The Office of the Secretary provides an interface between the Department and its two Ministers. It also liaises with other Government Business Enterprises and State Owned Companies, in relation to the two Ministers' portfolios. The Office provides high-level support and advice in the areas of physical infrastructure, regulatory infrastructure and business management arising from the two Ministers' diverse and complex portfolios.
The Office of the Secretary is pivotal in the strategic positioning and leadership of the Agency, ensuring support for the State Government in achieving its objectives for a prosperous Tasmanian community.
The Office is responsible for the coordination of activities, provision of support and liaison for the two broad arms of the Agency - physical infrastructure and regulatory infrastructure.
The Office of the Secretary comprises the Secretary, Deputy Secretary (Regulatory Infrastructure), Deputy Secretary (Physical Infrastructure), Executive Manager, and support staff who undertake the:
Provision of whole-of-agency strategic direction, management and leadership;
Management of key stakeholder relationships and the political interface between the Agency and the Premier's Office, the Ministers and their staff;
Provision of high-level direction and management of key inter-agency programs and politically sensitive and strategic projects;
Coordination and liaison with relevant peak state and national agencies, bodies and committees;
Accountability for relevant statutory and legislative responsibilities, including Rail Safety Regulation, the Transport Commission, Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation and coordination of the legislative program;
Coordination and facilitation of the Local Government Partnership and Tasmania Together Programs;
Coordination and liaison with the Ministers and their staff, relevant state and national bodies, including central government agencies; and
Provision of whole of agency administration including financial and human resource responsibilities.
The Deputy Secretaries assist the Secretary with the operation of regulatory and infrastructure policy responsibilities and the delivery of services and infrastructure to support the economic development of Tasmania.
The Regulatory Infrastructure Group consists of Racing Services Tasmania, Workplace Standards Tasmania and the Land Transport Safety Division and provides support to the Forest Practices Board.
The Physical Infrastructure Group comprises the Infrastructure Policy, Roads and Public Transport and Mineral Resources Tasmania Divisions, with support responsibilities for Private Forests Tasmania.
The major stakeholders for the Office of the Secretary are:
The Minister for Infrastructure;
The Minister for Economic Development, Energy and Resources, Racing, Sport and Recreation;
State and Commonwealth Government agencies and Local Government;
Relevant peak State and National agencies, bodies and committees from government, industry and the community;
Industry organisations, contractors and suppliers; and
The Tasmanian community.
Provision of services
Services are provided by departmental staff.
Achievements for 2002/03
In the latter half of 2002/03 the Office of the Secretary was restructured. This has resulted in the transfer of Communications and Marketing and Ministerial Liaison to the Corporate Services Division. The restructure has improved the coordination and direction within the Office of the Secretary and has facilitated a more focused approach to the coordination of Agency-wide activities, information management, support to the Secretary and the Executive Group, and, in particular, corporate planning.
Throughout 2002/03, the Office of the Secretary has been actively involved in the development of the Corporate Plan, which will provide direction to the Agency until 2006. The Plan incorporates the Department's Charter of Values, with the principles of integrity, respect, openness, teamwork, effective communication and professionalism underpinning how the Agency will continue to operate.
The Corporate Plan will not only provide direction for the whole of the Agency, but will capture synergies across groups and divisions and will ensure that each area's activities complement each other in achieving strategic objectives.
The Office of the Secretary has also been instrumental in:
Improving the coordination of whole-of-Agency and whole-of-Government issues in DIER;
Increasing cooperation and consultation between DIER Divisions and stakeholder groups;
Improving the monitoring of agreed outcomes in Partnership Agreements and with Local Government in general;
Improving systems and ways of accomplishing tasks, which benefit the whole of DIER, using consultative and professional approaches, which have helped to build relationships; and
Ensuring Tasmania takes into account national agendas for Transport, Energy, Occupational Health & Safety and Resources.
Other Achievements in 2002/03
Infrastructure and Resource Information Service (IRIS Tasmania)
The Department completed development of the Infrastructure and Resource Information Service (IRIS Tasmania) on schedule in December 2002.
The easy-to-use, web-based suite of services developed within the scope of IRIS is accessed from a single website, providing current, integrated information about Tasmania's physical, economic and social infrastructure and resources. This new range of services opens up the information needed to support those interested in investment, development and planning in Tasmania.
IRIS Tasmania was implemented as a series of five major releases over 18 months. Although now in operational mode, the service continues to introduce new features and enhancements.
Major features of IRIS Tasmania include:
IRIS Maps - real-time, thematic maps of Tasmania, displaying integrated data from different government agencies with a user-friendly interface.
BizTas - a free, multi-lingual directory of Tasmanian registered businesses and organisations.
Attractor Content - high level, general information about Tasmania, including a 'Latest News' page.
IRIS STEPS - an independent, web-based application to create and edit information about business and development processes, which can then be published through the IRIS website.
Tasmanian Data Directory (TDD) - a whole of government metadata repository.
IRIS is currently working with the Department of Economic Development to develop 'DevTas' - a web-based application to store information about potential Tasmanian development sites.
Local Government Partnerships
The Office of the Secretary is responsible for the coordination of Local Government Partnerships as they apply to the Agency. By the end of 2002/03, the Agency was actively involved in the implementation of 15 Local Government Partnerships, with a further eight under development. Further Partnerships are to be negotiated in the next financial year.
The Local Government Partnership program in the Department focuses on regional generic issues. Some of the achievements resulting from these Partnerships are:
Agreement to jointly develop road safety plans with a number of Councils;
Consideration of processes leading to the use of high productivity vehicles on council roads;
The development of regional integrated transport plans; and
Improving relationships, increasing consultation and undertaking joint initiatives with Local Government.
The Department is working in conjunction with other State Government Agencies, the Tasmania Together Progress Board and community organisations to implement the goals of Tasmania Together.
The Department is involved in 20 of the Tasmania Together benchmarks and is coordinating seven of these benchmarks on behalf of the Government.
There are a number of key goals in which the Agency is involved - for example: Having a community where people feel safe and are safe in all aspects of their lives; and reducing the incidents of deaths of people in the 0-29 year old age group due to external causes. The Department's Road Safety Program is having considerable impact on these two goals, while activities of the Workplace Standards division are designed to meet the goal of reducing the number and severity of workplace accidents
The Department is also actively working on a number of cross-agency committees and working groups to implement interagency projects, which will better target government policy objectives and provide the community with an integrated approach to a number of issues such as poverty and community health and safety.