Completed Staff Work

In the execution of all official roles, responsibilities and tasks (i.e the preparation of policy documents, invitation letters, speeches), all DOH-CAR staff are expected to do “completed staff work”.  This includes preparing to represent the DOH-CAR in meetings and other functions. This is the mark of an efficient staff. It protects signatories and supervisors from half-baked ideas, voluminous memoranda, and immature oral presentations, the burden of gathering the pertinent details/information and working out solutions himself/herself.

Completed Staff Work is a principle of management which states that subordinates are responsible for submitting written recommendations to superiors in such a manner that the superior need do nothing further in the process than review the submitted document and indicate approval or disapproval. It also entails the study of a problem, and presentation of a doable and focused solution, by personnel. Thus, the staff are responsible for ensuring that the document or report presented to the signatory is already complete, accurate and concise.

The words “completed staff work or action” are utilized because of the tendency to present a difficult problem to the supervisor in piece-meal fashion. The duty of the subordinate is to work out the details, and not consult the supervisor in the determination of those details, no matter how perplexing they may be. Consultation may be done with other staff or other agencies, and a final, and not a rough, draft shall be presented to the supervisor.

Program managers are considered to have the technical expertise, and thus are expected to be able to advise their supervisors what they ought to do, not to ask the supervisor what they ought to do. The decision-makers need the answers of their staff, not their questions. Thus, the job of the staff is to study, write, restudy and rewrite until they have produced a single and best proposed action for presentation, preferably in finished form or at least a final draft.