There could be any number of reasons why Ric Smith, Secretary of the
Department of Defence and former ambassador to high profile allies like
China and Indonesia, would spend Budget week doing a company director’s
training course at the Australian Institute of Management.

He might have been desperate to get away from the Budget boffins. He
might have decided it’s about time that someone at Defence learned how
to manage an organisation with 90,000 staff and a history of gross
financial mismanagement. Or maybe it’s part of an early retirement
plan.

Observers were interested to note that he stayed well away from the
uniformed colleagues who were doing the same course. Is there a message
in this? We’d welcome any illuminating suggestions from Crikey’s many
friends at Russell Hill. Send your suggestions to [email protected].