Inland Revenue staff throughout New Zealand were told today how their submissions on proposals to re-shape the department have influenced the final outcome.
Feedback from the consultation has driven a number of changes to what was originally proposed and those changes were presented at meetings around the country today, Inland Revenue Commissioner Naomi Ferguson said.
Ms Ferguson said that as a result of comments from staff, additional specialist positions had been added to the new organisation.
No reduction in frontline services staff
“One thing from the original proposal that has not changed though – there will be no reduction in frontline customer services staff,” said the Commissioner.
Ms Ferguson said the 3,300 customer-facing staff would all be offered new roles or confirmed straight into new roles.
In addition there are around 900 positions on offer, with around the same number of positions affected – but the make-up of these positions is different with fewer available in management, but more available in specialist roles.
“The main objective of our transformation is to organise in terms of customer-types rather than IR functions, so bringing our service people closer to customers in the way they do their work.
More specialist positions added
“A commonly raised concern was that the value and importance of technical specialists had not been sufficiently recognised in the proposal, so we’ve addressed that,” said the Commissioner.
“We’ve added 18 specialist positions across the new organisation, and added more levels in some roles to reflect expertise,” she said.
Timing to implement the new structure was also commented on widely in submissions.
“Some thought we should give ourselves longer to implement the new structure and others did not want to delay,” said Ms Ferguson. “On balance we decided to push out the implementation date from the proposed 1 January next year to 12 February.
“That gives everyone a bit more time to get through Christmas and New Year but keeps us on track to get all of this in place in time for the implementation of Stage 2 of our transformation in April.
“And again, in response to concerns expressed, we’ve extended the period for people to make decisions about accepting the new roles from 10 working days to 15.”
Ms Ferguson said that staff feedback on the proposals had played a very important part in shaping the new Inland Revenue organisation.
Pride and passion
“There’s a great deal of expertise, pride and passion amongst the people who work here at Inland Revenue and that has all been evident in the submissions we got,” she said.
“Much of what was said was challenging and the important thing is that we’ve listened and the proposals have changed as a result. I’m grateful for the thought and effort that was put in by our people.”
“As has been the case throughout this transformation process, clear and frequent communications will continue and we’ll keep offering support for staff no matter what their situation. And we’ll keep investing in skill development and training to help them be the best they can be in the new organisation.”