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If we’re going to get bad audits let’s have less of them

By johnboy - 20 June 2009 27

Jon Stanhope’s entire tenure as Chief Minister has at times been distinguished by weird rejection of realities intruding into the world as he would like it to be.

Some highlights over the years have been:

    — Refusal to believe fire would reach the suburbs on January 18, 2003
    — Refusal to realise that staff caught painting political graffiti on private property can’t stay on the staff

And in recent year’s there have been his “rejections” of the ACT Auditor-General’s efforts to highlight the gaps between Mr. Stanhope’s grand visions and the reality as implemented by the ACT Public Service.

This week’s Audit report into the Ambulance Service appears to have tipped him over the edge. He’s now reported to be threatening to “Audit” the Auditor-General and reduce that office’s funding.

The Liberals’ Vicki Dunne has leapt to the defence of Auditor General Tu Pham.

Mrs Dunne kindly puts this and other erratic behaviour down to the stress of an increasingly speculated on leadership challenge.

My 2c is that it is the product of a longer term inflexibility of thought, and lack of imagination, struggling to come to grips with new information. Although increasing anger while grappling with this cognitive dissonance might have something to do with the rumblings from the lower decks.

If audits keep finding problems the solution is to do more audits, not less.

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
If we’re going to get bad audits let’s have less of them
Ian 11:10 pm 20 Jun 09

Don’t forget people, This guy was voted back in less than a year ago. I can form no opinion other than that generally speaking, the Canberra population is intelectually disadvantaged in some way.

Well, apart from those who do think Stanhope and co do a great job, who are intellectually challenged wankers, for most of us, the last ACT election was a choice basically on a par with choosing your preferred sexually transmitted disease.

(and, haha, just noticed you spelt “intellectually” wrong – not a good thing when you bagging out people’s intellectual shortcomings!)

barking toad 10:49 pm 20 Jun 09

Narcissism explains the mayor’s behaviour

He has been displaying all the symptoms for years

Very Busy 10:35 pm 20 Jun 09

kean van choc said :

Very Busy said :

Don’t forget people, This guy was voted back in less than a year ago. I can form no opinion other than that generally speaking, the Canberra population is intelectually disadvantaged in some way.

Did you take into account the opposition at the last election as you formed that opinion?

Yep, probably not much good either but couldn’t be any worse. Reelecting this shocking Government results in even more arrogance and incompetence every time. We would be better off changing every 4 years to give the message that they need to lift their game. This would curb the level of arrogance such as that described in this thread.

Besides, you never know, the alternative might just be a whole lot better!!!

kean van choc 10:22 pm 20 Jun 09

Very Busy said :

Don’t forget people, This guy was voted back in less than a year ago. I can form no opinion other than that generally speaking, the Canberra population is intelectually disadvantaged in some way.

Did you take into account the opposition at the last election as you formed that opinion?

Very Busy 9:06 pm 20 Jun 09

Don’t forget people, This guy was voted back in less than a year ago. I can form no opinion other than that generally speaking, the Canberra population is intelectually disadvantaged in some way.

Ian 8:26 pm 20 Jun 09

only an idiot or a really desperate pollie would use it as a justification for anything.

Well that qualifies Stanhope to use it. He is both.

The cat did it 7:28 pm 20 Jun 09

Bizarre reaction- I almost choked on my porridge when I read about this. If it was ‘all his own work’, then someone needs to take him aside for a long talk; if it’s a result of his staffers’ advice, then he needs new staff, ‘cos the current lot are incompetent. Either way they need to get their sh*t together, fast. Even drag out the relevant episode of Yes Minister and get some clues on handling such issues. In a well-run Ministers’ Office, stumbles like this just shouldn’t be allowed happen.

To threaten budget cuts is entirely the wrong reaction, and looks like dumb, lumpen bullying. Using NSW as a benchmark for adequate expenditure on audit is absurd too- everyone knows that NSW government is chronically dysfunctional, has been for years, and that only an idiot or a really desperate pollie would use it as a justification for anything.

TP 3000 6:46 pm 20 Jun 09

cranky said :

How do we establish that the Chief Minister is mentally capable of continuing in the job?

Why do you think ACT Health is improving mental health within the ACT? For all the ACT Chief Ministers

cranky 6:20 pm 20 Jun 09

Stanhope’s reaction to this audit report is so bizarre that his grasp on reality is to be questioned.

How do we establish that the Chief Minister is mentally capable of continuing in the job?

miz 5:29 pm 20 Jun 09

Audits mean transparency and therefore better accountability and overall governance. They also mean less control from the top, but governments should accept this as democracy, not chuck spaks!

I do not want one person telling the populace what we should all think – that is totalitarianism.

I agree, a larger budget, not a smaller one, is required.

bd84 4:25 pm 20 Jun 09

Accountability is something Chairman Jon has never liked, nothing is ever his fault is it?

At least we had some common sense and didn’t let him have a majority in the Assembly again. The CT article even showed how little thought he put into what he was saying, if you look at his claims:

1. he wants to audit the audit office – only the public accounts committee can do that, he doesn’t have one bit of a say in the operations of the audit office.
2. cut the funds – well obviously that would have an impact on the number of audits he would get critisised in. Cutting the funding would not rid him of bad reports, given the majority of income doesn’t come directly from the government, but from government departments judging by their annual report.

I think it’s time the Opposition and Greens used their weight together and gave Jon a kicking and made demands of more scrutiny not less.

shauno 3:48 pm 20 Jun 09

Surely threatening to cut funding to a department because they produced an audit that he didn’t agree with has to be a form of intimidation and boarding on illegal. Being a Labour party socialist he probably thought for a minute he was back in his ideal Soviet Utopia where such behavior was probably common.

TP 3000 3:07 pm 20 Jun 09

Stanhopey will just do what he loves doing, merging organizations, taking over the merged department & destroying it. Since they do the same job the Audit Office will most likely be merged with Treasury.

We need things to be run by people that have an idea of the department they are running. Take ACTION for example before it was merged with TAMS it was being run by ex bus drivers who had an idea what the public wanted & they spent as much money as they could to deliver that service. As soon as ACTION was merged with TAMS, it was then run by Public servants that have no idea about those big orange or green things that they have to give way to (but don’t). So these public servants were thinking about the money. So services were seriously cut. Proof of this is that since ACTION was taken over by TAMS, this year is the first year that a fare increase was approved. As I remember back around 2006/2007 it was said that unless services are improved no fare increase would be approved. Although we are no were near an acceptable service, we are getting there.

housebound 1:19 pm 20 Jun 09

I really hope the majority of the Assembly responds to this threat by using its numbers to force an increase in the Auditor-General’s budget.

There’s times when commonsense should prevail.

Thumper 11:37 am 20 Jun 09

Ahhh, the Stanhope solution. If someone points out a problem then do away with that someone rather than rectify the said problem.

And use the angry voice.

His threat to cut funding to the audit office is unbecoming and bizarre in the least.

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