Senior Systems Administrator, Applications Support
Operations & Infrastructure Services, Information
Technology Group, People & Business Capability
Date May 2011
Reports to Manager Applications Support Services
Vacancy No. 23083 / Salary Band A7P
(starting salary range $66k - $80k per annum)
The Ministry of Education is the government’s lead advisor on the education system, shaping
direction for education agencies and providers. The Ministry delivers policies and services
focused on its leadership role in the education sector. This includes coordination with other
sector and government agencies and forums to achieve shared goals through cross sector
work programmes and contribution to broader government goals.
The overarching outcome to which the Ministry contributes is to build a world-leading
education system that equips all New Zealanders with the knowledge, skills and values to be
successful citizens in the 21 century and shapes, leverages and influences Māori enjoying
education success as Māori.
Group / Unit Description
The People and Business Capability (PBC) Group works across the Ministry and with the
education sector to ensure that the Ministry has the right people, technologies, systems,
information and resources in place to support that purpose.
Our role is to ensure that the ministry:
has the right people available for the work it needs to do at the time they are needed
has the right information and advice available to make decisions
is able to implement those decisions in the shortest possible timeframe
can support the education sector to work together and exchange information
has the financial and other resources in place to support its undertakings.
The IT Group is part of the People and Business Capability (P&BC) Group and is made up of
several teams who provide the support needed to plan, deliver, support and maintain a range
of IT systems used by the ministry and the sector. The group's focus is on professional
advice, analysis, assessment of risk, programme and project delivery, facilitation, and support
for project governance.
The role of a Systems Administrator is to ensure that the systems they are responsible for
operate in an efficient and effective manner thereby providing customers with a high level of
application availability and performance. The Senior Systems Administrator is expected to
apply a more advanced set of competencies toward application administrative concepts. In
doing so, they add more value to the services supplied by the team.
Dimensions of the Position for which the incumbent is accountable
Number of direct reports Nil
Total number of indirect reports Nil
Other (formal Ministry delegation levels etc) Nil
liaise with, and work closely with Operation & Infrastructure Services staff
build and maintain good working relationships with staff in other
Divisions / Offices
liaise and work with providers/developers of hardware and software
work alongside contractors undertaking specific projects / tasks
liaise with vendors over repairs, maintenance and upgrades
Key achievement areas Key deliverables/outcomes
SYSTEM OPERATIONS Planning - Lead or assist with planning to ensure that the
environment is responsive to the demands placed on it.
Implementation – Coordinate and/or implement
changes/upgrades to the applications arising from system
updates, software releases and new procedures.
Operations - Ensure that the applications and associated
infrastructure is available as required by any service level
Ensure that the Ministry’s approved policies, standards and
procedures exist and are adhered to.
Ensure downtime for system maintenance is scheduled in
accordance with the Ministry’s process for change control
and ensure the impact to the Ministries applications is both
minimal and affectively communicated.
Develop, champion and maintain adequate documentation.
FAULT RESOLUTION Faults – Apply advanced fault analytical skill set to identify
and resolve application problems within the priority
timeframe given to the fault. Some faults will require contact
with applications, equipment and software providers which
the Ministry has maintenance contracts with.
Ensure that the fault record is kept up to date and if
resolution goes outside the priority timeframe the reason is to
Ensure resolutions to faults are fully tested before the fault is
Ensure that the business is kept fully informed as to the
status of the fault.
Requests - User requests for services such as making the
test environment available for user testing are to be
discussed with the user and a time table for setting up the
environment and carrying out testing agreed to.
Mentor and oversee the fault resolution methodology of the
team and highlight areas for improvement.
Application Monitoring - Monitor application and
infrastructure performance using tools available, such as
Microsoft MOM and Performance Monitor to ensure or allow
- potential bottlenecks and problems are identified
- diagnose and remedy problems that occur
- audit the environment to ensure that it is working in the
most efficient manner
- maintain performance statistics for reporting and for
capacity planning purposes
- monitor the security to the system including the privileges
of accounts, ensure accounts don’t have access beyond
what is required.
REPORTING Status Updates - Collate and analyse performance
information and report weekly on performance issues
highlighting potential problems.
Attend regular Team meetings and report on any matters
relating to the applications and/or infrastructure, work on
hand and work planned over the following period.
Provide a regular schedule of privileged accounts including
recent changes and reasons for the changes.
Proactively seek out areas to improve reporting and
communications to application stakeholders.
DISASTER RECOVERY Environment Readiness – Proactively review DR readiness of
applications. Maintain the applications at the DR site so that
it can be activated within a few hours of being required.
Maintain appropriate documentation.
As required, assist in the establishment of the DR site in both
“test” and “live” modes.
Assist in overall planning of DR readiness and testing.
Mandatory achievement Key deliverables/outcomes
areas for all Ministry staff
Ka Hikitia –Managing for Have an awareness of and an understanding of the
Success Organisational Potential Framework, and applies this
knowledge and understanding of Māori enjoying success as
Māori, to day to day work.
Takes responsibility for developing their skills and
knowledge to: develop transform participate and to
influence in their day to day work, Māori enjoying education
success as Māori.
Health and Safety Takes all practicable steps to ensure safety at work and that
no action or inaction causes harm to anyone else.
Reports all hazards, accidents, near misses, or unsafe
conditions to your manager or Health and Safety
Representative as soon as possible
Observes Ministry stated health and safety policies and
Knows and complies with all Ministry Health and Safety
policies and guidelines.
Person Specification and Competencies
Qualifications and technical skills
The appointee must have:
successful experience in a Senior Systems Administrator role, including the more
advanced concepts of maintenance/management of mission critical technical
environments – e.g. funding systems
a solid understanding of Microsoft SQL database concepts and the inherent interaction
with database driven applications
A comprehensive understanding of Sun, Weblogic,Filenet the Windows Server operating
environment and a sound understanding of supporting Web applications.
Proven ability to work as part of a team in a senior capacity and communicate at both a
general business requirement and technical level.
Proven ability to mentor, coach and possibly lead small teams assigned specific work
packages in the capacity of a senior administrator
An understanding of project work, software development methodologies and systems
An awareness of a range of technologies and their practical applications in supporting
A relevant tertiary qualification, Microsoft Certification or equivalent proven experience.
In addition it is preferable that the appointee have;
Operational knowledge and certification of Linux, Unix and / or Open
The appointee will have demonstrated:
A solid ability to proactively contribute and possibly lead the resulting action of ideas
and suggestions for improving operational services to users
negotiating and facilitating skills, including the ability to work effectively with a range of
people in a variety of educational and cultural contexts
sound levels of judgement, adaptability, integrity and the ability to handle confidential
and sensitive information
a commitment to biculturalism and equal employment opportunities and an
understanding of the implications of these for the work of the Ministry
A competency model is a set of defined behaviour descriptions. It is a combination of generic
descriptors and organisation or role specific behaviours. The Ministry of Education has
chosen a set of core behaviours at different levels which apply to all staff. These behaviours
are important as they form part of the performance development and appraisal review.
Overall Ministry Ministry Competencies Focus Area Competency
Results orientation - Planning and Focus on results and 3
organising prioritise clearly
- Control/follow up
Problem solving & - Analysis Know how to make 4
strategic thinking - Judgement things work on the
Relationship - Customer service Deliver excellent 3
Developing - Self development Keep learning 2
Teamwork & - Teamwork/Leadership Work with others in 3
Team leadership ways that meet their
Communications - General 3
Knowledge base - 5
1. Results Orientation – Level 3
Achieving results at this level is likely to require resolving more complex issues, be over a
longer time frame, involve integrating a range of disciplines, and/or contributions from
range of jobholders both within and outside of the Ministry.
2. Problem Solving and Strategic Thinking – Level 4
Jobholders at this level analyse complex problems. At this level they use a range of
advanced analytical skills or investigative techniques or models or quantitative analysis.
They balance conflicting factors, information and views, and draw strategic connections,
to identify the most appropriate solution. Decisions are made in the context of some
uncertainty and risk.
3. Communication – Level 3
Jobholders at this level require persuasion and influencing skills for communicating the
Ministry's viewpoint to an intended audience.
4. Relationship Management – Level 3
Jobholders at this level build and maintain relationships, delivering high level and
proactive service to clients, particularly where they are required to deal effectively with
inherently difficult client relationships.
5. Teamwork/Team Leadership – Level 3
Jobholders at this level are required to build co-operative relationships and participating
willingly in team activities. They also participate effectively as team members in wider,
diverse and cross-disciplinary teams, which may involve external participants. Jobholders
at this level are required to convene and facilitate teams towards agreed objectives.
6. Developing Performance – Level 2
Jobholders at this level are required to EITHER take formal responsibility for the coaching
and development of colleagues OR take formal responsibility for assigning and
monitoring the work of colleagues.
7. Knowledge Base – Level 5
Jobholders at this level require a high degree of applied knowledge and an understanding
of the theoretical base of that knowledge, in order to solve complex problems in technical,
administrative or specialist fields. The professional knowledge essential at this level will
normally be based on a foundation of academic knowledge with additional practical
experience, although equivalent practical knowledge is acceptable.