Head of Democracy & Transparency, Essex County Council

Essex County Council

Fixed-term, full-time
Up to £75,000 per annum

Job summary and Responsibilities:

We are seeking a manager experienced in transforming services, preferably with a background in governance or regulatory advice to cover maternity leave for the position of Head of Democracy and Transparency.

The Head of Democracy and Transparency leads the Democracy and Transparency Teams. The post has overall responsibility for the Council’s decision-making processes, information policy and compliance, including releasing information to the press and public.

This role is diverse, responsible for the Council’s statutory decision-making processes and provide full support to councillors, whilst also leading the Information Governance team and ensuring compliant management and disclosure of information.

We are interested in applicants who have strong leadership skills, preferably with significant experience in Democratic Services and/or Information Governance and a deep understanding of the legislative and policy frameworks relating to these areas.

This is an exciting opportunity to work at the heart of Essex County Council on a maternity cover fixed term position. You will be required to maintain the existing collaborative relationships with councillors, senior leaders and partners whilst operating in a politically sensitive environment.

If you have any queries regarding this role, or require anything further, please contact the Essex Recruitment Team on 033 005 83330* or for an informal discussion regarding the role, please contact Paul Turner, Director, Legal and Assurance by email paul.turner@essex.gov.uk or the post holder by email joanna.boaler@essex.gov.uk

*Calls to this number are charged in the same way as calls to numbers starting 01 or 02, please check with your service provider

Organisational Accountabilities:

Head of Service roles provide expert professional advice to inform corporate management and development of the council, turning this advice into approved decisions. The role is accountable for:
• Being a systems leader to deliver the objectives and priorities of the council ensuring all risks are actively managed
• Working collaboratively across the council and thinking commercially to support the delivery of best possible outcomes for our customers on a financially sustainable basis
• Developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with external partners and the community to support the long-term vision
• Identifying opportunities for improvement and managing change to deliver the highest possible levels of service quality
• Implementing commercial and innovative solutions that meet the needs of customers and deliver the best possible outcomes
• Effective utilisation of digital technologies and innovation across the council and with stakeholders and partners
• Celebrating and considering equality and diversity as part of all decisions taken.
• Using professional expertise to translate strategies, goals and plans for the functional area whilst managing an appropriate level of risk
• Manage relationships with customers, suppliers and partners to ensure the best outcomes for Essex

Service/Functional Accountabilities:

• Accountable for providing high quality advice to senior leaders, members and partners. Advising on the law relating to statutory decision making, exercising discretion, taking account of risk and reflecting the Council’s aspirations for its communities
• Acts as the Statutory Scrutiny Officer, accountable for delivery of the scrutiny and policy function, ensuring committees are resourced and informed to hold the Executive and NHS to account
• Accountable for school admission and exclusion appeals; developing strong relationships with elected members, and delivering high quality support and development for them, in line with national standards, such as the Member Development Charter Plus. Ensuring statutory decision-making processes and elections are compliant with legislative requirements and policy frameworks
• Accountable for developing, implementing and embedding policies and strategies which ensure the council’s information governance and sharing meets legislative requirements
• Accountable for ensuring the Council’s processing and sharing of information is lawful and in accordance with guidance. Managing and disclosing information appropriately, which upholds the interests of the public
• Supports the wider organisational vision and goals by implementing local business plans which deliver democratic services, member support and information governance
• Responsible for the delivery strategy for services, ensuring that performance is clearly defined in terms of benchmarked outcomes and short, medium and long term business, budgetary, performance and quality targets
• Works collaboratively to develop and maintain excellent working relationships with councillors, senior managers, IT security and projects, schools, regulatory bodies and the public
• Delegated functions as detailed in the council’s constitution (and as amended from time to time)
• Specific individual and shared targets and objectives are defined annually within the performance management framework

Knowledge, skills and experience:

• Educated to degree level or equivalent with an industry recognised diploma or other qualification in records management, democratic services or information governance and significant post qualification experience
• Evidence of continuing professional development, and expert knowledge in relevant professional area. Membership of a recognised professional body
• Ability to translate organisational vision into local business plans that define key deliverables, success factors and outcomes to achieve these
• Significant experience of working within a democratic services or information governance environment
• In-depth knowledge of the legislative requirements relating to the management and disclosure of information
• Experience of building strong working relationships at senior level across the council, with elected members, senior managers and schools
• Strong leadership and behavioural skills with the ability to focus on results, forging a highly performing and motivated team from diverse backgrounds to achieve strategic objectives
• Proven ability of proactively influencing, leading and delivering major cultural and organisational change in a complex environment

Qualification certificates should be brought to interview.

As part of employment with Essex County Council (ECC) should your role require a DBS check you will be required to register with the DBS update service. The DBS update service ensures all registered DBS certificates are kept up to date and allows authorised parties to view the status of your certificate. This is an annual subscription and you will be responsible for ensuring this is maintained. For further information on the DBS update service please visit: https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service

Essex County Council is proud to offer an excellent benefits package to all its employees. More information can be found on https://www.workingforessex.com/benefits

Essex County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment.

We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people as diversity is key to our success

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