Band 3 Senior Executives, Deputy Secretaries of Departments or chief executives of major operational and service delivery agencies, are the ‘System Linkers’. With high level cross-agency, cross-sector, national and occasionally international responsibilities, these roles require extensive professional/executive management experience. This Band also includes senior executives tasked with leading the delivery of major services for a particular geographical area of NSW.
Their focus is on strategic, longer term outcomes or particularly sensitive, contentious matters with whole-of-government impacts. These roles negotiate and resolve conflict with stakeholder leadership and manage the parliamentary, political and Public Service/Government sector environments. They plan and oversee public administration for their area of responsibility consistent with the Government sector core values, forge linkages across government and non-government systems and are accountable for impacts beyond agency outcomes.
Roles require comprehensive understanding across a range of disciplines at an executive management level to ensure cluster outcomes are aligned to government objectives.
They generally have extensive experience in large service delivery/operational/advisory roles with sector-wide impacts or extensive knowledge of design, review and implementation of programs/policies/regulatory frameworks.
Role incumbents require:
- highly developed understanding of national/global best practice management approaches and implications for their cluster/agency
- high level awareness of funding strategies and financial governance conventions
- capacity to integrate whole-of-government approaches to procurement and contract management into organisational policies.
They have highly developed strategic human resource management and leadership capabilities, engage in strategic workforce planning, align workforce resources and talent with organisational priorities and promote a culture of accountability and support workforce diversity.
Roles are generally accountable for:
- a number of integrated functions or operations and managing comprehensive integration and coordination of major line functions in a large and complex organisation or Government Sector wide activity.
- developing effective systems to establish and measure accountabilities across the cluster/agency.
They may also head up an agency responsible for the delivery of a significant range of services across the State.
They have the authority to plan and strategically allocate organisational resources and in some cases may have overall responsibility, under the Secretary for most or all aspects of agency management. They make major commitments on behalf of the organisation.
Roles make a significant contribution to achieving state government objectives and influencing national agendas to the benefit of the state.
Their recommendations and advice are considered to be of critical importance, and their decisions may impact on the operation of other agencies or the whole sector.
They drive strategic executive capability development across the organisation/cluster and establish and promote a culture which encourages innovation.
Roles are usually fully accountable for the programs, functions, projects and resources in their charge and may also share accountability for the overall success of the agency in meeting its objectives.
Roles are responsible for:
- overall leadership of major frontline/staff functions in a large agency or at cluster level
- creating and integrating functions across a diverse range of locations/service lines and clients to align with priorities of the government of the day
- strategic longer term outcomes or particularly sensitive/contentious matters with whole-of-government impacts.
Roles typically lead significant programs that have cross-cluster implications and direct linkage to government priorities.
Role occupants are seen as key contributors to governance and leadership in the cluster and the sector, ensuring regulatory and legislative frameworks are applied consistently and effectively.
Roles are principal government representatives, with authority to represent the organisation in critical negotiations and pre-empt and resolve conflict with stakeholder leadership groups.
Direct liaison and advice to Ministers is expected, often spanning multiple agency outcomes. Roles also typically deal with functional and operational heads from across the government service and a very broad range of external stakeholders including peak bodies and principal representatives of commercial, industrial, professional and community interests.
They model and communicate the organisation’s position with authority and credibility with key stakeholders while engaging employees with the broader mission of the agency/cluster.
Roles require sensitivity and advanced skills to understand the positions of all parties, gain expert input and advice and effectively advocate and steer parties towards a preferred course of action.
A key aspect of roles at this level is a requirement to identify and overcome barriers to collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.
Negotiation often occurs in an environment of conflicting positions, technical, policy and legal complexity and divergent views amongst government’s most critical stakeholders.
Role Context and Environment
Roles embrace a range of activities and operate in a complex, specialised environment with state-wide or national or international implications.
Roles are required to understand a range of external factors affecting the agency, and regularly monitor and respond to a changing operating environment ensuring that there is a high level of integration with the current and potential future role of the agency within government.
Work at this level focuses on:
- creating an organisational environment that can respond to changing needs and circumstances, and
- establishing and promoting a culture of continuous improvement to enhance techniques, methods, systems or policies, or to relate precedent to new situations.
Roles adapt or develop new policy, systems, methods and processes or plan and manage specialised projects and large or complex programs. The solutions they develop usually have enduring effects which extend to the whole of the agency or beyond.
Judgement and Independence
Roles at this level may be fully accountable for the agency or may exercise substantial independence in the leadership and management of a significant professional office or division, which may operate separately from other divisions in the agency and which accounts for a substantial proportion of agency operations.
Their major activity is strategic planning and decision-making which involves:
- evaluating the environment
- identifying fundamental issues to be resolved
- issues and risk management, and
- aligning organisational requirements with whole-of-government outcomes.
Roles assure the quality of advice provided to government and services provided to the public by establishing and articulating appropriate frameworks for others.
Role objectives are broadly established through agency or government policy. Although policy guidelines or strategies may include overarching themes, considerable flexibility is available in setting organisational direction and interpretation and adaptation of policies.
Influencing factors are diverse and roles are often required to exercise judgement in the absence of precedent and clarity of direction within an ambiguous context.
While required to work within broad policy, professional, operational and budget constraints, roles also need to:
- rethink paradigms of service
- exercise versatility and innovation to define/redefine strategy, and
- to develop new standards, methodologies and techniques.
Policy experts give guidance on, and make judgements about proposed new standards and new areas of policy or expertise put forward by subject and technical experts. This includes applying lateral thinking approaches and making judgements about the value of alternative sources of advice.
Specialised professional roles are required to challenge, establish or alter standard concepts, theories, objectives or previously formulated requirements.
Problem resolution focuses on complex matters which have substantial, strategic impact for government. This requires a synthesis of facts, critical analysis and interpretation of data and the conceptualisation and evaluation of alternative approaches to the problem.
Existing guidelines or policies may be inadequate in dealing with complex or unusual problems and it is likely that the lack of precedent is a significant feature in the majority of activities pursued.