All Blog Posts Tagged 'change' (55)

Truth and Understanding - Time to reclaim government

During 2013 and 2014 we saw the Australian Public Service retreating from open government at a spectacular rate. In particular, the public service put great effort into creating a climate of fear to ensure that public servants self-censor and that any discussion or disclosures concerning the health and actions of the public service were stifled.

The Australian Public Service Commission took the lead on this. They even threw up a wall of silence on the issue of the monitoring…


Added by steve davies on January 28, 2015 at 11:30am — 63 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…


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

The Australian Taxation Office slaps down staff

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…


Added by steve davies on December 5, 2013 at 8:01am — 3 Comments

#APSfail 1 & 2 - Change and inspiration

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.

Canberra Times



Added by steve davies on November 7, 2013 at 11:00am — 4 Comments

Australian Taxation Office - Catching up with the times

At last. Something positive from the Taxation Office.

In this months edition of the internal staff newsletter, News Extra, it has been announced that the Taxation Office is trialling a new wireless internet service in its Adelaide Office. Staff will be able to connect their…


Added by steve davies on September 10, 2013 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

Challenges in a changing world - The OZloop report card

It was with great interest I read the Canberra Times piece Challenges in a changing world. The article outlines the changes being made to the Australian Public Service and claims they could lead to major transformation.

I've reviewed piece and, of course, the comments made by the Australian Service Commissioner, Steve Sedgwick.

If the changes are followed through then, yes, some of them could result in some much needed transformation. However, I doubt that will…


Added by steve davies on July 29, 2013 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Public service efficiency dividends as instrument of change

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has announced that a new efficiency dividend will be imposed on the Australian Public Service.

Sources said there would be an extra 1 per cent efficiency dividend imposed at the executive level and a 0.5 per cent extra dividend at senior executive level, delivering combined savings over the four-year budget forecasts of about $250 million.

Source: …


Added by steve davies on July 16, 2013 at 11:55am — 3 Comments

APS 2013 - Too critical, too passionate, too bloody old

Australian Public Service agencies do not appreciate employees who are critical or passionate. This is a function of what is seen as 'good' management. Good management means not rocking the boat, controlling risk and it controlling conversation.

This entire notion of what constitutes good management is supported by performance management systems that are designed to ensure compliance. This becomes problematic when the threshold for non-compliance, for not fitting in, is…


Added by steve davies on July 1, 2013 at 11:24am — 3 Comments

Australian Public Service values as a platform for doing good

An interesting and positive aspect of the new Australian Public Service values is the introductions of the notion of caring. That, coupled with the simplification of the values, may signal a change in mindset. However, the question is to what extent?

It is, I believe, important to take positive signals at face value. By the same token it is also important to be realistic. So here are some thoughts based on the evidence at hand.

The first point to note is that…


Added by steve davies on June 21, 2013 at 1:11pm — 3 Comments

Greater protection for public service whistleblowers - Are the steps that huge?

Yesterday the Public Interested Disclosure Bill was passed in the House of Representatives. The bill makes it an offence for an individual or organisation to take hostile action against a public servant due to them making a public interest disclosure.

As pointed out by Whistleblower Australia's national president Cynthia…


Added by steve davies on June 20, 2013 at 9:30am — 3 Comments

Insular and inward looking culture - It's not just a Tax Office problem

At the outset I want to make it clear that I am not a member of any political party.

In his address to the National Press Club Joe Hockey stated that,

We all have to pay our fair share of tax. But the relationship with the ATO does not have to be adversarial and should be based on mutual respect.

One measure that will help…


Added by steve davies on May 23, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

The Australian Public Service embraces 19th century values

Here we go again. The Australian Public Service Commission using the Canberra Times to discourage online discussion concerning public administration. Surely the Canberra Times should look at these issues in-depth and not simply report social media pests to face sack in new public service code.

I'm not sure what's worse. The…


Added by steve davies on May 16, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Let's make the public sector awesome

There are quite a few things I like about America. Like enthusiasm about pitching an idea. Like the word awesome. There is a place for restraint of course - and here in Australia public servants do it so well.

But it irks me. Why should we be so restrained when pitching ideas about…


Added by steve davies on May 8, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments

Australian Public Service Commissioner seeks to channel whistleblowing

Today, the Canberra Times published an article entitled Whistleblower laws facing fine-tuning. Apparently, the Australian Public Service Commissioner, Stephen Sedgwick, informed the Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs that the laws should not allow public servants to go 'forum shopping'.

Quite frankly, this is a bit rich given the…


Added by steve davies on April 30, 2013 at 11:00am — 35 Comments

Australian Public Service Commission - Out of step, out of time

I am the first to acknowledge that the Australian Public Service Commission has a hard job to do and does do some great work - for example, the work being done around capability development and the work undertaken by the Human Capital Research and Evaluation group.



Added by steve davies on April 18, 2013 at 12:30pm — 5 Comments

Social media freedom charter

Today is the start of World Innovation and Creativity Week. What better day to release a social media freedom charter for Australian public servants.


The charter stands in contrast to the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct and the practices of many APS agencies. As we have seen and written about many a time on OZloop the practices of APS agencies do not reflect enlightened democratic values.




Added by steve davies on April 15, 2013 at 10:00am — 17 Comments

Death by corporate management

A great exclusive by Linton Besser @lb_online and Nick Phillips @NickySMH concerning a Call for inquiry as CSIRO comes under the microscope.

In this exclusive it is pointed out…


Added by steve davies on April 12, 2013 at 10:21am — 5 Comments

Source of Australian Public Service abuse revealed

For some time myself and my colleagues on OZloop have been highlighting that all is not well within Australian Public Service agencies.

Extensive corporate management and red tape, demands for blind compliance, bullying and mobbing, the abuse of psychiatry, human resource functions that have lost sight of people, the misuse of performance management, crushing people who raise difficult questions or whistleblow. All of these characteristics are clear markers of dysfunctional…


Added by steve davies on April 3, 2013 at 12:21pm — 49 Comments

Ask not what . . . ask what you can . . .

Today I want to present a few challenges. To do that I am first going to step back in time. Not bad for someone whose preference is the future.


Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.


A great speech from John F. Kennedy in 1961. You can read the full text of President Kennedy's speech and view historical footage …


Added by steve davies on March 26, 2013 at 9:30am — 5 Comments

Reform, Engage, Dissent, Heresy, Champions

Looking beyond 


Workplace bullying and mobbing is more than a series of cases or incidents. Within the Australian Public Service it reflects the well documented challenges the culture and practices of the Australian Public Service pose in relation to innovation, open government, the building of a social media capability and, indeed, cultural change itself.


In our our paper…


Added by steve davies on February 26, 2013 at 8:30am — 3 Comments

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