All Blog Posts (655)

Musing on the future

The unwillingness to let people speak derives from fear of what they might say. And limits the spread on information. Secrecy removes the need for accountability. Many public servants have found themselves in a moral double-bind upon receiving a direction to act in a way that is inconsistent with the law and/or the public interest. Some have been punished for speaking out.…


Added by Cassandra March on October 5, 2014 at 2:27pm — 1 Comment

Christopher Pyne channels Barry Jones

Loved the scientists on last week's Q&A - great to hear intelligent factual discussion.  The young female scientist who won Young Australian of the Year is inspirational and is ahead of her years.

This week was pleasantly surprised that Christopher Pyne said something which I thought was very interesting:

I think  (Laura Tingle) made a lot of very good points about the press gallery and I think... there are very, very few…


Added by Prof Freud on October 3, 2014 at 12:59am — 7 Comments

APS Misconduct - Putting the public first

18 September 2014 The Canberra Times says Australian Pubic Service bosses told to open up on complaints. In his piece Canberra Times reporter Noel Towell writes,

In a discussion paper about what information should be provided to complainants, Merit Protection Commissioner Karin Fisher says departments "err on…


Added by steve davies on September 30, 2014 at 2:00pm — 4 Comments

The collapse of governance - Australia leads the way

As if right on cue todays Canberra Times published a piece written by Fairfax's Philip Dorling concerning the tapping of the major Australia-New Zealand undersea telecommunications cable. Philip says,

A major undersea telecommunications cable that connects Australia and New Zealand to North America has been tapped to allow the United States…


Added by steve davies on September 16, 2014 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

Open Letter: Debunking Dreyfus on Free Speech, Rights Abuses under the Labor Party

A month ago we had the Human Right Commission's Free Speech Mass Debate.

It was a farce; almost entirely lawyers (who have a lucrative industry suppressing free speech), and it steered well clear of issues like free speech for public servants, whistleblowers and ordinary people being screwed over by the government.

But what really disturbed me was the way ALP Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus had the audience - particularly a fawning media - wrapped around his…


Added by Brendan Jones on September 11, 2014 at 3:13pm — No Comments

Does Tax Office culture encourage abuse?

Yet again we have anti-Semitic acts within the Tax Office being called out in the media. The headline in todays Herald Sun?

Australian Tax Office investigates Nazi graffiti at its Box Hill office

Full report from…


Added by steve davies on September 3, 2014 at 1:46pm — 13 Comments

The politics of above politics

Yesterday Latika Bourke reported that Labor Senator Sue Lines accused the Prime Minister of using national security and the situation in Iraq to distract from its budget woes and improve his position in the polls. The response to Senator Lines was predictable with Government MP Alex…


Added by steve davies on August 29, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments

Australia's Bystander Democracy

On 7 August 2014 the Australian Human Rights Commission hosted the free speech 2014 symposium

The general focus of the event was,

Free speech is fundamental to a free and democratic society

But . . .  is…


Added by steve davies on August 28, 2014 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

Tax Office bullying and mobbing knows no bounds

Over the past couple of months it has been my privilege to assist Mr Stephen Strelecky, a former ATO employee, and Rebekah Cavanagh, Herald Sun crime reporter, in capturing the story of Stephen’s abuse and mobbing at the hands of the ATO.

Stephen’s story is now available online at the…


Added by steve davies on August 7, 2014 at 12:00pm — 19 Comments

Australian Public Service autocracy undermines democracy #freespeech2014

Tomorrow the Australian Human Rights Commission will be hosting a one day symposium on free speech. This event will be live streamed. I have been informed that the live streaming details will be available soon. If you intend to participate online please check here for the live streaming details.

When tweeting please make sure you use the hashtag #freespeech2014

It's a bit of a worry…


Added by steve davies on August 6, 2014 at 1:33pm — 8 Comments

A different approach

Recent experiences seem to me to support the conclusion that it is pointless to conduct litigation against the Commonwealth in an honorable manner.

I have been considering the Model Litigant Obligation, particularly where the Commonwealth, or one of its Agencies, has achieved their court win by failing to honour the Commonwealth's obligation to act fairly. Even though that obligation exists independently of the Legal Services Directions.

To rub salt into very raw wounds, the…


Added by Cheryl Robyn Weeks on August 3, 2014 at 9:21am — 29 Comments

Decision avoidance in the ATO

Traditionally, responsibility for decision-making in the public service was distributed by delegation. For example, I was once employed in a role in a State government department. I held a formal delegation under the relevant Act (administered by the Department) which stated what powers I could exercise and the maximum amount of expenditure I could authorise.

It worked extremely well. I knew precisely what my…


Added by Leroy on July 30, 2014 at 6:09pm — 3 Comments

Will new laws threaten our privacy?

This voluminous Guardian article is especially for Steve. I haven't read the whole thing, but I have been necessarily concerned about the infiltration of our online data by government for some time.

Take for example that from this financial year, anyone wanting to use the ATO's e-tax is forced to register for a "MyGov" account, which is the parent account to link other government accounts (Centrelink, Medicare, CSA, ATO). This is new for 2014. Why should anyone have to link to an ATO…


Added by Convict on July 26, 2014 at 9:35pm — No Comments

ATO's rotten culture revealed - Canberra Times article

Thought this was worth posting.

My take on this:

  • 6,000 ATO employees don’t trust their employer.
  • The Australian Taxation Office's internal culture…

Added by Prof Freud on July 23, 2014 at 12:57am — 5 Comments

Your ATO - Win at all costs. Reputation at all costs.

A very good piece in yesterdays Canberra Times by Noel Towell - Tax Office sued for $6m after allegedly ruining a man's life

"The Sydney man says he lost his business, his home, his marriage and his health trying to fight the legal might of the Tax Office after a botched tax bill based on ''incorrect methodologies''…


Added by steve davies on July 18, 2014 at 10:30am — 4 Comments

Vote for the rule of law?

I did a quick scan to find out which political parties care about the rule of law. How many are actually aligned with what they say they stand for?

Liberal Party of Australia

The Federal Constitution says:

  1. A…


Added by Leroy on July 17, 2014 at 12:31am — 2 Comments

Free Speech 2014 - Let's take it and shape it!

Yesterday my trusty computer let me know about an event being organised by the Australian Human Rights Commission. A one day symposium being held on 7 August 2014 - Free Speech 2014.



Added by steve davies on July 11, 2014 at 12:28pm — 4 Comments

Australian Public Service - Mobbing on an industrial scale

I've just finished reaching out to federal politicians via Twitter. I used this list.

Feel free to make initial contact with me by via…


Added by steve davies on July 1, 2014 at 1:00pm — 66 Comments

Comcare is at it again

Hello fellow crusaders,

Well, it seems that Comcare is indeed incapable of accepting the "umpire's" decision, filing an utterly frivolous interlocutory application to deny the successful APS employee her right to compensation. 

The application was dismissed with costs, but any legal practitioner will tell you that such an application under the circumstances is outrageous, bordering on abuse of process (but not quite,…


Added by Convict on June 24, 2014 at 4:19pm — 17 Comments

Summary and opinion

Summary and Opinion

Under the heading “Summary and opinion” hired gun psychiatrists feel free to express unsupported opinions in order to ingratiate themselves with their client who is paying them $3000.00, even if this means harming and disadvantaging an employee by removing them without adequate justification such as "medical certainty" from their employment so that the employee's…


Added by Prof Freud on June 19, 2014 at 2:00am — 4 Comments

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