Job Specification

Position Title:
Senior Policy Advisor
Job Code:
6A007 - Policy06
Job ID:

Purpose :

- To coordinate or conduct policy research and provide policy advice, options and recommendations related to ServiceOntario's strategic plan, vision and mission and key strategic initiatives.
- To provide policy advice to the Minister, Deputy Minister, senior management and program partners.

Key Responsibilities :

1. Policy Analysis / Expertise
- Leads and participates in the research and development of policy and program proposals and initiatives that support policy directions related to ServiceOntario mandate, legislation, programs, new policies, regulations and strategic goals of the ministry.
- Leads and/or coordinates the development of Cabinet submissions, legislation, regulations and policy proposals related to the Ministry's mandate.
- Identifies, researches, analyzes, and evaluates issues, emerging trends and approaches to develop policy options and prepares recommendations to senior management.
- Reviews and analyzes cabinet submissions, legislation, regulations and policy proposals initiated by Ministry divisions/branches and other ministries/government organizations to assess their implications for current policies, programs and stakeholders, and develops options/recommendations to address identified impacts for consideration by senior management.
- Prepares options/recommendations for consideration/presentation to senior management, and leads and/or provides support to the development and review of policy papers, research papers and Cabinet/Management Board submissions related to proposed legislative/ regulatory/policy changes
2. Research and Development
- Leads and/or supports new/enhanced legislative and policy development/policy projects and initiatives by planning, coordinating and /or conducting research and analysis, risk assessment/management and stakeholder consultations, and assessing the financial and economic implications of current/proposed policies and programs.
- Provides project leadership to assigned project team members, tracks deliverables, timelines and budgets, and identifies resource requirements.
- Undertakes environmental scans to identify current and anticipated legislative/policy issues and/or interpret current and emerging trends and issues potentially impacting on Ministry policies and programs, and researches legislation, policies, issues and best practices in other jurisdictions to evaluate their applicability for enhancing ministry policies and programs.
- Liaises with Legal Services Branch to obtain legal input relative to proposals. And to assess potential impact of litigation, legislative and regulatory proposals.
3. Stakeholder Relations / Committee Work
- Leads and provides support in stakeholder consultations regarding policy, legislative and regulatory initiatives related to ServiceOnatrio. Liaises with Ministry divisions/branches, other ministries/governments, key stakeholders, regulators and partners to identify and resolve policy issues.
- Represents the Ministry on intra/inter-ministry committees and task forces to provide/exchange information, seek input/discuss policy issues of mutual concern, and develop proposals for harmonizing standards and legislative/ policy frameworks.
- Collaborates with other areas of ServiceOntario or the Ministry, leads and supports the development and implementation of integrated policy planning and risk management projects consistent with the strategic directions and policy agenda of ServiceOntario.
4. Ministry Consultation and Advice
- Provides expert policy advice on strategic initiative and projects to the Minister, Deputy Minister and Division/Branch senior management and supports their participation in Cabinet sub-committees and other external/inter-ministerial committees by providing position or policy papers, speaking notes, and other data/information.
- Develops briefing presentations and provides advice on policy analysis and research project results and develops supportable recommendations to senior management.
- Prepares and co-ordinates the preparation of responses to requests for information from senior management related to policy matters. Prepares correspondence, briefing notes, contentious issues notes, and provides input into communications messaging and materials.
- Provides client service support to Ministry divisions/branches by providing expertise and advice in the identification and resolution of policy/program related issues.

Knowledge / Skill :

Knowledge and skills in:
- Government/ServiceOntario structure, business planning, policy development principles/techniques, and decision-making processes to lead/facilitate policy and legislative development projects and develop policy options/initiatives.
- Government directions, decision-making process, policy development processes including approval processes, and strategic and operational planning to ensure that the expertise provided and strategies and plans developed and recommended are reflective of the mandate, strategic direction, vision and values of ServiceOntario.
- Public policy principles and initiatives related to programs delivered by ServiceOntario and related legislation, regulation and operational policies; relevant privacy legislation to develop policies with broad societal implications, and complex partnerships across government sectors and jurisdictions.
- Ministry/ServiceOntario mandate, strategic directions, corporate values and goals, related legislation, policies, priorities and programs, to ensure that government/Ministry objectives are considered in the development of policy/legislative/ regulatory submissions, and to provide information and advice to Ministry clients, senior management, the Deputy Minister, Minister and stakeholders.
- Project management to plan and lead projects, co-ordinate team activities, manage competing priorities and develop terms of reference, timelines, and desired outcomes.
- Research methodologies/techniques and quantitative analyses to analyze statistical data, lead/co-ordinate project teams involved in legislative/policy development and policy issues analyses, conduct environmental scans and research/assess impacts of legislation/policies in other jurisdictions on Ministry policies and programs.
- Risk assessment/risk management principles to develop and assess the impact of proposed options for policy/program enhancement and/or development.
- Policies/programs of other ministries/jurisdictions to assess their impact on proposed options for policy/program enhancement and/or development.
- Oral and written communications to conduct meetings, prepare Cabinet submissions, reports, recommendations, briefing/House notes, speeches and correspondence, prepare/present materials on complex and sensitive issues and participate in the design/implementation of consultation processes.
- Computer applications for word processing, spreadsheets and graphics to prepare briefing materials, presentations and correspondence.

Interpersonal / Influencing Skill :

- Consultation, co-ordination and influencing skills to form and build networks with internal and external stakeholder/client groups, to convey policy recommendations within own and other ministries/governments, advise/discuss/resolve issues related to ServiceOntario, and obtain consensus on policy options with a broad range of internal/external officials, stakeholders and client groups.
- Negotiation and facilitation skills to lead consultations with stakeholders who may have divergent views and positions with respect to Ministry policies/initiatives, in order to resolve issues of mutual concern.
- Consultation, negotiation and consensus building skills in project/policy development work to discuss risk/issue management, develop options and ensure project deliverables are achieved within prescribed timeframes.
- Presentation and persuasion skills to present legislative/policy proposals to senior management in own/other ministries and central agencies and influence decision-making on the most viable option(s).

Analyzing / Problem Solving Skill :

Analytical and problem-solving skills to:
- Conceptualize and undertake and/or lead legislative/policy development projects, and plan/ design/undertake cross-sectoral research studies to develop strategies, policies and program guidelines.
- Assess both qualitative and quantitative information in developing policy proposals, and evaluate a range of policy factors such as: inter-jurisdictional impact, political implications, program integrity, and stakeholder interests.
- Identify, research, and analyze a broad range of policy issues where there are few precedents, provide comprehensive analyses and risk assessment, and assess impact on the ServiceOntario's mandate, programs and clients.
- Review and analyze Cabinet submissions and other legislative/policy proposals/research reports from own/other ministries/jurisdictions, evaluate implications for Ministry legislation, policies and programs, and develop options.
- Conduct environmental scans and interpret identity emerging trends, identify risks and potential impacts on Ministry policies and programs, and apply information to the development of policy options.

Decision Making / Responsibility :

Responsible for:
- Leading and/or participating in research and policy development projects, conducting stakeholder consultations, and preparing policy/legislative proposals and/or recommendations, including supporting Cabinet submissions.
- Researching and synthesizing information from a broad range of internal and external sources in consultation with senior management, colleagues, ministry partners and stakeholders.
- Researching/ conducting environment scans, and evaluating the social and political current/emerging trends, to identify policy/legislative and regulatory implications, and to advise on best practices.
- Reviewing and assessing policy proposals, initiatives, and Cabinet submissions from other ministries/jurisdictions, to identify and comment on their impact on the Ministries policies and programs and the stakeholder community.
Has latitude to: determine research methodology and develop policy proposals for consideration by senior management, the Deputy Minister and Minister and consultation with stakeholders.
Work is performed under the general direction of the Manager, Director, and within the framework of the mandate, strategic direction, legislation/policies/priorities, Cabinet Office guidelines, organization values, operating principles, contractual agreements of ServiceOntario and best practices for public consultations.

Contacts / Stakeholder :

- Minister/Minister's staff, Deputy Minister and senior management to provide advice, comments and information on policy initiatives, research projects and resolve issues/concerns.
- Colleagues in the branch, division, ministry and colleagues in other ministries to exchange information on research and policy issues, to facilitate consultation processes, and to provide policy guidance, advice and support.
- Cabinet Office, Treasury Board and policy, legal and operational staff in own/other ministries to consult on program and policy development, discuss/resolve issues with policy/legislative proposals/initiatives with cross-ministry implications and represent the ministry on inter-ministerial committees
- Federal Government, provincial and municipal government counterparts and community agency representatives to solve problems, advise and remain current with developments, current policy issues and trends.
- Privacy commission and Ombudsman's Office and other national and provincial agencies to exchange information and seek input on policy development proposals.
- Stakeholders (e.g. business, consumer and public interest groups) to consult/seek input and/or provide information and advice on policy related matters and negotiate acceptable solutions to issues.

Guidance / Supervision :

- Provides expertise and guidance to Ministry divisions/branches to identify/resolve policy/program issues and the development/implementation of consultations, negotiations and partnerships strategies.
- Provides advice to Minister/Minister's staff, Deputy Minister and senior management to support their participation a senior level committees/meetings.
Provides guidance to team members assigned on a project basis, develops workplans, assigns tasks, oversees work and ensures compliance with timelines and quality of deliverables.

Demands / Pressures :

Work Demands :

- Frequently required to respond to requests within short/varied deadlines and/or time pressures when responding to shifting ministry priorities and unexpected developments (e.g. media reports, requests from the Minister/Deputy Minister's offices, briefing notes, stakeholder issues/concerns) which limit control over the pace of work and planning.
- Regularly required to deal with conflicting work demands (e.g. multiple policy initiatives, requests from other ministries) where priorities are often dictated by the Government's legislative agenda, stakeholder management issues and deadlines set by other ministries.

Mental / Sensory :

- Frequent requirement to concentrate when analyzing research data, drafting policy proposals, reports and briefing/issue notes and when participating in stakeholder meetings to ensure that input is captured and incorporated if applicable.
- Frequent requirement to listen intently when participating in meetings and client consultation sessions.

Conditions / Environment :

Work is performed in a typical office environment.

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