[LINK] Re: [Oz-ISP] Unethical feral govt
Sun, 4 Jun 2000 03:58:42 +1000
Hi there Bernard,
Just a few corrections though,
I think that the old DoF was gunning for DAS long before the travel rorts
It was possible to predict that DoF would eventually subsume DAS and then
proceed to break up the old Administrative Services functions as long ago as
the early 90s. DoF were already wedded to downsizing and outsourcing other
departments back then.
Ideologically, they hated DAS. Now matter whether some of the components of
DAS were efficient, the already dogma was that privatising services was
Secondly, DoFA are indeed busy downsizing and outsourcing themselves. But
that's partially a part of their method for getting rid of the DAS
components they absorbed and always intended to kill off. And it is
partially because, having been busy downsizing and outsourcing other
government agencies, they have had to drink a little of their own medicine.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On
Behalf Of Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Sent: Friday, 2 June 2000 10:01
Subject: Re: [LINK] Re: [Oz-ISP] Unethical feral govt
Re: Auditor warns on money-raising loophole
This is John Fahey's response to the Auditor General's report. Basically it
comes down to "the opposition are hypocritical because they did nothing to
fix the system - we'll now have a look at it and fix it in our way by
telling departments to get it right in the future".
I'm getting more and more cynical about this government.
My understanding of how the government is supposed to work is this:
There are individual departments that administer specific programs. There
are a few departments with "whole of government" responsibilities ie PM&C,
Treasury and DoFA. DAS was one when it existed but was abolished in a fit
of revenge by Fahey over the travel rorts affair.
Treasury's only role is to collect as much money as it can so that the rest
of government can spend it.
PM&C is mainly the Prime Minister's office and is concerned with political
matters rather than public administration.
That leaves DoFA to manage the public service, but they are busy downsizing
and outsourcing themselves.
It would seem that the role of DoFA to improve the quality of financial
management of program departments is being reduced. In the area of IT,
departments are being forced to sell their IT infrastructure and bind them
into contractual arrangements with private sector organisations - so much
for a "whole of government" approach.
Could some of our public sector lurkers please tell me I have got this
BTW, has anyone heard anything about a Federal General election later on
this year, after the Olympics and before the GST bites too deeply?
Minister for Finance and Administration
THE HON JOHN FAHEY MP
AUDITOR-GENERAL'S REPORT WELCOMED
I welcome the Commonwealth Foreign Exchange Risk Management Practises
Report by the Auditor-General, tabled in Parliament yesterday.
I believe the report is timely and points out that for many years we had a
system of foreign exchange management risk which was simply a case of
acquiring foreign currency through the Reserve Bank when it was needed.
It was a regime which reigned for the first 99 years of Commonwealth
Government and was unchanged in Labor's days.
The Howard Government implemented the Financial Management and
Accountability Act 1997 (FMA), which makes it clear to all agencies that
they are responsible for the management of day to day matters and are
responsible for the management of associated finances.
Following on from that Act a circular (1999/01) was also given to all
agencies, effective from 1 July 1999, placing responsibility upon all
agencies to manage foreign exchange transactions and risk. There is also an
obligation on those agencies to get advice from the Reserve Bank and the
flexibility to seek advice elsewhere.
Illustrating Labor's confusion in criticising the recent reforms, Labor
acknowledged in a press conference today that it did nothing to improve the
process in its time. In answer to the question 'Did Labor operate under the
supplementation system in relation to Defence?' the Opposition spokesperson
for Defence said, "The exchange rate processes at the time were managed in
accordance with the procedures at the time."
Yet the Opposition spokesperson for Finance admitted the FMA Act
implemented by the Howard Government "imposes more stringent obligations on
individual agencies" and allows agencies "to prepare for those difficulties
and to ensure that they are covered."
So it is no longer a case of acquiring foreign currency when you need it
but for each agency to manage the process properly, which includes getting
the appropriate advice from the Reserve Bank or other experts, in line with
In regard to the Auditor-General's comments relating to the centralising of
strategic foreign exchange advice, both the Department of Finance and
Administration and the Department of Treasury have indicated this will be
considered. Both the Treasurer and I will examine that recommendation
Thursday, 1 June 2000
Too bad that all the people who really know how to run the country are
busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair.