A new organisation

The Ministry underwent significant change in 2017/18, following the implementation of the organisational review in October 2017. The Ministry has been re-oriented towards our goal of becoming a high performing organisation that supports New Zealanders to flourish. Key structural changes include the formation of a new Senior Leadership Team, realignment of our policy teams,
a new model for working in Auckland, and the introduction of a new team providing expertise in business integrity, continuity, risk management and performance. 

We are embedding our new culture through the introduction of our new values (Invested, Bold, Collaborative), through a new delegations and governance framework which empowers our managers, and through a greater focus on collective leadership. We have made progress strengthening our corporate systems to improve planning, financial management, people management and administration.

“How are we travelling?”

The Ministry carried out a survey titled How are we travelling? in December 2017. The survey measured various organisation success factors such as leadership, culture, performance development, strategy, technology, operational processes and stakeholder relationships. 

The How are we travelling? engagement survey results indicate that our people are happy with our progress. We have an ambitious organisational development work programme ahead, focusing next year on developing and refreshing policies and procedures, collective bargaining, capability building and talent management.

As a result of the survey, the Ministry has five main areas to focus on:

  1. Strengthen collaboration. This focuses on collaboration rather
    than co-operation, bringing together newer and longer-serving staff to improve innovation. 
  2. Project processes and review. This focuses on consistent ‘best practice’ project management processes across the Ministry
    and for the Ministry to improve project measurement and review. 
  3. Performance development. This focuses on reviewing and improving performance management processes, training
    and induction. 
  4. Senior Leadership Team visibility. This focuses on increasing the visibility of the Senior Leadership Team, and in particular the Deputy Chief Executives with their Groups. 
  5. Workplace wellbeing. This focuses on improving the communication of policies and their practice and promoting a zero tolerance for workplace bullying and intimidating behavior. 

These focus areas are embedded in our business improvement programme.

 

 

Building our capability – our response to the 2017 PIF review

The Ministry underwent a Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) review in mid-2017, issued in January 2018. The review set out four performance challenges for the Ministry over the next four years. These are:

  1. Achieving clarity of purpose
  2. Developing a medium-term strategy underpinned by strong analytics
  3. Growing our capability for collaboration
  4. Rebooting the organisation.

Achieving clarity of purpose

The organisational review refreshed the Ministry’s purpose, vision and values. Since the release of the review, the Ministry has focused on embedding its unique leadership role in the sector. 

The Ministry is developing a system-wide focus and a strategic, long-term view. It is leading the collaborative development of policy on both investment and regulatory settings, including working across the State sector where transport has shared outcomes with other agencies. 

We have moved from a structure that looked at transport modes in isolation, to one that looks at leadership of the New Zealand transport system as a whole.

In the latter part of 2017/18 the Ministry also initiated work on a new strategy for the organisation. This will be completed in 2018/19.

Developing a medium-term strategy underpinned by strong analytics

The Ministry is working collaboratively alongside our stakeholders to identify the challenges that lie ahead for the transport system and the medium-term choices for the Government. This work will provide a clearer understanding of emerging transport needs and opportunities, and the contribution each mode can make. 

During 2017/18 the Ministry developed a range of strategic documents for the sector, including a new strategic outcomes framework, a new Government Policy Statement on land transport, and advice on mode neutrality. The Ministry also commenced work on a new Safety Strategy. Our focus on Auckland has been strengthened through embedding team members based in Auckland into teams throughout the Ministry. This ensures that Auckland transport issues are supported across all parts of the organisation.

The Ministry has strengthened its modelling, economics, evaluation and analytical capability by creating new teams specifically focused on these areas (the Domain Strategy, Economics and Evaluation team, and the Analytics and Modelling team). These teams are a resource for all aspects of Ministry policy advice and strategic planning. The Ministry established a role for a Chief Science Adviser; this is filled by Professor Simon Kingham, of the University of Canterbury.

Growing our capability for collaboration

The Ministry is working to transform its engagement with stakeholders, so it is moving from consulting on particular policies to having a more collaborative culture, working in partnership with key stakeholders on some of our critical issues. 

In 2017/18 the Ministry has increased the focus it is placing on stakeholder engagement, including the creation of a specific Governance and Engagement group within the Ministry, and the development of a comprehensive stakeholder engagement strategy. The Ministry will continue its efforts to engage and collaborate within the Public Service, with the transport Crown entities and with transport system stakeholders.

Collaboration is a core value for the Ministry, and it is now reflected in the performance expectations for staff. 

Rebooting the organisation

As noted above, the Ministry has made good progress down the path of organisational transformation following the organisation review. Now it is embedding these changes; ensuring corporate systems support a high performing Ministry, continuing to focus on improving the quality of advice, and strengthening the capability of its staff. 

Good governance is critical to good performance, and we have established a new structure of governance for the Ministry, with sub-committees providing advice to the Senior Leadership Team. The Ministry has re-established an external Risk and Assurance committee that provides advice and insight to the Senior Leadership Team. 

To further develop our leadership, and support our new Senior Leadership Team, the Ministry has implemented a leadership development programme for all managers, along with targeted coaching and training. This will support managers to deliver against their new accountabilities and our new ways of working. 

A suite of new organisation policies and procedures has been established, along with a new delegations framework. These are supported by a new Business Integrity and Performance team,
a strengthened Engagement and Communications team, and new Committees for Security, and Health, Safety and Wellbeing.

The Ministry has redeveloped many of its core systems, we have a new document management system and improved business continuity planning that allows greater remote working capability and cloud-based storage.

The Ministry has established a new performance and development framework that provides greater structure and guidance for managers, links individual performance and development with organisational plans and targets both outputs and behaviours. Performance expectations are based on our development needs and strongly tied to our core values.

Diversity and inclusion 

Throughout 2017/18, the Ministry has supported a wide range of diversity and inclusion activities which have been well received by staff. Recent activity includes the launch of an eight week beginners Te Reo Māori programme during April 2018 which was implemented to build on our diversity and cultural awareness.

The How are we travelling? staff survey identified a lack of understanding of bullying and intimidating behaviour at the Ministry. The Ministry has carried out further analysis of this issue, through a ‘deep dive’ survey and staff focus group. The Ministry is now developing procedures on workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination prevention, in consultation with the Public Service Association. This will be finalised in 2018/19. As part of the Ministry’s stand against bullying, ‘Pink Shirt Day’ was encouraged and promoted throughout the Ministry. The aim is to create an environment where people feel safe, valued and respected. 

The Ministry has sought to implement flexible and part-time working arrangements for employees.

We have also recognised that whilst these initiatives have made a contribution, they have been focused on addressing key tactical priorities. The Ministry is now developing a coordinated and sustainable strategic framework for diversity and inclusion to optimise the effectiveness of our efforts and ensure that we are a diversity-welcoming and inclusive workplace.

Equal employment opportunities

The Ministry is incorporating equal employment opportunity actions into the diversity and inclusion framework and action plan.

We are committed to inclusive work practices and culture. As part of the New Zealand public service, the Ministry bases appointments on merit, while recognising the employment aspirations of Māori, ethnic and minority groups, women, and people with disabilities.

Over the past 2 years we have focused on significantly reducing the gender pay gap through training in unconscious bias, salary and policy reviews. The gap has been reduced from 12 percent in 2016, to 4.6 percent in August 2018 (compared to the public sector average figure of 12.2 percent).

Health, safety & wellbeing

The Ministry has launched a new Health, Safety and Wellbeing strategy and system to support our commitment to creating a healthy and safe workplace where people thrive, including the zero tolerance for workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination policy mentioned above.

We are developing new processes and plans to improve the way we identify and manage risk, engage with our workers, lead and govern, and promote wellbeing. Our newly formed Health, Safety and Wellbeing committee will play a key role in the continuous improvement of our system and the promotion of a health, safety and wellbeing culture.

Key people metrics and core capacity

As at 30 June

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

2013/14

Number of employees

         

Policy development

78

82

76

89

102

Management

24

19

21

21

18

Administration

53

22

30

31

34

Total headcount

155*

123

127

141

154

Turnover

29%

23%

19%

12%

10%

Gender

         

Women

53%

42%

47%

48%

47%

Men

47%

58%

53%

52%

53%

Ethnicity distribution

         

NZ European

76%

68%

70%

66%

66%

NZ Māori

2%

6%

6%

7%

5%

Pacific peoples

0%

1%

1%

1%

1%

Asian

5%

11%

11%

10%

8%

Other European

8%

12%

7%

6%

13%

Other ethnic groups

9%

2%

4%

4%

3%

Undeclared

0%

0%

1%

6%

4%

Age distribution (permanent staff)

         

20 – 29

23%

21%

23%

21%

22%

30 – 39

23%

19%

14%

16%

17%

40 – 49

24%

23%

25%

25%

28%

50 – 59

23%

27%

29%

27%

23%

60+

7%

10%

8%

11%

10%

 

* As an outcome of the organisational review, the Ministry has recruited a number of new policy staff, and some staff roles have been reclassified from ‘policy’ to ‘specialist’ staff. To maintain consistency with previous years, these are included in the ‘administration’ category.

 

Assessing organisational health and capability

Core capability

Staff time, along with their skills, experience and knowledge, is the Ministry’s main resource. In 2017/18 the Ministry applied the following numbers of person-years to our three broad activity areas. This includes permanent and contract staff:

  • policy advice – 90
  • specialist support – 26
  • business support – 21.

External reviews

In addition to the organisational review, and the Performance Improvement Framework Review carried out in 2017 (see page 20), during 2017/18 a number of external reviews were undertaken on the quality or efficiency of the Ministry core operating and information systems. The recommendations from these reviews have been incorporated into the Ministry’s business improvement programme.

  • Payroll processes – KPMG
  • IT Security – Aura
  • Official Information Act processes – the Office of the Ombudsman.

Other measures of health

The Ministry monitors, on a monthly basis, annual leave balances, sick leave and vacancies.

Ministry performance management

The Ministry is committed to increasing its overall effectiveness and ensuring that we are doing the best job we can with the information available to us. To assess if we are achieving this, the Ministry focuses on the management of:

  • inputs
  • quality
  • outcomes
  • work programme.

Input management

The Ministry measures the quality and subsequent cost of our advice using policy cost benchmarks set by the Treasury. We also measure achievement against our business plan milestones to monitor progress and resource use.

Quality management

Each year, the Ministry has a sample of our policy advice papers externally audited. This audit provides us with an independent view on the quality of our advice and areas we could focus on
for improvement. It also enables us to see how the quality of our advice compares with other government agencies.

In addition to these audits, we assess the quality of our advice, looking at how our regulatory impact statements meet the required standards, and how our advice is accepted by the Minister.

Outcomes management

The Ministry monitors the progress that the whole transport sector is making, and monitors outcome indicators as the data is produced. Where necessary, changes in trends are escalated for review.

In 2017/18 we have investigated the trend in road deaths, along with our partners on land transport safety. We have also noted a change in trend for carbon emissions from road transport. This is being investigated further.

Work programme management

The annual output plan is a statement of the outcomes the Minister wants from the Ministry. We aim to achieve 95 percent or more of the milestones recorded in the output plan.

Key Ministry performance management measures 2017/18

 

2017/18

2016/17

Input management

   

To have 75 percent of policy project (business plan) milestones delivered each quarter

72%

78%

Total cost of an hour of professional staff time devoted to policy advice and other policy unit outputs (including outsourced costs)

$192*

$200

Quality management

   

At least 90 percent of regulatory impact statements are assessed as ‘meets’ or ‘partially meets’ the required standards

100%

71%

At least 75 percent of policy advice briefings are accepted first time by the Minister

Unavailable **

99.8%

An external audit of policy advice papers assesses that our papers meet the quality criteria sufficiently

Achieved NZIER score of 7.21

 Achieved NZIER score of 7.21

Outcomes management

   

Ministry reviews outcome indicators that show less progress is being made and considers whether further Ministry action is needed 

Achieved

Achieved

Work programme management

   

95 percent or more of output plan delivered as agreed with the Minister

85%

83%

 

*For 2017/18, the Ministry has had to estimate the cost per hour for policy advice and other policy unit outputs. Following the November 2016 earthquake the Ministry had a number of system changes and we no longer have access to the same information that we used to calculate the cost per hour in previous years. For 2017/18, the policy costs are the costs as reported in this annual report. The Ministry’s data shows that it employed policy staff for a similar number of hours in 2016/17 and 2017/18. We have therefore applied the total staff policy hours for 2016/17 and the 2016/17 policy staff utilisation rate for policy advice and other policy unit outputs to estimate the 2017/18 cost per hour.
**The Ministry changed its document management system in 2017/18. This data is not currently available. 

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