As many of you may be aware, there was a State Election held in Victoria about a week ago with the Bracks Government returned for a third term. Many of you may also be aware that I have been very quiet on the blog or around the traps for the last few weeks as well. That has been because I have been coordinating the PIAP process for one of the major Victorian Government departments.
PIAPs are Policy Implementation Action Plans. During this election campaign, whenever a major party announced a policy, the public service prepares a briefing for the incoming Premier on the relationship of thier party’s policies to existing activities, the funding considerations, approaches for implementation and stakeholder considerations. This briefing is provided to the Premier once the election result is known so it needs to be completed prior to polling day.
My role was coordination: working out who within our department should develop the PIAP, arranging for liaison with other departments where appropriate, and ensuring that the Executive approved PIAPs before they were submitted to another department to form part of their collection of PIAPs, or submitted to the central agency to form part of our department’s collection of PIAPs.
Difficulties arose when parties announced election policies late in the campaign. This leaves less time for the public sector to prepare a quality briefing for the incoming Premier. One option to improve the process could be to await the election result and finalise the briefings in the week or two after the election, when the result is more clear. This has the downside in that it makes it appear that the public sector is not as responsive to the Government as it could be. Arguments for and against.
The process was tiring and arduous with many long nights back at work. I am thoroughly enjoying reacquainting myself with my family! While it was great to see people team together and work collaboratively, the short timeframes and pressures created immense demands. Over the next couple of weeks, there will be various reviews in a range of departments on the process to try and make it smoother for the next election in 2010. For myself, I plan to be a long way from here when that time comes around again!