This particular client commissioned me to develop his resume and address criteria for the role of Policy Manager within a NSW government agency. He was successful in gaining a job interview and received commendation from the members of the interview panel on the high quality of his written application. The application required the addressing of eight criteria; following are excerpts from four of the criteria.

Extensive experience in developing policy and strategy in a public sector and/or industry environment combined with a broad understanding of the mechanisms and processes of government.

In my current role as Land Administration Manager at the ABC Council and in previous roles, I have developed and implemented a range of different policies; and in many instances, I collaborated with key stakeholders to ensure final drafted policies were workable and achieved desired objectives. In my current role, I have identified requirements for new and amended policy pertaining to land administration, and developed policies and standards to ensure consistency throughout the organisation and to address third party queries for land information. For example, the drafting of the Compliance Management Policy, which outlines the remedial actions and reporting steps required to be taken when a non compliance is identified. Ranging from random procedural mistakes and systemic mistakes which may indicate a need for further training; through to breaches of law and corporate governance provisions which could lead to criminal proceedings.

Previously employed with the DEF Corporation, I was instrumental in the development and successful implementation of various policies and strategies. Selected examples include:

  • Developed and implemented the organisation’s disposal policy and monitored its effectiveness. This was a sensitive area as the NSW Auditor voiced concerns in relation to the appropriateness of disposal methods, the disposal approval process, and the mitigation of opportunities for fraud. I worked collaboratively with stakeholders statewide, the NSW Audit Offices and Treasury to develop the Policy and supporting procedures.
  • Developed the county region’s plant and equipment replacement strategies and policies for identifying suitable replacement items, in service maintenance policies and funding of replacements.
  • Developed and implemented human resource policy and standards to assist with the rationalisation of work groups and locations throughout country NSW.
  • Developed and implemented policy and procedures for the county region’s motor vehicle fleet (over 400 vehicles).
  • Developed and managed the implementation of numerous procurement and supply-related polices including the rationalisation of inventory/material held at depots throughout the State, integrating identification of material requirements with the early stages of rail maintenance and construction planning.

Understanding of legislative processes and ability to interpret and apply legislation.

In my current role, I am required to possess a thorough understanding of several legislative processes. Firstly, the Rural Lands Protection Act 1998 and how it impacts on land administration, owner occupier liabilities/obligations, and the role and responsibilities of ABC Council and its landholders. Secondly, the Conveyancing Act 1919 which covers any provision of property-related information to vendors on any outstanding liabilities on the land to third parties. Thirdly, the Stock Diseases Act 1923 and Stock (Chemical Residues) Act 1975 which provides information and guidelines on reportable issues pertaining to the land. It is a requirement of my role to thoroughly understand and interpret the relevant Acts and legislation and to understand the organisations under the pertaining legislation. I ensure the land administration unit complies with obligations outlined in the legislation. I also review current provisions to determine if all legislation and regulations are relevant and effective, in addition to recommending changes to regulations in order to improve service and the quality of information recorded. Furthermore, under the Rural Lands Protection Act 1998 and supporting regulations, there is an obligation for landholders to submit the usage of their land and the type and number of livestock on the land on a yearly basis. I am currently reviewing the provisions of the Rural Lands Protection Act 1998 and associated regulations with the aim of developing recommended amendments to ensure only relevant information is sought from landholders; to reduce the complexity of the information sought; to reduce the data processing effort required; and to improve the quality of information available for decisions on animal health programs and pest insect control throughout the organisation.

Analytical, conceptual and problem-solving skills with sound judgment and capacity to make decisions and recommendations where diverse interests need to be considered.

In my previous role at the DEF Corporation, I was instrumental in leading the transformation and change of a ‘blame culture’ during the process of major rail improvement projects. A high proportion of tasks were not being completed on time causing costly interruption to ship loading operations. The coal exporting companies had entered performance based contracts for coal delivers to port and significant penalties were at stake. Initially project teams reported the unreliability of major plant assets as the primary reasons for the project’s delay. Furthermore, there was considerable pressure from Government to improve performance and minimise the penalties incurred. Initially, I analysed the production records of the project teams and determined a few instances where the breakdown of critical equipment may have had an adverse impact on the project. Overall, my analysis highlighted an underlying problem where project plans did not include any provision for equipment break down. I worked closely with plant maintenance staff to identify the industry best practice reliability factor for rail borne plant without inbuilt redundant systems: 95% reliability over 1,000 hours of operations. I then identified that in order to achieve 95% reliability, equipment would need to undergo examination prior to being assigned to critical/sensitive projects. I convinced senior management on the need to change the manner in which plant performance statistics were captured, and established confidence with project managers that the maintenance system adopted would lead to improvements. In collaboration with plant maintenance staff and project managers, we developed a reporting system that would provide project managers with the confidence that plant reliability met industry best practice standards. I recommended and implemented a criteria for measuring plant reliability, based on data provided by the project managers themselves (not based on plant maintenance data), along with several minor adjustments to maintenance schedules. Once this was established, projects managers were then able to effectively review their project planning and delivery schedule, and promptly identify areas for improvement. Subsequently, this led to the project being delivered on time and with minimal disruption to coal exports.

Broad-based management skills including organizational planning and strategy development and experience in managing a small team to achieve outcomes.

I utilise a broad range of management skills in my current role; whilst previously employed within the rail industry; and prior to that, within the Australian Defence Force in a project management capacity. I have led and managed numerous projects ranging from organisational change initiatives, plant and equipment acquisitions, property acquisitions and refurbishments, and relatively large Defence telecommunications and information technology projects up to $50M in value. Management responsibilities included: resource management (human and plant), financial management, logistics and operational management, and asset management. In my current role, I manage a centralised administration unit responsible for collecting and maintaining the organisation’s information on the ownership/occupation of rural holdings, land usage, types and location of livestock across the state on a day-to-day basis. Previously employed at the DEF Corporation, I strategically managed the region’s supply and distribution and plant maintenance functions, and the organisation’s property, plant, equipment, telecommunications, and other assets.

In my previous roles, I established and developed small teams focused on the provision of operational support and administrative functions. I encouraged staff to actively participate in developing goals and objectives and sharing in their outcomes. I also encouraged them to critically review performance, procedures and practices to confirm alignment with the organisation’s goals and objectives, and to identify areas for improvement.  At the DEF Corporation, I established a highly motivated workgroup during a period of considerable organisational change by implementing individual mentoring and coaching programs, together with performance management strategies. These programs and strategies were instrumental in reducing industrial issues, and in creating a workgroup prepared to accept change with minimal resistance. Furthermore, my section consistently achieved its performance targets and exceeded client expectations.

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Annie Cerone