Express Exchange Engage
Typically, many public servants start taking leave for the festive season at the end of the second week of December. It must, therefore, really impress them to view a school masterly lecture on underperformance in the Canberra Times - …Continue
I was so looking forward to winding down in the lead up to the festive season. It doesn't look like this is going to happen.
The Canberra Times reports that the Australian Taxation Office needs major overhaul to avoid slipping backwards, review warns. True, but it makes…Continue
Last month I wrote an extensive piece entitled Australia: One nation under surveillance. In this post I outlined the role of Australia Public Service agencies in monitoring and surveillance. Logical argument was put and evidence provided.
On 26 November 2013 I lodged a Freedom of information request with the Australian Public Service Commission. In that request I pointed…Continue
Added by Brendan Jones on November 27, 2013 at 10:00pm — No Comments
Once upon a time, not so long ago,each APS Agency administered its own particular legislation. Each Agency knew the principles which Parliament had espoused in making that legislation. Each knew the reasons why the legislation had been amended from time to time.
Each time the legislation was challenged in court, the particular Agency looked at the case in the broader context of what outcome would serve the ultimate purpose of the Parliament (ie the people), rather than…
Covert surveillance can uncover many things. Perhaps mistakes a person has made in their youth. Perhaps the unwholesome appetites of persons who appear to be pillars of our community. Perhaps activities that are perfectly legal but would be frowned on by one's family or friends.
If surveillance uncovers such a thing, what power is given to the person or organisation that now has the secret in its possession? If the person whose secret has been stolen is a religious leader, a judge,…Continue
Added by Leroy on November 25, 2013 at 2:27pm — No Comments
What we are seeing in Australia today is a veil of censorship, secrecy and the surveillance being drawn across government and Australian Public Service agencies. When it comes to monitoring by public service agencies there is a dangerous lack of transparency and accountability.
All of this is a threat our freedoms, our right to know, better government and better…Continue
Wikileaks has done the world an enormous favour by leaking intellectual property rights charter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Intellectual property rights might seem abstract for many of us. However, just consider for a moment that it is the free flow of information - of what we know, what we create, what we dream up - that makes us who we are. It is what shapes the sort of society we live in and, in a very practical…Continue
Yesterdays publication of the draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter by Wikileaks raises serious questions about the relationship between the Australian Government, the community and the Australian Public Service.
I've been taking a close look at the Public Service Commissioner's speech Where to now? Thoughts on future public sector reform. This speech was given to the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) Regional Conference - Kuching, Malaysia 29 October…Continue
It must do the wonders for the moral of employees of Australian Public Service agencies to read newspaper headlines like,
The 'sleepy' decade is over. We must evolve.
Friday's Canberra Times ran an article 'Jump in requests for disciplinary reviews', with Acting commissioner Karin Fisher telling us it's due to a "crackdown on bad public service."…
The Australian Public Service Commission has issued a cyber-bullying guide for public service agencies. The introduction states,
Cyber-bullying is an emerging issue for APS employees, associated with increasing use of social media and other online networking tools. From time to time, clients and other members of the community criticise agencies online because they are dissatisfied with agency services or the administration of government policy. Sometimes, however,…
I was recently contacted by Felicity Lawrence of Queensland University of Technology concerning an international research project on workplace cyber bullying in the Australian public sector.
Two doctoral researchers, Felicity Lawrence from the Queensland University of Technology,…Continue
Added by steve davies on October 29, 2013 at 7:56am — No Comments
Interesting letters in the SMH today about the revelations the Army started the bushfire in the Blue Mountains:
Emma McGirr point out that if an individual or a business did this, they…
Yesterday a good colleague of mine raised the question of what the diagnosis would be if public service managers were psychoanalysed. They were talking about those managers who somehow think it is normal to destroy lives and careers.
During our conversation I raised the question of what it is about public service agencies that encourages destructive practices and behaviours. What is it that encourages otherwise good people to do bad things? What is it that encourages…Continue
There is a quite wonderful tort called Misfeasance in Public Office which allows a corrupt public servant to be held personally liable.
Hit them where in hurts! In their own pocket!
The law was created in 1703 by Chief Justice Holt who allowed a man to sue a constable who refused to let him vote. When public servants close ranks to protect their corrupt brethren, this is the tort you should use:
From Sydney Morning Herald 26 September
The Work Health and Safety Act provides for individuals to be fined for bullying in the workplace:
$100,000 for a "category one" offence and up to $600,000 for the most serious "category three" breach of the Work Health and Safety Act, which might cover the suicide of a bullied worker.
Fines are to be paid by the individual, not their employer.
There is no kind of insurance that will…Continue
The following is from ABC Newsmail.
It is clear that the South Australian Government would be happy for the student to break his silence in spite of the "hush money".
We know that the ATO in particular and other public service agencies routinely "pay off" staff and enter into "confidentiality clauses".
Should the new Coalition Government take a leaf out of the South Australian Govts book and say to individuals who were subjected to such clauses that they can disregard…Continue
Some Commonwealth Agencies think the Attorney-General’s Legal Services Directions 2005 are just window dressing. They actually have a quite different set of rules. By observation and through feedback from litigants, I am beginning to work out some of the rules they really follow.
If anyone can add to the rules below, please do so.
The Real (unwritten until now) Legal Services Directions
Rule 1 - Don’t let any other Agency become involved,…Continue