How to run a go slow to tricky questions

johnboy 13 September 2012 2

One presumes it was Jeremy Hanson who FOI’d the emails surrounding his Question on Notice about hospital emergency department waiting times.

But the resulting paper trail is certainly intriguing.

Messages misplaced, key people going on leave, eventually deciding that the investigation of their own scandal means they can’t give an answer at all.

In my opinion Sir Humphrey would have been proud!

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2 Responses to How to run a go slow to tricky questions
HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 1:25 pm 13 Sep 12

It’s probably all of a piece with the bureaucratic handling of the storm in a skinny latte cup over Hanson’s vehicle usage. Sadly, it’s hardly surprising when you have a bureaucracy answering to a very small unicameral legislature, with four year fixed terms and with the same party having been in power for more than a decade. On the latter, Andrew Barr’s reference to the “forthcoming Festival of Democracy that is the Territory Election”, in his 21 June speech (about his new rates and taxes system) to the Property Council, may have been an attempt at drollery for the benefit of his audience, but to me it had more than a whiff of the hubris, and impatience with the baggage of democracy, which this Government all-too-often displays. To the extent that is so, I have little doubt similar attitudes would have permeated at least some elements of the bureaucracy.

This suggests to me that the entity in question should stop referring to itself as the ACT Public Service and start calling itself the ACT Government Service, with all that implies. When it comes to the crunch, there can be little doubt that serving the Government of the day – seemingly regardless, at times, of trifling considerations such as probity, accountability, natural justice and the principles of administrative law – is its first and over-riding consideration.

bugmenot bugmenot 11:07 am 13 Sep 12

This makes me cringe at how much time & money are wasted in the cogs of the public service. A handful of people are involved in query redirection, status check email etc, for 2 paltry sentences. Depressing….

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