[LINK] The Perpetual, Invisible Window Into Your Gmail Inbox

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Sat Feb 11 16:04:46 AEDT 2012

At 15:23 +1100 11/2/12, TKoltai wrote:
>Have you ever thought of running for office ?
>I'm sure you are adequately qualified for the highest post in the land.
>Err, that of the Privacy Commissioner.
>Then again, what Government in their right mind would appoint someone
>who could actually make a positive change and piss off the electoral

Yes, nice one Tom.

Here's a side-note to that observation ...

The selection committee for the Clth PC'er was:
-   Chair:  a DepSec of PM&C, ex FACSIA (a major data matching agency)
-   a DepSec of DHS (a major data matching agency)
     Kerry Hartland was also the CEO of the Access Card, and after that
     fiasco was promoted to CEO of the merger of Centrelink and Medicare
-   the Information Commissioner

Small wonder that they selected a bureaucrat who understood their needs:

The selection committee for the NSW PC'er was:
-   Chair:  the Director-General of the Dept of AG and Justice
-   as the nominally independent member, a consultant who was previously
     a Dep Sec-equivalent in Premiers, who consults to NSW govt agencies
-   the Information Commissioner

Small wonder that they selected a bureaucrat who understood their needs:

(The positions of Vic and Qld PC'ers are currently up for grabs).

And the moral?

(1)  Politicians are nowhere near as important, and nowhere near as
      powerful, as they think they are

(2)  Public servants, especially mandarins / Dep Secs, are a lot more
      important, and a lot more powerful, than politicians.  And they
      have much greater longevity in the job, and they transfer their
      particular brand of morality down to their successors

[Declaration:  I didn't anticipate being appointed to fill either role.
But of course both Committees politely invited me to interview.

[In NSW, the discussion was entirely professional and sensible, and 
enabled me to make some key points about how a positive approach to 
privacy would assist government agencies to perform better.

[The Clth interview, on the other hand, was hopelessly stilted and 
formulaic, as the public service's guardswomen worked hard to ensure 
that no-one could possibly have any basis for complaint about 

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law               University of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

More information about the Link mailing list