Position Profile

Job Title:  Planning Assistant

Work Unit:  Strategic and Business Services Division / Corporate Planning Services Branch

Ministry:   Alberta Treasury Board and Finance

Competition Number:  1037217

Date:  July 2016



Strategic Planning and Policy (SPP) is responsible for coordinating the department’s Business Plan, Annual Report, Enterprise Risk Management Program, Business Continuity Program, and updates for Ministry Briefing Binders, Executive Committee Strategic Planning Retreats, coordinating updates to the department’s portion of the GOA directory, as well as providing Project Management and management consultation services for special projects as required. The Planning Assistant & Office Coordinator plays as active role in support of these responsibilities as well as general administrative support for the Strategic and Business Services Division.
In addition to functioning as the senior administrative assistant for the management team within CPS, the Planning Assistant & Office Coordinator provides office administration services for the Regulatory Review Secretariat (RRS) branch, as well as back up support to the office of the Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Business Services and the office of the Deputy Minister as required.   This position coordinates information flow for the Director and Manager by acting as a liaison with representatives at all levels across the department; manages calendars and schedules; and responds to requests from clients and stakeholders in a comprehensive manner. 

The position will provide administrative support services to the management team within Strategic and Business service division.   Responsibilities include: administrative support, air charter services flight coordination (provide cost estimates for flights, track requests, reconcile invoices, manage flight data reports and assign invoices to departments), scheduling and coordinating training, collecting, tracking and continually updating information on behalf of management, information awareness sessions and managing the operational requirements within the branch. 

The Planning Assistant also ensures coordinated and timely responses are provided to action requests and correspondence, as well as carrying out financial and human resource administration; records and document management; and other related services.  This position is relied on to develop and implement administrative processes and systems essential to the effective and efficient operation of the CPS and RRS branches.  In addition, the position coordinates the preparation of documents for budget, annual report and other related submissions in accordance with Ministry and Government guidelines.    

Reporting to the Director, Strategic Planning and Policy, the Planning Assistant functions within applicable Government and Ministry legislation, policies, procedures, guidelines, and standards.  

Responsibilities and Activities


Administrative assistance is provided to support the effective and efficient operation of the offices of the Director and Managers, including managing information flow to ensure issues are addressed in a timely and coordinated manner.

Information Coordination

  • Coordinates calendars for the Director and Manager of the SPP branch, including scheduling appointments and meetings.
  • Prepares agendas, gathers background information, assembles materials, and prepares and distributes minutes for meetings, conferences, and presentations, ensuring information is compiled and organized effectively. 
  • Maintains bring-forward systems and prepares meeting folders for the Director and Manager.
  • Coordinates arrangements for travel and meetings, including preparing and/or reviewing expense claims.
  • Responds to enquiries from clients and stakeholders, providing information or taking action as appropriate.
  • Reviews, assesses, and tracks correspondence directed to and from the Director and Manager, identifying and bringing urgent and important concerns and issues to their attention as appropriate.
  • Forwards correspondence to appropriate area of the branch for information, draft replies, and/or comments; tracks status of replies and actions to be taken.
  • Composes correspondence for the Director and Manager on own initiative or according to general instructions.
  • Prepares reports, summaries, presentations, and other documents using business productivity software.

Action Requests

  • Coordinates responses to action requests (branch, division or department level) to support the provision of accurate, high quality and timely responses consistent with relevant Government and Ministry policies and procedures.
  • Gathers information from various sources and researches background material prior to forwarding requests to appropriate branch representatives for preparation of draft responses.
  • Tracks and monitors status of responses and briefings using Action Request Tracking System (ARTS) software.
  • Edits, proofreads, and finalizes action request responses; verifies documents for accuracy, consistency, and conformity to relevant correspondence manual guidelines, standards and formats.

Comprehensive office administration services are provided to support SPP branch operations while ensuring consistency with Ministry and Government administrative policies and procedures.

Branch Administration

  • Develops implements and maintains full range of administration systems, processes, and procedures to support branch business needs and enhance operational efficiencies; identifies administrative issues with potential to impact branch operations and recommends associated solutions; and implements Ministry-wide administrative systems within the branch.
  • Provides branch representatives with assistance and information relating to administration matters (i.e. basic human resource issues; preparation of expense claims; learning account and staff development provisions; travel arrangements); provides orientation to new branch staff members.
  • Administers branch human resource requirements, collaborating with Director and Human Resources to resolve issues and address reporting requirements; oversees the tracking and processing of timesheets for branch staff.
  • Formats, edits and finalizes correspondence and other documents for branch staff members; prepares correspondence and presentation materials; and establishes formats and templates for standard documents to maintain consistency within the branch.
  • Oversees administration of accommodation, office equipment, telecommunications, and information technology requirements for the branch; ensures branch supply inventory is monitored and maintained appropriately.

Division Administration

  • Review incoming correspondence and prioritize issues and prepare responses as necessary
  • Format correspondence, create and maintain spreadsheets and tables
  • Create and maintain an effective office filing and records management system
  • Order and maintain supplies for office
  • Maintain a professional office image in daily contact with senior representatives and private sector employees over the phone and in person
  • Coordinate and provide information in regard to FOIP requests, Action Requests and Ministerial briefings.

Coordination of air charters for the Government of Alberta

  • First point of contact for all government requests for use of charter aircraft.  This includes communicating with Executive Council offices, Minister’s offices and other senior government officials.
  • Ensuring bookings with air charter companies are handled in a professional and time sensitive manner
  • Ensure appropriate contracts and documents are in place between air charter company and government departments prior to government employees flying
  • Considers appropriate utilization and scheduling of charter aircraft
  • Maintain appropriate tracking and logging procedures of all charter flights contracted by the Government of Alberta and prepare monthly activity reports to be posted on the GoA website.

Records and Document Management

  • Develops, maintains and continually enhances branch electronic and manual document management systems.

Budget and Financial Administration

  • Reviews budget instructions and guidelines to assist Director with development and maintenance of branch budget; coordinates preparation of budget submissions for approval of Director.
  • Tracks, monitors, and analyzes expenditures to identify cost pressures and variances; prepares forecasts and status reports; and brings concerns and recommended adjustments to attention of the Director.
  • Oversees invoice processing, ensuring invoices are appropriately reviewed, coded and processed for payment; verifies payments through review of IMAGIS reports; and resolves related issues as required.

Business Plans, Annual Report, Enterprise Risk Management Program, Business Continuity Plans, the Annual Report and the Contacts lists used by Strategic Planning and Policy are continually changing and it is critical for this position to help support the branch in ensuring that these documents are accurate and up to date and prepared in an effectively and timely manner.  

  • Working with Divisional and Branch representatives the position notifies, retrieves and follows up on information required by the branch to complete the Business Plan, Business Continuity Plans and Annual Report for the department. 
  • Coordinates the collection of, tracking and updating of information required by the branch. 
  • Coordinates preparation of documents and ensures documents, briefing binders, presentations and other related materials are prepared in accordance with established guidelines and deadlines.
  • Research the web and other resources for information.
  • Updates various plans and reports with the information provided.
  • Distributes the plans and reports electronically and in hard copy and tracks (audit trail) to ensure their delivery.
  • Ensures all information imported to desktop publishing software is complete, accurate and meets established deadlines.
  • Inputting risk data into the department’s corporate Enterprise Risk Management software application

In support of special projects as required, work with the Director in the provision of Project Management and/or Management Consultation services as required.

  • Prepares briefing and presentation materials for meetings, workshops, and other project related events, as required;
  • Assists in preparing and / or updating the work plan as required;
  • Reviews, comments on, and edits the drafts or other documents and papers, as required;
  • Assists the Director or Manager in conducting and coordinating their work under various components of the project and / or work breakdown structure;
  • Collects and compiles information and data to support the work required under the work breakdown structure;
  • Assists in the planning and conducting of consultation meetings;
  • Assists in preparing relevant reports for dissemination or publication and carry out other tasks as required;
  • Assists in the overall coordination of activities outlined in project documents and / or work break down structure; and
  • Prepares and updates status reports on project activities.

Output/Reporting Requirements:

  • Memos, as required;
  • Briefing papers and/or presentation materials, as required;
  • Compilation of information, including technical analysis;
  • Meeting Reports, as needed;
  • Inputs to national consultation meetings and regional workshops.

The Director and Manager are supported in achieving the goals of the Corporate Planning Services branch.

  • Provides support and recommendations relating to issues, opportunities, and challenges associated with operation of the offices of the Director and Manager and the branch.
  • Participates in committees and teams at branch, Division and Ministry levels, providing input to administrative processes and participating in special projects and initiatives as required.



The Planning Assistant provides comprehensive services to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the offices of the Director and Manager and the Strategic Planning and Policy branch.  In addition to coordinating diverse administration services for the branch, this position provides information coordination services for the Director and Manager. 

The Planning Assistant & Office Coordinator requires a comprehensive understanding of branch operations, as well as Government and Ministry policies, guidelines and procedures for action requests, financial administration and budgeting, records management, and other administrative functions.  This position must also have a strong understanding of relationships with and interests of clients and stakeholders to respond to enquiries and requests for information and resolve administrative issues (e.g. liaising with the Office of the Auditor General for various audit or review work).  Work must be performed with a high degree of accuracy and initiative, and discretion is essential given the confidential and sensitive information dealt with. 

The Planning Assistant demonstrates considerable initiative, creativity, and judgement by developing and implementing administrative processes that improve branch operations and enhance support provided to clients.  This position must be able to develop internal administrative, tracking, and information retrieval systems; interpret administrative guidelines in unusual or complex situations, and solve related problems. 

The Planning Assistant is relied on to coordinate the preparation of Business Plan, Annual Report, Enterprise Risk Management, Business Continuity Plan, and special project documentation / submission; prioritize issues and workload; and interact positively with clients and stakeholders, with work often performed under the pressure of multiple deadlines and tight timeframes.  In addition, this position must be able to use spreadsheet and desktop publishing software to effectively create and format information, presentations and documents that are referred to by senior decision-makers, stakeholders and the public. 

The Director and Manager provide general objectives and direction for the Planning Assistant, with work typically assigned in terms of an explanation of a problem and the results desired.  Considerable latitude to determine priorities is delegated to this position and work is performed with limited supervision.  Decisions and recommendations made by the Planning Assistant & Office Coordinator directly impact the effectiveness and efficiency of branch operations. 

Assignments are generally reviewed upon completion of specific projects.  The Director or Manager are consulted for direction and expected results for major projects and unique or unusual circumstances.  Decisions outside established policies, processes, guidelines, and procedures or without clear precedent are discussed with the Director, as are recommendations for major changes to administrative systems and processes with the potential to affect operations beyond the branch.  Work is assessed for quality and effectiveness of branch administration systems; compliance with relevant policies and procedures; quality of administrative services provided to clients and stakeholders; and ability to set and meet workload goals.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


The Planning Assistant requires comprehensive and thorough knowledge of:

  • applicable Ministry and Government policies, guidelines, systems and processes for the delivery of administrative services (i.e. action request systems; records management procedures; travel and related regulations for processing expense claims; budget, financial and human resource administration procedures)
  • Ministry mandate, business plan, and organizational structure
  • Strategic Planning and Policy branch mandate, operational plan, structure, programs and relationships to internal and external stakeholders and clients  
  • Relevant legislation, regulations, and policies (i.e. Government Organization Act and associated records management regulations; Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act)
  • Software tools and automated systems used to carry out responsibilities (i.e. Microsoft Office - Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint; Visio; desktop publishing software; Sharepoint; ARTS; IMAGIS; APC; ExClaim; Internet)

The Planning Assistant must have strong and demonstrated:

  • verbal communication and interpersonal skills to communicate with branch staff members, clients, and stakeholders and negotiate acceptable solutions to administrative problems or conflicts
  • writing, proofreading, and editing skills
  • organizational and time management skills
  • analytical and problem solving skills to recommend viable and effective administrative solutions and compile, summarize, and coordinate information
  • records management skills
  • commitment to confidentiality, tact and diplomacy

The Planning Assistant must be able to:

  • plan, prioritize and coordinate multiple tasks and projects while carrying out ongoing administrative responsibilities
  • work independently as well as contribute within a team environment
  • proactively identify concerns, issues and potential solutions and recommendations, including ability to make decisions on behalf of the Director and Manager when necessary
  • demonstrate initiative, sound judgment, attention to detail and creativity relating to responsibilities



The Planning Assistant has ongoing contact with:

  • offices of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Deputy Minister, and other members of the Executive Committee to coordinate schedules; exchange information; and coordinate responses to action requests and ministerial briefings
  • Department-wide staff members as required to clarify and discuss administrative policies and procedures; exchange information; respond to enquiries; coordinate schedules; and coordinate production of budget, annual report, and financial briefing documents
  • senior administrative support representatives from throughout the department to exchange information and resolve administrative issues
  • representatives of other departments (i.e. Service Alberta) and vendors to arrange for services and equipment; resolve issues; and exchange information
  • The position has considerable contact with division coordinators within Alberta Finance to obtain or provide information and or assistance. 
  • Contacts external to the ministry include other ministries/ agencies, Emergency Management Alberta and the Office of the Auditor involving the exchange of information.

Supervision Exercised



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