Council design to focus on better customer service

03 Apr 2018

A new organisation design has been announced for Newcastle City Council with the goal of providing improved, high quality services to the Newcastle community.

The revised organisation design, effective from Monday 2 July, will place together teams of Council staff that can best deliver projects and services.

The new organisation design will renew Council's commitment to community engagement, develop clearer long-term strategies and consolidate activities to focus on community priorities.

Management and staff were today updated on the new organisation design which includes a flatter organisational structure and a realignment of responsibilities.

"Our vision is for Newcastle to be a smart city and to achieve this we need to be a smart organisation," said Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.

"As a city undergoing transformational change, we need an administration that is responsive and focussed firmly on customer service and delivering record infrastructure renewal.

"Council business should be conducted in an open, transparent and accountable manner, providing opportunities for genuine engagement to inform decision-making. The new design for the organisation reflects this with directorates focused on strategy, engagement and governance," said the Lord Mayor.

Commencing in July, Council's structure will have directorates for Infrastructure and Property, Strategy and Engagement, People and Culture, Citywide Services, and Governance. Council will also for the first time ever recruit for a Chief Financial Officer.

"The new design will increase efficiency through improved information sharing, collaboration and consolidation of activities," said Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Bath.

"Staff have been very open and honest with me since I started in the CEO role last May. While they understand and perform their jobs to a high level, some staff are unsure of their role in the organisation. Staff have also made it extremely clear that Council doesn’t communicate well across the business. A design that increases information sharing means improved decision making and, ultimately, improved outcomes for our community.

"We need to have a structure that allows for shared service delivery and we need enabling services to support this model," said Mr Bath.

"Retaining staff, providing opportunities for development and nurturing future leaders is also a priority with a directorate dedicated to people and culture. We have amazingly resilient, dedicated staff and this structure is designed to enable improved service to the community. I have every confidence in our staff to provide a level of service that meets the expectations of our city at a historic time in its history."