|CPDS Home Contact||Professionalism: Chronological Summary|
Letter + Supporting
17 June 2002
Mr Alex Scott,
You are to be congratulated for pointing out the significance of the breakdown of the Westminster tradition in relation to current public concern about Ministerial bullying of Public Servants (as reported by Craig Johnstone, 'Driven to Distraction', Courier Mail, 15/6/02).
However making this connection is long overdue. The breakdown of the Westminster system has a 15 year history in Queensland and blatant politically bullying of the Public Service has been going on for almost as long.
Moreover these practices have received passive support through the indifference of major Queensland institutions such as Parliament, the Ombudsman, the media, unions and professional societies. And the effectiveness of government administration in Queensland has collapsed to a very low level as a result.
More details about the disgraceful history of political bullying of Queensland's Public Service (and its consequences) are outlined below.
Outline History of the Breakdown of the Westminster
Tradition in Queensland and of the
Growth of Public Service Bullying
While the management of Queensland's Public Service had been fairly poor in the 1980s, the basic protection that the Public Service had received against political abuse (the Westminster tradition of a competent-independent-permanent civil service) was destroyed in the late 1980s and 1990s through:
Bullying of the Public Service appeared to be the main accomplishment of the Goss Government. Towards Good Government in Queensland (1995) was a submission to the Labor Party about why this happened (the main cause being the inexperience of those who were allowed to control a 'reform' process) and about the damage done. This included (in Attachment A) the views of diverse observers about both the process and the results.
Regarding the bullying of the Public Service under the Goss Government, it is noted that:
The Borbidge Government, which succeeded the Goss Government in 1995, did nothing that was really constructive about the gross abuses which had occurred or the dysfunctional state of Queensland's Public Service.
On the election of the Beattie Government in 1998, there was a promise of a 'new deal' for the Public Service (in the new Premier's address to a mass gathering of staff, reported in Inside Premiers, 1 July 1998).
But this undertaking was manifest nonsense (see for example: Crippling the Public Service Again (August 1998); Olsson K., 'Bullied public service fed-up', Courier Mail, 17/8/00; Hart M. 'Public service bullying by legislation', Courier Mail, 20/7/01; Franklin M. 'Sharp pitch to whistleblowers', Courier Mail, 8/12/01; and Mathieson S. 'Lawyers and public servants rated nastiest bosses', Courier Mail, 5/1/02).
My web-site provides an account of numerous failures in Queensland's public administration which result in part from loss of support to the political system from a professionally competent Public Service. See for example:
|Response #1 from Premier's Office||
17 June 2002
Thank you for your correspondence in relation to concerns about the Queensland Public Service. The Premier has requested that I respond on his behalf.
I understand that your complaint relates to an employment decision from 1992 and that there have been a number of enquiries into your grievance. In fact the Public Service Commissioner advised you on the 28 September 2001 that she had declined to reopen your complaint, for a number of reasons. I note that the Premier's Chief of Staff and Department Director General have also previously written to you in relation to the matter.
Taking into account these matters, there is nothing further I can add.
17 June 2002
Mr Richard Cleal
Thank you for your restatement of the Premier's Office's inability to add anything to the decade-long refusal of the Premier's Department to allow my grievance to be properly investigated.
The fact none-the-less remains that:
In relation to your statement concerning numerous prior enquiries and responses related to my dispute with the Premier's Department, I challenge you to identify a single one of these that has dealt with the Department's refusal to allow professional merit to be considered. Certainly, I have never seen one, nor (despite a vast quantity of waffle) have I been able to get any response out of the Department on this core of the dispute.
|Response #2 from Premier's Office||
17 June 2002
Thank you for your correspondence of Monday 17 June 2002 concerning a response you received from the Acting Chief of Staff in relation to concerns you have raised regarding your previous employment in the Queensland Public Service.
Your correspondence has been noted.