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Reform of ACT PS. Is anyone happy?

By johnboy - 19 April 2006 14

The Canberra Times has reportage of not only the cabinet reshuffle, but also the planned re-organisation of the Public Service which will, in theory, reduce duplication of resources within the ACT PS.

This plan doesn’t seem to have made anyone very happy. The ABC is reporting on a nervous CPSU which doesn’t like the idea of efficiencies one little bit.

On the other hand Liberal Leader Brendan Smyth has put out a media release pointing out that similar measures in Western Australia have yet to produce any real savings.

I think the problem with all these re-structures is that the cost of change is so high that even a sensible restructure is going to take many years to show benefits. If, as many surmise, a budget crisis has prompted this reorganisation then it’s unlikely to achieve it’s goals.

The best time to mend a roof is while the sun is shining.

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Reform of ACT PS. Is anyone happy?
tallian 6:13 pm 20 Apr 06

Fiona – salary, super, payroll tax, leave, real estate, infrastructure, $100k would be about right for the allup cost of a midrange clerk. Might be a bit more, might be a bit less. Still $10m is about 100 staff (might be 80, might be 120)

Fiona 4:02 pm 20 Apr 06

tallian, there were some subtle hints that the reshuffle and fiscal revamp were on the way. The most obvious of which was the move a month or so ago to a “common” ACT Government logo, and the removal of all departmental branding. The Government has a terrible poker face.

Heh, and we wanted to get work shirts with our widdle department’s logo on them, and what an uproar that causes when it got up to whoever it was it got to.

A bit of simple maths tells me the number of job reductions is going to be of the order of 100 ($10m divided by approx $100k per head).
?Where do you get the 100k per head from

Back to Health I go… hi ho!

terubo 10:58 am 20 Apr 06

Stop! Whinin.

Les Whinin 9:51 am 20 Apr 06

tallian, there were some subtle hints that the reshuffle and fiscal revamp were on the way. The most obvious of which was the move a month or so ago to a “common” ACT Government logo, and the removal of all departmental branding. The Government has a terrible poker face.

barking toad 8:43 am 20 Apr 06

Quinlan saw the writing on the wall ages ago and got out.

And now we’ve got the mayor in charge of the town treasury – the bloke who spent a motza on QC’s from Sydney and Melbourne to satisfy an ego trip to have his own bill of rights in the ACT. Not to mention the other crazy schemes.

This centralising of admin services sounds great in theory but will cost a fortune to set up and will be a nightmare of red tape and bureaucratic inefficiencies.

And don’t you public service kiddies worry about job losses. There’ll be plenty of new ones needed to set up and run the new white elephant.

tallian 10:15 pm 19 Apr 06

I’d also add, how did the Govt fuck the budget up so quickly? Ministers and Treasury clearly did not have their eye on the ball – you don’t just go from everythings ok to shit we’re in a hole with no warning or time to do something about it.

tallian 10:08 pm 19 Apr 06

A bit of simple maths tells me the number of job reductions is going to be of the order of 100 ($10m divided by approx $100k per head). Quite modest, and from my experience of working in ACT government, extremely achievable. The problem with shared services arrangements is that the service providers are remote from the people they provide service to, it becomes a paperwork processing factory, and the focus is on churning out transactions not providing services to actual people. Yes they’ll have service level agreements but these aren’t worth the paper they’re written on – what happens if service levels aren’t met – can departments sue Treasury for not providing the contracted services, can they walk away from the shared service centre?

Thumper 9:08 pm 19 Apr 06

Well, what’s the loss of a few thousand public service jobs when we can have a arbortum and a magical mystery tour busway. And gay marriages, and a Bill of Rights, and fuck knows what they’ll think of next, a Free West Papuan Embassy?

Surely those without a job in the future can see that these things are much more important in the long run.

Frankly the lunatic is now running the asylum, and will be for a long time unless Brendan and his boys (and girls) get off their lazy, incompetent, good for nothing, policy and idea free zone, and do something.

For Christsakes, all we ask in this tin pot dictorship is for a decent opposition. Can’t we at least have that?

Then again, a decent federal opposition would also be handy, but that’s not going to happen either.

*sigh*

Tempestas 7:58 pm 19 Apr 06

The CPSU will be “whinging” on behalf of its members who now face the real liklihood of getting the bullet. The Union represents it members, if you think its surprising that they want to raise concerns on behalf of its members, I suggest you offer to swap your job – assuming it pays about the same with an ACT Public Servant who gets made redundant. Then all of your criticism will be meaningful. If the relevant union didn’t raise the relevant concerns it wouldn’t be doing its job would it.

As a ratepayer (well someday anyway) I want an efficient Government sector, I also want reasonable services. Now that would be a more useful debate to have.

Lets be honest Commonwealth/State duplication probably costs us all more, and as the ACT is a net tax exporter (we pay more income tax and GST than we get back) we probably will never be able to get a fair start with our hybrid local/state government.

All that said, looks like every state government seems to have got fiscally slack why the negative gearing/spruiking induced property boom was happening. Guess those chickens are coming home to roost.

Les Whinin 4:59 pm 19 Apr 06

This reshuffle is great news! We need less public servants and more bottleneck drive extensions, warp speed busways and big glasshouses with plants in ’em. Forget about decent health or education systems though, you can be born stupid, learn nothing, and die young.

Thumper 4:21 pm 19 Apr 06

And then they’ll have to hire them back on contracts at twice what they paid them for.

Ah, economic rationalism. you’ve just got to love it….

Maelinar 1:46 pm 19 Apr 06

Does anybody ever consider that there will be a genuine reduction in beauracrats or administrative buffoons clogging up valuable O2 by the combination of services ?

Really, somebody has got something to answer for if they believe that’s going to happen.

IMHO the only decent way of reducing the dead weight is to make it simpler to fire their non-work-productive asses.

But then again, they’ll probably need a management team, a HR specialist, an ongoing Psychiatrist, and a swag of other highly disposable income types to come up with the same solution.

johnboy 1:26 pm 19 Apr 06

think that’ll stop em?

Sssanta 1:15 pm 19 Apr 06

JB’s article

Bear in mind that InTACT is already a sole providor of IT (including most telco services) for all of the ACT government. Centralising core services for mickey mouse inc really started back in 1997, so in mind the CPSU have really nothing to whinge about.

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