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Happy Camps for JaCS?

By johnboy - 20 March 2009 22

Brendan Smyth’s War On Waste marches on.

This time he’s discovered that the Department of Justice and Community Services has budgeted $40,000 on team building exercises.

    ““The Chief Minister Jon Stanhope continues to suggest only external factors are the reason for why ACT economy is in recession and why the budget may be as much as $200 million in the red.

    “Yet under his Treasurer Katy Gallaghe

    r’s eyes, we see this monumental waste of ACT tax payer’s resources with a $40,000 contract for team building exercises on how to be happy and have fun in the workplace.

    “For someone that has been made redundant or can’t see a doctor this level of government waste is pretty hard to swallow.”

It was perhaps unwise to tag the exercises as ‘art of fun’, but (without wishing to do the Government’s job for it) is Brendan seriously suggesting that there should not be team building exercises?

Out in the private sector a similar sized organisation wouldn’t be spending much less.

Be it taking every one out for dinner, Friday afternoon drinks, a day at the paint ball, or more structured activities, there’s nothing stupid about setting aside time for people to learn to work better together.

What’s Your opinion?


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22 Responses to
Happy Camps for JaCS?
futto 9:36 pm 20 Mar 09

aghh team building days. I can’t stand them.

If I have to walk into another room with marker pens and butchers paper, I will punch someone in the throat.

Kudos to the opposition in this case! 🙂

Mr Waffle 8:47 pm 20 Mar 09

Well, JACS need to spend the mountains of cash they got after the ’03 bushfires somehow… obviously the fleet of Mitsubishi Pajeros all their management got wasn’t enough.

The closest thing we get to “team building” is us chucking our own morning teas…

cranky 8:42 pm 20 Mar 09

Ah Woody, you’re a revelation, as always.

Small business, as you obviously know, has all this money they hide from the tax man, and instead of building their business, improving staff moral, training for the future, fritter it away on cars, boats, holidays and nags.

I would suggest that ALL small business people think of nothing other than improving their business. If you have good staff, you are a lucky person.

Woody, I may not be clever enough to earn $100K PA, but you are an arch bastard for denigrating my efforts!

Woody Mann-Caruso 8:23 pm 20 Mar 09

Quick, everybody stop spending! Cranky is poor.

That way we can have miserable employees who leave, and then we have to pay $40K x whatever to recruit new staff, plus the cost of downtime, plus the cost to train them, plus the drain on productivity while they get up to speed… Or worse, they could stay while miserable and drag down productivity over an extended period.

Or you could spend the equivalent of $240 per person (166 staff in the Office of Regulatory Services according to the department’s 07/08 annual report) and maybe save on some of these other costs.

But hey, whatever – I’m sure thinking small and in the short term is working out fabulously for you all. Well, except you, cranky.

cranky 6:11 pm 20 Mar 09

As a very, very small businessman, this spending practically reduces me to tears.

$40K is more than I earn per annum, and to have Labor lauding the expenditure, when they refuse to pay bills incured during the last election campaign, is simply rubbing salt into the wound.

Team bonding in my place is the employees getting paid each week, and the boss providing coffee and milk.

Sonic, Gallagher and Co, you are on a diferent planet to some.

Thumper 5:09 pm 20 Mar 09

Team building exercises?

What a total wank. Suck it up, harden up, learn to work in a team. Afterall, you are getting paid for it…

Pommy bastard 4:49 pm 20 Mar 09

Although 40 grand wouldn’t go far towards…well… much actually…I still resent my tax dollars going on this, as I find such activities counter productive.

Mind you they may as well spend it on this and just annoy a few pubes, rather than spend it on “art” and annoy just about everybody eh?

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 4:43 pm 20 Mar 09

I wonder what the cost is for the time spent by all those pubes playing these games? Don’t forget, we still need to pay to get the work done, and time spent at games (this was on during work hours, right?) is time for which people are being paid, but their work is not getting done.

Start adding up the staff time cost and I bet it’s a lot, lot more than 40 thousand bucks…

Skidbladnir 4:42 pm 20 Mar 09

Its true that they haven’t had anyone ejected from the party in a while, but acting as a unified team?

jakez 4:37 pm 20 Mar 09

sepi said :

woulda thought the local libs could do with some team building…

One of the things that most amused me about being involved in the campus liberal clubs is that one year one of the items given to the clubs to be put in showbags were ‘Don’t Berry Canberra’ stickers. That’s right, stickers that were 10 years old. Needless to say, they did not find their way into the UC Liberal Club bags.

In my opinion, you just put a Don’t Berry Canberra sticker in this thread.

sepi 4:31 pm 20 Mar 09

woulda thought the local libs could do with some team building…

kieran AP 4:25 pm 20 Mar 09

I personally think that all government departments and private enterprise companies should be encouraged to participate in approved team building activities (of course in this fantasy world, the only approved team building activity would be paintball, at my fields 🙂 )

On a serious note, this year alone we have had a large number of private and government organisations out doing paintball or the lasers as a structured team building and leadership development activity.

The general consensus has been:
1. that paintball/lasers are much cheaper than most faciliated activities
2. the activities are inclusive (lasers and paintball) rather than exclusive (golf or a night out)
3. people tend to have a much more intense experience that is then a shared experience which contributes to a better result for team building or leadership training.
4. that the patrons we have had will be back.

Of course I could be a bit biased.

Kieran AP.

johnboy 4:25 pm 20 Mar 09

PB, now we’re debating what to spend the money on.

Brendan is arguing that no money be spent at all.

caf 4:15 pm 20 Mar 09

Does this mean that the RiotACT bicycle bar crawl is a tax-deductible team building exercise?

Pommy bastard 4:14 pm 20 Mar 09

Be it taking every one out for dinner, Friday afternoon drinks, a day at the paint ball, or more structured activities, there’s nothing stupid about setting aside time for people to learn to work better together.

Setting aside time for people who work together to have some fun together, isn’t a bad thing in moderation. Our office has a BBQ lunch on a Friday, and once every couple of months a small drinks party.

However, isn’t this more likely to be where a bunch of paid “consultants” get to annoy the buggery out of people who don’t want to play their silly bloody games?

I’ve been to far too many “team building days” and played too many “trust games” and “cooperative games” to ever want anything to do with them again.

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