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Case Study: Authorising Environment Issues Assessment

A state government agency was seeking to brief their Board with respect to the issues that could impact on the agency’s authorising environment. FPL was engaged to provide an assessment of trends across the Victorian Public Sector as they applied to the agency including appropriate context and commentary to inform the Board’s strategic decision-making around those issues. 



A state government agency was seeking to understand key issues that would impact on the scope of the delivery of their work to understand how such issues could impact on their ‘authorising environment’ and ability to deliver public value into the future. The ‘Authorising Environment’ concept outlines the need for public sector agencies to have authority to carry out their functions and that this authority arises through both formal channels such as legislation and informal channels such as stakeholder support. As these factors change and move over time, the authorising environment and authority of the agency can also change. 

FPL was engaged to deliver a report to support strategic decision-making by the agency’s Board with respect to those issues, including providing relevant context and commentary to understand trends and impacts across the Victorian Public Sector as they applied to the agency specifically. There were significant time pressures to produce the report in time for a key strategic meeting of the Board which could not be changed. 



A Public Sector agency’s authorising environment would usually change relatively slowly and even step changes such as a change in Minister or Government can usually be anticipated over the longer term with relatively little impact on the agency’s agenda. The impact of COVID, particularly on reform and budgetary cycles, has seen both a pace and scope of change that creates real challenges and uncertainty in managing future direction. 

FPL’s approach undertook a literature review, analysis and intelligence gathering that explored the external environment and used this to produce a high-level initial summary outlining the overall narrative and key identified issues. This was checked and refined with the agency’s key subject matter experts, who advised on the implications of some of the identified trends within the context of the agency’s specific forward agenda. The scan focused on the Victorian Government jurisdiction and on policy areas that related to the agency, but also included analysis of broader matters relevant to support a strategic perspective, including whole of government policy or direction as appropriate. 



The final report highlighted a range of key trends identified and supported by context and commentary to support the Board to understand the issue and make informed decisions about its relevance to the agency and any action or direction to respond. Through working closely with partners within the agency, FPL tailored the general findings to the specific points of interest relevant to the agency’s context and upcoming projects, refining and better targeting the issues of relevance to the Executive and Board and where their guidance and direction would be required to support operations to achieve their forward agenda. The report was well received by the project sponsor and Board members.

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