Friday, April 28, 2006

Report Targets Bracks, Bureaucrats

A committee report, released out of parliamentary sesssion, has criticised senior public servants for awarding themselves bonuses, as well as the inclination for the Bracks Government to use public monies for advertising itself.

This reminds an amusing episode of Yes Minister, Doing The Honours, where the performance of senior public servants had nothing to do with their honours being presented; it was just a natural progression.

Jim Hacker: "When did a civil servant last refuse an honour?"
Bernard Woolley: "Well I think there was somebody in the Treasury that refused a Knighthood."
Jim Hacker: "Good God. When?"
Bernard Woolley: "I think it was 1496."
Jim Hacker: "Why?"
Bernard Woolley: "He had already got one."


Less amusingly, and more important, are the safeguards recommended to prevent the government selling itself. A series of advertising campaigns, 05/06 financial year had attracted "recurring political and media controversy", the committee said.

These include:
  • $122,000 on advertising a yet to be compelted Spencer Street/Southern Cross Station
    (Exhibit 4.5 P143)
  • $135,171 telling Victorians about the different colours of number plates available
    (Exhibit 4.4, P144)
  • $42,860 trumpeting the Bracks ban on cattle grazing in Alpine National Parks
    (Exhibit 4.5, P153)

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