Position Profile

Job Title:  Manager, Municipal / First Nation Recovery

Work Unit:  AEMA, Recovery / Community Recovery Services

Ministry:  Alberta Municipal Affairs

Competition Number:  1042711

Date:  June 2017
 

Position Summary

 

The Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) is accountable and responsible to the Government of Alberta (GoA), to Albertans, to their communities, and to industry for the protection of people, their property and the environment from the effects of emergency events. The AEMA accomplishes its objectives by leading the coordination, collaboration and cooperation between all entities involved in prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities within this diverse system.

The Recovery Branch assists individuals, businesses, municipalities, First Nations Metis Settlements and government departments' recovery from damaged caused by a disaster by providing financial assistance for uninsurable damages that are repair or restorative in nature as per the regulations of a Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) and broader recovery guidance. DRPs can have multi-million dollar budgets and be required to serve thousands of Albertans. Each DRP is unique and must be tailored to the nature of the disaster and number of people impacted.

This position manages the initiation, coordination, and administration of specific DRPs and the Municipal Wildfire Assistance Program (MW AP) targeted to response and recovery costs for municipalities, First Nations, and Metis Settlements. Recovery programs are managed as per the Disaster Recovery Regulations, the Disaster Assistance Guidelines (DAG), and the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA). MWAPs are a province wide program intended to help reduce both the risk and loss associated with wildfires and are designed to assist with extraordinary costs for the suppression of wildfires when they occur.

The position manages the planning, operations, and reporting of a team of Case Managers and Team Leads, adjusting resources as needed to achieve business goals and priorities. Consolidated reports and updates are provided to the to the Director, Community Recovery Services, to inform branch planning and priorities.

Advice, information and recommendations related to municipalities, First Nations, and Metis Settlements are also provided to senior management including the Managing Director, Deputy Minister and Minister to inform decision-making and broader disaster recovery planning and transformation.

Specific Accountabilities

  1.

Provide recovery advice to stakeholders (impacted Ministries, Municipalities/First Nations, small businesses and individuals) and related issue management within the branch.

Activities:

  • Provide advice to stakeholders on recovery, based on best practices, knowledge of previous disasters, and relationships with other partners in recovery.
  • Build relationships and create linkages between stakeholders to resolve recovery issues.
  • Provide expertise to stakeholders on provincial recovery financing and the documentation requirements so that these can be built into stakeholders' implementation of recovery activities.
  • Monitor issues and develop recommendations to branch leadership on provincial support of stakeholders' recovery activities and initiatives.
     
  2.

Manage the development of Disaster Recovery Programs (DRPs) in line with provincial and federal legislation, guidelines and agreements.

Activities:

  • Manage the process of gathering and accessing the information in terms of infrastructure damage and municipal incremental operation costs due to the disaster event.
  • Manage the collection of Alberta Environment scientific data to support a DRP recommendation.
  • Chair the Disaster Recovery Committee (DRC) and manage the coordination of information for and communication of issues with cross-government Committee; convene and oversee all DRC meetings and training.
  • Manage the process to consolidate information and communicate issues with the Minister, senior management and MLAs.
  • Provide advice, information, feedback and guidance to Senior Management, District Officers and municipalities on all aspects and legislation for DRPs and Municipal Wildfire Assistance Programs (MWAPs).
  • Coordinate with AEMA communications staff, the development and recommended release of the communications plan for each program.
  • Manage and lead the approval process for all DRPs and MWAPs. This includes development of briefing notes, transmittal memos, speaking notes, recommendations for Orders in Council and the draft Order in Council.
  • Manage contracted specialists related to program creation such as the hydrologist contract (municipal).
     
  3.

Manage the implementation and administration, including financial payments, of DRPs and MWAPs in line with provincial and federal legislation, guidelines and agreements.

Activities:

  • Manage and develop procedures for program implementation, including records management, budget and pre-audit compliance.
  • Establish and assess annual performance measure criteria and objectives for each DRP.
  • Lead, coach and mentor case management staff to write BNs and Cabinet Packages, create project plans, and work with various client groups on DRP and non-DRP eligible expenses (e.g. how to create a submission and do a line by line review of each requested expense for DRP eligibility and recommend payment.
  • Oversee the policy review and line by line assessment of expense.
  • Ensure consistency in determination of eligibility and case management by initiating appropriate training and quality assurance processes.
  • Manage the resolution of the most complex conflicts between applicants and case managers.
  • Provide subject matter expertise, information, feedback to senior management on administration issues to enhance DRP and MWAP delivery.
  • Oversee training and coaching on delivery of DRP programs to municipalities, First Nations, and Metis Settlements that are provided to other AEMA units / GoA departments.
  • Assign and review BNs for the Minister, Deputy Minister, Managing Director, or Executive Director, etc. regarding status of payments, submissions, inquiries regarding eligibility, etc.
  • Lead and/or participate in lessons learned and best practices to improve future DRPs.
  • Work with Recovery Branch Supports Unit to plan and implement surge capacity as needed.
     
  4.

Manage the allocation of Disaster Program Finances in accordance with existing policies, guidelines, and agreements to ensure most effective use of funds allocated to each Program.

Activities:

  • Develop and manage the administration budget to ensure accuracy, accountability, and meeting of performance standards.
  • Review and approve payments on eligible claims; this includes development of briefing notes, transmittal memos.
  • Liaise and negotiate with various provincial and federal levels of government on matters pertaining to federal assistance for Alberta DRPs.
  • Manage the process to provide updates on financial and statistical information on programs in a timely manner to DRP Finance and senior management for distribution to Treasury Board and Finance and the Premier as required.
  • Manage the audit review process of all grant/payment documents to ensure compliance with Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and Public Safety Canada audits.
  • Represent AEMA in discussions with the OAG regarding DRP administration.
  • Serve as Expenditure Officer for DRP administration.
  • Provide knowledge and expertise in Disaster assistance to the Minister and senior management.
  • Consult with experts and federal and provincial government counterparts regarding future requirements and direction for financial and non-financial Recovery Programs.
  • Engage ministries and the federal government regarding business cases and mitigation to solicit cost sharing options with the federal government.
     
  5.

Provide inputs to Disaster Recovery Policy so that it reflects key issues in program administration and delivery.

Activities:

  • Interpret policies and procedures regarding disaster recovery federal and provincial legislation for all GoA departments.
  • Assist with policy recommendations to address issues that arise during the development and administration of DRPs and/or MWAPS.
  • Contribute to the review and update the Disaster Recovery Regulations and DAG.
     
  6.

Lead a team to be high-functioning, with motivated and engaged staff working toward achieving common business goals.

Activities:

  • Develop recruiting and retention strategies for their Team and manage recruitment and on-boarding of staff (e.g. Staffing Requests, Job Descriptions).
  • Manage the ongoing development of a highly skilled, motivated, and productive staff and support their professional learning, achievement of performance plans, and development of skills and knowledge.
  • Plan and implement the efficient and effective use of budget and staff resources to support achievement of unit and branch goals.
  • Foster a positive workplace environment and creating a culture of mutual trust and respect with allocated personnel resources.
  • Build a common vision and objectives amongst direct reports as well as project teams.
  • Provide oversight to the work unit and project teams to ensure that work is appropriately prioritized delivered on time and meets the requirements of senior management.
  • Synthesize and contribute the team's input into branch planning and reporting.
     
  7.

Support the Director in leading the Unit operations in line with AEMA, department and GoA policies and priorities and programs.

Activities:

  • Lead and/or participate in the design and implementation of Branch priority projects and strategies and other multi-stakeholder or ministry-wide initiatives.
  • Provide consolidated updates, advice and recommendations to the Director and Executive Director.
  • Manage development of briefings, action request responses, Ministerial correspondence, and recommendations to senior management including the Managing Director, Deputy Minister and Minister pertaining to issues, opportunities, and challenges associated with the recovery.
  • Maintain awareness of current and emerging disaster recovery issues, best practices, and developments in disaster recovery technology.
  • Represent the Branch on multiple internal and external committees.
  • Promote coordinated inter-branch approaches in response to emerging issues.
  • Provide disaster recovery policy perspectives and expertise to support the implementation of integrated information systems that will support improved management decision making.
  • Act for the Director as required.
  • May be required to work in the Provincial Operations Centre or on field assignment as needed during emergencies in order to coordinate provincial emergency response efforts and/or to support/advise/assist government ministries, municipalities, First Nations, and/or other organizations. In these circumstances, the position may require working extended and irregular hours and/or shifts with minimal or no notice, particularly during emergencies and exercise.

Knowledge / Experience

 

Education and Experience:

  • Post-secondary degree or equivalent in a related field supplemented with a minimum of 4 years progressively responsible related experience.
  • Experience in developing client and stakeholder relations.
  • Experience working with federal agencies.
  • Experience in the use of information and communication technology in emergency management for communication, database management, analysis, and reporting purposes.
  • Financial experience and experience with the administration of government grants is preferred.
  • Experience with staff development and coaching.
  • Experience delivering projects and programs related to emergency management is an asset.

Knowledge:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of the Emergency Management Act, Disaster Recovery Regulations, Disaster Assistance Guidelines, and Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements.
  • Thorough understanding of AEMA's Vision and Mission, priorities and Recovery Branch's goals and objectives and how they relate to the department's business plan.
  • In-depth knowledge of and experience with GoA financial systems and management reporting requirements.
  • Knowledge of fiduciary responsibilities related to utilization of public funds.
  • Knowledge of audit processes.
  • Knowledge of government policy development and approval processes and procedures, including impacts of bilateral/multi-lateral consultation processes.
  • Knowledge of processes related to financial and human resource management, including contract management.
  • Knowledge of municipal and First Nations governance structures.
  • Knowledge of the priority issues related to municipalities, First Nations, and Metis Settlements recovery, and awareness of how opportunities issues impact more integrated community recovery planning and implementation.

Leadership and Business Know-How

 

This position manages one of the centers of excellence for Recovery Branch (Municipal and First Nations, Small Business, Residential, Inter-units/GoA Projects). Recovery can range from several hundred thousand dollars (small program like 2015 Rainfall event in Chestermere) to several hundred million dollars (2013 Southern Alberta Flood). Each DRP is managed in accordance with the DAG, and attempts to maximize cost-sharing under the DFAA where applicable. This includes setting performance goals and measures for the team, and managing financial and human resources to achieve expected goals. The Manager recommends claims for payment and the issuance of funds based on analysis and recommendation by Case Managers. Within each program, including MWAPs, the Manager oversees escalated resolution of particularly sensitive and complex issues, and participates as needed in the most complex cases. Multiple DRPs exist at any one time, each with their own sets of requirements. Effective program administration contributes to integrity in the use of financial resources to compensate for disaster recovery.

Leadership skills are also demonstrated in management of priority projects assigned to the branch, and to contribute to broader disaster program direction and governance. This position is viewed as an expert on matters related to municipalities, First Nations, and Metis Settlements recovery in Alberta. Collaborative relationships and engagement with other Managers and recovery leaders result in a broader perspective of issues that shape disaster recovery policy, guidelines and the overall transformation and future directions of community disaster recovery in Alberta. The position works both independently and collaboratively as a strong team member.

Leadership skills include:

  • Systems thinking to understand the implication of specific program decisions on the allocation of recovery funds and on future Recovery Branch operations or strategies (e.g. some decisions could be precedent setting).
  • Strategic thinking skills to ensure program administration operations are aligned with and comply with existing program statements, guidelines, and agreements.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written to deal with a variety of stakeholders. Some situations can be emotionally charged (e.g. complex case resolutions, applicants who have significant loss of property).
  • Interpersonal skills and ability to build strong networks to work with diverse groups and individuals who rely on the incumbent' s expertise.
  • Effective decision making skills, including analyzing, fact finding, judgement, problem solving, risk assessment and innovative thinking.
  • Ability to identify current issues and trends affecting DRPs to determine potential impacts and provide options and recommendations to senior and executive leaders.
  • Results focused to maintain attention to maximizing funding reimbursed from the federal government and to ensure that program issues are resolved in balance with strong client relationships skills.
  • Ability to maintain effective relationships with multiple stakeholders in a complex environment.
  • Strong project management skills and experience managing diverse projects with multiple stakeholders.
  • Strong organizational and planning skills, and ability to effectively prioritize potentially conflicting, urgent obligations and responsibilities while maintaining or improving overall program efficiency.
  • Creative thinking skills that enable championing change to continually improve end results, processes, products, and the work environment.
  • Proven leadership skills to lead the team, committees and working groups.
  • Detail oriented to ensure all critical documentation is maintained (e.g. to satisfy provincial and federal audits).
  • Strong editing skills to review and edit documents for content accuracy, clarity, tone and quality, e.g. Briefing Notes.

Problem Solving

 

Within each DRP, the Manager is challenged to ensure transparent, consistent and efficient program administration and case management in accordance with established program policy, guidelines and agreements (e.g. DAG, and DFAA). Programs must be managed to meet or exceed provincial and federal audit standards, and to comply with strict and limited timelines regarding program submission requirements. Each program is unique with its own requirements, issues and sensitivities, and must be implemented fairly to all those who are impacted. This draws on the ability of the Manager to set up and implement clear program operational processes and standards to guide decision-making, documentation and record-keeping around eligibility and claims payments; the Manager must also be able to adjust work-flows and staff allocations to areas of highest priority within and across DRPs. Strategic priorities must be balanced with operational demands. This draws on effective analytical and decision-making skills to determine the best path forward for the team. The consistent and effective delivery of DRPs is a critical success for how both the AEMA and the government are perceived to manage the needs of Albertans who have been affected by a disaster.

Complexity increases during times of program establishment and closure, high intensity training and declared disaster emergencies as the position could be working in a politically sensitive and high stress environment.

The Manager is also challenged to ensure that lessons learned through program operations are captured and translated into recommendations for policy, DAG revisions, and future program set-up or closure.

Guidance to resolve problems is provided by existing legislation, agreements, interpretive bulletins, processes, guidelines, and policies; expected outcomes provided by the Director; consultations with stakeholders; and, analysis of information related to each problem. Policy interpretations provided by Program Coordination Unit contribute to the resolution of eligibility decisions for complex or nebulous situations. Some decisions could impact Agency or Recovery Branch decision precedents.

Relationships / Contacts

Clients Frequency Nature and Purpose of Contact
Director, Community Recovery Services

 

Daily

Provide updates and reports; provide program recommendations and issues advice; raise awareness to complex strategic issues and participate in their resolution; manage response to ARs and development of briefings for senior and executive leaders (e.g., ED, MD, Deputy Minister, or Minister).

Branch Management Team

Daily Collaborate on branch planning and reporting; share information with other Managers; provide consolidated team statistics and reports to inform decision-making; participate in surge capacity planning and implementation.

Team Staff

Daily Provide direction, guidance, and advice to lead team operations.

Other Recovery Units

  Collaborate to enhance consistency of administration for all recovery activities; share information; provide expertise of specific area of excellence.

Agency Management and Staff

Regularly Consultation for policy development; strategic planning; provide guidance and advice on DRP.

AEMA and Department Finance Staff

  Share financial information; liaise on financial issues; provide assistance / oversee training and guidance regarding specific DRPs.
Cross-Ministry Management and Staff As required Program representative; ensure no duplication of funding through various program grants; subject matter expert on support DRP development; lead administration of DRPs; participate on cross-ministry committees.
Communications As needed Consult on key messages and media inquiries.
Consultants As required Manage contracts as needed.
Public Safety Canada As required Share program information, expectations and liaison.
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) As required Share program information, expectations and liaison.
Other Jurisdictions As required Resolution of national recovery issues as part of working groups; respond to inquiries; consult with other jurisdictions as needed.
Program Applicants (e.g. First Nations and/or Municipal Leaders) Regular contact Provide high level interpretation on program criteria and operations; engage to resolve the most complex cases; promote recovery, DRPs and MWAPs.
External stakeholders connected to community recovery (e.g. non-government organizations, insurance industry, municipalities, First Nations, and Metis Settlements) As needed (increasing) Share information; collaborate on integrating the availability and access to various community recovery supports.

Impact and Magnitude of Job (Scope)

 

The work of this position impacts the implementation of specific DRPs and MWAPs that provide provincial and/or federal funds to municipalities, First Nations, and Metis Settlements to reimburse costs for uninsurable losses/damage related to emergency response and disaster recovery. Effective delivery of the programs can impact the recovery of federal funds for disaster recovery to the province. The Manager collaborates with other Recovery and AEMA Managers to establish operational processes and standards to guide the effective management of program applications, and to maintain strong working relationships with other community recovery stakeholders. The Manager has the authority to make decisions about each payment and the program administration decisions in line with Ministry and AEMA goals and policies and current legislation. The position deals with clients with various levels of understanding of DRPs, requirements for and compliance of submissions and, abilities to interact" with staff, etc. The Manager provides guidance in implementing recovery programs. The Manager is the point-position for the assigned recovery activity and may be required to engage in a range of interactions with different stakeholders (e.g. applicants, social agencies, other ministries) to represent the Recovery Branch.

Future DRPs and community recovery supports may be impacted by the intelligence gathering and recommendations provided by the Manager based on analysis of program successes, challenges, and solutions. Recommendations are also provided to shape broad recovery policy and directions as well as the over arching transformation of disaster recovery in Alberta. The incumbent also manages other strategic projects.

The Manager is directly accountable for the results produced by their respective team. The incumbent also participates in the branch planning and reporting.

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