Of Mandarins & Minions.

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The Mandarin's take on PM Malcolm in the middle. Rolleyes

As can be expected the Mandarin went into overdrive overnight & today; here is some of their coverage on Malcolm Turnball becoming the 29th Australian Prime Minister.

First from Harley Dennett... Wink

Quote:Malcolm Turnbull becomes 29th Prime Minister, frontbench sweep imminent

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Tony Abbott has lost the leadership of the Liberal Party and prime ministership after less than two years in office.

His rival, Malcolm Turnbull’s successful bid for the top political job, 54-44 over Abbott, has opened the door to expected sweeping changes to the frontbench, if not a sweep of old policies.

Communication strategy and three-word slogans were felling the government, the former communications minister declared on announcing his bid only a few hours earlier: “We need to respect the intelligence of the Australian people.”

At a press conference with re-endorsed Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop, Turnbull reiterated his push for focus on selling the economic policies of the government, including the China Free Trade Agreement. His government will continue to pursue a market-based approach to becoming a nation that is agile, innovative and creative:

“It will be a thoroughly Liberal Government committed to freedom, the individual and the market. It will be focussed on ensuring that in the years ahead, as the world becomes more and more competitive, and greater opportunities arise, we are able to take advantage of that. The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative.

“We cannot be defensive, we cannot future proof ourselves. We have to recognise that the disruption that we see driven by technology, the volatility and change is our friend, is our friend if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it. There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than today and there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian. We will ensure that all Australians understand that their Government recognises the opportunities of the future and is putting in place the policies and the plans to enable them to take advantage of it.”

No early election

Turnbull confirmed his assumption was that the parliament will serve its full term.
“Of course policies change, they change all the time, but they will be when people should have the confidence that we will be making decisions in a thoughtful and considered manner.”

“Of course policies change, they change all the time, but they will be when people should have the confidence that we will be making decisions in a thoughtful and considered manner.”

Changing prime minister, it turns out, was only a two-flag event. Nobody had time to change the blue room after a series of government frontbenchers had used the hours earlier to bulwark the former prime minister and argue against Turnbull.

Treasurer Joe Hockey, Defence Minister Kevin Andrews, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Employment Minister Eric Abetz, after siding against Turnbull, would be expected to vacate their cabinet jobs by the end of this week, one way or another.
Peter Dutton, whose performance as Immigration minister has concerned many in his party, may also take a demotion.

Turnbull would not speculate on his ministerial team discussions due to take place this morning, nor who will be his treasurer:

“I expect ministers will continue in their current position, unless of course they choose not to for the balance of the week and we’ll make ministerial changes after the parliamentary sitting week is over.

“As far as policy changes are concerned let me just say this. It’s not a question of leadership style. Nothing, well there are few things more important in any organisation than its culture. The culture of our leadership is going to be one that’s thoroughly consultative. A traditional, thoroughly traditional cabinet government that ensures that we make decisions in a collaborative manner.

“The Prime Minister of Australia is not a president; the Prime Minister is the first among equals. And you can see that the partnership between me and Julie, the partnership with our colleagues will be a very clear cultural demonstration that we are operating in a traditional cabinet manner … Of course policies change, they change all the time, but they will be when people should have the confidence that we will be making decisions in a thoughtful and considered manner, recognising the significance of the work we have to do as the Government of Australia.”

With a likely change in ministers for every one of the central public service agencies — Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury, Department of Finance, the Australian Public Service Commission and the Digital Transformation Office — there will be a period of unavoidable uncertainty in the APS. This is despite, as Finance secretary Jane Halton has told ministers before, “it’s my job to run the department, not yours”.

A digital transformation prime minister?

Turnbull’s tenure at the helm of the Communications portfolio has been marked with a strident push for digital transformation. But his elevation leaves the Department of Communications, DTO, Australian Communications and Media Authority without a driving minister. Government-owned corporations NBN and Australia Post are without their key shareholder minister, and possibly later today without both shareholder ministers.

Digital innovation in federal government nearly ground to a halt after the departure of Lindsay Tanner in the Finance portfolio championing the Gov 2.0 task force. That is until Turnbull was given Abbott’s blessing — and $250 million — to restore the movement to prominence under the central advisory capacity of the Digital Transformation Office now headed by Paul Shetler.

Turnbull also instigated a substantive review of ACMA’s functions. Its future will largely depend on the minister when that review is completed.

Senator Arthur Sinodinos may be brought back into the ministry in a key central portfolio with responsibility for the DTO. Sinodinos, who left the outer minister last year due to an investigation by New South Wales’ Independent Commission Against Corruption, has shown an interest in digital innovation in government and is seen as highly capable. Or the DTO may move to PM&C.

Several female MPs and senators in the Liberal party are also expected to get promotions, which may include a promotion to Communications.
And of course an analysis on just how Malcolm is likely to engage with the Mandarins & their Minions:
Quote:Malcolm Turnbull on the public sector, taking risks & listening to advice

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What kind of prime minister will Malcolm Turnbull be from the perspective of the public service?

Will he embrace innovation, and encourage his mandarins to create the space for their staff to try out new ideas, as he suggested at The Mandarin‘s launch event at the National Press Club last year?

“We’ve got to try new things and, if you try new things, a lot of them won’t work, but so what? If you smash people because they try something and it doesn’t work then they’ll never try anything new again,” Turnbull said at the time. He was weighing in on a panel discussion featuring his wife Lucy Turnbull, a former mayor of Sydney and a member of our editorial advisory board.

Turnbull’s view — at the time — was that the consequences of failure were far greater than the rewards of success, and that the incentives that exist in the bureaucracy drive public servants to be extremely circumspect.

Or will he perhaps take the advice of Terry Moran, another member of The Mandarin editorial board and a former head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet? Moran told Turnbull that public service risk aversion was mainly a feature of departments of state, and its source was ministerial offices like his own.

“There’s a lot of innovation in the public sector but it tends to be in agencies and institutions that have a lot of devolved authority and their own governance arrangements: think public hospitals, schools, TAFEs, the Reserve Bank,” said Moran.

“The public sector is not departments of state, and if you look for innovation in departments of state you’ll be disappointed, because innovation declines the closer you get to a minister.”

Moran said Turnbull’s view was wrong for 90% of the public sector.

“You’ve got to get across to people that we are living in an age of immense volatility and, therefore, you have to be nimble and innovative.”

“You’ve got to get across to people that we are living in an age of immense volatility and, therefore, you have to be nimble and innovative.”

Then the Minister for Communications, Turnbull also said he thought public servants working in different jurisdictions should learn from each other’s successful innovations.
He also conceded that ministers should have the courage to tell their constituents the truth about the programs run by their departments — that they cannot guarantee success.

“You’ve got to get across to people that we are living in an age of immense volatility and, therefore, you have to be nimble and innovative,” said Turnbull.

Earlier this year, when it first looked like Turnbull might become prime minister, public sector business commentator Paddy Gourley suggested in the Canberra Times he would rely more on the advice of public servants than Tony Abbott.

The former Defence deputy secretary said it seemed that Abbott made decisions without consulting the public service, and then went to it for support after the fact, while Turnbull’s style in the Communications portfolio suggested “dealings with the public service would be better ordered” if he got the job.

Gourley thought advice from public servants would be “welcomed, appreciated and probably more influential” than in the Abbott administration.
Finally there was this short piece which puts to death the former PM's Chief of Staff rumoured influence - see here - on obfuscating & blocking the essential Aviation Safety reform recommendations as outlined in the Forsyth review.. Wink
Quote:Comms dept secretary Drew Clarke the new PMO chief of staff

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Malcolm Turnbull is bringing his top public servant in the Communications portfolio with him to his new office digs.

Department of Communications secretary Drew Clarke PSM has been tapped on the shoulder to become chief of staff in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Tony Nutt, who was John Howard’s private secretary, will lead the transition.
Clarke began his public sector career as a surveyor working in Australia and Antarctica. Before being appointed to run the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy in the Gillard government, he ran the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, and before that headed its the Energy and Environment Division, was executive general manager of AusIndustry.

He was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2009 for his work in energy market reform and clean energy.

Peta Credlin out

Australia first female PMO chief of staff has not been a popular figure, both in the media and public service.

The Mandarin has heard repeated stories of Credlin’s management of the inner star chamber, delaying essential appointments by up to 6 months in many cases and frustrating those in the public service who rely on the work undertaken by statutory and part-time office holders.
So well done The Mandarin for the excellent, balanced coverage of the last Turnball-ent  24hrs.. Big Grin
MTF..P2 Tongue

Well done, ‘the Mandarin’. It is becoming, if not already, the only ‘reliable’ source of comment, reporting and editorial. Well written, well edited and well presented. We shall wait for the Skidmore interview; who’s doing it? There will be just a little more than passing interest in that one.

Aussie Aviation version of 'Yes Minister'.  Dodgy 

From off 'On the Wodger':

Quote:Jul 17, 2013 at 9:10am Yak2 said:

Quite a few years ago CASA did a tour of the country 'engaging with the aviation industry'. Big turn out at Moorabbin and lots of glowing promises in the glossy presentations from the CASA blokes. 'We are hear to listen' they kept saying.
At the end of a lengthy and 'robust' question time, a mate of mine asked why none of them had bothered to take any notes.

Probably because the PR consultancy firm engaged by CASA to come up with the plan of how to go out into the 'wilderness' (i.e. anywhere outside the air-con and comfort of CASA HQ) to seek feedback from the people paying the majority of the salary 'earned' by CASA employees, wasn't given the brief of actually coming up with a concrete plan of dealing with any actual positive/negative feedback they might receive during said consultation period? [Image: wink.png]

From the lesser-known, limited-edition "The Concise Sir Humphrey Appleby Dictionary for Ministerial Use" -

Consultation (Noun): to pretend to seek the opinions and advice of stakeholders and other interested parties in various matters that have already been decided at Ministerial/Head Office level.

Read more: http://ontheroger.proboards.com/thread/4978#ixzz3lr0v79mo

Very much relevant to the current Skidmore/Fort Fumble malaise and the Minister was this excellent post from off the UP by Sunfish (guru on the bureaucratic process) Wink :

Quote:AVM. Skidmore, Minister Truss and "Advice".

Most should know the answer to the question of why Ministers and public office appointees never see to "do" anything and the frustration this causes. I think that for one or two here an explanation might be in order. The truth is that for a variety of reasons no intelligent public office holder will do anything but even the simplest of administrative actions without "advice" - written advice. Advice recommending that she is to perform some specific action.

If you have written advice and that advice proves to be wrong, then your backside is generally covered. You have someone to blame. That is why you hear politicians saying "I am advised…", "my advice is….". They apply this mantra to everything.

While this may seem strange to some, it is logical if you think about it. Whoever is writing the advice has to check wether the action is first legal, then if the action is even possible, verify the facts and truth of the matter then if its in line with Government and institutional policy,, including financial policy and finally if the any actors involved are bona fide.

To do otherwise invites political disaster. The State of Victoria once had an ill advised scheme of giving government grants to business developers - some of whom turned out to be shonks who took the money - hundreds of thousands of dollars and ran off overseas, never to be seen again. Then of course there are the other disasters beloved of the press - for example appointing people with criminal records or fake credentials (insufficient background checks), or examples of total hypocrisy (lack of common sense by the advisor) and so on.

The advice to a public figure should always take the form of a written brief, preferably One A4 page, perhaps one and a half at the extreme, that sets out the subject, the facts, discusses any policy implications and finally a one sentence recommendation beginning with the words "That you sign/note/ agree/ (verb).

The brief is signed and dated by the originator and then countersigned by everyone up the chain of command to the Minister who inspect the product and if necessary reject it. Sometimes a brief may go through Four or more iterations before the chain of command is satisfied with its tone and content.

Once you understand this process it becomes easy to see why there is such institutional inertia. The system works quite well in preventing public officials from scoring "own goals" and the chain of command is proof against civil servants in the lower levels "going rogue". However the brief construction process provides endless opportunities for the chain of command to put there own spin on events, a word here, a comma there and a dire mistake turns into a victory and vice versa.

A particular caution to well meaning people who write to CASA, perhaps making a teensy complaint for example. Your letter will be sent to the relevant person, usually the person who took the action you complain about. He will draft the brief detailing CASAs response to your complaint and the letter to you which will be signed by his boss or his bosses boss or perhaps even AVM. Skidmore. Along the way, there is plenty of time to label you as a malcontent, a serial complainer, a hysterical idiot, a scofflaw, etc. . You get the drift? Don't complain.

By now you should understand my cynicism about the chances of AVM. Skidmore making any impact on CASA. There is not a hope in hell of reform while the existing chain of command remains in place. Of course the good AVM. will be invited to think that change is happening, and that he instigated it. Public servants are very good at manipulating leaders, its their sport.

To reform CASA would take a bright young thing from PM & C and a small tiger team of aviation professionals not part of CASA and working on a greenfield plan to rewrite the act, dismember CASA and bring in the NZ/FAA regs. In my opinion such a project would need the Ministers support with the PM's approval. The package would probably be the subject of a one paragraph brief to Cabinet for approval. That is about the only way I can think that the existing chain of command can be sidelined and some pruning and healthy regrowth can occur.
Followed by some worthy comments... Rolleyes


what ministers will support

I was once told by a Minister that, to be supportable, a proposed project must be seen to:

* build substantial extra electoral support (and image) for self and the party
* build substantial extra support of/for the PM
* cost little and be easy to implement
* be not contentious within the party, or society
* be supported by the public service

those criteria surely whittle down the options......

Lead Balloon:

Some people mistake Hollowmen and Utopia for satires. They are documentaries.


I loved the Hollowmen series.. sad reflection on the way our government works. 

P1 - "..We shall wait for the Skidmore interview; who’s doing it? There will be just a little more than passing interest in that one.."

I do believe Harley Dennett is tasked with that - https://twitter.com/harleyd/status/636402415936208896

MTF..P2 Tongue

You know guys and girls its interesting.
The president of the AOPA is calling for compensation for the ADSB fraud perpetrated on the GA industry.
The thought occurred to me, what about the "regulatory Reform" fraud???

I mean the ADSB fraud only cost the industry $170 million, so I'm told.

The Regulatory Reform Fraud has cost the industry more than a quarter Billion $$ and counting.
The Part 61 fraud alone is costing my company over $250 grand a year.

Should the GA industry be calling for compensation for these frauds??

But Thorny old son, think about the positives in all of this. Lookleft hangs on to every precious word that CAsA expels. He takes home laminated pages of part 61, and pictures of CAsA executives, and he 'entertains' himself home alone for hours!  
Even that Gorilla Mrs Lookleft is sick of having to stock up the cupboards with extra tissue paper and hand lotion and she wishes the Part 61 debacle would go away.

(09-16-2015, 08:02 PM)thorn bird Wrote:  You know guys and girls its interesting.
The president of the AOPA is calling for compensation for the ADSB fraud perpetrated on the GA industry.
The thought occurred to me, what about the "regulatory Reform" fraud???

I mean the ADSB fraud only cost the industry $170 million, so I'm told.

The Regulatory Reform Fraud has cost the industry more than a quarter Billion $$ and counting.
The Part 61 fraud alone is costing my company over $250 grand a year.

Should the GA industry be calling for compensation for these frauds??


Dunno Thorny – Fraud is a serious charge, bullshit is not; nor is Bullocks, or Bollocks.

To a charge of Fraud, the reply would be a resounding not guilty; but to a continuous call of Bollocks – what can they say.

Reg reform is a Bollocks; a party for word weasels, jumped up ‘instructors’ and anyone else pushing a barrow; fraud?– no way; but ask any aviation savvy Barrister (bar Hardly Normal) and you will get a chuckle, a wry smile and a ‘good luck with that’ – pro bono.   The ‘laws’ being presented as ‘worlds best’ and the answer to a maidens prayer are unworkable, operationally devoid of understanding, written outside of any sensible brief and, to make it a total duck up, writ against the criminal code and ‘strict liability’.  All of this makes it easy for the CASA LSD to ‘win’; any case, anywhere, anytime.  Not only do they have a bottomless pit of ‘our’ money to use against a complaint, they will have laws which make it next to impossible to frame any form of defence.  For CASA, the new rules are not a bollocks, but manna from heaven.

The closest to ‘fraud’ you’ll get is a manager with SFA aeronautical experience sitting in judgement, supporting the lobotomised mutants who make a claim and make it stick, despite, ‘law’, logic and reason.  This is the crew which are, some say desperately, trying to convince industry to ‘assist’ them in doing the job they’re paid to do.  Bollocks.

Another one which may go close to a ‘fraud’ is putting up a DAS who was not only raped by the system, but lay back and enjoyed it; the correct legal term is “graped” as there was a bunch of them.

The next potential item would be the cost to operators for doing business with this outfit, extortion would be a more likely charge than fraud.  The question is, who benefits?  A cold blooded man could say well, the government takes a percentile profit, therefore the more money raked in, the better off the ‘investors’ are.  The investors are the travelling public, who, like lambs to the slaughter keep turning up to travel.  Hard to call that one, except any increase in ‘operating’ costs must be absorbed or, passed along.  No brainer really.

Nope, the ‘F” word is a little to much to go for as is extortion by a government supported monopoly; but BOLLOCKS is a non taxable, non criminal charge, which accurately defines most of what our three ‘aviation services’ are.  Sheltered workshops, with a monopoly  licence to print money, as much as they want, when they want it.  

Is it all a crock of pony pooh?, course it is; but who will change it?  Not those who benefit most – your friendly government.  The tail wags the toothless, placid dog, it has ever been thus, since the cave.

TB, what say we buy a small cottage on the South Island, set up as couple of harmless, muttering eccentrics and spend our days waiting for a car to come by and throw rocks at it in the mornings, go fishing all arvo and get pissed, every night just after sundown then toddle off to the land of nod and get up the next day and do her all again.   Got my vote; hell I’ll even throw in a dartboard as an inducement.

Aye well – peace in our time? Unlikely…..

Snouts in the trough

Looks like he who struts around wearing 'dick pointers' might be denied some treats from the taxpayer trough! Even still it is disgusting how much these parasites get paid once they are no longer PM, considering none of them do the country any good.


Liberal leadership: Tony Abbott misses out on entitlements by four days

September 15, 2015 7:40am
Miles GodfreyThe Daily Telegraph

TONY Abbott could miss out on a prime minister’s pension — by just a few days — because of the dramatic change of leadership.
Rules state that prime ministers must serve a minimum of two years to claim a prime ministerial pension package — and all the perks that go with it.
As Mr Abbott was sworn in as PM on September 18, 2013, he could fall agonisingly short of the qualifying mark following last night’s leadership turmoil, though he will still be well compensated when he retires.
The amount in entitlements received by former prime ministers depends on their length of service, but they generally receive around 70 per cent of the PM’s salary as part of their basic pension.
There are also numerous perks, including allowances for staff, business-class flights, car lease and ­office space.
Kevin Rudd was estimated to have received a pension package worth in excess of $600,000 a year after two stints as PM.
The exact amount of entitlement Mr Abbott will receive is yet to be determined, and would also take into account his role as a minister in the Howard government and the length of time he served as an MP.
He still qualifies for $300,000 a year in a pension for serving two decades.
Fairfax Media reported the rules allow him to take up to half of it as a lump sum, where it is paid at 10 times the amount sacrificed - a lump sum of up to $1.53 million.
Like previous PMs, Mr Abbott should also receive an extra $300,000 a year with which to maintain a staffed office, plus travel costs.

Oink oink. Maybe Farmer Truss is in line for a mega trough treat as well, hence his hanging around like a bad hemorrhoid?

Nanny State concerns. My opinion open to the public - Sandy Reith letter to the Institute for Public Affairs.

Quote:Dear Editor,

I wish to bring to your attention the steady decline in General Aviation (GA) as a direct result of an increasingly authoritarian regulatory regime by the Australian government. The governance of Australia's aviation was given over, in 1988, to what was euphemistically touted as an "independent government business unit" thus removing it from direct Ministerial control and allowing responsibility to be deflected away from the Minister. Calling it a business was always a lie pure and simple, it flouts every rule of commerce by being a total and unassailable monopoly.

In regard to the decline of GA;   

Movements at Bankstown Airport (Sydney's secondary airport) some twenty years ago were about 500,000. It has fallen today to around 170,000. Oil company maintained refueling points for avgas that were numerous throughout rural Australia are reduced to a handful. Canberra, population of high wealth demographic c. 400,000, went from at least four flying schools in the '80s to none in 2010 although with a slight recovery this year, now advertising one training plane available. Active pilot numbers are rapidly falling and GA flying schools, Australia wide, are hundreds less than twenty five years ago.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) was tasked to rewrite the aviation rules twenty five years ago, a task that New Zealand managed in five years. After an admitted $200 million, and counting, still not finished and the latest offering, a massive Part 61, is proving to be even less workable than the rules it replaces. 

The aviation rules have been steadily changed from civil matters to an avalanche of criminal offenses of strict liability. The rules are based on the "privileges" conferred by government which allow us to fly. 

This concept of privileges is at odds with our freedom and the pursuit of happiness as famously enshrined in the USA constitution.   

This concept of privileges, as opposed to our rights, is but an excuse for control, in this case by CASA which has managed to increase it's payroll by some 40% in the last five years. 

If flying is a privilege then so to is riding a horse or driving a car. 

Paternalism by government is alive and well in Australia, to the detriment of our freedoms. Our legal system based on the supremacy of the Crown is outdated, socially and economically. 


Alexander (Sandy) Reith
IPA member
Ken Cannane - Letter to AMROBA Members

Quote:It is a major concern that regulatory reform has been happening in this industry for 30 odd years and what is being continually produced is bureaucratic, confusing and creating red tape and restrictions that is maintaining safety by restricting aviation outside the airline mentality. How many more reviews will it take and when will government amend the Act to give power to the findings of the reviews.  CASA wants to follow EASA because it keeps many of them in a job.

Without doubt, North America has the experience and regulatory systems for general aviation that should exist in Australia.
In the late 1990s CASA started to adopt the FAR system – a system that has now been modernised during 2000 and on, post the making of EASRs for certification and maintenance.

The FAR system has done what this government demands, removed administrative restrictions and devolved previous FAA functions to industry representatives.
They have been successful in reducing red tape and administrative functions.
They made major changes to FAR Parts 21 and 183 that affected certification and manufacturing in 2009 that would reduce CASA staff levels if adopted because the functions have been passed to industry representatives.  This enables the FAA to concentrate on regulatory oversight.

The FAA devolved these functions as, in their opinion, it enhances safety. “ENHANCES SAFETY”

This needs to happen NOW in Australia. Not next year or the year after.
Adopt the FARs for general aviation engineering. (design, maintenance & manufacturing)

If regulatory reform was done correctly, CASA staff levels would be less, industry would have more responsibility and lees red tape.

It is an embarrassment to government that action is not forthcoming in a time frame acceptable to industry.

The latest newsletter - HERE -covers this subject

Ken Cannane
Executive Director
Phone:   (02) 97592715
Fax:       (02) 97592025
Mobile:   0408029329
It is my intention (with Aunty & P1 blessing) to look at the latest AMROBA newsletter in several parts, because IMO (much like Sandy's letter above) it is extremely relevant to the current (& latest) impasse to urgently needed aviation safety administrative, investigative, regulatory & legislative reform.

So definitely MTF...P2 Big Grin 

Balancing Acts & reform? - Part I

Quote from Sandy's letter to the IPA:

Quote:The governance of Australia's aviation was given over, in 1988, to what was euphemistically touted as an "independent government business unit" thus removing it from direct Ministerial control and allowing responsibility to be deflected away from the Minister. Calling it a business was always a lie pure and simple, it flouts every rule of commerce by being a total and unassailable monopoly.

I would add to Sandy's statement that in 1995 Air-Services Australia officially joined CASA on the list of 'independent government business units'. And in 1997 the government brought in the CAC Act to set the rules of accountability & governance of these independent business units.

Other 'supposedly' independent agencies - like the ATSB - were governed by the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act).

In 2013 these two Acts were merged and became the PGPA Act 2013:

Quote:5  Objects of this Act

                   The objects of this Act are:
                     (a)  to establish a coherent system of governance and accountability across Commonwealth entities; and
                     (b)  to establish a performance framework across Commonwealth entities; and
                     ©  to require the Commonwealth and Commonwealth entities:
                              (i)  to meet high standards of governance, performance and accountability; and
                             (ii)  to provide meaningful information to the Parliament and the public; and
                            (iii)  to use and manage public resources properly; and
                            (iv)  to work cooperatively with others to achieve common objectives, where practicable; and
                     (d)  to require Commonwealth companies to meet high standards of governance, performance and accountability.
Clear as mud? Okay yesterday Stephen Easton from the Mandarin put out a very interesting article, that includes a link and short statement from a interview with M&M by Stevie E from earlier in the year:

Quote:‘We need to move away from our focus on quantitative KPIs’

Stephen Easton

[Image: iStock_000024695863_Small.jpg]

PGPA reforms require a big shift in the public service and it’s testing even the leaders of the agency running the show, admits Finance head Jane Halton. Measuring actual outcomes is a great aim but hard to do in practice

[Image: Jane_Halton-WEB2.jpg]
Jane Halton

The Enhanced Commonwealth Reporting Framework is forcing public servants to rebuild a culture of evaluation and develop the skills to measure the real impact of the policies and programs it implements, rather than just basic outputs.

The bureaucracy is not very good at acknowledging when something isn’t working, Finance secretary Jane Halton told a recent seminar organised by her department and the Australasian Evaluation Society. Neither is the government of the day, one might observe, in which case a more meaningful reporting framework is all the more important in the long run.

For those worried that greater transparency and more genuine accountability sounds risky, Halton pointed out the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act also demands “a more mature approach to risk”.

It’s easy to explain where all the dollars go and what they’re spent on, harder to measure the actual impact a given program achieves in the real world. To do so, public servants must use a more diverse set of methodologies including evaluation, benchmarking and peer reviews, the Finance chief says.

“We need to move away from our focus on quantitative KPIs,” she said, explaining there are a staggering 3500 quantitative KPIs under previous performance reporting arrangements.

She reminded those present that parliamentarians are watching, and some want agencies held accountable for non-compliance with the PGPA Act. ACT Senator Katy Gallagher recently criticised the 11% of agencies which missed the August 31 deadline to have new corporate plans in place, in the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit:

Quote:“I think in any other area of public life we look very dimly on people that do not observe their legal obligations, particularly those in senior leadership positions who should know better.”

Said Halton: “So [complete the plans] before that next Senate Estimates round is my strong advice.”

She suggested agencies were struggling to get the plans in place due to the difficulty of setting out those measures of real-world impact that they would later report against. A complete picture of performance requires information on the “how” and “why” — qualitative data — as well as the much simpler “what” that is described by quantitative data. Some Commonwealth entities already use “mature” methods of performance measurement that lead to meaningful monitoring and reporting, the Finance head acknowledged, but the standard of the APS as a whole is insufficient.

Despite the thousands of KPIs and reams of reporting being produced under the old system, parliamentarians are still not happy with the level of actual accountability.

“I don’t know how many of you have been grilled for hours and hours and hours in Senate Estimates, but you could really argue we’ve been spinning our wheels. And certainly there are many still-unhappy senators in relation to what we’re actually achieving with our reports.”

The lost art of evaluation

Earlier in the year, Infrastructure and Regional Development secretary Mike Mrdak said evaluation became something of a lost art in the APS around the year 2000, after Finance gave up central responsibility for it.

The PGPA has brought the need for evaluative thinking back in focus, and Halton advised senior bureaucrats to look to international expertise, share expertise with each other, and “plagiarise shamelessly” from successful work in other jurisdictions.

“Embedding best practice across the whole of the Commonwealth will take many years, but the commitment to do better is apparent,” she said.

“I feel a slight sense of déjà vu because I think I gave my first talk on evaluation in the public sector in about 1985, and we’ve come some distance but it has waxed and waned, so in my department we hope that it’s on the up. But to be frank, producing our first corporate plan under the new PGPA framework was challenging.”

Putting together the corporate plan required new “clarity of purpose” and a clear understanding of the department’s current operating environment, according to its secretary.

“This actually led to some very important, incredibly useful conversations in our leadership team, so of itself, it’s galvanised change,” she said.

Halton added that if asked for a self-assessment of her own department’s first effort at a corporate plan, she and her senior team would argue: “We’ve done OK.” She said they would give themselves a “pass” grade with a note: could do better next time.

It is worth noting that in recent Ministerial Statement of Expectations from Truss to both the ATSB & CASA there was several references to the PGPA Act:


3.        ensure that CASA, in performing its functions:

(a) acts in accordance with the Act and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) as well as other relevant legislation; &..

13.    maintain high standards of professionalism, service, probity, reporting, accountability and transparency, consistent with the provisions of the PGPA Act and have a code of conduct and values consistent with those used by the Australian Public Service.


    • Maintain high standards of professionalism, service, probity, reporting, accountability and transparency, consistent with the provisions of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and adhere to the Australian Public Service values and code of conduct.

Hmm..who do you reckon helped draft the Minister's SOEs?

MTF..P2 Tongue

{ PartII: Next we move onto the CAA Act & the growing chorus from industry (in particular AMROBA) for amending the Act in order to make it legally binding for CASA to urgently action  the ASRR reform recommendations ASAP.}    

Bus stop games.

Good catch P2.

While some are lining up the victims to be thrown under the bus; there are others who are arranging the time table and driving the bus.   You have, even grudgingly, to admire the Merdek style, the un challenged master of the art of lining them up.  No messing about with the Houstoblame one at a time system; no way.  Mike lines up the whole department, arranges for the pushers and then drives the bus.  He’s good, you have to allow it; on the wrong team; but good.

Look at the daisy chain – forewarned of the impending PGPA and very much aware of ‘unhappy’ Senators; smooth as silk, well in advance, MM is there helping to draft the SoE for ‘his’ agencies, all three of ‘em; then, a little time and distance is put in place.

In March 2015, from Mandarin by Steve Easton (legend) – HERE -

Quote:By evaluative thinking, what I really mean is we need to regularly question and test our assumptions; listen to our stakeholders; fundamentally know what we’re trying to achieve and how we’re performing against that objective; and we have to have the evidence and rationale to support good policy, program and regulatory design options,” he explained.

His key point was evaluation must be part of any new program right from the initial planning phase and, importantly, that means working out where the data to be evaluated will come from. When Mrdak first took the lead, he worried the department often had “a set-and-forget approach” to its regulatory activities and program delivery and didn’t spend enough time on initial design work.

All too often, he said, those managing the programs conflated evaluation with external auditing and saw it as a threat. One key defining feature of evaluation, he said, is that the teams being evaluated learn more in the process: “If the teams aren’t doing it, they’re not actually learning. Evaluation by external parties is of no real value to the areas, in my view."

With the barriers all in place; it’s MM who is the clear winner; he can now drive the bus and for any department which steps over the SoE guidelines, it’s good night Vienna with full Ministerial blessing and a great argument to foil awkward Senate questions.  Off the hook? Oh yes.

I’d call that a win-win, for the Mandarin’s mandarin.  He’s good, an anathema of snake, eel and ferret, but he’s very, very good at what he do and tough to beat.

Toot toot..

Thanks for the education "K", top post, need a vent...

Tough to beat...I'll have a go debating the Institutional Mind Of Batty.

Testing Assumption.
Assumption, firstly is the cause of many mistakes I have learned. Whilst doing Bachelors Degree (might not be of Law or Finance) and then working in the  Medical Field, assumption was a no-no.

Assumption without Facts and History can lead to no learning as theorising a "hunch", so to speak would be impossible.

"Supporting good policy" to Achieve Performance Objectives through evidence of rationale. Fancy words.

But how can that be truly achieved based on "Testing Assumption"

Test Facts and History. 
Assumption should be a dirty dirty word when Governing a Portfolio, or a Country.
History Proves, Assumptions have landed in the vortex of controversy, as it continues today. 

Key Points...

Concerned about a "set and forget approach". Concerned, but nil action, except people being Trumped with your fired! (With full benefits, of course, no assumption there).

"Initial design and work" seems stagnant. 
Perhaps because data that is to be evaluated comes from minds who haven't  experienced life and observation from outside institutions since the schoolyard. So it continues at that level of thinking. Schoolyard games which Govern the DPMs underlying performance and scripts.

Evaluation of External Parties...

Evaluation from external Parties is of no REAL Value, in the Singular Mind Approach of Assumption. A clear statement of spoken Fact.

Evaluation, interpretation, reasoning, examining or assessing.
How can this be achieved when only assumptions are being tested from those within.

FACTS, history AND external Audits with New Eyes to take stock of findings then report Independently is necessary, in my humble opinion.

Sure have not seen any evidence of that over the past six years as the Aviation Portfolio has bounced it's way around the corridors, almost flying into safe hands of Senators. Almost. Then Assumption is "tabled" and the Led Ball lands on the desk of stagnation wrapped up with a daisy-chain. Looks good, but stinks of stagnant, stinking thinking of "Thy Untouchables".

What foolishness lingers with boundaries established long ago for assumption to impede progression. 

Bring in the Outsiders to look upon the facts and history of Cyclic Systemic Disease. 
Stand aside the "Voice of Choice" MrDak. Let others make an assumption of your performance, especially with the Aviation Portfolio.

Assumption and Aviation. 
Does not sound safe nor fair.

Time for an Independent Outside Audit for the DPMs Aviation Portfolio.
Starting with the scribes of laws that protect not the people, but corporations that Govern our Country, playing Monopoly. 

Clever with his words.
Disgraceful with his actions. Fact. History has Proven this.

Get Real DP. 

No more blah blah blah.

Your Aviation Portfolio needs a Royal Commission. 
Evidence shows this.
Yet Assumption Rules.

How twisted!

Undecided Ziggy

Nicely argued Ziggy; of course you are combating ‘smoke, mirrors and intent with logic. As you are well aware, a practical real life approach or any form a accurate measuring stick cannot possibly be allowed. Look at the comfortable 16 year margin Oliver Skidmore Twist has ‘assumed’ as his own measure of ‘reform’ progress. Unrealistic, risible and plainly a one finger salute to the Senate, the Rev Forsyth and industry.

But when you get right down to it, the intention is plain, pure and simple. The findings of any outside evaluation – is of no practical, or intrinsic value to those at whom the finger of UFB is pointed. To admit change is to admit error and we can’t have that, now can we.

Every fool in the Souk know the ‘agencies’ are a basket case, that has been demonstrated and proven a hundred times – yet, they persist with the ‘assumption’ that they, and they alone are fit to assess their progress. Bollocks.

Balancing Acts & reform? - Part II

Referring to my post - OST a fellow of the RAeS - Conflict of interest?

Oliver Skidmore Twist said:
Quote:“I look forward to being able to support the ideals of the society and further aviation safety in this great nation of ours,”
From that we can now safely deduce that the CASA Iron Ring, aided & abetted by the Establishment, have yet again effectively captured their man and after a short hiccup (Forsyth review), it is business as usual & once again the relentless cycle of bogus regulatory reform & industry decimation will continue unabated... Angry

However before what is left of the IOS *1 go out and slit their throats or put a bomb under Aviation House, there is a way that Oliver could truly redeem himself & that is for him to give notice to Boyd & the Board that he is resigning, effective immediately. That or have Boyd ask for his resignation on grounds of breach of contract and the obvious fact that the job is simply beyond him.

Then the Board has to hire a DAS that is prepared to roll up his sleeves, hit the ground running with the first action being a complete purging of all Iron Ring aligned CASA Staff. 

Next order of action from the DAS has to be a demand that the Minister amend, the root of all evil, the currently un-constitutional S9A of the CAA Act.

To help explain why this is essential I refer to the WJR Hamilton 'Response to the ASRR report':

 [Image: WJR.jpg]   
{*1 IOS - 'Ills of society' McComic 2012 - "Do not be dismayed by our vocal but largely uninformed minority of critics; they are symptomatic of other ills in society. I prefer ‘facts’ when engaged in discussions; not hearsay and tautological rubbish that some others seem to regard as promising material.” }

And if we need any further historical proof of why this is essential we can't go past many of the Ken Cannane & AMROBA references on the subject. In particular I refer to the latest AMROBA newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 9 (September 15)

Ref page 2-3:

Quote:2. Regulatory Reform Keeps General Aviation in the Past

For 30 years regulatory reform has been reshaping the same requirements over and over again.

Without conceptual change to the structure of the regulatory framework, government will continue to produce recycled ideas and concepts. This cannot continue – a complete conceptual change is required to properly empower the general aviation individuals and organisations to enhance safety and once again grow this industry...

Ref page 3-4:

Quote:Is the Civil Aviation Act supporting General Aviation?

When the ASRR Report recommendations were almost totally supported by the government, AMROBA made a submission to government stating that many provisions of the Act would need amending to permanently implement the recommendations of that Review. If the Act is not changed then this or the next regime of CASA will revert to the same processes that continues to create unrest, thus requiring another government funded review into aviation.

The basic problem with the Act is Sec. 98 where government/CASA have made numerous changes over the years because they will not use Sec 9(1)© to promulgate Aviation Safety Standards, as proposed by the ASRR Report. Basically, the Report states, to comply with Article 37 of the Chicago Convention, the Sec 9(1)© Standards should be consistent to the Convention and other mature aviation systems like Europe, North America and NZ.

However, as industry has experienced in the past, implementing the recommendations depends on public servants and, in particular, those in the Department of Infrastructure to make changes to the Civil Aviation Act to make these changes permanent. When compared to the NZ Act, the current Act does not have the same detail based on the Convention Articles...

Okay enough for now, I'm sure "K" & others can fill in the gaps.. Big Grin

MTF? - Definitely..P2 Tongue


In regard to P2 about the leadership of CASA I'm afraid that Mr. Skidmore will not resign, nor will he be asked to resign. Therefore the main question is how might we IOS (thank you for the explanation and anything we write might eventually be more useful to a wider audience (MPs?) if there be a handy glossary of the myriad obscure abbreviations many of which I personally struggle with otherwise to hell with the bytes just put the whole sorry lengthy nomenclature out there) generate sufficient interest of the Parliament to fuel some real reform?

The single best hope of real reform is from our MPs. Expecting Mr. Skidmore to make momentous reform all by himself, overturning all the internal advice from a highly experienced and determined cohort of CASA management, without explicit direction from his boss, is not realistic. Therefore Minister Truss is the key. The National Party and the Coalition can make the key turn if they see advantage.

Finally, the term Director of Air Safety is risible, I see this exalted being on high, cloud nine? ..conducting the air currents from his airy eyrie. So much nonsense, he is the CEO. This word play is part of the foolery and we all have been guilty to some extent, never questioning the real efficacy, necessity or rationale of the Aviation Medical, or Log Book entries and other markers that unconsciously we accepted because that's all we knew and too busy to worry. Good for the ego too, well now we did not scream and Canberra has us by the throat.

Quote:P2 - "From that we can now safely deduce that the CASA Iron Ring, aided & abetted by the Establishment, have yet again effectively captured their man and after a short hiccup (Forsyth review), it is business as usual & once again the relentless cycle of bogus regulatory reform & industry decimation will continue unabated."..  

Quote:P2 - "However before what is left of the IOS *1 go out and slit their throats or put a bomb under Aviation House, there is a way that Oliver could truly redeem himself & that is for him to give notice to Boyd & the Board that he is resigning, effective immediately. That or have Boyd ask for his resignation on grounds of breach of contract and the obvious fact that the job is simply beyond him."

Where Skidmore fails–utterly and completely; is to understand is that many hundreds of pilots in commercial aviation are qualified, or may be classed as ‘Chief pilots; there are equally as many, if not more may be qualified as experienced check and training pilots.  REAL working airmen who live, breathe and work – every bloody day in the mess CASA have created.  I would go so far as to say there are many, many ‘working’ pilots who have better experience and qualification to be “DAS” than the Skidmore child.  Many of our ‘aviation’ executives and company owners have forgotten more about how the world works than this happy-clappy, lover of gab-fest will ever know, let alone learn and apply.  It ain’t his fault, the low life who manipulated the system to ensure that they got the right donkey, on which to pin the tail, got the job.

Without any animosity or loss of respect, Skidmore should, and, indeed must resign.  The task is beyond his schooling and experience level.  He is being judged by same those hard nosed, experienced INDUSTRY pilots who do actually have a blind clue.  It is embarrassing to see one of the RAAF top blokes being used as a departmental toilet brush.. If he has any pride, dignity or self respect left; before the real ‘professional’ aviators rule him as incompetent; as a point of honour, he should quit.  There is little else to say – it's sad to see how he looks ever more manipulated and ‘guided’ every day.  He is outclassed, out manoeuvred and looking more foolish every day he persists in this charade, the big mistake is thinking no one will notice.  

Safe glove puppets for all – or FFS (as you like it).


There are some wonderful cartoons by Bill leak in the Australian where Mr Shorten is depicted as a ventriloquists dummy perched on the lap of the CFMEU.

Now who's lap would we have Mr Skidmore sitting on??


"It is embarrassing to see one of the RAAF top blokes being used as a departmental toilet brush"

It's not uncommon though to see military type ass kissers and boot lickers snivelling their way through the system. JMac is ex military, so is that carboard cutout Farkwitson. Then you have the likes of Skid'Mark, Sir An(g)us, Staib and to a lesser degree that bloated ex Qango whale Cosgrove, all ex military and all of them about as useful as a prolapsed rectum.

Nah what we need is a 'game changer' (and no, not J. Borghetti), someone with balls, who will call 'a spade a spade', someone who won't pander to foolish Westminster waffle, wank words, and cleverly written rules where the house always wins!! Ok, so anybody have Vladamir Putins phone number??

Quote:P2  “Okay, enough for now, I'm sure "K" & others can fill in the gaps.”

Good digging P2; spot on actually and well done: the dots all connect to form a picture much like the Dorian Grey painting; but it’s bad news I’m afraid – “K” and many of us, you included are at the BRB long weekend turn-out, which, thankfully will slow the inevitable response.   This is a deep subject, the Act; many claim it unconstitutional and; rumour has it that the architect. J. Aleck admits this is so.  “K” is whip for this and I expect (hope) that rather than a blast from Hell there will be a series of considered responses to some very pertinent, pointed questions. The DoIT amending the Act being one.  The board actions, or marked lack thereof being another.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  Rolleyes~  ~ Alas,
Too late it seems, wrote the above directly after reading yours, clearly everyone who believes an overhaul – NZ style of the CASA first, closely followed by a ‘new’ Act is disappointed in the lack of progress.  Nearly every wise head, outside of the DoIT influence realises that there must be changes to the Act and those who choose the ‘narrow’ interpretation.

The Hamilton submission to the ASRR nails down the root; the AMROBA submission describes why change is necessary.  The only fellah who failed to drag in the Act was the Rev. Forsyth, but to be fair, it was outside of his remit, but the submissions to his review certainly identified the problems created by the Act.  

One of the more interesting items on the upcoming agenda is a proposition for a private members bill calling for the Act to be amended or, better yet, repealed and replaced.  

P2 - It really is very naughty of you to put together such a challenging post just before the BRB AGM; wicked.  I shall have an ale with the ‘lad’ this evening see if I can temper the response; but, you know full well what red flags do to bulls.  Let us hope the blue fuse paper has not been lit, before it’s time.

MTF – certainly; once the cordite smoke has dissipated.

(10-02-2015, 06:12 AM)P7_TOM Wrote:  
Quote:P2  “Okay, enough for now, I'm sure "K" & others can fill in the gaps.”

The Hamilton submission to the ASRR nails down the root; the AMROBA submission describes why change is necessary.  The only fellah who failed to drag in the Act was the Rev. Forsyth, but to be fair, it was outside of his remit, but the submissions to his review certainly identified the problems created by the Act.  

In case you missed it here is the link - WJR Hamilton 'Response to the ASRR report'

And here are the slightly abbreviated pages from Bill's submission:

[Image: WJR-1.jpg]
[Image: WJR-2.jpg]

[Image: WJR-3.jpg]

[Image: WJR-4.jpg]
[Image: WJR-5.jpg]

MTF...P2 Tongue

Ps You believe that shit in footnote 4 - UFB! Dodgy

Re Footnote 4.  All true; the short version provided sums up the ‘nub’.  The long version is a small part of a very long horror story in which Wodger and Inutile Lad combined their arcane skills  to create a legal Chimera.

What is not widely known is not only did it take a strongly worded ‘letter’ from the TC holder, the AFM and about an hour of ‘discussion’ before they reluctantly agreed to rephrase, not acquit the NCN.  The original was part of the evidence against Airtex; happily (for them) it was part of the 33% of evidence abandoned before Counsel got them ‘in the box’.  

I’ll tell you whole tale over a beer one night – or you can wait until mid January, when I should, with a bit of luck, be able to publish that particular chapter of the Bankstown Chronicles.  

Toot toot.

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