To develop an organisation recognised for its excellence through its people, culture, structures and systems working together to achieve its mission and realise the Leaders’ Vision.
Our goal recognises our desire to set a good example to others in the region. It focuses on the Secretariat’s staff (people) and the culture of the organisation; and on the intangible practices and processes (systems) and the tangible infrastructure, assets and facilities (structures) which are reflected in our priorities.
- To be proactive, innovative and responsive to members needs.
- To develop and maintain best practice to support the Forum Secretariat’s people, culture, structures and systems.
- To maximise the use of scarce resources for the effective and efficient delivery of the Secretariat’s work programme.
The Corporate Services programme plays a crucial role in the delivery of the Forum Secretariat’s services to members through providing the organisation with a full range of services in the areas of organisational development, HR and Administration, Financial Services, Information Services, Information Technology and Property Services.
Pacific Context and Challenges
Management of the Secretariat includes the provision of the necessary support services and infrastructure required to operate in an ever changing environment.
The nations of the Pacific are, in general, developing island states that are geographically dispersed and economically diverse. The level of development of the Forum’s island member countries varies considerably across the region as does the quality of governance. Access to resources is often difficult due to the geographic distances and resources are often scarce and in demand. Climate change is increasing the unpredictability of weather patterns and increasing the incidence and intensity of cyclones. Political stability is volatile in many of the regions nations. Across the region, the population demographics are changing with the average age reducing; while education and access to it is improving opportunities for youth are still limited compared to the more developed nations of the world.
While isolated from the rest of the world geographically, the Pacific region does not operate in isolation of it. Changes in global food and fuel prices are having a significant affect on the Pacific and will continue to do so over the planning period. The Pacific culture is evolving as influences from globalisation impact on the region, but as it does so, health issues are emerging. Global trends (such as the growing influence of knowledge and information management, and management of intellectual property) are also having an impact on the region.
With varying standards, limited access to scarce resources, inefficiencies due to immature industries, and infrastructure constraints particularly ITC, the challenge for Corporate Services is to ensure the Forum Secretariat can operate as effectively as possible given the diversity of the environment in which it operates. To do so requires Corporate Services to be proactive, innovative and responsive.
The challenge for Corporate Services, now and in the future, is to provide the high-quality, relevant support services needed by the Forum Secretariat.
The Programme’s Response
The Secretariat’s leadership and support functions have been organised to enable it to deliver its mission and goals in accordance with its guiding principles and values. The Corporate Services Programme has been established to ensure the on-going development of the Forum Secretariat’s people, culture, systems and structures aligned to our values.
Globalisation provides opportunities for us to learn from others and “leap-frog” into new technologies, systems, and practices. Opportunities exist for the Secretariat through access to better technologies, materials and methods.
Good governance requires us to continue to ensure transparency and accountability in everything: from leadership to legislative compliance; from decision-making to procurement; from fiscal responsibility to record-keeping. The Forum Secretariat can play a leadership role within the region by demonstrating good governance practices but to do so means international best practice, systems and processes must be adopted and documented.
The growing recognition that freedom of information is a requirement for good governance means there is a need for the Forum and Forum Secretariat’s information to be more readily accessible by the public but at the same time we need to assure our members of our ability to protect sensitive and confidential information.
The differences in the information, communication and telecommunication (ICT) infrastructure (and associated cost) both across the region and the rest of the world, limits our ability to develop a “one-size fits all” approach to information technology and communications. These need to be adaptable to meet the needs of both ends of the spectrum – from leading edge high technology solutions to immature or unreliable systems.
The pool from which we attract our people has contracted in recent years due to scarcity of required skills in the region and our remuneration systems being less than competitive in some markets. Therefore we need to consider looking at alternative recruitment options, such as recruiting younger less experienced staff for which we will need to provide development, mentoring and training programmes. We need to look to continuing to develop our organisational culture such that non-financial attributes, rather than just remuneration, will contribute to attracting and retaining good people.
The risks and threats associated with climate change and political instability need to be mitigated through further developing our security structures and systems to align to these risks and threats, and to develop contingency and business continuity plans, within an overarching risk management framework that addresses all business risk.
Immature industries in the region, such as banking, transport, construction etc require us to be flexible and adaptable. For example, our interaction with the banks in Fiji and across the region is restricted to manual intervention so our financial systems and processes need to be flexible enough to deal with these manual interventions while at the same time capture the innovation in the more developed world. Inefficiencies of immature industries are borne by customers through longer lead times and inability to access quality goods and services. Managing out these inefficiencies is possible through better research, alternative sourcing options, better planning, longer lead times, and incremental implementation of projects or activities. The increasing cost of transportation is also a challenge which needs to be balanced against quality of off-shore sourced goods and services.
Rising fuel prices are impacting significantly on air travel. Mechanisms to reduce travel through better planning and sharing, and also through electronic forms of information sharing will not only reduce cost but will impact on our carbon footprint. Along with rising fuel prices, global increases in food prices will have an impact on the regions economies and on inflation and will further devalue our remuneration package. We will need to continue to monitor and review the remuneration market data annually and ensure that our salary scales remain aligned to the markets.
With limited resources, we can not respond to all of the challenges facing us. Our priorities over the planning period are therefore to:
• Further develop our people through mentoring, development and training opportunities;
• Continue to develop our culture, aligned to our values (professional excellence, personal leadership, responsive, caring, innovative and inclusive) while reflecting our Pacific personality;
• Develop our systems and processes to the highest possible standards of good governance; and
• Continue to develop our structures to ensure safety of our people and property while at the same time supporting our people and culture.