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 two 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.

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

  • 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.
  • The county region’s plant and equipment replacement strategies and policies for identifying suitable replacement items, in service maintenance policies and funding of replacements.
  • Human resource policies and standards to assist with the rationalisation of work groups and locations throughout country NSW.
  • Policies and procedures for the county region’s motor vehicle fleet (over 400 vehicles).
  • 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.

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 of 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 criteria for measuring plant reliability, based on data provided by the project managers, along with several minor adjustments to maintenance schedules. Once this was established, project 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.

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Annie Cerone