The big beasts brawl

johnboy 3 October 2008 5

There’s an interesting piece in the Canberra Times on divisions between Public Service Commissioner, Lynelle Briggs, and the secretary of the Department of Finance, Ian Watt.

At issue is whether or not smaller agencies can be slapped with the same efficiency dividend (funny old way to describe a budget cut isn’t it) as larger departments without detrimental effects on doing the jobs they were set up to accomplish in the first place.

Dr. Watt reckons that if the agencies were really hurting their shiny new Ministers would be on top of it.

So public service mavens, what do you think of it all?

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5 Responses to The big beasts brawl
sepi sepi 11:25 am 03 Oct 08

Ian Watt has no idea.

Lynelle Briggs is the only one who has complained cos she is the only one who understands how these things work.

The bulk of the smaller agencies are run by fairly low level people (non-SES, or lowest level SES), who often come from outside the public service, and often from overseask, with expertise in Film, or in Science etc – not lobbying ministers. They have probably never met their minister, and have no idea that they could turn up and demand more money.

I’m really talking about the cultural institutions here, which are far smaller than CSIRO, and have under 100 employees. Taking a 3.5% cut from them really bites, and jobs are lost and the remaining staff are stressed out of their brains trying to keep the places going. And their budgets are pretty minimal anyway – how much is really being saved here. They may as well just shut the places down – 3.5% budget cuts for a couple of years will result in the places having to close down anyway.

Ian Watt needs to pop out of his ivory tower and check out the state of some of the agencies.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 10:22 am 03 Oct 08

I originally thought the thread must have been about that other CT story today – about Canberra women being fatter than the men…

jakez jakez 10:06 am 03 Oct 08

I originally read the title of this thread as something else.

Upon reading the story, I was very disappointed.

verbalkint verbalkint 9:53 am 03 Oct 08

they are a very lazy budget mechanism, really.

At DEEWR (where i used to work), all they had to do was slow recruiting to meeting the dividend because their turnover of staff was so great, especially with the change to their structure.

At CSIRO, where my partner works, it means people losing jobs, projects not getting done because they dont have the same simple ways of getting costs down.

It was a bad idea when Howard did it, and it is still a bad bit of lazy governing when Rudd does it.

toriness toriness 9:44 am 03 Oct 08

our small department has had its budget absolutely decimated but we are expected to deliver the same outcomes with less staff and resources. it is @#&^@(#^ BS.

dofa budget group are a bunch of *@#&@* – but they are mostly forced to be like that by upper management – i used to work there, it is an awful awful work culture, i would never go back again.

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