Increasing our capability
In all, 2004/05 was a challenging year in which the Department balanced the pressures associated with the transitions and transfers required for its formation with the delivery of quality business-as-usual services and the requirement to undertake new projects.
One way the Department managed this balance was by undertaking a number of initiatives to improve its capability. Some were Department-wide while others were more targeted.
From a staffing perspective, 2004/05 saw the Department grow as each new building and housing function was transferred into it. This growth put pressures on staff and support systems and highlighted a number of areas where existing systems were inadequate to meet the increased demands associated with the larger Department. Also, many incoming staff were on fixed-term contracts.
In the latter part of 2004/05, the Department commenced a transition from a dependence on contractors to permanent staff. By June 2005, appointments had been made to all but one of the Tier 2 General Manager positions and a clear recruitment strategy had been articulated to progressively fill positions with permanent staff throughout the Department.
Performance Development Planning and Remuneration Policy
During 2004/05, the Department developed its Performance Development Planning and Remuneration Policy. This policy aims to ensure we can recruit and retain staff with the capability required for the Department to deliver on its Outputs. The policy is designed so that remuneration reflects the market and is flexible enough to recognise performance. Our Performance Development Planning process aims to clearly set out expectations for staff so they know and understand what is expected from them, how this links with the organisation's objectives and what training and development they will require to deliver on the expectations. It is also designed to ensure staff receive regular feedback from their manager around performance.
Improvements to Tenancy Services
Project work commenced on addressing legacy data issues in the tenancy database, which will be an important building block to improving future service delivery options. A review of data entry standards also commenced to improve the ongoing integrity of tenancy data and alignment with wider e-government data standards.
Toward the end of 2004/05, the Department commenced integration of its 0800 contact services for Building Controls and Occupational Licensing into the services provided at the Tenancy Services Centre, ensuring consistent contact services are provided to all Department clients across building and housing sectors. This change reduced the time spent by technical staff on routine enquiries, thus allowing them to dedicate more time to technical matters.
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