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Senior Leadership Team meeting outcomes
I want to report back to you the outcomes of this week's Senior Leadership Team (SLT) meeting in which we discussed a range of matters including a strategy to find and deliver savings of $41 million in the CFA budget. As you are aware, the SLT is made up of myself and the Chief, the Deputy Chiefs, Executive Directors, Regional Directors and Executive Managers.
The SLT identified some immediate opportunities to find efficiencies for coming years and agreed a timetable to progress to the next step which will require an analysis of where major savings can be found in all budgets.
Budget actions we will apply include re-phasing the timing of major projects to better fit with our cash flow whilst also ensuring that they align with our broader strategic priorities.
Over the next month or so the SLT will progress options within each of their areas to identify efficiencies to meet the budget target. We expect to conclude this work by November and then put options to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) for consideration and action.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, the reality is we are now working in a very tight fiscal environment. This means we must re-frame our budget against the absolute priorities that will maintain our front-line and core services. We have agreed that in re-shaping the budget three things take precedence in CFA:
- Maintain service delivery;
- Continue to provide support to Brigades and volunteers;
- Continue operational training at the levels of the previous year.
The prevailing budget means we will need to make some hard decisions along the way and the Executive is committed to doing this in a professional manner.
The bottom line is that the CFA organisation is structured to enable and assist volunteers deliver fire and emergency service to the community of Victoria. Maintaining that support to volunteers remains a key priority.
This week I met with the CEO of Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) to discuss our budget strategy and agree mechanisms to ensure volunteers are confident their interests are protected in the budget process ahead.
Other matters discussed at the SLT included further development of the Chief Officer's implementation of the ‘mission command philosophy' in the operational environment that includes a renewal of the principles of operations.
The SLT has been set the task of modelling the organisation's values, behaviours and actions that guide CFA and consequently we also heard progress on the work we are doing in relation to organisational behaviours linked to the Fire Star values.
On a related matter, we also received a presentation on the progress of the ‘culture survey' conducted earlier this year. This survey reveals a strong commitment across CFA to create a culture where we all work closely together, enjoy our work and fulfil our commitment to the communities we protect. However, the survey did reveal that there are gaps between the actual and the preferred culture right across the organisation which provides opportunities for improvement.
Our challenge is to close the gaps from our actual culture to the preferred culture. These can be reduced through our own actions as individuals and teams.