Freedom of Information National Manager

Base is negotiable but there will be a requirement to regularly attend meetings in the Corporate Office, Heuston South Quarter, Dublin 8.
 Salary:  See Description for Details
Other   Permanent
Closing Date: 02/12/2019 Closing Time: 12:00
Recruitment start: 07/11/2019


Job Summary

The Child and Family Agency was established on 1st January 2014 and is responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. It represents the most comprehensive reform of services for the development, welfare and protection of children and the support of families ever undertaken in Ireland. It is an ambitious move which brings together some 4,000 staff who were previously employed within Children and Family Services of the Health Service Executive, the National Educational Welfare Board and the Family Support Agency.

The Child and Family Agency has responsibility for the following range of services:

  • Child Welfare and Protection Services, including family support services.
  • Family Resource Centres and associated national programmes.
  • Early years (pre-school) Inspection Services.
  • Educational Welfare responsibilities including School completion programmes and Home School Liaison.
  • Domestic, sexual and gender based violence services.
  • Services related to the psychological welfare of children.

Further information is available on www.tusla.ie

Purpose of Role:

The Freedom of Information (FOI) National Manager is responsible for the strategic management and oversight of the Freedom of Information (FOI) function within Tusla.

The appointee will be responsible for ensuring a consistent approach to FOI compliance across the Agency.  

The Freedom of Information Manager is the primary Agency contact for the Office of the Information Commissioner. 


Job Objectives

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Ensure best practice is promoted in Tusla in relation to compliance with Freedom of Information legislation - in line with relevant guidelines and codes.
  • Oversee the development of systems to track request processing and statistical reporting.
  • Secure appropriate consistency and standardisation of approach in responding to access requests under Freedom of Information legislation
  • Establish and embed processes for recording Freedom of Information requests nationally (eFOI)
  • Co-ordinate and compile KRIs and KPIs for Freedom of Information compliance in relation to requests.
  • Establish processes to ensure the development of Freedom of Information decision making skills within Tusla.
  • Guide and inform decision makers, internal reviewers, and relevant departments in relation to their responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Acts.
  • Ensure all targets in the Tusla Business Plan related to Freedom of Information are tracked and progressed.
  • Promote appropriate consistency and standardisation of approach throughout Tusla including the identification of efficiencies through ICT solution.
  • Co-ordinate the development and implementation of response structures and provide clear lines of accountability and responsibility. 
  • Ensure the Tusla website and publication scheme under section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act are relevant and up-to-date.
  • Keep abreast of developments such as legislation changes, Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) / Data Protection Commission (DPC) decisions and case law and inform Tusla decision makers and internal reviewers of such developments.
  • Oversee and QA the processing of Corporate Freedom of Information requests.
  • Coordinate and monitor the activities of Privacy Officers,  through the Privacy Network Manager.
  • Undertake project management of relevant projects under the business plan.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Consult and build a strong relationship with the Office of the Information Commissioner and act as liaison on all queries and investigations with the Commissioner.
  • Lead the development of effective relationships between the national office, decision makers, internal reviewers and relevant services at a regional and local level.
  • Support the DPO day to day as required.
  • Use a business partner and subject matter expert approach in working with functional units and service areas to encourage the identification and remediation of risks.
  • Constructively challenge existing processes and procedures to enhance FOI risk management
  • Ensure the development of relationships and communications with internal and external stakeholders to optimise the potential for effective and efficient service delivery.
  • Build strong working relationships across the Agency.
  • Identify opportunities to implement quality initiatives from privacy network within Tusla.
  • Contribute to initiatives relating to record management and retention.

Team Effectiveness

  • Develop and implement procedures and controls to ensure that all queries and complaints from functional units and services areas, data subjects and third parties are handled to agreed service levels.
  • Develop and implement frameworks and controls to ensure that all FOI practices and procedures across Tusla are executed consistently.

Health & Safety

  • Comply with and contribute to the development of policies, procedures, guidelines and safe professional practice and adhere to relevant legislation, regulations and standards.
  • Have a working knowledge of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Standards as they apply to the service for example National Standards for Child Protection and Care and comply with associated Tusla – Child and Family Agency protocols for implementing and maintaining these standards as appropriate to the role.
  • To support, promote and actively participate in sustainable energy, water and waste initiatives to create a more sustainable, low carbon and efficient health service.

The above Job Description is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all the duties involved and consequently, the post holder may be required to perform other duties as appropriate to the post which may be assigned to him / her from time to time and to contribute to the development of the post while in office.

Please refer to the Candidate Information pack attached to this campaign for full and further detail.

Skills Required

Professional Knowledge & Experience 

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the critical components that make up and influence child and family services and the interdependencies that contribute to their successful delivery
  • Knowledge of regulations and standards that apply to services delivered by the Agency.
  • An understanding of relevant legislation, including the Freedom of Information Act and the Children First Act.
  • Knowledge of the performance systems needed to manage in the Agency.
  • Knowledge of corporate governance structure and its relationship with both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Detailed knowledge of issues, developments and current thinking in relation to best practice in performance and service provision.
  • In depth understanding of the policies and procedures within Tusla.
  • An in depth understanding of investigation processes and procedures in relation to the managing of incidents.
  • A seasoned professional with ability to engage and influence at the most senior levels in the organisation.
  • Strong working knowledge of quality and safety systems as they apply to the delivery of services.
  • Knowledge and experience of evidence based decisions making practices and methodologies.
  • Awareness of children and young people’s participatory practice

Leadership and Direction

  • Capacity to lead, organise and motivate teams to the confident delivery of excellent services and service outcomes.
  • Demonstrate effective leadership in a challenging and busy environment including a track record of innovations/ improvements.
  • An ability to influence and negotiate effectively in furthering the objectives in the role.
  • An aptitude for strategic thinking, coupled with leadership skills and the ability to motivate and lead specialist professionals.

Operational Excellence – Managing and Delivering Results 

  • Have a clear focus on operational performance, results and an understanding of the performance systems needed to manage in a large complex organisation.
  • A proven ability to prioritise, organise and schedule a wide variety of tasks to manage competing demands and tight deadlines while consistently maintaining high standards and positive working relationships.
  • Strong evidence of excellent planning and implementation of programmes of work.
  • A capacity to negotiate and then ensure delivery of objectives. 
  • A strong degree of self-sufficiency, being capable of personally pushing proposals and recommending decisions on a proactive basis while actively suggesting improvements and adapting readily to change.
  • Evidence of effective planning and organising skills including awareness of resource management and importance of value for money.
  • A proven commitment to delivering a quality service.
  • Excellent analytical and report writing skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to facilitate work with a wide range of individuals and groups.
  • A track record of building and maintaining key internal and external relationships in achieving organisational goals.
  • The ability to lead, direct and influence multiple stakeholders and ensure buy in to plans and their implementation.

Working with And Through Others (Influencing to Achieve)

  • The ability to work independently as well as work with a wider multidisciplinary team in a complex and changing environment.
  • The ability to set team targets and to use influencing and negotiating skills to achieve high standards of service.
  • Effective communication skills including: the ability to present information in a clear and concise manner; the ability to facilitate and manage groups; the ability to give constructive feedback. 
  • The ability to work collaboratively, constructively and in an inclusive manner with all key stakeholders.
  • The ability to listen to contrary views and consider all insights and contributions in the management of service delivery.
  • Drive the values, aims and ethos of the Agency.
  • A core belief in and passion for the sustainable delivery of a high quality service user focused service.

Critical Analysis and Decision Making

  • The ability to consider the range of options available, involve other parties at the appropriate time and level to make balanced and timely decisions.
  • The ability to rapidly assimilate and analyse complex information; considering the impact of decisions before taking action; and anticipating challenges.
  • The capacity for management responsibility and demonstration of initiative, including decision making.
  • Knowledge and application of evidence based decision making practices and methodologies.

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