APS Restructuring – Your Taxpayer Dollar at Work

LSWCHP 5 February 2013 4

So late last year Mrs LSWCHP came home from her job with a large Federal Agency, rolled her eyes, and announced that there was going to be a restructure at her office. This was actually not as much of a drama as you might think, because it was the fifth (IIRC) restructure she’d been through in the last twelve months, and she really felt she was starting to get the hang of this restructuring thing.

Anyway, her group of about three dozen people once more dutifully boxed up all their stuff, had an afternoon off while the strong men lifted things, cleared desks, shifted floors, unpacked, picked up their new business cards and office stationary, arranged their dividers, went to meet their colleagues etc etc etc…

Today she came home (eyes bugging this time) and told me that her branch is now being restructured again. But that’s not all folks, this new restructure involves them being restructured back to the structure they had before they were last restructured. I’m not making this up.

I’m reminded of the words of Charlton Ogburn:

“We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. Presumably the plans for our employment were being changed. I was to learn later in life that, perhaps because we are so good at organising, we tend as a nation to meet any new situation by reorganising; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization.”

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4 Responses to APS Restructuring – Your Taxpayer Dollar at Work
dtc dtc 10:50 am 07 Feb 13

To be fair to the APS, a lot of the restructures are driven by political reasons, either areas moved or legislation changing reporting requirements, or legislation changing priorities.

On the other hand, sometimes its just power games or to avoid someone higher up who has proven to be incompetent.

schmeah schmeah 12:17 pm 05 Feb 13

I reckon I work in the same federal agency as your partner.

I’m pretty sure removalists in Canberra have been solely employed on the basis of permanent restructuring. I know colleagues who were moved from one location to another, only to be moved back, to their original location, no less than 4 months after initally moving. And that’s not even taking into account the machinery changes of the last year.

Each move requires the hire of equipment, removalists and the time off work, and then time is lost when the staff have to set up their equipment etc on the first day in their new location .. so it really is a very tangible waste of money. A lot of it too.

Genie Genie 11:58 am 05 Feb 13

Almost sounds like your MRS works where I do.

My area went through 3 restructures last year including 2 moves around the floor (one right before shutdown too). However we never moved floors in that time. I’ve also since transferred into another area, which is expecting to be restructured in a few weeks time. It’s a little too much.

Esp when in 2011 we also had 2 restructures including 1 floor move and 1 building relocation.

davo101 davo101 9:39 am 05 Feb 13

Wow how primitive, I didn’t know people still physically moved during re-orgs. My state department has re-orged countless times (the shortest time between them being six weeks) but no-one ever moves desks; you just change reporting arrangements and email signature blocks and keep on working.

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