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Senior Adviser – Legal and Policy Analysis

Legal and Policy Analysis with an operational focus
Nine months fixed term

Be part of an exciting cross-government initiative to improve access to New Zealand's legislation

Free and reliable access to legislation is fundamental to democracy and the rule of law. New Zealand has one of the world’s best systems to ensure that the public and businesses have access to authoritative versions of Acts of Parliament, and some secondary legislation. The Access Project will extend this world-leading approach to all secondary legislation. The overall objective of the project is:

“To improve access to legislation by publishing all secondary legislation on the New Zealand Legislation website”

The project has enjoyed strong support from Parliamentarians from its inception and the overall scope of the project is:

  1. The Legislation Bill, related regulations, and other changes to legislation, that are required to make the legal changes to improve access to secondary legislation.
  2. An authoring solution that enables agencies to draft secondary legislation in a structure and a format suitable for publication on the New Zealand Legislation website.
  3. A lodgement portal that allows agencies to submit secondary legislation for publication, including certifying that the secondary legislation has been properly made.
  4. Changes to the New Zealand Legislation website to cater for secondary legislation drafted by agencies such that website users are able to see the relationships between primary and secondary legislation and be informed of changes to legislation.
  5. Changes to some tools and processes in agencies (eg to lodge secondary legislation with the PCO rather than publish it in the Gazette) and related support and training.

The Attorney-General has already introduced the Legislation Bill and the project is now moving into the first stage of implementation. In this stage we are iteratively and progressively introducing the legal, procedural and IT systems changes. The aim is to ensure a smooth implementation for in excess of 100 organisations who produce secondary legislation, using the time to get ahead, experiment and innovate while the Bill works its way through the parliamentary process.

The PCO is seeking an experienced and self-motivated legal and policy adviser/analyst to work on the project, in particular on preparing instructions on drafting of regulations and operational aspects of the Bill. You will be undertaking complex policy analysis and be the lead subject matter expert on the policy development associated with the Legislation Bill and on regulations flowing from the Bill. You will have the opportunity to contribute with your legal and policy expertise while learning about business and related IT change in a well governed and professionally managed cross-government project (see below for more about the project). You will also have the opportunity to work with senior leaders across the Government.

This is a full time role for a fixed term period of nine months (with a possibility of being extended to up to 12 months depending on the project work still required) and can be tailored to the skills and aspirations of the individual to provide maximum challenge and responsibility. Applications are welcome from those interested in a secondment.

For more about the role see the job description and person specification below.

Applications close: 8 am Friday 22 September 2017

How to apply »

Job description

Workplace

Parliamentary Counsel Office
Reserve Bank Building
2 The Terrace
Wellington 6160

Fixed term

Nine months from appointment (with the possibility of an extension of up to 12 months depending on the project work required)

Reports to

Director Access to Legislation

Direct report

None

Primary purpose

This is a project specific role responsible for substantive aspects of policy and implementation of the Legislation Bill introduced into Parliament in June 2017.  The primary purpose of the role is to provide subject matter expertise on legal policy on the Legislation Bill and the Regulations to be made under it.

This is a key role and in addition to providing subject matter expertise, the incumbent will have the opportunity to actively contribute to the management of the Access to Secondary Legislation Project. Because it is a project specific role, the nature of the work required will change to reflect key stakeholder demands and controlled changes in the scope of the Project. However, the broad parameters of the role are expected to remain relatively stable over the fixed term.

The Senior Adviser – Legal and Policy Analysis will work closely with the Project Workstream Lead – Legal Research, within the overall project leadership structure. There could be opportunities to lead parts of the work in the project, that can be tailored to the skills and aspirations of the individual to maximise opportunities for leadership and development.

Key accountabilities and responsibilities

The Senior Adviser – Legal and Policy Analysis will be responsible for:

  1. undertaking complex policy analysis, and leading development of innovative, practical and durable policy options associated with the Legislation Bill
  2. providing authoritative policy advice often in areas that are complex and sensitive including holding the pen on Cabinet paper(s)
  3. serving as lead subject matter expert on the policy development associated with the Legislation Bill and on regulations flowing from the Legislation Bill
  4. effectively influencing discussion and decision-making on legislative topics through engagement and communication with senior stakeholders
  5. partnering with other Subject Matter Experts (business process, IT systems etc) to ensure that regulations are aligned with evolving operational process and IT systems
  6. undertaking other duties that support the project and that are within the person’s capabilities.

Person specification

Qualifications and experience

The Senior Adviser – Legal and Policy Analysis will have a relevant tertiary qualification and/or have a minimum of three years’ previous experience in the provision of well-reasoned and practical regulatory policy advice in a similar role. Legislative experience is desirable but not essential.

The ideal applicant will also have:

  1. a demonstrable highly developed advisory skills, including experience of advising Ministers and senior decision-makers
  2. an understanding of the Legislative policy area and issues and the wider strategic context
  3. an experience of writing regulations, preferably
  4. an understanding of the Parliament sector and the role of the Parliamentary Counsel Office, or the ability to quickly develop a strong understanding
  5. knowledge and understanding of professional project management principles and processes.
Skills and competencies
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and attention to detail with good attention to detail and proofreading skills.
  • Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Integrity and trust: Demonstrates personal integrity by: upholding ethical standards (including the Standards of Integrity and Conduct for the State Services), maintaining confidentiality, being trustworthy, being open and honest, complying with office policies, taking responsibility; and managing conflicts of interest; is widely trusted; is seen as a direct, truthful individual; can present the unvarnished truth in an appropriate and helpful manner; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; doesn’t misrepresent themselves for personal gain.
  • Customer focus: Dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers; gets first-hand customer information and uses it for improvements in products and services; acts with customers in mind; establishes and maintains effective relationships with customers and gains their trust and respect.
  • Listening: Practises attentive and active listening; has the patience to hear people out; can accurately restate the opinions of others even when they disagree.
  • Priority setting and time management: Spends their time and the time of others on what’s important; quickly zeros in on the critical few and puts the trivial many aside; can quickly sense what will help or hinder accomplishing a goal; eliminates roadblocks; creates focus; uses time effectively and efficiently; values time; concentrates their efforts on the more important priorities; gets more done in less time than others; can attend to a broader range of activities.
  • Perseverance: Pursues everything with energy, drive, and a need to finish; seldom gives up before finishing, especially in the face of resistance or setbacks.
  • Interpersonal savvy: Relates well to all kinds of people, up, down, and sideways, inside and outside the organisation; builds appropriate rapport; builds constructive and effective relationships; uses diplomacy and tact; can diffuse even high-tension situations comfortably.
  • Conflict management and composure: Steps up to conflicts, seeing them as opportunities; reads situations quickly; good at focused listening; can hammer out tough agreements and settle disputes equitably; can find common ground and get cooperation with minimum noise. Is cool under pressure; does not become defensive or irritated when times are tough; is considered mature; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; doesn’t show frustration when resisted or blocked; is a settling influence in a crisis.
  • Dealing with ambiguity: Can effectively cope with change; can shift gears comfortably; can decide and act without having the total picture; isn’t upset when things are up in the air; doesn’t have to finish things before moving on; can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty.
  • Creativity: Comes up with a lot of new and unique ideas; easily makes connections among previously unrelated notions; tends to be seen as original and value-added in brainstorming settings.
Access to Secondary Legislation Project overview

The PCO is currently undertaking the Access to Secondary Legislation Project (the Access Project).

The objective of the project is to improve access to legislation by publishing all subordinate instruments on the New Zealand Legislation website. Achieving this will mean changes to the way the PCO interacts with agencies in the future and will strengthen the PCO’s stewardship role.

The project has already introduced the Legislation Bill and now moving into the first stage of implementation. In this stage we are iteratively and progressively introducing the legal, procedural and IT systems changes. The aim is to ensure a smooth implementation for in excess of 100 organisations who produce secondary legislation, using the time to get ahead, experiment and innovate while the Bill(s) work their way through the parliamentary process.

See more information about the project »

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