Public Service Shake-up, but more needed!
The Government's terms of reference were that the review meet their commitment to the 2009 Defence White Paper and Strategic Reform Program to clarify accountability in Defence.
The Australian Federal Government finally saw the adverse effect of the public service, captive market, safe employment, no one owns the company and no one is responsible culture on the accountability and governance of Australia's Department of Defence, and ordered a review of, 'The Defence Accountability Framework' .
The review was finally conducted by Professor Rufus Black, Ormond College, University of Melbourne, who discovered a very common public service entrenched culture of complex accountability, poor outcomes, delivery failures, non-compliance, poor decision making and a lack of cost consciousness.
Professor Black found their lack of accountability constrained their leadership capability and management capacity by reducing the ability of decision makers to exercise strategic control over the construction and implementation of decisions.
Defence will need to be more agile, more efficient, and more effective, Professor Black says. In practice this means leaders need to make and implement better decisions faster and with more assurance.
Complementing the 'Black Review' of public service entrenched culture, is the Australian Public Service Commission's State of the Service report which showed that 30 per cent of federal agencies had an average absentee rate above 12 days in 2009-10, while the average Australian took only 9.8 days in that period.
Named as some of the worst offenders were the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Medicare, Department of Health and Ageing, Centrelink, Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Human Services.
The adverse effect of these well known negative findings, well entrenched throughout the public service, was highlighted by that said at the Sydney accommodation seminar for people with a disability, held at the New South Wales Parliament House on August 3, 2011.
Some of the key points from this seminar were:-
NSW Minister for Disability Services: The Hon Andrew Constance, MP, said
I have seen examples of shocking supported accommodation!" "I walked out with tears in my eyes!
Prof Christine Bigby (La Trobe Uni):
"Choices, Outcomes & Evidence. Working practices of staff is a problem. Community Living is possible for people with very severe disabilities. Raising our Sights Report (see LISA Website) Low engagement continues to occur in group homes. Right design of CRUs to get outcomes. What do staff have to do on an everyday basis? Staff need to be supported and monitored every-day. Everyone needs to have high expectations.
Anita Phillips, (ACT Public Advocate):
Assumption v Reality
Attitude of Staff
ACT Community Living Project
Aine Healy (NSW Council on Intellectual Disability):
We need a strong Voice People have been so denied in their lives
David Hoist (Disability Speaks). Kardinya:
Need to be living with compatible people
The knockers need to give ideas
Estelle Shields & Lyn Allen (parents):
Subject to Abuse & Neglect
Belinda Epstein - Family Advocacy:
Supported Living rather than Supported Care
People need relationships with people who care about them, rather than people who are only in their lives because they get paid to do so.
Separate Support from Housing!
With Supported Living, Supported Accommodation is not necessary!
Max Jackson (JacksonRyan Partners):
Despite all, Choice is rarely a reality! Options available to other Australians, should be available to those Australians with a disability.
LISA Comment: How can the public service ever be made truly accountable, when it has a captive market and a safe employment culture. Telecom could not be made accountable, without first removing its captive market.
'Defence', in contrast to 'Disability' is clearly high profile, with Professor Black being engaged to solve their captive market restriction on accountability
Disability is clearly very low profile! Despite the massive array of ongoing complaints and concerns, there is no Black Review of the very questionable track record of the Department of Human Services, Victoria, and other similar government services for people with disabilities throughout Australia.
We call on the State Government Ministers responsible for services to people with disabilities and their families, to engage Professor Black to undertake a similar review of their services to vulnerable people - both 'Disability Services' and 'Child Protection'.