approved, reviewed and implemented in a standard format and are easily accessible via the DIER Intranet.
The Department's Internet and Email Usage Policy is being reviewed, with the establishment of a Web based reporting structure to enable Managers to monitor their staff's access and usage.
The Departmental Management Group has endorsed an initiative for the introduction of MS Exchange 2000 and Outlook 2000 to provide a 'single' e-mail and calendaring system across all Divisions of the Department accessible via a single Active Directory concept.
The Corporate Services Division has participated in various whole of government initiatives, including:
the development of policies for IT Security and Privacy;
tendering process for the acquisition of 'Best Practice' Consultative Services in Information Resource Management;
refinement of a survey instrument on the Management of Information Services and Technology;
involvement in negotiation with Microsoft on changes to their proposed Software Licensing model; and
numerous other projects and activities encompassing budget management systems, accrual budgeting, Service Tasmania Board, HR Advisory groups, REMUS management and development, and security and privacy issues.
A small team, coordinated by the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources, has effectively negotiated with Oracle an Agreement for a Tasmanian Site Licence covering all Tasmanian State and Local Governments, Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and State Owned Companies (SOCs).
New IT helpdesk software, the HEAT system, has been implemented to enable better management of end-user issues.
Development of Corporate Information Management strategy, policies, guidelines and procedures has continued, as has the introduction of technology tools to support an electronic enabled document management environment, including electronic scanning and storage of source documents and the introduction of TRIM's Top Drawer module has occurred over the last 12 months.