When the Service Tasmania network joined us on 1 July 2015, the Department of Premier and Cabinet shifted its primary focus. At the end of the 2014-15 financial year, most of our people were involved in policy development and program delivery, and – with the exception of our Community, Sport and Recreation team – most of them worked in Hobart.
One day later the majority our people had a focus on service delivery within the public sector and to the wider community, and they worked from more than 30 locations around the State. Unlike many of its equivalent agencies in other jurisdictions, DPAC in Tasmania has become a department with an equally strong focus on policy, programs and services, with each area having the opportunity to strengthen our efforts in the others.
There were also substantial changes in the make-up of our Agency Executive during the year. We brought new people in with diverse backgrounds and skills as some of our most senior and respected leaders moved on to new opportunities. And we established 50/50 gender representation around the Executive table for the first time.
As an organisation with flexible and adaptable people throughout, we made sure that we continued to deliver on the Government’s priorities as we adjusted our structures and processes to support DPAC’s expanded role in service delivery. This included providing high-quality support on issues that arose unexpectedly throughout the year.
Some of the highlights of 2015-16 for me were:
Of course, many people will remember the 2015-16 financial year for the issues it was much more difficult to plan for – the challenges presented by natural disasters, a difficult energy supply situation, and instability in a number of local councils. Staff across DPAC, from the policy developers to the service deliverers, rose to these challenges, often treading new ground.
One highlight for me coming out of this work was the role we played in supporting communities during the initial response to the mid-year floods. Our Communications and Security and Emergency Management teams came to the fore, and this was the first time the trusted network of community assets and people that comprise Service Tasmania played such a central role in emergency relief and recovery. We’ll learn from this and build on it in for future events.
During the year our growing focus on service delivery meant it was also time to review our Departmental values and make sure they still resonated for a workforce that is very different from the one we had in 2015 and 2014. Following conversations throughout the Agency, we have a renewed focus on excellence, working together, being professional and our customers. Work will continue in 2016-17 to embed the values into DPAC at all levels of the organisation.
Investment in the Agency and its culture and practices has been a consistent theme throughout 2015-16. Our new values coincided with a heavy investment in our efforts to be accredited by the White Ribbon program. We also introduced a new risk management framework and a new and more streamlined process for supporting performance development in the Agency. We launched a new and much more user-friendly intranet site. And we started advertising all our vacancies as able to be filled using a flexible work pattern, to help improve the diversity of our workforce.
I am proud of the work this Department does for the Government and for the Tasmanian community. DPAC is full of committed and passionate State Servants, and this year they excelled themselves. As the organisation around them changed, they invested in making it a better place to work, delivered the Agency's priorities, and rose to the unexpected challenges that came out of the environment around them.
Department of Premier and Cabinet.
The number of women employed by DPAC has increased significantly from 54 per cent in 2015 to 66 per cent in 2016. This increase is due to the transfer of Service Tasmania whose workforce is 85 per cent female. Eighty nine per cent of DPAC staff are employed on a permanent basis.
A third of the DPAC workforce is now employed on a part-time basis, with the majority of these employees being women. This increase in part time, female employees from 18 per cent in 2015 to 31 per cent in 2016 is again attributable to 65 per cent of Service Tasmania staff working part time.