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Extreme stupidity at the Department of Defence?

johnboy 27 March 2009 80

The SMH reports that the Defence bureaucracy, not content with thieving from the frontline soldiery, has now leaked the contents of their security checking into their own Minister.

Even if they do manage to move him on (unlikely when the relationship in question is no secret) what sort of relationship do they think they’re going to have with a possible incoming Minister after playing a dirty trick like this?

The tea leaves are speaking to me about extra efficiency dividends in the Department of Defence’s future.

UPDATE: The Age has a bit on Fitzgibbon coming unstuck on undisclosed trips to China. Good luck to DoD if this does bring him down.


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Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 2:41 pm 05 Jun 09

Faulkner may be able to put a fear of oversight & reporting into some people, but it has been 15 years, two wars, several acts of terrorism, and half a dozen deployments since he was last attached to Defence (Support?) in the early 90s.

He’s probably forgotten more about Defence bureaucracy and process in the intervening years than Fitzgibbon ever wanted to know, though.

peterh peterh 2:22 pm 05 Jun 09

jessieduck said :

and now Faulkner’s been named his replacement

and is a member of PRAT. I don’t need to make this up, it is on http://www.gold.gov.au...

jessieduck jessieduck 2:13 pm 05 Jun 09

and now Faulkner’s been named his replacement

Mr Evil Mr Evil 2:06 pm 05 Jun 09

There certainly may have been people out to get Fitzgibbon, but he himself was the one who gave them all the ammo they needed to bring him down.

Foolish man.

Loose Brown Loose Brown 2:00 pm 05 Jun 09

A couple of thoughts on this schemozzle:

– I thought it was the job of the PM to decide who was the Minister – not individuals within the Defence Security Authority. Just because they have got their way does not mean that they should not be rooted out. They are a danger to our democracy IMO. Good luck John Faulkner with c_nts like that in your organisation!

– Equally amazing is the fact that the Canberra Times yesterday divulged the area where their source worked, the means with which they communicated with the CT, the times that they communicated with the CT and even the motivation for the leaking. Good luck ever getting a juicy leak like that again.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 1:52 pm 05 Jun 09

I am having a shithouse day for irony.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 1:52 pm 05 Jun 09

I am having a shithouse day for irony.

caf caf 1:39 pm 05 Jun 09

Skidbladnir: I believe your irony detector is faulty.

PM PM 1:11 pm 05 Jun 09

If he didn’t fix up his act after that first bit of scrutiny months ago, he deserved to be asked to resign.

ant ant 12:43 pm 05 Jun 09

I think Fitzgibbon was carrying out his Leader’s stated wishes, but he gave his opponents sticks to beat him with, which was his fatal error.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 12:38 pm 05 Jun 09

Skidbladnir said :

jakez said :

Let this be a lesson to any Minister in the future that thinks they are meant to be in control of a Department and set policy.

Dogs wag tails, tails do not wag dogs.
(That said, what causes pain for the tail might actually be bad for the dog)

Employees of the public service provide support for the direction and policy set by elected government, but at the same time does so on a basis that is free from politically motivated bias and politically motivated influence.

Personally, I suspect putting someone in charge of Defence is always going to be a contentious thing, because you have thousands of staff required to be willing to throw themselves at battles and willingly die for their country, so their internal decisionmaking may not align with a direction set by a civilian in a suit who a) would not do the same, and b) is only there because the public elected sufficient persons of a united political organisation to enable the political party leader to make an internal political decision, who is c) doing what is popular politically, instead of following the direction set by those willing to do the dying.

Everybody now!

“Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses”

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 12:29 pm 05 Jun 09

jakez said :

Let this be a lesson to any Minister in the future that thinks they are meant to be in control of a Department and set policy.

Dogs wag tails, tails do not wag dogs.
(That said, what causes pain for the tail might actually be bad for the dog)

Employees of the public service provide support for the direction and policy set by elected government, but at the same time does so on a basis that is free from politically motivated bias and politically motivated influence.

Personally, I suspect putting someone in charge of Defence is always going to be a contentious thing, because you have thousands of staff required to be willing to throw themselves at battles and willingly die for their country, so their internal decisionmaking may not align with a direction set by a civilian in a suit who a) would not do the same, and b) is only there because the public elected sufficient persons of a united political organisation to enable the political party leader to make an internal political decision, who is c) doing what is popular politically, instead of following the direction set by those willing to do the dying.

jakez jakez 12:13 pm 05 Jun 09

Holden Caulfield said :

Looks like DoD got their way in the end.

Let this be a lesson to any Minister in the future that thinks they are meant to be in control of a Department and set policy.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:07 pm 05 Jun 09

Looks like DoD got their way in the end.

ant ant 12:30 am 06 Apr 09

There’s a “story” in the CT about this. Of course, if you’re FREELOADING and reading the website and not paying them money, you only get a very small bit. It’s here:

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/rudd-in-defence-damage-control/1478709.aspx

but it says that Ruddles is thinking of doing all kinds of things, including sidelining Nick Warner and replacing him with Dennis Richardson. Words fail me.

I read that with some amazement and other emotions, but then read the story byline: Jessica Wright.

Georges Georges 7:29 pm 29 Mar 09

Georges said :

Mr Fitzgibbon has been out of his league with DoD from his early ministerial days in the portfolio; the man was and is an accident waiting to happen and he’s certainly got himself a train wreck at present with pile ups likely to continue until he is forced out of the job. Having said that, DoD has a lot to answer for as well; this dept. along with senior bureaucrats and a couple of other elite agencies should be boiled down and re-structured. Fitzgibbon has shown how effective white ants and back stabbers can be when they have their ribbons ruffled but they were less than effective when the Bali victims needed their expertise and intelligence before being blown up and burnt to pieces on their watch! Notwithstanding the sheer incompetence in mis-managing their rumuneration / corporate financial system and forking out for maximum premiums, rates and agreements for thieving ICT services, I say boil down the lot, start again and give the Australian tax payers value for money and another invitation to trust these agencies to do the job they are well paid to do.

Thumper Thumper 7:26 pm 29 Mar 09

I should add that Fitzgibbon’s behaviour has been extremmely bizarre. Surely he had to know what he was doing would be questioned? FFS, he is the Minister, he should be beyond reproach, and even moreso, be seen to be beyond reproach.

Thumper Thumper 7:24 pm 29 Mar 09

One possible answer would be to split Defence back in 3 departments of Navy, Army and Airforce. These departments may be more manageable than the huge Defence Dept.

Back in the dys of the Vietnam War I believe that there was a Dept of the Army. in fact, I have a feeling Malcomn Fraser may have been the Mionister at some stage.

These days it’s all touchy feely one defence force, like ADFA.

Georges Georges 7:18 pm 29 Mar 09

Mr Fitzbiggon has been out of his league with DOD from his early ministerial days in the portfolio; the man was and is an accident waiting to happen and he’s certainly got himself a train wreck at present with pile ups likely to continue until he is forced out of the job. Having said that, DOD has a lot to answer for as well; this dept. along with senior bureaucrats and a couple of other elite agencies should be boiled down and re-structured. Fitzgibbon has shown how effective white ants and back stabbers can be when they get their ribbons ruffled but they were less than effective when the Bali victims needed their talent and intelligence before they were blown up and burnt to pieces. Notwithstanding the sheer incompetence in mis-managing their rumuneration / corporate financial system and forking out maximum premiums for thieving ICT services, I say boil down the lot, start again and give the Australian tax payers value for money and an invitation to trust these agencies to do the job they are well paid to do.

sepi sepi 10:58 am 28 Mar 09

So everyone agrees there are issues at DoD. Parts of it are good, parts of it are shocking, and a lot of the parts don’t know what the other bits are doing.

But what would you do to fix it? I don’t think sacking stacks of people and cutting their funds is going to improve anything.

Maybe they need a big people swap with a few other departments. Loads of people at Defence have been there forever, and do stuff just because that is what they learned in 1963. Or because they all know each other and so-and-so will fix it up if we haven’t done this quite right.

pelican pelican 10:18 am 28 Mar 09

The Defence Department is the biggest shemozzle in government. Anyone who has ever worked for them or knows people who do, continue to be amazed at the stupidity and complete lack of organisational ability.

If DSD has intercepted Mr Fitzgibbon’s IT systems it has breached the law. It is only allowed to intercept foreign signals as far as I am aware.

If even a Government Minister cannot withstand the wrath of his own department imagine the chances of a lowly potential whistleblower. Which is why the recommendation in the Inquiry on Whistleblower Protections is so inadequate when pushing the line that whistleblowers should first approach senior management rather than a ‘safe’ external body that will accommodate confidentiality and offset the negative effects on one’s career.

There have been some big doozies of mistakes by Defence over the years not to mention dodgy purchases outside the procurement system if reports in the papers over the years have been accurate. It needs someone with the guts to wield a big broom and withstand the inevitable backlash.

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