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Administrative Officer





COMHAIRLE CHONTAE LAOISE
LAOIS COUNTY COUNCIL

Candidate Information Booklet
(Please read carefully)


Post of: Administrative Officer (Grade VII)

Closing Date: 4.00pm
Thursday, the 24th January 2019
Completed Application Forms (4 copies) should be submitted to:
Human Resources Department
Laois County Council
Aras an Chontae
Portlaoise
Co. Laois.



COMHAIRLE CHONTAE LAOISE - LAOIS COUNTY COUNCIL
POST OF: ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER (GRADE VII)


THE COMPETITION
Laois County Council is inviting applications from suitably qualified persons for the above competition. Laois County Council will, following the interview process, form 2 panels for the post of Administrative Officer (Grade VII) from which future relevant vacancies may be filled.
Suitably qualified persons are invited to apply for the following panel(s): -

• Panel A (Open Competition)
• Panel B (Common Recruitment Pool Competition)

Eligibility criteria for both panels are set out under Qualifications below.

THE ROLE

The Administrative Officer is a middle management supervisory position in Laois County Council and is assigned responsibility for the development, management and day to day operations of one or more departments or services within the Council. The Administrative Officer is the primary point of contact and liaison with other sections in relation to service delivery for their area of responsibility. He/She is also a contributor to the strategic and policy making decisions of the Council and will be expected to contribute to the development and implementation of forward thinking strategies within the local authority and to work closely with senior management, elected representatives, external agencies and relevant stakeholders in delivering services to the highest standard. The Administrative Officer may represent the Council on committees and at meetings and may be asked to report on progress in his/her respective section(s) at Council meetings, Municipal District meetings, Strategic Policy Committee meetings etc.
The Administrative Officer is responsible for the efficient management, direction and deployment of resources for the department or service to which they are assigned and will generally work as part of a multi-disciplinary team within one of the Council’s Directorates to deliver a broad and diverse range of services. These may include planning, economic and enterprise development, community and social development, housing, recreation, amenity and cultural services, environmental services, transportation and infrastructure, and emergency services. As Laois County Council is also the employer for all staff at the MyPay Shared Services Centre, and responsible for the delivery of a payroll and superannuation service to multiple local authorities nationwide, certain appointments arising from this competition will be to the MyPay Shared Services Centre, with role and responsibilities commensurate with the specific nature of that service. Training/qualifications in any of the service delivery areas above, may be relevant in terms of initial assignments in undertaking any particular role(s) at this grade, within the Council.
THE QUALIFICATIONS

1. CHARACTER:
Candidates shall be of good character.

2. HEALTH:
Each candidate must be in a state of health such as would indicate a reasonable prospect of ability to render an efficient service.

3. EDUCATION, TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE ETC.:

For the purposes of this competition, two panels are being established.

For inclusion on Panel A (Open Recruitment Panel)

Each candidate must, on the latest date for receipt of completed application forms:

(a) have a good general standard of education, and
(b) have satisfactory experience in administrative procedures, including adequate practical experience in work of an executive nature, office organisation and control of staff.


For inclusion on Panel B (Common Recruitment Pool Panel)

Each candidate must, on the latest date for receipt of completed application forms:

(a) be a serving employee in a Local Authority, Health Services Executive, Education/Training Board in the State, Institute of Technology, the General Medical Services (Payments) Board, St. James’ Hospital Board, Beaumont Hospital Board, An Bord Altranais, the Local Government Computer Services Board, the Border, Midland and Western Regionally Assembly or the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly and have, satisfactory experience at a level not lower than that of Assistant Staff Officer; and
(b) have not less than two years satisfactory experience either in that post or at a level not lower than that of Clerical Officer in one of the one of the organizations set out in paragraph (a) above; and
(c) have satisfactory experience in administrative procedures, including adequate practical experience in work of an executive nature, office organisation and control of staff.











The Ideal Candidate Shall:
• Have knowledge of the structure and functions of local government, of current local government issues, future trends and strategic direction of local government and an understanding of the role of Administrative Officer in this context;

• Have an understanding of organisation policies and implementation of such policies, as applicable to a Public Body;

• Have a strong sense of commitment to delivering quality public services and be willing to take on a challenge;

• Be highly motivated and have excellent interpersonal and communications skills;

• Have an ability to foster and maintain productive working relationships within the organisation and with relevant stakeholders externally;

• Be capable of working in close co-operation with the elected Council, the Strategic Policy Committees and other Council Departments while being able to seek co-operation and consensus from a wide range of bodies and representative groups;

• Be able to work within, and where necessary lead, multi-disciplined teams and have the ability to motivate, empower and encourage employees to achieve maximum performance;

• Have the ability to plan and prioritise work effectively, to work under pressure to tight deadlines and to take a strategic approach in the formulation and delivery of key policy objectives;

• Have a career record that demonstrates a high level of competence in the management of staff, including managing performance;

• Demonstrate relevant administrative experience at a sufficiently high level;

• Demonstrate experience of managing staff working under Service Level Agreements and to Key Performance Indicators.

• Demonstrate experience utilising project management software (eg Microsoft Project, TeamWorks Projects) and utilizing business process mapping software (eg Microsoft Visio).

• Have the ability to manage financial resources within a budgetary control framework;

• Have good knowledge and awareness of Health and Safety Legislation and Regulations, the implications for the organisation and the employee, the role and duties of managers, and the application of safety management in the workplace;

Key Duties:

Details of Key Duties are outlined under ‘The Principal Terms and Conditions’ below.

Competencies for the Post:

Key Competencies for the post include the following and candidates will be expected to demonstrate sufficient evidence within their application form of competence under each of these. Please take particular note of these when completing the application form as any short-listing or interview processes will be based on the information provided by candidates:

Management & Change • Ability to translate corporate policies and strategies into operational plans and outputs
• Clear understanding of political reality and context of the local authority
• Embeds good governance practices into day to day activities, practices and processes
• Develops and maintains positive and beneficial relationships with relevant interests
• Effectively manages change, fosters creativity and overcomes resistance to change
Delivering Results • Acts decisively and makes timely, informed and effective decisions
• Contributes to operations and develops team plans in line with corporate goals, operational objectives and available resources
• Establishes high quality service and customer care standards
• Manages the allocation, use and evaluation of resources to ensure they are used effectively to deliver on operational plans
• Identifies and achieves efficiencies
• Ensures compliance with legislation, regulation and procedures
Performance Through People • Effectively manages performance of individuals and teams to achieve operational plan targets and objectives
• Leads by example to motivate staff in the delivery of high quality outcomes and customer service
• Understands the value of effective communications at all levels within the organisation
• Demonstrates excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Ability to foster and maintain productive working relationships within the organisation and with relevant stakeholders externally.
Personal Effectiveness • Initiative and creativity
• Enthusiasm and positivity about the role
• Resilience and Personal Well-Being
• Personal Motivation
• Commitment to integrity & good public service values
• Understanding the structures and environment within which the local authority sector operates and the role of an Administrative Officer in this context
• Knowledge of current local government issues and strategic direction of local government


THE PRINCIPAL TERMS & CONDITIONS

1. PARTICULARS:
The position is wholetime and permanent and pensionable.

Laois County Council reserves the right to, at any time, re-assign an employee to any Department now or in the future. Laois County Council reserves the right to, at any time, assign an employee to any premises in use by the Council now or in the future.


2. PROBATION:
Where a person who is not already a permanent employee of a local authority is appointed, the following provisions shall apply:
(a) There shall be a period after appointment takes effect, during which such a person shall hold the position on probation;
(b) Such period shall be ten months but the Chief Executive may, at his/her discretion, extend such period;
(c) Such a person shall cease to hold the position at the end of the period of probation, unless during this period the Chief Executive has certified that the service is satisfactory;
(d) There will be ongoing assessments during the probationary period. Employment may be terminated by either party during probation or at the end of the probationary period on one week’s notice.

3. SALARY:
The salary shall be fully inclusive and shall be as determined from time to time. Holders of the office shall pay to the local authority any fees or other monies (other than their inclusive salary) payable to or received by them by virtue of their office or in respect of services which they are required by or under any enactment to perform.

The salary scale for the post of Administrative Officer is within the range: €48,978 - €63,672 (2nd LSI).

In accordance with EL02/2011 persons who are not serving Local Authority employees must be placed on the minimum of the scale. Where a person being appointed is a serving Local Authority employee normal starting pay rules will apply.

The rate of remuneration may be adjusted from time to time in line with government policy.


4. DUTIES:
The duties of the office are to give to the local authority and

(a) Such other local authorities or bodies for which the Chief Executive, for the purposes of the Local Government Acts, is Chief Executive, and
(b) to any other local authority or body with which an agreement has been made by the local authority or by any of the authorities or bodies mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph,

Under the general direction and control of the Chief Executive or of such other officers as the Chief Executive may from time to time determine, such appropriate services of an executive, administrative or management nature as are required for the exercise and performance of any of its powers, duties and functions as may be delegated to him or her by the Chief Executive from time to time including the duty of servicing all committees that may be established by the local authority and such duties as may be required in relation to the area of any local authority. The holder of the office, will, if required, act for an officer of a higher level.

The main duties and responsibilities of the role of Administrative Officer (Grade VII) include but are not limited to the following:

• Managing one or more sections or departments within the Council and implementing the strategic and policy making decisions of the local authority;
• Ensuring that section or department work programmes are implemented to deliver on the Council’s strategies and objectives for the overall development of the County outlined in various corporate plans and strategies;
• Identifying opportunities for improvements in the service delivery within the relevant area of responsibility and to use key performance indicators or other performance indicators effectively as appropriate;
• Initiating, development and delivering relevant projects and work and evaluating their success relevant to various strategies and plans
• Preparing of budgets and responsibility for the day to day financial management of capital and operational expenditure in the department or section, including maximising funding opportunities where appropriate and ensuring all available funding is availed of, drawn down and recouped within appropriate time frames;
• Managing and supervising employees in supporting roles up to the position/grade of Senior Staff Officer (Grade VI) or analogous grades, including assigning duties and workload;
• Providing on-going support to employees in the department or section, including handling day to day problems and identifying training and development requirements as appropriate;
• Ensuring full compliance with all organisational policies and procedures including grievance and disciplinary, performance management and attendance management;
• Communicating and liaising effectively with employees, managers in other sections, senior managers, customers and elected representatives in relation to operational matters for their section;
• Researching, analysing, disseminating and communicating essential information on specific issues and policies as appropriate;
• Compiling, preparing and presenting reports as necessary, including the preparation of reports or letters, which may be sensitive and/or confidential in nature;
• Ensuring that department or section operations are in compliance with all Council policies, procedures, practices and standards and in compliance with the principles of good governance, legislative requirements and Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government circulars and guidance;
• Implementing good practices with transparent reporting and communications to deliver accountable services in the department or section;
• Providing assistance in the understanding and interpretation of the Council’s policies and procedures to employees in their area of responsibility and to customers as appropriate;
• Promoting awareness of the Local Authority’s policies and activities on community, social, economic and infrastructure development;
• Carrying out duties in a manner that enhances public trust and confidence and ensures impartial decision making;
• Developing and maintaining a productive working relationship with all external agencies, bodies, elected representatives and committee members, including appropriate information provision and assistance when required;
• Promoting co-ordination and integration of service delivery between local government, voluntary, public sector and local development bodies operating within the local authority area, especially in relation to cross-sectoral interests, community and business interests;
• Assisting from time to time with the development, implementation and review of appropriate strategies/plans/policies for the development of the local authority area which may include relevant research, consultation and interaction with the statutory, local development and social partners;
• Representing the local authority on committees and at meetings, including Council, Municipal District and Strategic Policy Committee meetings and reporting on progress in his or her respective section or department;
• Organising and facilitating internal and external meetings and participating and engaging in discussions as appropriate;
• Supporting the Council and Municipal District operations;
• Carrying out duties in a politically neutral manner, with a clear understanding of the political reality and context of the local authority;
• Providing specialist administrative assistance and support in the delivery of projects as required;
• Managing and implementing Health and Safety for the section or department;
• Deputising for the Senior Executive Officer or analogous grade as required;
• Undertaking any other duties of a similar level and responsibility, as may be required, or assigned, from time to time.


5. HEALTH:

For the purposes of satisfying the requirement as to health it will be necessary for each successful candidate, before he/she is appointed, to undergo at his/her expense a medical examination by a qualified medical practitioner to be nominated by the local authority. On taking up appointment, the expense of the medical examination will be refunded to the candidate.

6. SELECTION PROCESS:

Candidates will initially be assessed to ensure that they meet the minimum specified eligibility criteria for the position.

a. Shortlisting
Shortlisting may apply based on the information supplied on application forms and the requirements of
the position as set out. It is expected that given the qualifications and experience of prospective
applicants the short-listing requirements may be significantly higher than the minimum qualifications
and experience requirements set out for the post.

b. Competitive Interview
Selection of candidates for appointment shall be by means of a competitive interview, conducted by or on behalf of the local authority. The Council is committed to a process of selection on merit, based on fair and open competition. The criteria for judging suitability and ranking will be related directly to the qualifications, attributes and skills required to undertake the duties and responsibilities to the standard required in the post.

c. Panels
Following completion of interviews, a panel may formed, the duration of which is at the discretion of the Council. While a panel remains in force, offers of temporary or permanent employment may be made subject to confirmation of qualifications and satisfying clauses in relation to health, character or other requirements of the particular post. Persons to whom an offer of employment is made must take up duty within 1 month from the date of offer, or such extended period as the Council may agree, otherwise, the Council may decide not to appoint them.
d. References/Documentary Evidence
Each candidate may be required to submit as references the names and addresses of two responsible persons to whom he/she is well known but not related. Candidates may be required to submit documentary evidence to the local authority in support of their application.


7. RETIREMENT AGE:
The Single Public Service Pension Scheme (“Single Scheme”) as provided by the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012 commenced with effect from 1st January 2013. The act introduces new pension and retirement provisions for new entrants to the public service appointed on or after 1st January 2013. Pension age set initially at 66 years; this will rise in step with statutory changes in the SPC age to 67 years in 2021 and 68 years in 2028. With effect from the 26/12/2018, the compulsory retirement age of 70 applies [Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018]. Otherwise the retirement age of the relevant Scheme applies.
It should be noted that candidates who are in receipt of a Public Service Pension and are re-hired in any paid capacity by a Public Service Body may be liable to have their pension abated.
Prior to appointment successful candidates will be obliged to complete a Declaration in relation to previous Public Pensionable Employment.

8. RESIDENCE:
The holder of the post shall reside in the district in which his/her duties are to be performed or within a reasonable distance thereof.

9. SUPERANNUATION:
The superannuation contributions of relevant scheme will apply.

10. SICK LEAVE:
The terms of the Public Service Sick Pay Scheme will prevail.

11. DRIVING LICENCE:
When required to do so, holders of the office shall possess a current full driving licence in respect of Category B vehicles or equivalent in the EU Model Driving Licence and have access to a car.

12. GARDA VETTING:
Garda vetting may be sought in respect of individuals who come under consideration for appointment.



Any attempt by a candidate, or by any person(s) acting at the candidate’s instigation, directly or indirectly, by means of written communication or otherwise influence in the candidate’s favour, any member or employee of the Council or person nominated by the County Council to interview or examine applicants, will automatically disqualify the candidate for the position being sought.

Expenses incurred by candidates in attending interview, etc., will be at the candidates own expense

Laois County Council is an equal opportunities employer

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Request application form

Contact Details

Laois County Council
Aras an Chontae
James Fintan Lalor Ave
Portlaoise
Co. Laois

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Prior to the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 the administration of local affairs in Ireland was undemocratic and in a state of chaos with policy decisions made at a distance in London mostly serving the interests of landowners.