tip off

Tips and rumours

Stokes and Lachie Murdoch do lunch, but who was on the menu? … Qld premier gives prize to own project … Clive Palmer’s fauxpology …

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Public servants: escaping the budget axe — a work-in-progress

Bureaucratic deck chairs have been shuffled, some tossed overboard, but in the main the good ship HMAS Australia has come through relatively unscathed, writes The Mandarin publisher Tom Burton.

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Ignore what the Coalition says, focus on whom it helps

The Coalition’s propensity to say whatever is politically necessary at the time regardless of truth means the best way to assess the budget is to focus on who benefits.

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How the ANAO ended up costing taxpayers billions in lost revenue

As the government contemplates restoring indexation of fuel excise, Crikey’s former top bureaucrat explains what drove the Howard government to freeze it over a decade ago.

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Bureaucrats in the digital age: the very model of a modern mandarin

The days of fearless advice from long-serving public servants to their ministers are long behind us. Tom Burton, publisher of The Mandarin, asks: what is the current state of Australia’s public service?

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Relax, public servants, CoA cuts not as bad as you think

The Commission of Audit has suggested slashing 15,000 jobs from the public service and making mandarins more efficient. But the recommendations are reasonable, and not as dramatic as they seem, writes governance expert Stephen Bartos.

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Corporate watchdog fails to pass a conflict of interest test of its own

How ASIC handles conflicts of interest when it relies on swapping staff with industry is key to perceptions of the regulator. And the story is not a good one.

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Tips and rumours

Mandarins urged to get counselling due to EBA reports … James Packer’s boat in the clear … don’t get a pollie’s face tattooed on your back …

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Tips and rumours

IT meltdown gives ATO headaches … Sparks fly at Tecoma Maccas … Talk not cheap at bureaucrat conference … Greenies have friends in Qld department …

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The day Joe Hockey didn’t like public service cuts

Joe Hockey’s efforts to blame Labor for cutting the public service before he could get to it are bizarre and hypocritical. The Coalition plans to slash the public service — so what is he whingeing about? Crikey writers Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer report.

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Our public service is already efficient — and for a much lower cost

Tony Abbott has launched an efficiency drive across the public service. But on a global scale our system is already very efficient, writes Centre for Policy Development research director Christopher Stone.

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Crikey Calling: the clearing-the-decks podcast

Crikey Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane joins editor Jason Whittaker to look at the first days of a Coalition government: the departmental shake-up and policy challenges ahead.

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Welcome to Washminster: APS sackings send a long-term signal

Memo to public servants: if you ever serve Labor enthusiastically, you may be sacked under a Coalition government. That’s the message from Tony Abbott’s sacking of APS chiefs yesterday.

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Public service changes make sense, but there’s a risk for PM&C

The government has changed the shape of the public service. Governance expert Stephen Bartos argues this mostly makes sense, but PM&C taking on indigenous affairs could backfire.

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Tips and rumours

Bureaucratic changes to prove boon for contractors? … Rupert shouts Cathy McGowan … US ambassador’s eyecatching jumper …

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Same-old, same-old for an APS dealing with constant change

Public servants know what to expect from an incoming Coalition governments. But the cuts will be on top of a long period of Labor downsizing. Change is in the air in Canberra …

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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits

Public servants are sleeping with one eye open as they wait for the axe to fall on their jobs. Plus other political snippets of the day.

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Tips and rumours

Tele wants everyone to go West, except itself … no office washing-up liquid in APS … Abbott sneaks into your mailbox …

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Rudd’s public servant axe: can he find 800 more heads?

Kevin Rudd has started shedding public service jobs to pay for policies. But governance expert Stephen Bartos asks: could the public service be trusted to govern itself?

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Tips and rumours

Another law firm brings in pay freeze … the moveable feast of budget-night watering holes … public servants respond to senior job cuts …

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Public service: $600m in savings, but they won’t feel the pinch

The public service has been asked to find $600 million in their budgets over the next four years. But job losses have been kept at a minimum, governance expert Stephen Bartos reports.

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A public service that’s too top-heavy — now the hard part

Yes, the senior ranks of our public service are swelling, and yes, something could be done about it. But cutting willy-nilly will do more harm than good. Public policy expert Stephen Bartos explains.

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The tax office, ‘hired assassins’ and how to gag dissent

The nation’s tax office has been accused of hiring psychiatrists to diagnose and even coerce complainants during legal disputes. Crikey’s freedom of information requests and interviews reveal a worrying culture.

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Don’t mention the war, urges public service boss

The public service continues to grow, despite many departments instituting a hiring freeze, the latest report on the bureaucracy shows. And there’s some helpful advice for tweeting pen-pushers.

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Coalition on APS politicisation: more front than …

Liberal claims about the politicisation of Treasury are rich coming from a party that politicised the entire public service when in government. But is there anything wrong with that?

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