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Case Study: Informal ways of working protocols for integrated bodies

The implementation of a new scheme created a complex environment of responsibility between two integrated public sector bodies. FPL was engaged to support the heads of those bodies to establish informal ways of working protocols to reduce risk of duplication.


A new scheme established two separate but related public sector bodies. FPL had previously worked with one of the organisations through their establishment to support their membership of industry representatives to understand their new role and remit as a government organisation. The scheme created an environment of somewhat opaque responsibility between the organisations and while there is a strong and supportive working relationship between their leaders, both identified there would be value in establishing clear governance arrangements and ‘ways of working’. They sought to ensure they could actively carry out their agreed roles without risk of duplication or miscommunication and to provide certainty and clarity to the intended interactions between the organisations at all levels.


FPL Advisory was engaged to develop a ‘protocols’ style document that anticipated the range of interactions, including areas of identified focus such as communications, and gain consensus from leaders and key staff. The document was developed through key phases:

  • Discovery discussions with leaders to identify areas of focus supported by our prior knowledge of the organisations, the scheme and broader government context
  • Identifying themes and recommended protocols including practical considerations such as the difference in resources of the organisations
  • Seeking feedback from the leaders and a broader group of staff to refine the proposed protocols including ensuring that they would have relevance beyond the individuals involved.


The process primarily enabled discussions of key possible scenarios early in the establishment of the bodies so they could be approached through supportive negotiation rather than as issues arose. In particular, it gave guidance on key staff interactions between the organisations that meant leaders were comfortable with how and when they would be involved in or kept apprised of decision-making. It included key strategic elements, such as long term goals of trust and collaboration as well as detailed expectations such as when and how people would be expected to action emails. The final document was supported by the leaders of the organisation and was included as an attachment to their more formal governance arrangements which included an annual review and focus on its ongoing delivery.

FPL Advisory supports clients across many industry sectors to resolve risks, create opportunities and support government engagement.