Amendments to the Public Service Act 1999

Further to my earlier post about the Public Service Amendment Bill 2012 (which apparently the Opposition is supporting), I have another concern. It relates to clause 58 and the appointment of secretaries. Under the present legislation, the Prime Minister may appoint a secretary for any term up to five years. Under the bill before Parliament, it must be for five years, unless the secretary is being reappointed to the same department.

Let’s imagine that X is the secretary of a department, with one year remaining on his contract. A new government wants to move X to another department. Under the Public Service Act as it stands, the transfer of X to the new department could be for one year, as per the existing appointment. But if the Bill is enacted, the transfer would be for a full five years. That seems excessive and an unwarranted intrusion into the flexibility of the Prime Minister to move secretaries around.

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Samuel J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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7 Responses to Amendments to the Public Service Act 1999

  1. Sleetmute

    Not sure if this has been addressed previously but can’t Ministers sack senior public servants? Like Howard’s “night of the long knives”?

  2. JC

    Samuel

    I dunno what the problem is here. All the Libs need to do is change the act and make public service jobs employment at will… no more 5 year contracts… nothing more like that.

    Change the act and fire the the Liar Party sleepers en masse. No biggie.

  3. johanna

    Changing the Act would need Senate support. Assuming that the Greens/Independents and Labor will still have the numbers, it’s not likely that the suggested amendments would get through.

  4. Jc

    Johanna..
    No probs.. we will be going to a double dissolution anyway, so make this part of the bag of tricks that a joint sitting will have to vote on. No biggie.

    Let the liars party and the Greenslime go with a DD campaign helping run a protection racket for top APS labor honchos along with their egregious levels of pay while sitting in a office doing nothing as the Lib government doesn’t want them.

    That would sure be a vote winner.

    The voting punters do understand that public servants are a cost.

  5. NoFixedAddress

    @SamualJ,

    A bit sideways to your topic but you may find this article by Megan McArdle titled America’s New Mandarins of interest.

    When you look at the ‘mandarins in charge’ around the Western Wold, if not every country and International Organization, all you can really do is never take your eye off them and keep backing slowly away!

  6. Chris

    I dunno what the problem is here. All the Libs need to do is change the act and make public service jobs employment at will… no more 5 year contracts… nothing more like that.

    The ALP would love it if the LNP tried to take a policy of making public service jobs at will because they’d claim it would be extended to all jobs. You’d basically be gifting them an anti workchoices II campaign.

  7. Samuel J

    NFA – McArdle’s blog is right. The problem with elites is that they are so arrogant in their intelligence that they think it morally right to tell others how to live their lives.

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