Is new human services minister, Joe Hockey, in breach of his own
Department’s online protocol? The Community & Public Sector
Union thinks he is. One of the many issues Centrelink management is getting tough on is “inappropriate use of email and
internet at work”. Bosses are not only targeting rogue web-surfers,
but also cracking down on staff who use the Centrelink system to pass
on CPSU union bulletins about pay negotiations on the grounds that they
are “political”.

Several union members have been threatened
with fines, demotion or even the sack over the issue, says Mark
Gepp, the national president and secretary of the Community Services
& Employment Division. However, when a visitor goes to the About Us
part of the Centrelink site and clicks on the link for Joe Hockey, the minister, they end up at his personal Liberal Party site. They also get an invitation
to join the Liberal Party here, and they’re asked to make a donation to the Liberal Party here or become a “Friend of Joe”
here and volunteer to help the minister.

Political use of a government website? “Inappropriate”? Not when the minister does it, apparently.

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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