NSW Government executive managers are to be offered coaching in high-level ICT and contract management after an internal assessment revealed some capability weaknesses in these areas.
Some 337 executives participated in a senior executive service (SES) executive development program that is being spearheaded by the NSW Public Service Commission.
The executives were employed at SES levels 4-6, which typically covers departmental heads and other similar senior agency roles. NSW employs 430 level 4-6 executives in total.
Participating executives were assessed using "eight tools" that examined 13 "capabilities" that the NSW Government wished to foster among its senior executives.
The results of the assessments are contained in the inaugural "State of the NSW Public Sector Report", which was released today. (pdf)
Executives performed well when it came to measuring their customer focus and capability around "complex dependencies" and leading and managing people.
"On the other hand, the results show a need to develop capability in ICT, strategic human resource leadership, contract management and strategic financial management," the report notes.
According to the report, 73 percent of the executives assessed — 245 in real terms — "ranked competent or above" in "high-level ICT management", meaning that 27 percent were less than competent.
This was the fourth-lowest result among the 13 capabilities assessed.
In addition, 60 percent of the surveyed executives, or 201 in real terms, managed a similar competency level when it came to "high-level contract management".
The bottom-ranked capability was "strategic financial management", with only 51 percent of assessed executives rated "competent or above".
"Targeted development addressing these areas, as well as general leadership development, will be delivered progressively from the third quarter of 2012," the report noted.
"This will include access to executive coaching, exposure to best contemporary practice in key management areas, attending events focusing on key government priorities, and holding strategy workshops on sector-wide issues."