Position Profile

Job Title:  Manager, Rural Electric Programs and Information Systems

Work Unit:  Rural Development / Rural Utilities

Ministry:  Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Competition Number:  1042125

Date:  May 2017

Position Summary


The Director is a member of the Rural Development Division .leadership Team. Responsible to provide support and coaches and mentors all staff within the Branch. The position provides direction to staff in defining their individual performance contract and aligns strategies with the Division Operational Plan and AF Strategic and Business plan priority.

This leadership position builds and supports staff development within the branch and creates an environment for continual learning, leadership development and staff achievement. Significant judgement is required to identify appropriate work load parameters and delivery on priority projects and initiatives.

Strong client and project management focusing to achieve results for this position. External to the branch supports and contributes to the Ministry Strategic Plan in building a strong sector and rural utility industry.

As Director develops policy and legislative initiatives that impacts industry and clients. This plays into the development of policy parameters for the grant programs, decision framework and setting priorities for projects and programs.

The Director builds partnership and contributes to the strategic direction of the Division consistent with the Division Operational Plan as well as the needs of the industry. Directors are accountable to the Division Executive Director and to the ADM of Industry and Rural Development Sector.

Main responsibilities of the position include:

Responsible for the overall policy development, planning and direction of a variety of programs, services, functions and activities primarily related to the electrical and natural gas utility industry, and serves as primary contact with the industry. Assists and advises department executive, the Minister and elected officials on utility policies, issues and legislation.

Responsible for the development and enforcement of the standards for the safe design construction and operation of the provinces 85 natural gas distribution systems. This is accomplished through extensive consultation with industry and other regulating bodies provincially and nationally.

This position provides support to the Alberta Gas Distribution Industry to help identify, ensure and encourage safety in the construction, operation and maintenance of their systems. To monitor and support the development and maintenance of local and national standards for the Gas distribution industry, ensuring the uniqueness of the industry in Alberta ( the· largest rural gas distribution system in the world which has over 130,000 kms of gas pipelines and over 220,000 customers are considered in the setting of these standards).

Represents the Alberta Government and provincial gas distribution industry on Committees and Task Groups that set, maintain and provides interpretations to local and national standards by advising on the Canadian Standards Associations for CSA Z662 pipe standards, CSA S250 Mapping standards and Z247 Underground damage prevention. Alberta's natural gas distribution systems supply natural gas to over 1million Alberta households and business.

Chair of the Rural Electric Utility Role Clarity Working Group, which the Government of Alberta approved in principle 33 of the recommendations from the Retail Market Review Committee report, Power for the People. This working group consists of 7 cross-ministry departments and a number of public and private agencies to provide advice and present options to RIT ADM Steering Committee on clarifying the roles, relationships and responsibilities of rural electrification associations and investor owned utilities in Alberta.

Specific Accountabilities


Accountable for the successful delivery of the department's technical, regulatory and financial programs and services for the electric and natural gas industries, including the Remote Area Heating Allowance Program which processes over 2500 applications annually with a budget of 1.2 million dollars, the Rural Gas Program which encompasses 85 rural gas distributors and constructs over S,000 utility services annually with a 3.05 million dollar budget and the Rural Electrification Program which processes over 700 applications annually with a budget of 850 thousand dollars which are now administrated by the Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops and REAs on behalf of the Minister. Achieved by providing leadership and overall direction to rural utility staff on the goals and standards for program and services.

Manage the legislative requirements for utility associations as provided for in the Rural Utilities Act and Gas Distribution Act. Act as delegated Director of Natural Gas Co-operatives, Rural Electrification and Water Associations. Assist in the process of formation of new utility associations or winding up of existing associations.

As "Director" of all rural utility associations under the Rural Utilities Act, accountable for oversight of the business affairs of rural utility associations ensuring compliance with requirements of the Act and regulation. Achieved by monitoring business activities through annual return filings including financial records and minutes of membership meetings and through communication with elected boards and members.

Accountable for the planning, design, development and implementation of policies and strategies for rural utilities programs and services. Achieved through a thorough analysis and assessment of all relevant political, economic and social factors, and through extensive negotiation and consultation with stakeholders.

Accountable for overall liaison with 4 major utility companies; with 3 lobby groups and a number of customer organizations; also with elected officials at the municipal, provincial and federal levels on all matters pertaining to the department' s electric and natural gas utility programs. Achieved through personal contact and communication.

Accountable for overall management and control of rural utilities grants, loans and loans guarantee programs. Achieved by providing direction and leadership to program staff .The administration and collection of loans and loan guarantees issued in support of rural electric and rural gas services. Achieved by authorizing acceptance of negotiated settlements for delinquent government guaranteed loans maintained by Crown Debt Collections and overseeing the collection activity of delinquent REA loans sold to TD Canada Trust including the termination of the utility services and the discharging of security has been achieved.

Accountable for setting and enforcing standards for the design, construction and operation of 85 rural gas utilities, their engineering consultants and investor owned utilities for overall control and administration of rural gas :franchises. Achieved by provision of regulatory oversight and by exercising statutory powers as "chief officer', under the Gas Distribution Act.

Manage regulatory audits to be performed on SS gas distribution systems, ensuring 1/3 are audited annually.

Manage daily inquiries, complaints from the general public on utility/rebate matters. Arbitrates disputes between utilities and their members relating to service, billing, nonpayment, disconnects and membership.

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