CPDS Home Contact Professionalism: Chronological Summary

1 September 1998

To Members of the Legislative Assembly

On the Path to an Economic and Public Service Mess

I refer again to my letters of 4 August and 25 August 1998, and enclose evidence that my concerns expressed in those letters are well founded. This involves a response from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet to my request that it take action to resolve the dispute which I wrote about (see my letter of 4/8/98).

My dispute arose in 1992 when the Premier's Department would not allow professional capabilities to be considered in relation to appointing senior staff. It 'hid' behind correct procedural formalities - because a politically driven 'reform' process had eroded the skill base of the department in areas related to development of the economy, and it could not risk any discussion related to senior staffing on the basis of professional capabilities.

As you will observe the Premier's Department has again chosen to 'hide' behind 'correct process', and has not dealt with the substantive issues raised by my dispute. In fact the Department's letter is truly remarkable, because it claims to have 'carefully examined the issues raised in my correspondence', without giving any indication that the Department knows what those issues are. They certainly are not mentioned in its letter.

A politicised public service can not adequately support governments - because the superficial knowledge which is sufficient to 'bluff' politicians is not sufficient to translate policies into practice. That was: the source of my dispute; a major cause of the failure to adequately develop economic capabilities to avoid hardship for many in the community; the reason for the deterioration of public administration in the early 1990s, and one source of the probable 'mess' in Queensland over the next year or so - referred to in my letter of 4 August 1998.

I have written to the Honourable the Premier, Mr Peter Beattie, respectfully requesting that he direct his Department to resolve this dispute, as it is clear that nothing is going to happen otherwise. I have, as yet, had no response to a letter which I forwarded to Mr Beattie on 13 July 1998 with a similar request.

[Signed John Craig]