All Blog Posts (630)

Age discrimination in the ATO

I had a situation happen to me while working at ATO. An immature forty something male filmed me and another colleague on his newly acquired ipad without our knowledge or consent.

This employee was well known for his obnoxious and rude behaviour toward everyone from the Commissioners down.

He made a film clip in the style of Charlie Chaplin's 'The little tramp' and a title called 'Elderlies in the ATO'.  It was quite a clever production, however it was also…

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Added by Gipsy Rose on May 8, 2014 at 4:31pm — 4 Comments

Dear Public Service Commissioner

Dear Commissioner/Steve

The Canberra Times and PS News recently published articles concerning your views on the use of social media by public servants. There are important questions to be asked in relation to the views being communicated by yourself and the Commission to the public. Most notably:

  • Why does the Commission conflate criticism of the actions of the public service with criticism of government and its…
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Added by steve davies on May 8, 2014 at 11:50am — No Comments

No new taxes?

I have had difficulty understanding why the Government didn't want to increase taxes. After all the tax cuts made by the Howard Government, it's pretty obvious that funds are needed for our hospitals, schools, roads etc. I believe most people would accept modest higher taxes to ensure those things will be provided. And I would rather pay a higher rate of tax than have a zillion tolls, fees and charges being extracted from my pocket every time I cross a bridge or use a highway etc.

But…

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Added by Leroy on May 7, 2014 at 11:45am — No Comments

To the Commissioner of Taxation

 

Dear Mr Jordan

 

I have been waiting for responses from you, or on your behalf, to two issues that are important to me as a practising lawyer. 

As a solicitor, I would not normally voice my concerns in a public forum. However, as I am sure you would agree, a question of ethics is not always a straightforward choice between only two opposing principles. I have thought deeply about my choices in the situation in which I find myself, and I have…

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Added by Cheryl Robyn Weeks on May 2, 2014 at 4:53pm — 1 Comment

The ethics of ethics apps in the Australian Public Service

My involvement in technology goes back a long time. Throughout I have been guided by four principles. These are:

  • Empowering people comes first

  • Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should

  • Technology is social and transformational

  • Bureaucracies often look at technology through the lens of control

A while back I drew attention to an ethics…

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Added by steve davies on April 30, 2014 at 12:30pm — No Comments

The Australian Public Service suffers from Oppositional Defensive Disorder

Yet again, the misuse of psychiatry by Australian Public Service agencies rears its ugly head. Agencies, including Comcare, continue to engage in doctor shopping to obtain a diagnosis that suits them and the employee's agency.

All the while Comcare and agencies complain about the increasing number of claims related to bullying and psychological harm. Really, are they that blind?

I've been talking to a number of professionals who are deeply disturbed by what they…

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Added by steve davies on April 28, 2014 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Australian Government master media agency: Engagement or manipulation?

It was with some ceremony that the Department of Finance announced that Mitchell and Partners Australia is now the Australian Government's master media agency.

I am pleased to announce that Mitchell and Partners Australia Pty Ltd (Mitchells) has been appointed as the Australian Government’s master media agency for an initial period of four years. Mitchells was awarded the contract following a competitive open tender process undertaken by the…

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Added by steve davies on April 23, 2014 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Presentation : Social Media Best Practice Toolkit 2014

Last Wednesday 9 April 2014 I presented at the Australian Government Social Media Best Practice Toolkit 2014 forum organised by the ArkGroup.

My paper was titled The rise of citizen journalism - What it means for government and public service.

What I endeavoured to do in both my talk and the paper was pull together related observations and threads of argument. These included:

  • The importance of values.

  • The…
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Added by steve davies on April 15, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Action time!

I have been thinking that more needs to be done. Steve has provided a fantastic communication tool in Ozloop. I believe that we will never know the true extent of its influence. It has shone an honest light into the dark recesses of the APS and revealed much that was festering there.

It has been the source of comfort and guidance to those who, often unknowingly, have become targets for Special Treatment.

There is a lot more I could say, but you already know it. Long live Steve…

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Added by Leroy on April 11, 2014 at 5:56pm — 13 Comments

Tax Office to shed up to 25% of its workforce?

The Taxation Office, like the rest of the Australian Public Service, is under great strain. But let's remind ourselves that it is human beings who are being placed under great strain here. Not the grey faceless public service bureaucrats often portrayed in the media. A portrayal, by the way that is rarely challenged by public service leaders.

In difficult and changing times it is important to communicate with people about changes that…

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Added by steve davies on April 11, 2014 at 8:13am — No Comments

Reflections on Camelot

The introduction of knighthoods and damehoods caught me by surprise, as it did many people.

In a subsequent mood of reflection, I wondered what Sir Winston Churchill would make of our modern politics.

He was Prime Minister at a time which has often been described as Britain’s “darkest hour”, as the bombs rained down on London.

He rallied…

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Added by Leroy on April 5, 2014 at 4:53pm — 7 Comments

Understanding APS abuse of power - In seven minutes and 48 seconds

At the start of this campaign to expose the systemic abuse of power that is hard wired into the Australian Public Service I did promise myself that I would come up with something short for people to kick back and listen to.

 

The reason for doing so is simple. The Australian Public Service, like other institutions that allow abusive practices grow, do everything they can to stone wall and deny. At times, indeed, my colleagues and I shake our heads in wonder at how abuse of any…

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Added by steve davies on April 4, 2014 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Australian Public Service cult of leadership

An interesting account from Noel Towell on Don Russell's, former secretary of the Industry Department, talk at Australian National University's Crawford School of Public Policy in todays Canberra Times. Don Russell urges chiefs to flex muscles and 'save the APS'.…

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Added by steve davies on April 1, 2014 at 9:48am — 9 Comments

My keynote : The rise of citizen journalism

On the 9th of April I will be delivering a keynote at the Connected Forum that is part of Australian Government Social Media Best Practice Toolkit 2014 event. The keynote will take place between 9.15 and 10.00 am.

The event is being organised by the Ark Group Australia and will held in Canberra on the 9th and 10th of April. Take a look at the …

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Added by steve davies on March 28, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Social Media Planner - Innovate NOW

New to social media? Need to develop a social media plan? Want to inspire your team?

 

Craig Thomler, with over eight years experience helping people make the most of social media, has developed a real world approach and product to help people do just that.

 

A card deck to help you think, plan and innovate to get the best out of social media for you business, government department or team.

 

Having developed and tested the card deck Craig now needs…

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Added by steve davies on March 18, 2014 at 7:59am — No Comments

Media Briefing - Australia's silent state

For some months I have been working with a group of very courageous and community minded people examining matters that go to the heart of what is wrong with the Australian Public Service. Indeed, of systemic practices involving breaking the law, breaching the public service code of conduct and, arguably, breaches of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

What is striking is that no matter what incidents we look at the pattern is the same. What we have is very ugly picture of the culture…

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Added by steve davies on March 15, 2014 at 8:41am — 16 Comments

APS Legal Firms : Sparke Helmore

Recently, a number of people contacted me concerning the activities of Sparke Helmore. It seems that they have taken an interest in this site. Good. Maybe Sparke Helmore can join in the discussions and be constructive rather than just snooping around.

 

Which sparked a thought. Given the antics of the Australian Public Service why not take a look at these legal firms.

 

The Australian Public…

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Added by steve davies on February 12, 2014 at 9:30am — 90 Comments

Australian Public Service games FOI to hide surveillance

22 November 2013

We obtained information indicating that public service agencies are purchasing software and services to monitor social media activity. What is being said and who is saying it.

 

Australia: One nation under surveillance raises reasonable suspicions that Australian…

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Added by steve davies on February 6, 2014 at 11:14am — No Comments

Some ATO employees may be unfairly taxed on redundancy

Given all the redundancies that are happening, or about to happen, potentially affected employees need to know their rights.

Present and former ATO employees may be disappointed to learn that they are, as far as I am aware, the only APS employees who may be required to pay tax on their redundancy payments.

ATO employees who receive a voluntary redundancy on the basis that their “services can no longer be effectively utilised”, are treated for tax purposes as having received an…

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Added by Leroy on February 3, 2014 at 1:30pm — 12 Comments

Rumination on redundancy

I have been ruminating (as I occasionally do) about the Federal Court. There are things that puzzle me about some decisions. Today I am thinking of one in particular.

In writing this, I bear in mind that Justice Rares said in his speech…

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Added by Leroy on January 29, 2014 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

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Useful sites


 

APS Bullying

 

badHealthqld

 

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Data.gov.au

 

eGovernment Resource Centre

 

Govloop

 

 

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