Annual Report and Accounts 1999-2000
To be a caring and considerate employer and, as an Investor in People, to develop the skills, creativity and talents of the Agency's staff.
Investors in People (IiP)
The Agency was accredited as an Investor in People in 1999. The Management Board resolved to demonstrate its high level of commitment to the training and development of all staff by opting to undertake re-assessment in the shortest possible timescale, by May 2000. During 1999/2000 the Agency has worked to secure continuous improvements in its management effectiveness and in its processes for the induction of new staff. Significant improvements have also been achieved throughout the year in the provision of training for operational staff. We are particularly pleased that the story of the Agency's journey to the achievement of the IiP standard was featured in the Cabinet Office publication: Investors in People in Government Departments and Agencies in January 2000.
Internal performance Targets
A key element in the effective delivery of Agency services to external customers is the support to staff within the organisation from internal service providers. Therefore the Agency has been working to formalise and improve these support services through the adoption of internal performance targets for the Corporate Services and Facilities Executive. These targets were established on a trial basis for the last quarter of 1999/2000 and covered Human Resources, Training and Development, Finance, Communications, Information Systems and Facilities. During this period the targets were developed in the light of experience, and robust monitoring arrangements were put in pace.
The review of the 3-month period demonstrated that the trial had been a success, and the targets are taking on formal status in 2000/01, with staff responsibilities clearly identified. They are also being extended to cover internal support provided by the whole of the Agency, and staff consultation will be undertaken to ensure the measures are designed to bring tangible benefits.
The Agency has taken several steps during the year to strengthen its internal communications processes. An independent audit, commissioned to test the efficiency of our processes and the effectiveness of our behaviour, gave us comprehensive feedback which will inform our approach to implementing a new integrated communications strategy during 2000/01.
After a year of planning and development the first phase of the RA intranet was launched in March 2000. There are many benefits; in addition to saving money on producing and distributing documents in paper form, the intranet will, as it develops, provide staff with all the information they need for their work, with the assurance that they are seeing the most up-to-date version of any document, and with the added speed and confidence that this brings feeding through into improved customer service. In addition the intranet enables staff to find out more about each other, to keep in touch with the work of the whole Agency and will soon include a forum for the exchange of ideas in both work-related and informal subject areas.
The intranet has an exciting future, as recommended in the IS strategy, as the enabling mechanism which will bring together information from the Agency's systems and from its people in the development of improved working practices based on knowledge management principles.
Concurrently with the roll-out of the intranet in March 2000, Internet access was provided to all Agency staff. This too has been warmly welcomed as people discover the benefits of being able to access documents from overseas administrations and other Government departments as well as research and commercial information, as and when they need it.
Our house magazine, Rapport, was published quarterly, providing a mix of new information on the organisation's challenges and a light-hearted look at some of the issues that didn't make the headlines.
Training and Development
Staff are encouraged to develop in their current jobs and to prepare for future opportunities.
The Agency encourages all its people to recognise how important it is continuously to evaluate their own training needs, and this year's main training theme was 'Learning for Life': "having a wide range of opportunities to develop the attributes, skills and knowledge you need to do your job both now and in the future".
The Training and Development Unit held its fifth Training Week event in February. This was partly held outside London for the first time, and the feedback received, in particular from regional staff, deemed the event to be a success.
Leadership Development Programme
This programme has been designed in response to a number of drivers.
Management effectiveness was one of the areas identified for continuous improvement in the Agency's first IiP accreditation process. The Modernising Government White Paper and the Report to the Prime Minister on Civil Service Reform (Link to Cabinet Office) both place considerable emphasis on leadership skills to bring about the changes required within the Civil Service. Many of our managers have recognised that their experience and expertise has previously focused on the technical aspects of their jobs.
The Programme aims to help managers to:
build on their strengths as leaders;
become more aware of areas for development;
obtain clarity about the skills, knowledge and behaviours which will result in success; and
become better equipped to meet the challenges facing the Agency.
The Programme begins with a pilot in May 2000, and will be extended to all senior managers in the Agency between June and September. We will then consider how we include middle and junior managers in the process. In this area, the Agency is working in partnership with John Lunt Consultancy.
The Agency aims to be recognised and acknowledged by its people, the wider Civil Service, businesses and the general public, as an employer that values the differences which people bring to it, reflects the full diversity of society and is strengthened by that diversity. This year we have focussed particularly on racial equality, in the work of the Racial Equality Action Group.
Staff Suggestions Scheme
The Scheme was formally reviewed at the turn of the year to make it more responsive to the needs of staff, to motivate staff to be more creative and innovative, and to align the scheme more closely with the modernising agenda.
The scheme will be re-launched on 1 July 2000. It will encompass a new fast track procedure; be more transparent; include an annual award for the most innovative and creative suggestion; and include rights to ownership of a suggestion for up to two years after the original suggestion is made, thus protecting rights to awards if subsequently adopted. An aim is to benchmark the scheme with a suitable private or public sector partner.
Racial Equality Advisory Group (REAG)
"We are not all born equal but we should all have an equal opportunity to maximise our potential"
John F Kennedy
In 1998, the Cabinet Office launched A Charter for Action to Redress Under-Representation (Link to Cabinet Office) (of ethnic minority staff in senior grades). At the same time, DTI initiated an 'Action for Racial Equality' at its London HQ. These initiatives resulted from concerns within the wider civil service and DTI that ethnic minorities were experiencing excessive difficulties in obtaining promotion, resulting in under-representation of such staff in the higher grades.
The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) also laid down a "Leadership Challenge" inviting senior managers everywhere to give a personal lead in promoting the principles of racial equality.
In response, David Hendon, RA Chief Executive, set up the Racial Equality Action Group (REAG), to investigate the situation within the Agency and to recommend actions aimed at redressing the balance. Mohan S. Dhamrait was appointed chairman of the group which is composed of members of staff from ethnic minorities and the Human Resources Unit (HRU).
After carrying out investigations to determine the nature and scale of the problem, discussions took place to examine the findings. These findings, despite the limited time frame studied, indicated that ethnic staff were experiencing difficulties in gaining promotion or progression despite performing well in their jobs. Figures 8.1 and 8.2 depict the mix of white and ethnic minority staff in the various administrative and technical grades in 1999. A further area of concern was the finding that out of a total of approximately 200 technical and administrative staff employed in the Local Offices (including regions with a relatively large ethnic minority population) only one individual came from an ethnic minority background.
The Group then set to work in identifying the background and reasons for the above difficulties and developing solutions for redressing the balance. As a result a detailed action plan and a set of recommendations was developed. The main objectives behind the recommendations are:
to ensure a 'level playing field' at work;
to promote a fairer environment for career development for all staff; and
to redress the under-representation in ethnic staff.
Not surprisingly, many of these recommendations will benefit all staff, irrespective of ethnic background. The Management Board, at their meeting on 1st March 2000, agreed the work plan on racial equality, and the Chief Executive summarised by saying, "What I want to do is to put ethnic minority staff in the position where they can compete alongside white staff and win on merit a reasonable proportion of the time."
|Table 8.1: Mix of Staff (Administrative)|
|Table 8.2: Mix of Staff (Technical)|
Agency Trade Union Side comments:
The main event of the year from the Union perspective was the return to our repaired Docklands headquarters. Liaison meetings between the Unions and management to discuss matters such as excess fares allowances helped smooth the return to a location unpopular with most of the staff. We are particularly grateful for the Chief Executive's intervention to help secure the provision of gym facilities - a matter of great interest to staff - which support the Agency's lifestyle and health screening programmes for which it is becoming the benchmark in the DTI.
Increasing consultation with unions on matters affecting staff interests has underpinned a growing partnership that we believe is to the benefit of Agency staff, management and ultimately our customers.
|The rapidly changing environment in London's Docklands|
Table 8.3: Gender, Ethnic & Disability Data 1999/2000
|White Persons||Ethnic Minority||Not Known||Total||Disabled|
Table 8.4: Organogram showing the Agency's structure.
Click on table 8.4 to download a.pdf version (43 KB)
|Table 8.2: Mix of Staff (Technical)|
Table 8.5: Consultation documents and responses published during the year
|RA 335 RES||Managing spectrum through the market: summary of responses||May 1999|
|Tracking||Spectrum for asset tracking mobile data networks||June 1999|
|Wireless||Wireless in the information age: delivering interactive multimedia to workplace and home||5 July 1999|
|Broadband||A Way Forward for Broadband Wireless Access||5 July 1999|
|Pricing||Spectrum pricing: Implementing the third stage||October 1999|
|Nomadic||Short range, high data rate, nomadic equipment operating in the frequency range 5.150 to 5.875 GHz||October 1999|
|Two Way||Spectrum for public two way paging (TWP)||October 1999|
|Fixed 99||Consultation on 3.4 GHz fixed wireless access spectrum||November 1999|
|Cordless||Cordless telephony: the future of analogue and CT2 cordless telephony in the United Kingdom||November 1999|
Almost all the RA information sheets were revised in summer 1999 to reflect changed address and telephone number details.
Table 8.6: New information sheets published during the year
|RA 353||Frequency Assignment Criteria for Fixed Point to Point Radio Services with Digital Modulation Operating in the frequency range 3.6 to 4.2 GHz||November 1999|
|RA 355||CBS Channel Plan||August 1999|
|RA 359||Use of TALKTHROUGH Facilities by Wide Area and On-Site Private Business System||November 1999|
|RA 360||Reverse Frequency Working for Private Mobile Radio||May 1999|
|RA 361||Application for the Issue of Amendment of a Transportable Earth Station (TES) Licence||December 1999|
|RA 362||Application for the issue or Amendment of a Permanent Earth Station Licence||September 1999|
|RA 363||Application for the Issue or Amendment of a V-SAT Licence (14 to 14.25GHz)||January 2000|
|RA 364||Ship Radio Licence Information Sheet||April 2000|
|RA 365||UK Frequency Allocations 9KHz - 105 GHz (Dec 99)||February 2000|
|RA 368||Notification of Radio Equipment whose use is not harmonised throughout the European Community (on the website ONLY)||March 2000|
The index of publications is RA 0, and this and all other Agency publications can be obtained free of charge from:
Information and Library Service
189 Marsh Wall
London E14 9SX
Tel: 020 7211 0502/0505
Fax: 020 7211 0507
All publications are on our website at www.radio.gov.uk
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