I work for a large state-owned corporation and I can confirm that the quality of the information that goes into these ABS surveys is rubbish (“Tips and rumours”, yesterday, item 6). As a cadet, I fill these forms out on a regular basis and they are just a pain. The majority of these surveys are sent out hard-copy and have to faxed or posted back to the ABS! Whatever happened to email? The surveys themselves state that “estimates are acceptable” so why would anyone put major effort into these surveys when no-one is held accountable for them? I have never seen one returned on time either – the ABS doesn’t bother chasing them for at least two weeks. So there you go, don’t trust the national accounts. That doesn’t mean that they’re any more dodgy than accounting in general, most of that is a combination of bullsh-t and wishful thinking anyway… accrue this… transfer that… write this off…

There will be absolutely no new in-house production in the ABC. This has been reiterated vigorously by Kim Dalton since his appointment. All and I mean ALL new programs will be made outside by independent producers and ideas sourced ONLY from outside. No ABC employee is allowed to speak to anyone. This new ABC means the death of a very large part of the existing ABC and in-house idea creation and production.

Cost savings: ASIO’s Report to Parliament 2006/2007 boasts a proposed new building for ASIO/ONA at an estimated cost of $460M. In this same report there is mention of new and refurbished accommodation nationally, replacement to major plant and equipment, office re-fits nationally, major upgrades by Property Managers United Group to upgrade power supplies, coolers, chillers and lifts. Given the national refits, refurbs and maintenance overhauls outlined in the Report to Parliament 2006/2007, can the proposed new building be delayed allowing greater return on what appears to be some major national upgrades and refurbishments to existing properties?

Among the cuts announced yesterday: Tanner announced that he had cut the $100,000 grant to Chamber Music Australia. A great irony as CMA had not been informed that it had been given it let alone informed that it was being cut. A significant saving, of course, particularly in light of the insignificant amounts of money allocated to chamber music in Australia. Perhaps when Terry Moran arrives in Canberra somebody with some clout in the Rudd Government might understand the arts.

Good to see Immigration IT is going to come under the microscope. What about the ATO? It purchased a 1980’s mainframe system for $236m. Nearly two years after roll-out it still isn’t working!

Re. CBA campaign, “complete with a section on CB’s touchy, feely “community involvement” — check the budget of the community team at the bank to see where the money might have come from. The team and the budget have been decimated over the last twelve months and now it’s all about sponsorship and marketing and nothing about community commitment or partnerships. Hiding sponsorship in the community team means they can get away with saying they have a strong community commitment but if there’s no return on marketing investment then the partnership is killed off.

There was a story published in Wednesday’s Courier Mail titled “Future grim for hurting households” on pages 6-7. Of specific interest was the human interest piece concerning the Goodwin family. It may interest you to know that Mr Goodwin recently became the Queensland Young Liberal President for 2008 and is also running for Redland City Council against Cr Helen Murray (Division 10). Added to that, he did not “change to a better paying job”, rather his employment was cut short when his former employer, Sen the Hon Santo Santoro stood down from the Howard Ministry and was unemployed until his engagement by Roland. Mr Goodwin was also a person of interest during the investigation of his former employer Dr Andrew Laming, Federal Member for Bowman.

ATO National Office Open Day: Send in the clowns and clear your desk.

From: Employee Communication
Sent: Wednesday, 6 February 2008 14:52
Subject: National Office Open Day [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Join us in celebrating the move to Amungula, Gnabra and Kembery National Office and show your family and friends your new working home.

When: 10am to 2pm Sunday 2 March 2008

Where: Amungula – Narellan St and Gnabra and Kembery – Genge St, Canberra

Theme: Open Day

Enjoy free entertainment by Jelly Bean Amusements including clowns, face painters, balloon modellers, and popcorn and fairy floss carts. Other refreshments will be provided.

You will need to bring your security pass to enable you to show your guests around your building. It is important that you escort your guests at all times.

Please ensure you have cleared your desk and surrounding areas in accordance with our clear desk policy.

If you are planning to attend please email XXXX by Wednesday 20 February, a confirmation email will follow with further information.

Jennie Granger
Acting Commissioner