Steve davies's Blog Posts Tagged 'culture' (44)

The dangerous arrogance of the ATO

Martin Parkinson, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary, recently warned departments and individual public servants of the "lethal mix of arrogance and ignorance" plaguing public policy. Read more: Canberra Times 19 April 2016.

Australian Government agencies should heed the…


Added by steve davies on May 1, 2016 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Comcare's Zombie Apocalypse Part I - Illusion

Like some fallout from the Twighlight Zone Comcare keeps attracting the sort of headlines and stories they want us to believe. But don't worry - The truth is out there.…


Added by steve davies on November 6, 2015 at 10:30am — 5 Comments

Aged care - Are you next?

Yesterday I was contacted by Lynda Saltarelli founder of Aged Care Crisis.

Barely a day goes by that we don’t hear another shameful story of sub-standard care to our elderly citizens in hospital and nursing home care.

Whilst our politicians and bureaucrats argue, pass the buck, or indulge in…


Added by steve davies on August 25, 2015 at 1:16pm — 1 Comment

Petition: Membership of MP entitlement review panel

As we all know community outrage over the use of entitlements by members of parliament has reached boiling point and is continuing. Rightly so.

Craig Thomler has examined the issue and expresses interesting views in his post …


Added by steve davies on August 10, 2015 at 10:30am — 3 Comments

Innovation Month 2015 - Is it Australian Public Service spin?

You may not know it, but it is Innovation Month.

Innovation Month 2015 is the flagship initiative lead by the Department of Industry to achieve the objectives of the APS Innovation Action Plan “the APS and its agencies will institute mechanisms to recognise, celebrate and share innovation efforts. This will be done by … agencies holding innovation themed events to discuss, share and celebrate public sector innovation within their agencies.” The plan is supported by the…


Added by steve davies on July 8, 2015 at 1:22pm — No Comments

Reinventing the ATO - Fact or fiction

Something does not add up. On the one hand the Australian Taxation Office is expending effort telling the community it is reinventing itself. On the other I am still being told, through very reliable sources, that the culture is still very much one permeated by fear, risk aversion and group think.

That does not surprise me one bit. Neither does the volume and nature of what looks like a rebadged version of the 'old' corporate spin. You only have to look at the bright and shiny…


Added by steve davies on March 25, 2015 at 11:30am — 12 Comments

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'.…


Added by steve davies on April 1, 2014 at 9:30am — 6 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

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

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

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

Freedom of Information Update - Agencies strike back

Undermining FOI and Open Government

The primary purpose of this post was (and still is), to provide an update on my freedom of information request to Comcare, the Australian Public Service Commission and there Australian Taxation Office. My request concerned the monitoring of OZloop and was quite detailed. If you haven't read it already, you might like to do so …


Added by steve davies on February 25, 2013 at 9:30am — 10 Comments

CSIRO says bullying claims are dodgy

In todays Canberra Times.

Lots of allegations have been tossed around by stakeholders and media in recent times and I would have to say that the basis for some of those are pretty dodgy,'' he said.

Over the last three years, to October 2012, there have been 11 allegations of bullying and harassment made in the CSIRO and 10 of those have subsequently not been substantiated.

CSIRO deputy chief executive of…


Added by steve davies on February 20, 2013 at 11:30am — 4 Comments

The death of organisational development : Let's go tribal



One of the more interesting debates I had when working within the Australian Public Service concerned organisational culture. To be precise, about the notion of reforming culture from the ground up.


Here I was taking some tech I was responsible for down that path and you'd think I'd committed heresy. Especially by pointing out that corporate culture change programmes are right up there with the tried…


Added by steve davies on January 8, 2013 at 12:00pm — 6 Comments

Australian Public Service Denial

No. This post is not about a new website called APSDenial. That being said, it is tempting to set up a satirical site highlighting the Australian Public Service's antics in relation to the bullying and mobbing of employees and the important systemic and cultural issues it raises.

Mind you the way things are going it would be interesting to re-write the…


Added by steve davies on December 10, 2012 at 10:16am — 5 Comments

Australian Public Service Bullying - Holding up the mirror

It's been a big year for bullying within the Australian Public Service. 


We are delighted with Recommendation 8 of the national bullying report where the committee concluded that,

. . . the allegations of misuse of the mental health assessment referral power within the APS that the Committee heard about signify that there is a need to monitor how that power is used and how often there are reviews on the grounds of misuse.




Added by steve davies on December 6, 2012 at 9:00am — 10 Comments

Senior federal official undermines online dialogue

After reading the Canberra Times article Bureaucrats warned against online gossip one could be forgiven for thinking that the 'silly season' has hit with a vengeance.


My major concern with what has been reported is that many of the views expressed are at odds…


Added by steve davies on November 30, 2012 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

Australian Tax Commissioner out : Is it time for Tax Office 2.0

I see that smartcompany has picked up on Crikey's report on the departure of the current Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo. Check out Why Swan moved the nation’s top tax man on.

Of course, the Taxation Office also issued its own announcement on the…


Added by steve davies on October 29, 2012 at 9:59am — 14 Comments

Gov 2.0 Conference Canberra 2012

Gov 2.0 Conference Canberra

Spring is officially here in Canberra. OK it doesn't feel quite like it yet. Except for those of us who are busily sneezing away of course. October will bring warmer weather and, for me, that means no more allergic…


Added by steve davies on September 4, 2012 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

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