Victoria's Unlimited Bureaucratic Power
DHS Head Office, unable to control its regions and their services, take it out on the very vulnerable CSOs, people and families
NDS Victoria reports their members, CSOs, as having considerable problems with the department's latest despotic control tool - The 47 page, 2012-15, 'Service Agreement' (LINK)
between DHS and CSOs, in which the department has the absolute discretion to take any action it sees fit, is not subject to any limitations or threshold, any appeal or review process or any form of natural justice.
The awesome power of this state government department extends into almost every corner of services and support for people with a disability and their families. Almost nothing occurs without this department's very powerful bureaucratic fingers in every pie.
Residents of department group homes and their families, CSOs, their residents and their families - even those with ISPs have every aspect of every angle of what they do, or need to do, totally and despotically scrutinised and controlled by this out-ofcontrol government department which is chewing up tons of public money playing the purse-string and the n control and command power game with vulnerable people and their families, and with those who seek to support them.
NDS Victoria and their members are clearly unable to make their extensive list of significant concerns and legal advice about the agreement and its potential adverse impact on CSOs, open to the public for fear of potential reprisals by the department.
A message to Australian community groups in early 2008 by Ms Julia Gillard, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Social Inclusion, is being totally ignored by this totally out-of-control state government department - DHS Victoria.
Ms Gillard, at that time, said:
"The goals of fairness are linked to my portfolio of social Inclusion and its agenda. This agenda has two guiding principles:
to tackle the social exclusion of individuals and communities;
and to invest in the human capital of all our people, especially the most disadvantaged.
To do this, we need to work collaboratively with community organisations and representatives. We need to hear voices from the community.
Recently I announced the process to remove "gag orders" that were part of funding contracts of community organisations issued by the former Howard-Costello Government. These clauses restricted comment and advocacy by not-for-profit sector workers and volunteers.
These will not be used by the Rudd Labor Government going forward. We believe the community sector, its workers, volunteers and clients, should be free to voice their opinions, whether those views are positive or critical of the Government of the day.
In relation to our policy work going forward, we believe that reducing disadvantage is a moral and economic imperative for Australia. The Rudd Government believes that fairness and prosperity are utterly inseparable. It's time to start focusing on how to reduce disadvantage and I'm looking forward to working with all parts of the community sector to do so."