This client applied for the role of Executive Assistant in a state (NSW) government agency and gained a job interview. A total of eight criteria required addressing; following are excerpts from two of the criteria.

Capacity to implement administration and procurement policies, procedures and instructions, document control and records management systems and processes.

Recently, the QQQ Group introduced a complete new electronic travel expense database. Along with this new system was a whole set of new processes with corresponding new policies and procedures. Once the system was implemented, I was responsible for ensuring our department followed the correct processes and procedures. In particular, one of the new procedures was to ensure that a travel diary was attached to the expenses incurred on each international duty travel trip. This was also a mandatory tax requirement. I followed through on these new processes and procedures by consistently monitoring and checking each of the expense reports and forwarding to my manager for approval. In this way, I effectively monitored the department to ensure correct processes were being followed as well as compliance with the new policies and procedures.

Demonstrated problem solving, research and analytical skills and capacity to present information and data in a logical and coherent manner.

I recently investigated a problem regarding a dry cleaning expense for a staff member. Firstly, I realised that research was involved to determine the staff member’s entitlement in this regard. Therefore, I sourced and referenced the dry cleaning terms and conditions which were part of the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) under the Award that was in question. Once I reviewed the documents in detail (sourcing the relevant section), I concluded that the claims were not justifiable. Immediately, I set up a face-to-face meeting with the staff member to address the problem. I reiterated the entitlements allowed under the Award in a step by step manner and printed out the information as proof of evidence. The staff member acknowledged the situation, understood the implications and knew that some of the monies claimed had to be reimbursed to the company. I ensured the case was documented and placed it on file. Furthermore, taking the initiative in having a face-to-face meeting prevented the problem from being escalated; the situation was resolved in a timely and diplomatic manner and saved time for all parties. Importantly, gaining the assurance in writing from the staff member that it would not happen again was a very successful outcome.

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Annie Cerone