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Bureaucracy gone mad!

Sandpiper 26 October 2010 47

I’ve finally had it with state bureacracies. My son (now 20) originally got his learners licence in NSW when he turned 16. He has worked full time since then so has not had a lot of time for lessons. He has moved state twice for his jobs during the last 5 years, once to Adelaide where he also obtained a learners licence and then to Canberra where his South Australian learners licence expired days after we arrived and before he could realistically prepare for a test in a foreign environment.

So he had to obtain the ACT learner licence at a further cost to himself for the compulsory Road Ready Course- even after holding a learners licence for 5 years. He was happy to do so. However, having established at both the Dickson and Civic Shopfronts that he did not need to have this ACT licence for the full six months prior to booking a licence test I am flummoxed today that he’s been told that ‘they have no proof that he had a South Australian licence’ and have refused to provide him with a licence test date- regardless of the fact that the Dickson shopfront made us wait at length while they faxed SA regarding his SA licence before granting him the ACT learner permit and that he was holding the expired SA licence in his hand while speaking to the woman from Canberra Connect.

My son pays a LOT of tax. All he wants is his licence but between his busy work schedule and our government bureaucracy I’m starting to wonder if he will ever get it. He is an honest, responsible citizen who has never put a foot wrong and is still attempting to comply with every hurdle this bureaucracy insists on putting before him. But it does make me question why it exists- why the replication? Does he go to work to pay taxes to fund these hurdles that are put before him which prevent him from going about his life? Why do we put people who move state (and their wallets) though the wringer?


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Bureaucracy gone mad!
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James-T-Kirk 3:46 pm 26 Oct 10

peder said :

[
I feel I’ve got to defend Dickson Registry here. I transferred my UK licence to an ACT licence last year without any problems. Staff were very efficient and helpful. It took about 20 minutes and I left with licence that day. No practical or theory driving test required. I think the only thing I had to do was an eye test at the counter. The UK driving licence is one of a handful of forieng licences that the ACT will do this for. Perhaps the rules have changed since you transferred back or perhaps you were seen by somebody who didn’t know what they were doing, but you can definitely just transfer.

It is not Dickson registry you need to defend. It is the 80% of incompetent staff members who work there.

Sometimes, and just sometimes, you will get one who understands the rules. The rest of the time, you will encounter what is typical of the modern Public Service. Having seen 20+ years of government changes, the actual reality is that 20 years ago, Public Servants were competent, and specialised. They knew the rules, and were capable of independent thought. Now we have seen decades of mismanagement in the name of introducing efficiency measures, coupled with the inevitable movement of the clever individuals into other areas, we are seeing the new breed – the professional public servant who can walk into any job across the service, and bumble along, oblivious to the actual damage they are causing the country.

Thank god that the other 20% of public servants remain aware of the rules that they have to administer, and are aware of the reality that they are there to serve the public…..

Oh – Thats rigt – it is the ACT GOVERNMENT SERVICE, isn’t it – they are just there to serve the government.

housebound 3:36 pm 26 Oct 10

It took you this long to get sick of bureaucracy!

Dazzlar 3:23 pm 26 Oct 10

Bet you’re glad you posted, aren’t you!!!

James-T-Kirk 2:46 pm 26 Oct 10

ThisIsAName said :

Keijidosha said :

All I can say is that in order to deal with Rego ACT you had better develop a thick skin pretty quickly. They are without a doubt the most backward, incompetent and underresourced department I have encountered.

I’ll second incompetent.

I will third Incompetent – Years ago we had a 62 falcon wagon – produced before seatbelts… The dumb, cretins, who failed their automotive apprenticeships in the inspection bays wouldn’t pass the car, because they didn’t like the way that the retrofitted seatbelts (fitted in 74) were mounted… The solution…… Take the belts out. No problem.

We used to get giggles of mirth when we were waiting in the queue during subsequent years, unbolting the belts, and telling the others waiting in line of the story. Got the pass stamp, re-fitted the belts, and off we went.

peder 2:43 pm 26 Oct 10

Snarky said :

No advice for the OP I’m afraid, but here’s my experience with the Dickson Registry.

About ten years ago we moved to the UK for a couple of years from our home in Sydney. About 6 months prior to leaving I had to renew my NSW licence (which I’d held for nearly 20 years), and the NSW RTA cancelled the old one by punching a hole in it and giving me a new one. I got to keep the old one.

In the UK you just rock up to the DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicles), fill out a form, hand over your valid Aust licence and a handful of pounds and they issue a new UK licence, no questions asked. So, now I have an old, expired NSW licence and a current UK licence.

Forward a few years, and back in Aus. When I got to the ACT Motor Registry I again applied to convert my current UK licence to an ACT licence.

“No. If you’re coming from a UK licence you need to sit a road rules test first. Test will be fifty bucks please, done when we’re ready in a few days” says the nice lady at the counter.

Protests that I was an Australian citizen (passport), that I’d been an Australian driver for 20 years, showing the fine print on the UK licence that I was able to drive, and the old NSW licence cut no ice at all. No road rules test = no ACT licence. The End.

Then the nice lady said “If you were trying to transfer from another Australian licence I could do it immediately.”

So, while both my curent UK licence and the old, now three-years expired NSW licence were sitting on the counter between us I reached over, retrieved the UK licence and said “I’d like to transfer from this old expired NSW licence to an ACT licence please”. She looked me squarely in the eye, paused to to take stock, and said “Okay”. I walked out 5 minutes later a bonafide ACT driver. And still with a valid UK licence too.

Make of that what you will.

🙂

I feel I’ve got to defend Dickson Registry here. I transferred my UK licence to an ACT licence last year without any problems. Staff were very efficient and helpful. It took about 20 minutes and I left with licence that day. No practical or theory driving test required. I think the only thing I had to do was an eye test at the counter. The UK driving licence is one of a handful of forieng licences that the ACT will do this for. Perhaps the rules have changed since you transferred back or perhaps you were seen by somebody who didn’t know what they were doing, but you can definitely just transfer.

James-T-Kirk 2:41 pm 26 Oct 10

Amanda Hugankis said :

Actually – I read this post again, and its actually made me really angry. I know lots of people have a whinge on here, but the outrage is out of proportion with the issue.

I was thinking about my aunt and uncle who are in their 60s and caring for two girls in their 30s who have the physical and mental capacity of new born babies. They are forced to deal with bureacracy every day of the last 30+ years just to do the basic things. Every damn bureacracy you can think of, and then think up some more. And they do it – and they don’t complain. They just do what they have to do for their girls, as they haven’t got a choice.

And yet your capable, honest, taxpaying, hardworking son is complying with every ‘hurdle’ put in front of him? Really? And YOU’VE finally had it with the hurdles??? Email me and I’ll tell you all about the ‘hurdles’ my aunt and uncle deal with just to be able to feed, house and meet the health needs of their daughters, at a time when they should be looking at acquiring a Winnebago and camping on a beach in WA for 6 months, before deciding on a destination to while away the next 6. Woe betide your son should he ever have a child with a disability, or children full-stop with a full-time job and a mortgage … a few rules and regs seem like its all too much for him.

Rethink things. Start a gratitude journal. Remember the old saying – there is always someone worse off than you. Its true. We could all remember that – myself included.

End of rant/lecture/soapboxing/tirade.

I love you Amanda.

ThisIsAName 1:23 pm 26 Oct 10

Keijidosha said :

All I can say is that in order to deal with Rego ACT you had better develop a thick skin pretty quickly. They are without a doubt the most backward, incompetent and underresourced department I have encountered.

I’ll second incompetent. Years ago my uncle returned some number plates at the Dickson rego (after a prang – damn bogan). The registry promptly “lost” the plates and, because there was no record of them being returned, couldn’t process the rego refund. The fix: stuff around and submit a stat dec. Done? No, someone couldn’t read properly and screwed up more details, resulting in another letter asking them to read things correctly. Eventually it got closed off, though could have been done way faster.

The Primus song ‘DMV’ is very apt here! 🙂

Amanda Hugankis 1:01 pm 26 Oct 10

Actually – I read this post again, and its actually made me really angry. I know lots of people have a whinge on here, but the outrage is out of proportion with the issue.

I was thinking about my aunt and uncle who are in their 60s and caring for two girls in their 30s who have the physical and mental capacity of new born babies. They are forced to deal with bureacracy every day of the last 30+ years just to do the basic things. Every damn bureacracy you can think of, and then think up some more. And they do it – and they don’t complain. They just do what they have to do for their girls, as they haven’t got a choice.

And yet your capable, honest, taxpaying, hardworking son is complying with every ‘hurdle’ put in front of him? Really? And YOU’VE finally had it with the hurdles??? Email me and I’ll tell you all about the ‘hurdles’ my aunt and uncle deal with just to be able to feed, house and meet the health needs of their daughters, at a time when they should be looking at acquiring a Winnebago and camping on a beach in WA for 6 months, before deciding on a destination to while away the next 6. Woe betide your son should he ever have a child with a disability, or children full-stop with a full-time job and a mortgage … a few rules and regs seem like its all too much for him.

Rethink things. Start a gratitude journal. Remember the old saying – there is always someone worse off than you. Its true. We could all remember that – myself included.

End of rant/lecture/soapboxing/tirade.

TVStar 1:00 pm 26 Oct 10

amarooresident3 said :

TVStar said :

I think I was in the line getting my licence renewed when this guy came up to the desk!

If it is the same guy, not knowing where he used to live in SA or anywhere else for that matter, offering to learn to drive in a bomb in a paddock in NSW, not having any of his purported licences or permits, and just generally having no clue might be why he is in this pickle.

Oh yes, all that 20 + taxes = WTF stuff also.

You mean there might be two sides to this story?

YES – my sensational revelations will break this whole ‘bureaucratic bungling’ saga wide open when the Canberra Times or Wikileaks gets a hold of it! You think Cahill was something!

CoffinRX2 12:59 pm 26 Oct 10

Skidbladnir said :

Moral of the story: Canberra Connect makes mistakes.

Indeed they do, and when they do, they just try and dismiss it. .. I’ve had them very recently cancel registration on a vehicle incorrectly and blatantly in breach of the regulations … and the Manager of Compliance refuses to believe they did anything wrong. …. its now being looked into by the ombudsman

phil m 12:43 pm 26 Oct 10

Lol. 5 years and never had time to go for driving lessons or a test?
Did he never have holidays? Are there no driving schools operating on weekends?

C’mon people, licences are a priviledge not a right. They don’t just fall into people’s laps. People have to go out prove their worth and then be granted one. I am all for making people prove they are worthy for a licence.

Funky Claude 12:18 pm 26 Oct 10

One of the guys I work with has just finished a diploma that has taken him 4 years part time, and he works full time, has to travel as part of his job and is one hell of a worker.

You tell me that your son cannot find time to get his car license in 4 years, maybe it is best he don’t get it.

bd84 12:17 pm 26 Oct 10

If he knew that his SA licence was expiring why did he not re-new it before he left SA? Common sense would have solved all his problems. The rush now to get his Ps seems ridiculous when he has had 3 or 4 years to do so already. it’s no surprise they won’t transfer an expired learners permit, if it was a full licence I would say that may be unreasonable due to proof of skill, a learner is a learner. Hope he enjoys the next 6 months learning to drive.

Woody Mann-Caruso 11:52 am 26 Oct 10

btw, what are ‘taxes’?

1651 HOBBES Leviath. II. xx. 106 Men ought to pay such taxes as are by Kings imposed.
1776 ADAM SMITH W.N. V. ii. (heading) Part II, Of Taxes.
1846 (title) The Local Taxes of the United Kingdom.

ConanOfCooma 11:46 am 26 Oct 10

Can’t get his license?

If he wants it, he’ll take the time out to get it.

It’s as simple as that.

amarooresident3 11:45 am 26 Oct 10

TVStar said :

I think I was in the line getting my licence renewed when this guy came up to the desk!

If it is the same guy, not knowing where he used to live in SA or anywhere else for that matter, offering to learn to drive in a bomb in a paddock in NSW, not having any of his purported licences or permits, and just generally having no clue might be why he is in this pickle.

Oh yes, all that 20 + taxes = WTF stuff also.

You mean there might be two sides to this story?

Special G 11:42 am 26 Oct 10

Tax – whatever.

If your son can’t find the time in 5 years to get some lessons or sit his test then he probably needs to do some sort of time management course. Load of crap.

enrique 11:42 am 26 Oct 10

Your son is now 20 years old. He’s considered by our legal system to be well and truly a man. He’s old enough to go to jail, he’s old enough to father his own children and be responsible for their upbringing, he’s old enough to vote, etc… teach the lazy little bugger a life-lesson and tell him to sort out his own minor administrative problems by himself.

Amanda Hugankis 11:29 am 26 Oct 10

I pay tax – a hefty amount and have done so for the last 22 years. But at 36, when I found myself divorced and wanting to change my name BACK to the one I was born with, AND trying to obtain my learners permit to drive at the same time, I found myself in a bureucratic nightmare WITHIN THE SAME STATE! I went to Medicare – what do I need to change my name back? A driver’s license with my new address. I went to govt shopfront, and they told me I needed a rates notice, a rental contract (living with friends!), an electrickery bill. No could do. Birth certificate held no weight as anyone can obtain anyone’s b/c. Decree nisi was applied for by and granted to me in my married name, as I was at that time, so no evidence the maiden name I was claiming was who I was. Bank wouldn’t play. No one would play. Crappy as it was, it was what it was. I had to deal with it.

Its naught to do with his age, or his tax contribution, or his standing in the community. Government agencies and businesses don’t look at someone and say ‘well, you seem nice, respectable, you say you work hard … arrrgh, get away with ya! Don’t worry about complying with our rules … you’re one of the good guys!’

Believe it or not, most rules that seem bureaucratic and a ‘nightmare’ have come about because there are a few bad apples in our community (I know, right?!) that have done the dodgy, forcing industries and govt to make us jump through rings of fire, essentially screwing things for the rest of us. In other cases, its just states talking to states and the breakdown in between. In some cases, its security and assurances for us and/or the business/govt (and all our precious taxes), even though sometimes we can’t see it, all we can see is inconvenience.

Lady – there are people that can’t get essential surgery in this country, people in remote communities without basic facilites, suicide in rural communities and a rising cost of living that is causing more and more people to slip into the realms of poverty, the list goes on. These are tradgedies our taxes don’t even touch the sides of. As inconvenient as it is, your son’s license issues is not a tradgedy. Just an inconvenience.

Snarky 11:29 am 26 Oct 10

No advice for the OP I’m afraid, but here’s my experience with the Dickson Registry.

About ten years ago we moved to the UK for a couple of years from our home in Sydney. About 6 months prior to leaving I had to renew my NSW licence (which I’d held for nearly 20 years), and the NSW RTA cancelled the old one by punching a hole in it and giving me a new one. I got to keep the old one.

In the UK you just rock up to the DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicles), fill out a form, hand over your valid Aust licence and a handful of pounds and they issue a new UK licence, no questions asked. So, now I have an old, expired NSW licence and a current UK licence.

Forward a few years, and back in Aus. When I got to the ACT Motor Registry I again applied to convert my current UK licence to an ACT licence.

“No. If you’re coming from a UK licence you need to sit a road rules test first. Test will be fifty bucks please, done when we’re ready in a few days” says the nice lady at the counter.

Protests that I was an Australian citizen (passport), that I’d been an Australian driver for 20 years, showing the fine print on the UK licence that I was able to drive, and the old NSW licence cut no ice at all. No road rules test = no ACT licence. The End.

Then the nice lady said “If you were trying to transfer from another Australian licence I could do it immediately.”

So, while both my curent UK licence and the old, now three-years expired NSW licence were sitting on the counter between us I reached over, retrieved the UK licence and said “I’d like to transfer from this old expired NSW licence to an ACT licence please”. She looked me squarely in the eye, paused to to take stock, and said “Okay”. I walked out 5 minutes later a bonafide ACT driver. And still with a valid UK licence too.

Make of that what you will.

🙂

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