When I was young and impressionable (as opposed to now when I am old and impressionable), I studied organisational theory. You know, the stuff Frederick Taylor wrote on Scientific Management, Max Weber’s theories on bureaucracy and March and Simon’s thoughts on the dysfunction of bureaucracy.
I was particularly drawn to Weber’s theories and his notion of the [...]
When I left the ACT public service (and before that, the Commonwealth public service) I had just short of 30 years’ service.
When I started (in the Palaeolithic period), we had to sign on and off in an attendance book, and had one hour for lunch with two fifteen-minute breaks per day. Tea and coffee were [...]
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has raised the future of the public service in Canberra and regional concerns about the federal budget with Prime Minister Tony Abbott, according to the Canberra Times.
Ms Gallagher has explained concerns of public service workers facing redundancies, in her first one-on-one meeting with Mr Abbott since his election win last [...]
Andrew Leigh is weeping for the Australian Valuation Office which is being scrapped so Liberal spivs can bid to rip off the Commonwealth while pretending to do the work (that’s how outsourcing work).
The 104 year-old AVO, located in the Australian Taxation Office, has been doing an effective job. While the government refers to a projected [...]
The ABC brings word of a possible mega merger coming to the public service:
The Federal Government has flagged the possibility of merging the Department of Social Services with the Department of Human Services.
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews says such a merger could create “substantial” savings.
He has indicated the move could lead to redundancies in the [...]
The Australian is running with glee on news of a crackdown on sickies in the public service:
Senator Eric Abetz, the Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, said “taxpayers are entitled to expect that their money is spent efficiently and effectively, with minimum waste on excessive sick leave”.
“Managing unscheduled absence is a [...]
The ABC brings word of one of the Public Service’s unique snowflakes who wanted cash money for the “adjustment disorder” that came from her office within the Department of Health being moved.
Sadly for her the AAT has upheld Commcare’s thinking that reasonable administrative action is not a good enough reason.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s message to the public service is listed on YouTube as being published on 22 December.
But we can’t help feeling the 339 views currently credited to it is a bit low.
Your Prime Minister needs you people!
By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra
Joe Hockey has delivered a bleak MYEFO. AAP/Alan Porritt
The big message out of the updated, gloomy budget figures released today is: prepare for some shocker spending cuts to come.
The strategy is obvious, learned from forebears. Present a black picture. Heap blame on your predecessor. Have the answers. But make it [...]
As some one in the public service, I’m half expecting a tap on the shoulder any day and to be told my position is redundant.
I’m looking at options, do I stay in or do I leave now?
The way I see it is that with a recruitment freeze on and a reduction in staff [...]
Government News is running concerns that the Commission of Audit is going to recommend large swathes of the public service be handed over to private sector groups like Serco and G4S:
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has ratcheted up pressure on the Abbott government to resist a push to hive off thousands of [...]
The SMH has a story on the fruit wars in the public service with Blackberry on the way out as Apple, years late, is slowly adopted.
One wonders what will be supplanting Android by the time it starts to gain traction.
The ABC has the intriguing news that the ACT Public Service expanded by 2,000 jobs in the last year while Commonwealth employment contracted by just 1,500 places:
Currently the ACT PS is home to 25,500 workers.
Government News brings word of this year’s State of the Service, which is shrinking:
In a sombre assessment of the challenge the APS faces in the years ahead, the public sector’s industrial umpire conspicuously avoided putting a total number on how many jobs are predicted to be lost – but said that “it is clear the [...]
Government News has a story on plans at Health to offer demotions in an effort to get payroll down:
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has successfully sought to enter consultations with the Department of Health following confirmation that a range of voluntary workplace flexibility options – including reduced hours and voluntary demotions – [...]
As news of doom and gloom around Canberra go a nice round 900 job losses from Tax is probably worth a mention:
In Senate Estimates the ATO’s Geoff Leeper said the cuts will be made through natural attrition or voluntary redundancies.
“Unless there are particular functions that cease where it’s impossible for us to redeploy people and [...]
Labor Senator Kate Lundy is improbably willy waving with the Liberals’ Zed Seselja over the size, depth and breadth of their cuts to the public service.
Apparently in Kate’s eyes Zed’s previous promises of job reductions by “Natural Attrition are broken and that’s just the worst.
I’m not sure all the folk currently in exit lounges or [...]
Senator Seselja is engaging in the dubious strategy of trying to convince a public service mid-mutilation that Labor was going to do the same anyway:
“Whilst running an entire campaign focussed on supposedly saving jobs, Labor was cutting jobs behind Canberrans’ backs,” stated Senator Seselja. “Labor members blatantly lied to the people of Canberra.”
Labor’s cuts [...]
Government News has more from the killing grounds as “natural attrition” meets the same grim realities as “turning back the boats”:
An all staff email from Agriculture Department secretary, Paul Grimes, candidly admits that “natural attrition in recent months has proven to be lower than forecast” and that the department is now making “arrangements for [...]
With stories coming in of increasingly insistent voluntary redundancy offers, and the creation of “departure lounges” where undeployed public servants are required to sit idle all day and consider their futures we thought we’d try and bring some information transparency to the process.
So please share your experiences of the current darkness below?
By Ian McAuley, University of Canberra
A supposition behind the Commonwealth’s Commission of Audit is that government has become “too large”.
The first paragraph of the Commission’s terms of reference sets the context, stating:
During this time [the last 20 years] the size of the Commonwealth government has expanded significantly, as has the remit of some of its [...]
Eric Abetz has announced that the public service is only going to be recruiting from amongst its own in future:
The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz, announced today interim new recruiting arrangements within the Australian Public Service to help meet the Government’s election commitment to reduce the [...]
The Australian has word of grumblings amongst the Liberal front bench that they can’t just give their mates staffing jobs and holders of said jobs will have to work in Canberra under Peta Credlin’s iron fist:
All senior staffers have to be based in Canberra. It’s causing quite a few grumbles,” said one.
“There is a very [...]
They must have felt like they were in the Colosseum.
The Australian has the word on Business Council of Australia chair Tony Shepherd being appointed to rip the guts out of the public service and sell the furniture to the vultures.
JOE Hockey has unveiled a surprise increase in the debt ceiling to $500 billion as he announced a Commission of Audit into government finances with [...]
The West Australian has a story on plans to fling units of Treasury across the country in the hope that proximity to a board room (presumably while a meeting is being held in it) will bring them better knowledge of the “real world”.
With the purpose of having regulators shoulder-to-shoulder with the regulated, much of [...]
Canberra’s Labor Representatives are voicing concerns about Coalition plans to lose 6,000 public servants by June 2014, or one every single hour.
The APS will be reduced by 6,000 staff in the nine months to June 2014. That’s one public service job lost every single hour until the end of the financial year. A further [...]
The ABC has the somewhat reassuring news that public servants in axed agencies will keep their pay and conditions while efforts are made to find them work.
The Public Service Commission has announced public servants will continue to have the same pay while the changes take effect.
“In the case of an agency that has been [...]
By Andrew Podger
Prime minister Tony Abbott’s decision to sack three departmental secretaries within hours of his swearing-in earlier this week has not attracted the same shock John Howard’s decision to sack six secretaries caused in 1996.
At that time, Paul Keating’s removal of secretaries’ tenure in 1994 was yet to be exercised. However, 17 years later, [...]
Public servants wanting to understand their future in the shortish term need look no further than today’s Administrative Arrangements Order.
What are your highlights dear reader?
Here are the matters, with the Legislation left out:
PART 1 THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Matters dealt with by the Department
Agricultural, pastoral, fishing, food and forest industries
Soils and other natural resources
Rural adjustment and [...]
The ABC has a report on changes at the top of the public service:
The ceremony had barely finished when the Prime Minister’s office issued a press release, announcing three departmental secretaries had had their contracts terminated and the Treasury Secretary would stand down next year.
Dr Don Russell lost his job as head of the [...]
Government News has a rundown on Tony Abbott’s great simplification of Ministerial titles.
Less cluttered, better focused, more energetic.
That was message to public servants and the electorate in Prime Minister elect Tony Abbott’s First Ministry announcement where not everyone gets a prize, and some portfolio ministries just plain disappear through downsizing likely to be mirrored [...]