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Managing our functions - Organisational Health and Capability

Where we will be in four years

DPMC has grown and taken on new responsibilities. From 2013 to 2016 we doubled in size, with operational functions different from our traditional business. Our growth also means that we have become more dispersed, with staff in Christchurch, Auckland and multiple sites in Wellington. This adds further complexity.

We have prioritised establishing a sense of collective identity that recognises the strength of our diversity and individual brands and robust systems of corporate support. With these foundations in place, we can begin the next phase of organisational development - to ensure that our increased capabilities deliver more value for money, achieve our strategic intentions, and are enabled by fit-for-purpose corporate infrastructure.

To deliver this, in four years' time DPMC will have implemented some fundamental changes to achieve our Four Year Excellence horizon: becoming more effective influencers and system stewards; more interconnected; less pressured, and more resilient.

We will be more effective influencers and system stewards

While we will continue to need to deliver to an excellent standard for our key customers, we also have a responsibility to provide stewardship across a wider group of stakeholders and strategically partner with others to lift the whole system's capabilities. For example, as leader of the ODESC system, principal support to the Governor-General in her constitutional and ceremonial role, and as Head of the Policy Profession. Providing decision-advantage over - and sustainable solutions to - increasingly cross-cutting and complex problems will require us to demonstrate leadership at all levels and enhance our specialist technical knowledge, problem solving abilities, and analysis and information technology capabilities.

We will be more interconnected

As we grow, we will maintain the strong brands and identities of each of our business groups. However, as the new shape of the organisation matures, we will encourage and enable appropriate collaboration and coming together on the things that matter. For some areas of the organisation, structured approaches to collaboration are already emerging, and will be further strengthened. Security and Intelligence Group and

MCDEM have complementary responsibilities within the National Security System, while the Cabinet Office and Government House have important constitutional and nationhood functions.

We will be less pressured, and more resilient

We need to respond to changing government priorities, often by assuming new functions or prioritising what we deliver in a short time frame. Building our resiliency - both of our organisation and our personnel - is a priority. We will have a culture that values and rewards cooperation and resource sharing, and reinforces the importance of versatility, adaptability, and flexibility. Better processes and information flows will enhance collective ownership of our issues, risks, and priorities, and will ensure that resources flow more easily across the organisation - both to where they are needed, but also where they best deliver value for our stakeholders

How we will achieve this

To achieve our Four Year Excellence horizon, we intend to build three strengths within the organisation - strategic partnerships; corporate governance, capability, and infrastructure; and our DPMC workforce.

Strength 1: Strategic partnerships

We now have responsibilities within the portfolios of seven Ministers, and many of these relationships are new and emerging. We will be working with Ministers, as part of annual priority setting and performance conversations, to build their confidence in the Department's long term vision and a shared understanding of our roles, responsibilities and priorities within the systems we steward.

We are making changes to strengthen and integrate our communication capabilities to promote two-way communication, so that we consistently understand and respond to our stakeholders' needs and perspectives. We will also continue to invest in developing the relationship building, influencing, and negotiation capabilities of our leaders and staff to enable more planned approaches to stakeholder management across the organisation.

Strength 2: Corporate governance, capability, and infrastructure

DPMC prides itself on its light corporate infrastructure. However, as we grow in size and complexity we have needed to bolster corporate capability and systems. The transfer of functions from CERA required us to build our people and performance capability; our project, risk and assurance and reporting systems; and to standardise corporate and HR policies and systems. We will retain a small proportion of these resources on an ongoing basis, to enhance our effectiveness and our capacity to take on new initiatives and projects for the Government. The level of service will be reviewed as the Department evolves to ensure it is fit-for-purpose.

Strength 3: DPMC Workforce

For much of our history we have been a small agency of fewer than 120 FTEs. However, with the incorporation of MCDEM and CERA, changes to the Security and Intelligence Group, and investment in our core capabilities, our headcount has steadily grown. In 2015/16 our staff numbers increased by approximately one third as a result of the CERA wind down, 84 new roles were created to deliver inherited functions, and increased corporate services requirements has taken our total FTE count to just over 260. We will need to 'right-size' the organisation over the next four years. Reduction in the size of some business groups will be driven primarily through attrition and the expiration of fixed term contracts, while expansion in other areas will require a coordinated programme of recruitment and workforce development.

Managing our responsibilities

Increasing complexity and expectations, new roles and short-term project work has at times put pressure on our baselines. We received additional funding to support the transition of activity from CERA to inheriting agencies, and to establish both the new functions of GCG and the corporate services needed to support our growth. The majority of the new funding reduces as the focus of the earthquake recovery shifts to regeneration and ownership by local institutions. By 2020/21 a reduced amount of funding will be retained to support the on-going programme of work.

We are well prepared for this reduction, anticipating that the transfer of ownership to local institutions will occur more quickly than originally anticipated. Our forecasts reflect an expectation that some of the time-limited funding will not be required in each year from the 2016/17 year, and will be available for reprioritisation. However, this expectation will need to be reviewed as the impact of the recent Kaikōura earthquake on the Department's financial position becomes clearer.

Managing risk

DPMC's Risk and Assurance Committee provides challenge and assurance services to the Chief Executive. During 2015/16 the Committee continued to meet quarterly to review and assess areas of potential risk, DPMC's progress toward mitigating those risks, and a range of other capability and strategic issues. In 2015/16 we added a new member to this committee, to ensure continuity of oversight over the risks owned by CERA.

Health and safety

DPMC is committed to managing health and safety in the workplace in a proactive and participative way. In 2016 we updated our Health and Safety Policy to align with best practice as described in the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. Annual goals are agreed by our leadership team and our health and safety committee.


While the diversity of DPMC's workforce has increased over time, there is still room to improve. Our recruitment practices and organisational culture need to support diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and approaches. We will focus on ways to minimise bias in recruitment and selection, and implement policies and practices that enable more flexible working arrangements. Our ability to attract and retain a more diverse workforce will improve the quality of our work through broadening the diversity of our thinking, and also contribute to the agility of our workforce resourcing model.


Our Workforce Strategy 2017 - 2020

Our Workforce Strategy was created to help us achieve our Four Year Excellence Horizon: being more effective influencers and system stewards; more interconnected; less pressured, and more resilient.

We have developed a set our four key workforce goals to support the achievement of our horizon goals. Each of these is described below:

  1. A consistent DPMC - Creating better consistency and efficiency in how we communicate, employ, induct, develop, manage, and reward our staff.
  2. Achieving greater system integration of our workforce - Working at a system level to manage critical workforce resources in a smart way.
  3. Building DPMC values and engagement - Building on the key things that help us create positive staff engagement, and shifting our culture to support our ability to achieve our key objectives.
  4. Developing DPMC people - Supporting and developing our people so that they can grow their careers and contribute to our success.

Being a good employer

Being a 'good employer' and developing and implementing equal employment opportunities for all is critical in supporting and developing our staff. This will ensure we position ourselves so we can compete successfully for staff in coming years. Delivering on our stated outcomes requires excellent leadership, people, culture, relationships and processes to be in place. We intend to ensure our people management practices evolve to be ready for the needs and aspirations of a dynamic workforce. The success of this objective will be measured by continued staff engagement in the Department, a level of high staff morale maintained and confidence and relationships in DPMC, as well as staff perception of fairness and equity in their working environment.

Systems and processes

Shared Services Arrangements

Since 2012, CASS has provided DPMC with financial, human resource, information technology and information management services in a shared service arrangement and developed the Department's organisational resiliency. As part of our reform of governance and corporate performance, the Department is working with CASS to identify opportunities to improve the partnership model, and ensure the CASS' product offerings continue to meet the Department's needs.

Information and communications technology (ICT) systems

DPMC's ICT services are largely provided by CASS, with secure services provided by GCSB. In close collaboration with the central agencies, CASS has developed an Information Services Strategic Plan which provides a common direction for the Central Agencies' ICT capabilities.

We are also taking steps to minimise risk in the provision of secure technologies within the NZIC. For example, by outsourcing some IT capabilities to GCSB, and taking advantage of outsourced security services for our workforce holding top secret clearances.

We continue to support the Government's Open Data initiative in making information and data the department holds publicly available. We will continue to release data and information while balancing the principles of Open Data with security and privacy considerations.