This client applied for the role of Senior Funding Policy Officer within an Australian Public Service (APS) Government department. She gained an interview and accepted the job offer. Six criteria required addressing utilising the APS’ Integrated Leadership System (ILS), including: supports strategic direction, achieves results, supports productive relationships, displays personal drive and integrity, communicates with influence, and technical/role specific. The standard APS ILS criteria typically encompass the first five criteria as outlined in the previous sentence. On occasion, a six criterion is thrown into the mix which is technical in nature, as was the case for this application. Following are excerpts from three of the six criteria.

Achieves results…

In my current role, I seek the guidance of my direct managers, both of whom have different skills in different areas; one of whom possesses a breadth of knowledge in the area of general policy, and the other, more specific to child protection services. I capitalise on their knowledge and expertise when I deal with NGOs and regional staff who require information in relation to general service agreements or more specific to the services. In these instances, I double check and clarify information with the direct managers to ensure I impart relevant information. I contribute my own expertise in instances when higher level staff members request my experience in the area of costing and modelling and in using this particular tool. Recently, a staff member asked for my guidance and clarification in analysing a budget. I outlined the budget section by section, and explained how the figures were realised and what I thought should be happening based on these figures. I helped him compile points on the budget for him to reference as well as to impart this information to his team members. After our session, he gained a more in-depth understanding and referred other staff to me for assistance in this regard.

Supports productive relationships…

On a daily basis, I support, work closely with and collaborate with team members, managers, regional staff and funded organisations (NGOs). I work in a cooperative and participative manner in order to achieve goals, especially when working with regional staff on the completion of service agreements. Recently, the service agreement template changed. When regional staff sent them through to me for checking, I remained conscious of the looming deadline and other work pressures faced by staff. Therefore, instead of having staff re-do all the work on the correct template, I inserted the information for them. My excellence in team work was formally recognised in 2009: I was nominated by the Brisbane CST Regional Team for an Excellence Award (internal client services). During the major funding round in 2009-10, I coordinated the panel’s recommendations including submissions and databases from each region. This was a deadline-driven task and accuracy was paramount from the outset in order to not slow the process. To prevent any issues in this regard, I organised discussions/meetings with regional staff to gather their feedback, especially in relation to problems in meeting deadlines. I was the ‘go-between’ between regional staff and my Director with regard to outlining issues and guiding them on a solution that would benefit them but also adhere to necessary requirements. Subsequently, a compromise was reached with the region and our Unit which ensured all parties were satisfied.

Technical/role specific…

My current role primarily encompasses undertaking the specific processes involved in the initial grant funding stages for agencies who apply for funding. The majority of agencies include not-for-profit NGOs, several of which include: Spiritus, Centacare, Churches of Christ, and Mercy Family Services. The Department of CCC goes through the stringent process of approving funding applications for these NGOs. Therefore, it is essential that I possess knowledge of their (NGO) eligibility; specifically, to determine whether they meet and fit the criteria, and to analyse and examine budgets to determine whether they are in a position to meet the budgets, which is an important part of the financial modelling process. My most important and largest responsibility is in undertaking budget analysis; this must be undertaken in order to then forward the information onto the regional assessment panel for their consideration and recommendation. It is imperative that I understand how each NGO operates; understanding facilitates an accurate review of their information, in particular, when analysing their outlined (forecasted) budget and matching with what they say they are going to achieve for a particular period(s).

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Annie Cerone