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Public Sector Informant : PSI - September
2 THE PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMANT [SEPTEMBER 2010] your annual report we can help nationalpublishers.com.au writing, editing, layout, production National Publishers Ian Davis 02 6239 3923 Email firstname.lastname@example.org NATPUB364 HBA Consulting HBA Workplace Investigations HBA Consulting has undertaken many workplace investigations over the years.To deal with the increasing demand from public sector agencies we have established HBA Workplace Investigations. HBA Workplace Investigations offers the highest level of experience and professionalism. HBA maintains a strict quality control system with all investigation reports being subjected to rigorous internal peer review prior to finalisation.This ensures sound outcomes against relevant legislative, industrial and policy requirements applicable within the public sector. HBA Workplace Investigations provides a range of services including: • investigation of discipline, code of conduct matters; • investigation of underperformance, grievances and harassment issues; • provision of strategic advice, coaching and mentoring on cases to all levels of management; • provision of training and briefings to managers/supervisors on performance management issues; • assessment of cases and options for successful resolution; • provision of conciliation services; and • provision of advice on drafting of management decisions to meet legislative and other requirements. Please contact Gary Champion if you wish to find out more about HBA Workplace Investigations. Ph: 02 6247 4490 Email:email@example.com www.hbaconsulting.com.au H.R & Workplace Relations Specialists Your Career A Roadmap to Success Your Career A Roadmap to Success Ph: 6254 6962 Mob: 0417 747 752 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.yourcareer.net.au 86 Springvale Drive Hawker ACT 2614 • Resumes • Selection Criteria • Interview Preparation • Goal Setting • Personalised Service 10-10204/1 September 2010 CONTENTS 3 Books: This Parliament will test new ministers and their bureaucrats -- Stephen Bartos 4 Politics: The Independent MPs' demands herald new lows for accountability -- Paddy Gourley 6 Accountability: Labor was as susceptible to pork barrelling as the Coalition -- Richard Mulgan 8 Democracy: The House of Representatives is ripe for change -- J. R. Nethercote 10 Accountability: The parliamentar y budget office should model itself on its Congress counterpar t -- Silvana Anthony 12 Books: Tony Blair's memoirs fail to tell a complete stor y -- Simon Heffer 14 Economics: The world's markets need a bank levy and a transactions tax -- Ross Buckley 16 Legal Af fairs: The High Cour t gave the executive a power it cannot control -- Bryan Pape 18 Democracy: 150 random Australians can develop policy objectively -- Robin Brown 19 Climate Change: A hung Parliament may give voters what they want -- Dan Gaffney 20 Superannuation: A merged trustees board for public sector funds could improve their practices -- Daryl Dixon 21 Notes for File: The barber explains how he took real action -- Charles Augustus Dent 22 Legal Af fairs: Agencies should note the health and legal risks of nanotechnology -- Christine Plevey & Andrew Lu 24 Public Administration: How I will reform NSW's troubled bureaucracy -- Barry O'Farrell 26 Recruitment: Questions that job selection panels should avoid -- Suzanne Eggins 28 PSI Diar y: Courses, conferences and events EDITORIAL Markus Mannheim Phone: (02) 6280 2230 email@example.com ADVERTISING Karl Chamberlain Phone: (02) 6280 2361 firstname.lastname@example.org [ PUBLIC EYE ] Well behind the game IT'S no longer news, but it's worth dwelling on the Gillard government's moronic decision to strip the Ahead of the Game public service reforms of their budget. After having spent the better part of seven months reviewing the federal bureaucracy, and having set aside about $40 million to pay for some gradual but meaningful changes, treasurer Wayne Swan pledged during the election campaign to take the money back, a mere three months after he allocated it. The well-considered plans became just another piece of kindling (a small one, at that) to fuel Labor's savings spree. The Coalition added the Ahead of the Game blueprint to its costings pyre, too, but that goes without saying given the manner in which it pursued its fantasy surplus. Swan says the reforms will still go ahead, but the relatively small Public Service Commission is now to lead their implementation ''primarily within its existing resources''. Just how it will do this is a mystery, because the Labor Party offered that one sentence only, buried in a weekend media statement, by way of explanation. The Institute of Public Administration was critical of parts of the blueprint, but as its president, Professor Percy Allan, points out, the reforms complement the Independent MPs' calls for greater integrity in public administration. ''For both sides of politics to scuttle this initiative is not only short- sighted, but counterproductive. Both the Labor and Coalition parties say they are committed to more relevant, effective, efficient and transparent government, yet to achieve better policy and administrative outcomes they need to implement reforms in each of the nine areas identified'' in the blueprint. Allan is urging the Independents to make funding the reforms a condition of their support for the next government. The Informant wishes him well, but fears the MPs are too busy to be reading this. Facilitation watch READERS may recall that a Canberra training course planned for July, ''Walking the way of the horse: a path to wisdom'', was cancelled due to an apparent lack of interest among public servants. The workshop used ''equine-facilitated experiential learning'' to help participants ''transform their leadership capacity''. The Informant has no idea what that means, but its facilitator, Cheryl Cruttenden, assured us at the time that ''the horses really do help a lot''. Anyway, the workshop has since galloped from strength to strength, and is now the somewhat higher- powered ''Leadership through horses'' course. It targets ''those interested in immersing themselves in a whole-person learning experience that reflects our often unconscious ways of being in 'who' and 'how' we really are and how we are perceived by others''. The Informant also spotted another facilitation trend, this time in Phoenix, Arizona, which hosts a ''passion mapping accreditation'' program in Novem- ber, where one can ''develop potent new facilitation skills''. ''You will also be able to create your own personal passion map.'' Coming soon to a government agency near you -- it certainly sounds ridiculous enough. Plagiarism is flattery THIS month's cover is a blatant rip-off of Dr Anne Tiernan and Professor Patrick Weller's new book, Learning to be a Minister, which also bears on its cover an L-plated Parlia- ment. The Informant editor recalls grilling Tony Windsor MP in June (before he became a political celebrity) about why his latest parliamentary study tour report contained so many paragraphs identical to other peoples' work. His casual reply: ''In terms of plagiarism or whatever, I don't think that's a problem . . . There's material from them and there's some commentary from me.'' If it's okay for the man of the moment, it's okay for the Informant! Stephen Bartos reviews the book on page 3.
PSI - October