For some, the end begins now.

Skidbladnir 22 January 2008 56

ABC Online: NCA cuts 30 jobs
More than 30 jobs have been slashed from the National Capital Authority (NCA) under the Rudd Government’s proposal to slash the federal bureaucracy…

ABC Online: PM to continue public service cuts despite $3b windfall
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says a $3 billion windfall inherited from the Howard government will not stop his government making massive savings within the federal bureaucracy…

Canberra times Online: Rudd’s PS cuts to boost surplus
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has pledged further sweeping cuts to Government spending and the public service to deliver a budget surplus of at least $16 billion…

While it is nice to see some heads roll at the NCA, how do you cut $13 billion out of the existing public service?

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56 Responses to For some, the end begins now.
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Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 12:44 pm 22 Jan 08

YEs, I realise that the article does mention “Government spending -and- the public service”, but the pre-election buildup seemed to play up more about the increase to spending (smaller than Liberals yes, but still an increase to costs), tax cuts (decreased income)and the promised razor gang (the promised decreased expensing).

Thumper Thumper 12:44 pm 22 Jan 08

DFAT are losing $57 million I believe from there OS budget.

Thumper Thumper 12:45 pm 22 Jan 08



Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 12:50 pm 22 Jan 08

“…how do you cut $13 billion out of the existing public service?”

Cut programmes. Ditching ASL isn’t going to get you close. Defence, health, social security are the big government spenders so the most fat can be trimmed from these areas. The government might look at walking away from a number of Defence contracts, they could probably lose some of the middle class welfare like the baby bonus, health insurance rebate and the childcare rebate – then you could put some spin on the way the $13 billion will be calculated – instead of digging up a lump sum, you say it’s calculated over the term of the government so the amount you’re looking for becomes $4.3 billion a year (assuming a three budget government).

Given the difficulty the APS is facing in recruiting at present I doubt that the former NCA bods will have too much trouble finding somewhere to hand their cardigan – actually, for NCA types it would probably be a black lambswool or cashmere polo neck …

Mr Evil Mr Evil 1:01 pm 22 Jan 08

“…how do you cut $13 billion out of the existing public service?”

Sack everyone, then replace them with consultants!

toriness toriness 1:01 pm 22 Jan 08

get rid of overpriced consultancies – who are simply ex-public servants who have left the APS to work for a consultancy firm then are hired back to do the same work for 3 times the price

Mr Evil Mr Evil 1:15 pm 22 Jan 08

Toriness, wash your mouth out! 🙂

roccon roccon 1:19 pm 22 Jan 08

I am happy to consult on how to best cut back on consultants. Give me money now !!

Thumper Thumper 1:29 pm 22 Jan 08

Consultants and contractors come from a different bucket of money, thus it appears that savings a re being made in asl, when in fact, it actually costs more.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 1:41 pm 22 Jan 08

A quick check down the back of the sofas netted some Little Kev some $3b in unspent funds last week.

There seems to be a fair bit of fat that can be trimed from the operational budgets of a number of Depts as well as cuts to projects / programmes, esp in defence, DEEWR and FaCSIA.

Still, Wayno came out and said that they will go ahead with $31b in tax cuts despite their search for dollars and the so called war on inflation.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 1:45 pm 22 Jan 08

I can see it now Thumper. The tax cuts will go ahead, but they’ll scrap the childcare rebate and the health insurance subsidy – to support the whole thing, they’ll produce a consultants reporty that found that people preferred tax cuts to hand outs because it allowed them to choose how to spend their money. The tax cuts will get swallowed up on covering the cost of health insurance and childcare.

VicePope VicePope 1:46 pm 22 Jan 08

I’d agree that there is a lot of fat in consultancies and outsourcing. But some of it would need to be done anyway – although public servants would usually be cheaper. One could make savings by reducing the effort going to the rear end of agency activities (some accountability stuff, but an awful lot of permanenet structures to deal with short-term problems). Most government information campaigns, even when not overtly political, have been a poorly directed waste of money. A bit of rationality about buildings would save a lot.

And then there are programs. Minor tweaks in social security for the more affluent aged or a critical approach to funding of public/private things (eg hospitals and child care) would be useful as would restructuring education funding to provide a standard contribution related to other school income. Be critical about some of the less worthwhile universities and their airier programs.

As a proposition, if Defence buys something for, say, $1b and that includes mistakes, delays and fudges worth $400m, why shouldn’t Defence have to find the lost money. And there’s been a hell of a lot of that kind of thing. Defence is probably the worst, but it’s not the only offender.

One thing that should be done if there must be losses is pool those who may lose their jobs and reallocate them where they can work. The 1996-97 and later redundancies led to (a) a massive number of expensive and variably useful consultants and (b) a huge loss of talent, much of which found its way back in after a couple of years. It was an utter waste of resources.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 1:47 pm 22 Jan 08

Sorry, should have been Neanderthalsis rather than Thumper.

fnaah fnaah 1:53 pm 22 Jan 08

Open Source software.

(okay, so i’m trolling a bit. :P)

Mælinar Mælinar 2:46 pm 22 Jan 08

I’ll happily accept a redundancy package. World domination does not start in the public service.

thetruth thetruth 3:01 pm 22 Jan 08

I don’t think that you will have much trouble finding VR canidates – the bulk of the babyboomers are approaching or over 55. They are generally past it anyway – so lets see if they invested well in making the next generation skilled and experienced (you reap what you sow you old farts)

emd emd 4:17 pm 22 Jan 08

How cool would it be to have all the government offices using OpenOffice, Firefox, and open source email instead of Microsoft! Would save heaps – not just in licensing, but also lost productivity due to viruses.

DarkLadyWolfMother DarkLadyWolfMother 4:22 pm 22 Jan 08

“…how do you cut $13 billion out of the existing public service?”

Make the pollies take a paycut.

Is that my cloud over there?

thetruth thetruth 4:45 pm 22 Jan 08

“…how do you cut $13 billion out of the existing public service?”

Stop the public servants reliance on itself thats how. The public service makes things overly complex to ensure that they need more of themselves – eg the ATO should have performance based on dimplified tax act (it is currently taller than a person!!!!) – it should be halved each 12 months.

Stop stealing money through taxes just to give it back minus a public service administration charge – Howard employed thousands to “police” rather than provide service.

thetruth thetruth 4:46 pm 22 Jan 08

thats simplified

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