Shake-up at top for DCC

Senior jobs could be under threat at the Dunedin City Council as chief executive Paul Orders uses the sudden departure of a general manager to begin a wholesale review of the organisation's senior management structure.

''As circumstances change, so we should restructure,'' Mr Orders told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

An interim management structure has been put in place to reallocate the work of former general manager of finance and resources Athol Stephens, who quit abruptly last Thursday. Mr Orders says his attention will now turn to the wider organisation. Under the new arrangements, which are effective immediately, Mr Stephens' portfolios have been allocated to other staff.

General manager city strategy and development Dr Sue Bidrose takes responsibility for finance and general manager operations, Tony Avery takes responsibility for the customer services agency, while the city property, business information services and human resources teams will report directly to Mr Orders.

A small number of lower level managers will take on additional responsibilities in the short term.

The marketing and communications team will report to governance manager Sandy Graham, aquatic services to parks and recreation services manager Mick Reece, city planning and development to resource consents manager Alan Worthington, museums, arts and culture to library services manager Bernie Hawke, and business improvements and energy to corporate policy manager Nicola Pinfold.

Mr Orders previously said Mr Stephens' departure was not part of a plan to cut costs. Yesterday he said the interim structure had been worked out since then.

He said he would now turn his attention to permanent organisational arrangements and would not only be focusing on the finance and resources department.

''What I want to is to create a new management structure that will benefit the wider organisation at a time when we're working to deliver savings, and a structure that can manage those savings effectively.''

Mr Orders, who has found millions of dollars of savings in council operations so far, has been in the job for 18 months.

He carried out an initial restructure of the senior management team when he arrived, with the loss of two senior management positions, and yesterday said he believed it was good practice periodically to revisit management structures.

He said he saw Mr Stephens' departure as an opportunity.

''My view is that businesses and organisations throughout the city are managing change and looking at how to do things differently, and so should we.''

He could not say when a new leadership team would be in place, but the the restructure would be a ''minimum, three-months exercise''.

He was not a chief executive who came in and did nothing, he said.

''I've not come here to sit on my hands.''

- debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

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