Cost effectiveness

The Ministry of Transport is very focussed on achieving cost effectiveness, both within the Ministry and across the transport portfolio. While cost effectiveness analysis is challenging, in relation to policy advice, the Ministry is making increasing use of project planning methodologies to maximise the use of staff time and resources. In 2009 we will be re-organising the
structure of the Ministry and its work practices to enable a more flexible approach to managing our work priorities. This will enable great cost effectiveness.

The cost effectiveness of the transport portfolio is reflected in the objectives and outcomes in each modal statement in respect of the NZ Transport Agency, Civil Aviation Authority, Maritime New Zealand and for the Transport Accident Investigation Commission. In addition, policy development and review processes are signalled, for example reviews of
the Land Transport Management Act and the Public Transport Management Act.

Building a strong, capable Ministry

This section sets out how we ensure we will have good internal
capability to help us deliver on the government’s priorities.

What we wish to achieve

Our most important resources are our people and their time. For our organisation to be successful, we need to create an environment that enables people to use their talents in the most effective way possible.

Our aim is to: 
• make the most of our people and their time by improving how we prioritise and using our resources in a more flexible way
• create an environment where people are challenged and encouraged to take on new opportunities, enabling them to develop their skills to their full potential
• become more flexible, allowing staff time and skills to be applied to priority areas for the Ministry as a whole
• support staff in reaching their potential through a clear and deliberate professional development system strengthened by coaching and mentoring
• build a better understanding of and relationship with other government departments, transport agencies and the wider transport sector
• develop a better understanding by stakeholders of our role and how that relates to others
• ensure our processes support us in making the most of our people and their time.

What we will do to ensure this

Realign the organisation ...

To align with the governments priorities we will ensure that Ministry resources are flexible enough to marshal our expertise to address the priorities of the day and the strategies that will shape the sector in the future. From an internal and structural perspective, we will realign our Ministry so we can create an organisation that is:
• agile and flexible in terms of work and staffing
• accessible, responsive and externally stakeholder relationship driven
• collaborative, solution-savvy and proficient at deal-making
• able to provide specialist, high-impact services through initiative, leadership, advice and support.

Specifically there will be far more emphasis on land transport and transport safety as priorities and resources will be internally aligned to enable these priorities to be met.

Give great advice …

The Ministry is clear that its role is to be the trusted and informed adviser for the government. If we are to deliver on this role, we need to develop a clearer understanding of what we should be doing to lead the sector, what processes we must put in place to drive this role, and what skills and resources are critical to do our business.

The Ministry’s advice will be characterised by its impartiality and robustness. We will be respected because of the way we work in partnership with the transport sector – and in particular with the Crown entities, New Zealand Police, local government and our peers in government.

Our focus will be on providing direction and encouraging innovation and performance from our partners. We aspire to create an organisation where each staff member has the knowledge, skills and confidence to fulfil their role and represent the Ministry to stakeholders.

Focus on staff development and commitment …

Our people are our most precious resource. The Ministry’s success depends on good people doing great work. How we recruit, retain and develop our people is critical to our success. In 2007 we introduced an online performance management tool which matches the key competencies that we believe our staff need in order to deliver quality policy advice. This tool allows us to identify talent as well as poor performance across
the Ministry. This tool has been refined to reflect the emphasis on building relationships, coaching and developing staff, and providing well informed advice.

A stair-cased professional development programme has been put in place for policy advisers. This shows a clear pathway for development from adviser through to principal adviser.

The culture of an organisation sets the tone for how people will respond to change. In the 2009/10 year we will receive the results of the Ministry’s Gallup Q12 Engagement Survey. The survey is a tool used worldwide which measures staff engagement and productivity. The results of the survey will provide information to management about areas where improvements need to be made. In particular we want to know if people find working for the Ministry to be a rewarding and positive experience. Some of the information we gain from this survey will be incorporated into our performance management system. We also monitor the employment experience through exit interviews. Recruitment is tightly managed with the Ministry moving to more direct recruitment and online advertising as opposed to using recruitment agencies and traditional newspaper advertising. This has improved the standard of applicants for positions. Reflecting improved
practice is the reduced turnover figure which now sits at about 16 percent – nearly half of what it was a year ago.

The culture of this organisation will be one of “can do”. We will actively encourage a solution-orientated culture by valuing innovation, new ideas, commitment and quality.

Value for money …

The Ministry of Transport has made a commitment to our Minister to live within our core operating budget over the next three years. We have forecast unavoidable cost increases arising from existing commitments in relation to staff salaries, building and other expenses that are expected to add $3.377 million by 2011/2012, or 12 percent of the baseline funding. We will need to absorb these costs through operating more efficiently and cutting costs where we can. We are confident that these decisions will not impact on our ability to deliver, as we will put in place a new operating structure and a comprehensive training programme which will strengthen our ability to provide a high quality, effective policy service.

We build good working relationships with Crown agencies and the wider transport sector …

The challenge for how the Ministry works, what it is like to work for and to engage with, comes from three basic factors. The first is that transport itself is strongly influenced by economic, social, technological and environmental developments and in turn is highly influential on how communities and businesses advance.

The second is that the delivery chain for desirable outcomes (collective or private) is a long and tenuous one involving government, authorities, operators, manufacturers, network providers, supply chain managers, individual businesses and individuals.

The third is to a have much closer relationship with our partners (NZ Tranport Agency, Civil Aviation Authority, Maritime New Zealand, Transport Accident Investigation Commission, New Zealand Police) and the transport sector generally. We do not have a monopoly on knowledge – we need to work with and learn from others to develop the best ideas and solutions for transport in the New Zealand economy. This applies equally
to internal as well as external stakeholders.

So not only must the Ministry be far sighted and expert in its know-how, it must have strong relationships and management expertise as it goes about its business of providing leadership to the transport sector and being the government’s trusted principal adviser on transport related matters.

In 2008 we undertook our second external stakeholder survey.
This told us there were still concerns. Stakeholders in both the qualitative and quantitative research generally viewed the Ministry of Transport as an organisation that had improved in recent years, but one that still had
a reasonable way to go. The most important area for improvement was strategic leadership.

Respondents were looking for the Ministry to articulate and coordinate a clear vision for the future of the transport sector, and felt that it had failed to do so in recent years.

We are in the process of developing a clear strategic approach as to how we enhance our effectiveness as an organisation. We will need to shift our operating practice to become more flexible and responsive to changing priorities and interests. We need to become more effective at how we manage key relationships with government and the sector.

There will be an increased emphasis on how we engage in leadership, partnership and encouragement of the wider transport sector.

Our management systems and technology are fit for purpose …

A specific internal priority will be ensuring we have the people, business processes and systems that support flexible ways of working while ensuring quality and ongoing development of knowledge and skills.

Having the right systems and tools to do your work is a priority for any effective organisation. The Ministry has replaced a number of its operating systems over the past three years. However the largest project to be implemented will occur this year with the roll out of the electronic document and records management system which will comply with the new Public
Record Standards. We will also upgrade our correspondence tracking system, document management system and complete the rebuild of our website.

The website will go some way to meeting government web standards. Included in the site will be the Transport Monitoring Indicator Framework statistics and the Road Safety 2020 links. Over the next three years we intend to implement upgrades to technology and systems and enhancements to major applications. We will also be testing our Disaster Recovery preparedness.

Performance measures and targets related to these initiatives include:
• Following analysis of the Gallup Q12 staff culture survey undertaken in March 2009, appropriate actions to improve levels of staff engagement will be developed and incorporated into the Ministry’s strategic planning, structural reorganisation and team plans.
• Training Pathways programme will provide structured career development and succession planning processes for all adviser posts for implementation during 2009.
• Staff retention programme to seek to contain staff turnover at the current target level of 20 percent.
• Undertake a stakeholder survey in 2010, 2012, and 2014.

Equal Employment Opportunities

The Ministry is an equal opportunities employer. In 2007, in partnership with the Public Service Association we conducted a gender-based pay and employment equity review (PEER). While there were no significant discrepancies in terms of gender we developed a response plan which included 12 responses:

  1. Review, revise and communicate the recruitment process to staff and systematically record and monitor recruitment data to allow the origin of any gender difference to be identified readily over time.
  2. Review, revise and communicate the promotion process and systematically record and monitor promotion data to allow the origin of any gender differences to be identified readily over time.
  3. Review professional development for advisers through to managers.
  4. Review career development and progression for executive and administrative support.
  5. Demonstrate respectful treatment of executive and administrative support staff as respected and valued members of their business group.
  6. Use a gender neutral job evaluation system to conduct a pay investigation for executive and administrative support to assess the value of the work being performed.
  7. Provide a clear explanation regarding the Ministry-subsidised superannuation options available to Ministry staff.
  8. Continue to conduct exit interviews but conduct anonymous on-line exit surveys to assess and monitor trends in turnover.
  9. Review how human resource information can be improved through the use of a centralised Human Resource Information System (HRIS).
  10. Review and clearly communicate the process for reporting harassment, discrimination and bullying.
  11. When scoping the PEER programme of work, review the Ministry’s human resource team, management team and wider Ministry in terms of their capacity to implement the recommendations.
  12. Conduct a follow up Pay and Employment Equity Survey in three years.

Each of these action points is being progressively addressed.

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