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Deckchairs rearranged on the Titanic

By 12 December 2011 25

What are the ins and outs of the moves?

[ED - The Prime Minister's reshuffle has been announced. We'd value reader insights as to what it means for the public service here in Canberra.]

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25 Responses to
Deckchairs rearranged on the Titanic
Primal 3:12 pm
12 Dec 11
#1

It means there is now a department known as DIISRTE. Which I shall henceforth be pronouncing as “dessert”.

MrMagoo 3:35 pm
12 Dec 11
#2

My question is with the shuffling of the deck chairs and creating of new Departments, where is the 4% dividend being saved from???? Toilet paper allowance?

MrMagoo 3:37 pm
12 Dec 11
#3

I work in the sport portfolio and since 07, we’ve now been MoG’d 3 times, talk about your … wait for it…. Political Football.

random 3:57 pm
12 Dec 11
#4

Primal said :

It means there is now a department known as DIISRTE. Which I shall henceforth be pronouncing as “dessert”.

The dyslexic reading of “DISTRESS” is probably closer to the mark.

chewy14 4:02 pm
12 Dec 11
#5

Primal said :

It means there is now a department known as DIISRTE. Which I shall henceforth be pronouncing as “dessert”.

It looks like they’re trying to get dis rite.

longshanks 4:31 pm
12 Dec 11
#6

MrMagoo said :

My question is with the shuffling of the deck chairs and creating of new Departments, where is the 4% dividend being saved from???? Toilet paper allowance?

I don’t think people realise just how much money departments spend on their Ministers, and MoG changes result in a huge amount of wastage and duplication of effort. I worked through two MoG changes in a large agency, in a role where I was involved in purchasing, e.g. Blackberrys for Minister and advisers; newspaper deliveries (home and office) for Minister and advisers; beautifully embossed letterhead for correspondence; home internet connection for the Minister; digital voice recorders for the Minister and advisers; magazine subscriptions (supposedly portfolio-related); etc. etc. And that’s before you start talking about office furniture and equipment, most of which is paid for by the Department of Finance.

Have a read of http://www.finance.gov.au/parliamentary-services/docs/senators_and_members_entitlements.pdf if you’re interested – and you’ll start to understand the amount of money which gets thrown out the window every time there’s a reshuffle.

steveu 6:05 pm
12 Dec 11
#7

Longshanks is spot on. Whats even more costly is the internal restructures and accommodation move, all that the whim of the Senior Executive Service (SES) who seeks to change things for the sake of changing things. Unless there are savings to be demonstrated, then SES shouldnt be given a carte-blanche to waste public money in this way. I would love to see senate estimates get into a few government departments over this.

I-filed 6:46 pm
12 Dec 11
#8

According to Barry Cassidy, the only reason for expanding the cabinet is that Peter Garrett threatened to walk back to being a rock star. Gillard had asked him to leave the ministry. So much for “stamp of authority”!

benno1 7:06 pm
12 Dec 11
#9

Nicola Roxon totally screwed up with Health & Aging, so lets put her in charge of the nations security instead??

PantsMan 7:56 pm
12 Dec 11
#10

steveu said :

Longshanks is spot on. Whats even more costly is the internal restructures and accommodation move, all that the whim of the Senior Executive Service (SES) who seeks to change things for the sake of changing things. Unless there are savings to be demonstrated, then SES shouldnt be given a carte-blanche to waste public money in this way. I would love to see senate estimates get into a few government departments over this.

We’ll get MORE SES to help ‘manage the transition.’ Three uni students share-housing would be better able to cost effectively move a department and sign a lease on a new building than the SES retards.

It’s just another total taxpayers-funded waste-fest so that a few ministers can have “innovation” or similar crap in their pointless titles. Is the Minister for Emergencies going to have his own Department of Emergencies? FFS!

PS – And just for completeness, Gillard sucks.

JessP 8:31 pm
12 Dec 11
#11

Got to agree – machinery of government changes cost a motza for little gain.

The cost of moving people from department to department, the creation of departments, systems, leasing buildings even creating letterheads is phenomenal. If only the public knew the real cost!!

Crap.

EvanJames 10:24 am
13 Dec 11
#12

benno1 said :

Nicola Roxon totally screwed up with Health & Aging, so lets put her in charge of the nations security instead??

How did she screw up Health and Ageing? I thought she did quite well. The department is an utter basket case but I don’t know where you’d start in fixing it. Mark Butler is very impressive too.

johnboy 10:27 am
13 Dec 11
#13

Moving Emergency Management out of Attorney-Generals appears to be a declaration the war on terror is over.

Which means ASIO and the AFP are in for some major haircuts.

PantsMan 11:00 am
13 Dec 11
#14

johnboy said :

Moving Emergency Management out of Attorney-Generals appears to be a declaration the war on terror is over.

Which means ASIO and the AFP are in for some major haircuts.

The War on Terror is never over. Free peoples must remain vigilant in the face of the tyranny of those in our World who are the enemies of democracy…
Or some crap like that…

PantsMan 11:07 am
13 Dec 11
#15

EvanJames said :

benno1 said :

Nicola Roxon totally screwed up with Health & Aging, so lets put her in charge of the nations security instead??

How did she screw up Health and Ageing? I thought she did quite well. The department is an utter basket case but I don’t know where you’d start in fixing it. Mark Butler is very impressive too.

Given the Commonwealth Health Department does not employ any doctors or nurses, but rather develops ‘policy’ like Kevin Rudd’s Your Health website, I don’t think it could be a bigger waste of money. We sent a letter to Health once about technical amendments and a year later someone who spoke at about three words per minute rang us and said that they were going to think about it. They later refused to agree because “something else was also happening in this area, and this might be too much to try all at once.”

p1 11:15 am
13 Dec 11
#16

PantsMan said :

EvanJames said :

benno1 said :

Nicola Roxon totally screwed up with Health & Aging, so lets put her in charge of the nations security instead??

How did she screw up Health and Ageing? I thought she did quite well. The department is an utter basket case but I don’t know where you’d start in fixing it. Mark Butler is very impressive too.

Given the Commonwealth Health Department does not employ any doctors or nurses, but rather develops ‘policy’ like Kevin Rudd’s Your Health website, I don’t think it could be a bigger waste of money. We sent a letter to Health once about technical amendments and a year later someone who spoke at about three words per minute rang us and said that they were going to think about it. They later refused to agree because “something else was also happening in this area, and this might be too much to try all at once.”

Ummm, no one in the defence department actually drive tanks of shoot guns.

Personally I think that Nicola has done a great job when compared to that d!ckhe@d muppet we used to have as minister, Tony Abbott.

BethiePrice 1:27 pm
13 Dec 11
#17

I’m all for a bit of change, but have to agree, this is going to cost a fortune for taxpayers. By the time the MoG’ing is finished it will all change again cos she’ll get voted out. At least some people will be happy with the payrises that are coming out of the move.
I am confused though why some areas were moved? We’ll be losing more linkages than we’ll gain.

thumper109 2:39 pm
13 Dec 11
#18

I get the distinct feeling these move may be polit…. of never mind….

Good for Canberra though…. I am sure it will generate a lot of work for local businesses and even maybe some new jobs in the PS…. More opportunity for me to get a better PS job…

EvanJames 3:48 pm
13 Dec 11
#19

PantsMan said :

Given the Commonwealth Health Department does not employ any doctors or nurses, but rather develops ‘policy’ like Kevin Rudd’s Your Health website, I don’t think it could be a bigger waste of money. We sent a letter to Health once about technical amendments and a year later someone who spoke at about three words per minute rang us and said that they were going to think about it. They later refused to agree because “something else was also happening in this area, and this might be too much to try all at once.”

Health does have doctors and nurses working for it, as advisers and administrators. It is a crap department, agreed, devoid of talent or apparent purpose.

And it doesn’t even make policy, outside entities do that, sell them to the minister, and Health gets to set up the structure to implement the policy.

The policy for the establishment of the primary health care network, for instance, was written and lobbied-for by the Australian General Practice Network. You probably know them better now as Medicare Locals.

The Your Health website is just window dressing, isn’t it? Doesn’t actually do anything, but looks good.

HenryBG 3:58 pm
13 Dec 11
#20

longshanks said :

MrMagoo said :

My question is with the shuffling of the deck chairs and creating of new Departments, where is the 4% dividend being saved from???? Toilet paper allowance?

I don’t think people realise just how much money departments spend on their Ministers, and MoG changes result in a huge amount of wastage and duplication of effort. I worked through two MoG changes in a large agency, in a role where I was involved in purchasing, e.g. Blackberrys for Minister and advisers; newspaper deliveries (home and office) for Minister and advisers; beautifully embossed letterhead for correspondence; home internet connection for the Minister; digital voice recorders for the Minister and advisers; magazine subscriptions (supposedly portfolio-related); etc. etc. And that’s before you start talking about office furniture and equipment, most of which is paid for by the Department of Finance.

Have a read of http://www.finance.gov.au/parliamentary-services/docs/senators_and_members_entitlements.pdf if you’re interested – and you’ll start to understand the amount of money which gets thrown out the window every time there’s a reshuffle.

Agreed. The amount of work this generates is ridiculous.

I-filed 8:19 pm
13 Dec 11
#21

How do the very, very expensive matter of MOG [machinery of government] changes sit with the efficiency dividend?

DIISRTE: “deserted” (soon to be – watch out fed Labor!)

Anna Key 9:30 pm
13 Dec 11
#22

EvanJames said :

PantsMan said :

Given the Commonwealth Health Department does not employ any doctors or nurses, but rather develops ‘policy’ like Kevin Rudd’s Your Health website, I don’t think it could be a bigger waste of money. We sent a letter to Health once about technical amendments and a year later someone who spoke at about three words per minute rang us and said that they were going to think about it. They later refused to agree because “something else was also happening in this area, and this might be too much to try all at once.”

Health does have doctors and nurses working for it, as advisers and administrators. It is a crap department, agreed, devoid of talent or apparent purpose.

And it doesn’t even make policy, outside entities do that, sell them to the minister, and Health gets to set up the structure to implement the policy.

The policy for the establishment of the primary health care network, for instance, was written and lobbied-for by the Australian General Practice Network. You probably know them better now as Medicare Locals.

The Your Health website is just window dressing, isn’t it? Doesn’t actually do anything, but looks good.

The main problem with Health and Ageing wasn’t Roxon but how Jane Halton has terrorised the SES who in turn terrorise the middle management. Anyone vaguely imaginative is forced out, while those that dot the i’s, cross the t’s and never make a decision are rapidly promoted.

goggles13 5:17 pm
14 Dec 11
#23

well Health and Ageing announced VRs this morning……………

dpm 7:04 pm
14 Dec 11
#24

Anna Key said :

The main problem with Health and Ageing wasn’t Roxon but how Jane Halton has terrorised the SES who in turn terrorise the middle management. Anyone vaguely imaginative is forced out, while those that dot the i’s, cross the t’s and never make a decision are rapidly promoted.

The main problem is that because of the shite Parliament situation, everyone, from the Minister down, is stuck in ‘cover your arse’ mode. The pink batts disaster etc didn’t help that situation though!
That means there is no more ‘frank and fearless advice’ from the PS anymore; it’s all neutral, non-wave-making arse covering…. lame times.

PantsMan 10:27 pm
14 Dec 11
#25

goggles13 said :

well Health and Ageing announced VRs this morning……………

Voluntary redundancies!

Sanity may now be beginning to prevail. It should be mandatory for every APS agency to offer these at a rate of 10% of your salary for every year of service. Watch the efficiencies roll on!

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