JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.


Parli babies may be out in the cold

Primrose Riordan and Noel Towell 3:57pm New paid parking laws and security restrictions are being blamed for the potential closure of childcare services at Parliament House.

Comments 20

Don't go, Carol: Five reasons to turn down a job in London

Carol Mills.

NOEL TOWELL Don't go Carol: five reasons why Parliamentary Service's boss Carol Mills should refuse the job as Clerk of the House of Commons and stay in with us in Canberra

Department of Parliamentary Services secretary Carol Mills in line for job as Britain's House of Commons Clerk

Department of Parliamentary Services secretary Carol Mills

NOEL TOWELL A senior Canberra public servant is the frontrunner for the prestigious job of Britain's House of Commons Clerk.

Comments 1

ATO's 'rotten' culture revealed

The report found that a third of ATO workers disagreed that a climate of trust and respect existed in their workplaces.

Noel Towell and Ben Butler The Australian Taxation Office's internal culture is so poor that its ability to do its job is in danger, according to a scathing internal report.

Comments 99

Department of Human Services wants to rip $250 million from its staff bill, union claims


NOEL TOWELL Public servants at the federal government’s largest department are being asked to “consider” giving up $250 million in extra work, scheduled pay rises and annual leave.

Comments 27

Canberra's tallest building may be reinvented as aged-care facility

Lovett Tower in Woden.

NOEL TOWELL Canberra’s tallest building, Lovett Tower in Woden, looks to be heading for a genteel retirement; a possible conversions into an aged-care facility after its last public servant packs up their desk.

Comments 16

Canberra faces tough years as public service cuts take effect: Deloitte

Generic job loss.

ROSS PEAKE Canberra faces more tough years ahead as the “bitter pill” of delayed cuts to the public service take effect, an economic study to be published on Monday predicts.

NCA gets the power to fine parking bandits

Parking inspectors.

PHILLIP THOMSON The army of inspectors dishing out parking fines in Canberra just got bigger.

Comments 36

Parliamentary triangle maintenance staff retrenched as National Capital Authority outsources jobs

The specialists cared for public artworks such as the Captain Cook Memorial Globe.

PHILLIP THOMSON Three specialist staff who help maintain Canberra's national memorials, fountains and artworks will be retrenched and their work outsourced.

ATO says it won't design its systems around cheats

ATO responds to insiders on its ability to catch tax dodgers.

NOEL TOWELL The Australian Taxation Office says it will design its internal systems for the majority of honest taxpayers, not the minority of cheats.

CPSU thwarts stopwatch bid


PHILLIP THOMSON Union says managers were about to stand over shoulders of 200 staff – literally.

Comments 5

ACT public servants' workplace laws face overhaul within months


MARKUS MANNHEIM The laws that govern about 20,000 ACT public servants' working conditions are likely to be replaced this year, but details of the overhaul remain confidential.

Parliamentary Triangle paid parking to start on October 1

The new parking ticket machines.

TOM MCILROY Paid parking in Canberra's Parliamentary Triangle will start on October 1.

Comments 13

IT executive Rebecca Richardson's sexual harassment win to 'rock employers'


MARKUS MANNHEIM An IT executive who was sexually harassed by a colleague has won a payout that observers say will rock employers.

CSIRO cuts threaten Abbott's direct action policy

Closing key regional sites across the country is shifting the CSIRO back to the 1950s.

PHILLIP THOMSON Government budget cuts continue to wreak havoc at Australia’s premier science organisation.

'Something for Eric to contemplate': Brendan O'Connor sizes up Senator Abetz

Brendan O'Connor believes the Coalition would cut the public service too deep and be forced to increase numbers again in the future.

PHILLIP THOMSON Labor's point man on the public service, Brendan O'Connor, says the federal government would reap a nasty harvest if public servants were poorly treated during bargaining negotiations.

Comments 7

Nick Xenophon and Defence Minister target Defence Materiel bureaucrats over army boots

John Madigan.

PHILLIP THOMSON The decision by federal public servants to buy 100,000 pairs of army boots overseas will be scrutinised by Defence Minister David Johnston who is "very concerned" over the best value for money for taxpayers.

Comments 32

Border Force's menacing 'logo' a lesson in getting design right, says its creator

Border Force's menacing 'logo' a lesson in getting design right, says its creator

MARKUS MANNHEIM Two weeks ago, Scott Morrison walked into a room to talk about a new border protection headquarters. But the audience wasn't listening.

Comments 258

Parking madness: the crazy things Canberrans do to park their car

Drivers have been fined more than 1000 times in the past 18 months for parking in zones exclusively for community nurses and medical practitioners.

PHILLIP THOMSON Energy rating stickers used to try to fool inspectors in Canberra as law breakers nudge doctors and nurses out of valuable car spaces.

Comments 17

US news anchor hits out at CSIRO cuts

John Vause

PHILLIP THOMSON CNN presenter asks whether we should now hug scientists, instead of trees.


GovHack finishes but the ideas it planted are just starting to grow

The GovHack competition

MARKUS MANNHEIM More than 1300 programmers, designers, students and other inquisitive folk took part in this year's weekend-long "hackathon".

ATO shows no mercy on redundancy timeline

Tax office.

PHILLIP THOMSON The ATO wants to cut quickly to minimise anxiety.

Comments 18

Andrew Wilkie comments 'puerile, self-serving': Jeremy Hanson

Andrew Wilkie and Jeremy Hanson

PHILLIP THOMSON "I will not stand by while you advocate stripping Canberra for parts,'' Canberra Liberals leader Jeremy Hanson says.

Comments 33

Wilkie says Canberra should no longer be public service capital

Former long-serving federal bureaucrat Andrew Wilkie has argued for the Commonwealth public sector to be completely decentralised.

PHILLIP THOMSON Tasmanian MP and former long-serving federal bureaucrat Andrew Wilkie launches an assault on capital's 60-year history as home of the bureaucracy.

Comments 101

Bureaucrats who hurt themselves on a coffee run no longer covered by Comcare

Public servants injured on coffee breaks should not seek compensation.

PHILLIP THOMSON Changes to Comcare are expected to increase premiums for Commonwealth departments - and taxpayers.

Comments 18

CSIRO's 'regressive' agenda: bargaining to start at science organisation

CSIRO staff are calling for a pay rise of 3.5 per cent a year.

PHILLIP THOMSON CSIRO staff will have less than a month to bargain over their new agreement before their old accord expires.

CSIRO seen as 'employer of last resort' for scientists

Closing key regional sites across the country is shifting the CSIRO back to the 1950s.

PHILLIP THOMSON Respected scientist's fears for national icon.

Union outrage as Human Services prepares 'shocker' squeeze on work conditions

The Department of Human Services is facing a battle for unpaid work.

NOEL TOWELL The federal government's biggest department is accused of trying to squeeze an extra $100m of work each year from its public servants - for free.

Comments 65

Moving bureaucrats north is 'pork barrelling', says opposition


PHILLIP THOMSON Moving bureaucrats to tropical Queensland and elsewhere would leave departments ''struggling to find staff''.

Comments 33

Mr Fluffy asbestos home owners fear backlash if properties are named

News. Fluffy Owners and Residents' Action group meeting at Namadgi School, Kambah. Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, and  Andrew Kefford, Co-ordinator General of the Asbestos Response Task Forcespeak at the meeting. July 6th. 2014 The Canberra Times photograph by Graham Tidy.

MARKUS MANNHEIM Most Canberra home owners whose properties may contain deadly asbestos fibres want the ACT government to prevent the public from knowing which houses pose a risk, the Chief Minister says.

Public servant flees town after chainsaw attack

The scene at Flax House after the incident took place.

NOEL TOWELL A terrified Department of Human Services public servant has left Canberra in the wake of last year’s chainsaw attack at the department’s Tuggeranong offices.

Push to relocate Canberra public servants to northern Australia

The City of Townsville has suggested limiting public service jobs offered in Canberra.

PHILLIP THOMSON Pack the sunscreen, the big push is on to move Canberra public servants to northern Australia.

Comments 66

Unions warn there are many more federal public service jobs to go

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood.

ROSS PEAKE Tens of thousands more federal public service jobs could be lost to outsourcing and privatisation, unions warn.

Comments 19

Union urges public servants not to yield pay rises and workplace rights

Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz.

MARKUS MANNHEIM The main public servants' union has urged staff not to cave in to the Abbott government's industrial threats as an effective wage freeze takes hold across the bureaucracy.

$3000 for a psychiatric session paid by Comcare


PHILLIP THOMSON Comcare aims to get public servants back to work sooner to reduce burden on public purse.

What can ballroom dancers teach public servants?

Vaughan and Alison Liddicoat on the dance floor.

PHILLIP THOMSON The axe moving through the federal bureaucracy is sure to chop away plenty of sharp minds but advice may be coming from the most unlikely places - the world of dance.

ACT Government in battle of wounded knee

sore knee

NOEL TOWELL An ACT public servant’s sore knee has re-opened up the battle over what constitutes a public sector workplace injury.

Defence calls in spin reinforcements


NOEL TOWELL The Defence Department’s publicity battalion has called in reinforcements from the private sector, spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars on consultants for public relations advice.

Public servant's lawn mowing compensation bid fails

Lawn mowing.

PHILLIP THOMSON Public servant seeking compensation said his two adult children living at home were too busy to mow the lawn.

Union's long list of demands for its Tax Office workers

A recent survey of the ASU's members at the Tax Office found the union's position was widely supported.

PHILLIP THOMSON No hot desking, 15-minute tea breaks and extending the Christmas closedown period have all been put forward by a union representing ATO workers.

Canberra: A Labor town or an effective branch of the party?

121020 NEWS Canberra Times Photograph by Graham Tidy Story by Tallyroom staff. ACT Election, At the Labor Party function at the National Press Club. Labor leader, Katy Gallagher during her speech, is accompanied by Andrew Barr.

Stephen Holt The ACT branch keeps winning because it resists union power and pursues enlightened social policies.

Counsel & coach: 'I need my supervisor's support but we never hit it off'

Small business generic SPECIAL 240710 Stress paperwork businesses headache
BRW Picture by iSTOCK

Jennifer Wyborn, Jacqueline Jago We put your workplace problems to an employment lawyer and an executive coach.

Managing your supervisor to boost your career prospects


Jacqueline Jago Public servants can use the APS work-level standards systematically to gain their next promotion.

Abbott's machinery of government may seem 'smaller' but it's not 'rational'

National Commission of Audit chair Tony Shepherd joins in the laughter as Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann says

Paddy Gourley Opinion There is no evidence of 'methodical thinking' behind the latest restructures of once-independent agencies.

Do we hide shoddy work and bad advice behind cabinet's cone of silence?


Stephen Bartos Opinion New Zealand has shown that doing away with unnecessarily secretive traditions poses no harm.

Forty years on: the Coombs royal commission on government administration

ARCHIVE 50000:971119:SMH NEWS: PIC-FILE: Queensland Dr Herbert Cole Coombs 17 May 1967.***FDCTRANSFER***

J R Nethercote Too often, inquiries are set up to investigate the public service without knowing what they are seeking.

In government, small isn't always efficient

OTHER 001 tax glc010523.001.001 COLOUR USE ONLY  first use pi mag  photograph by gabriele charotte  generic tax cut cuts scissors tax savings ato australian taxation office bas gst abn******

Christopher Stone The evidence on public sector efficiency tends to be ignored or twisted to suit other agendas.

Nepotism, patronage and public trust: appointments to government offices



David Solomon Has government in Australia changed so dramatically that merit is now seen as admirable but impractical?

Parliamentary Budget Office: shining a little more light on public finances


Richard Mulgan The independent economic adviser has proved useful, though it is hampered by confidentiality.

The Informant Diary: July 2014

asset glc031024 photo by gabriele charotte -- generic desk calender, date, future SPECIALX 001***FDCTRANSFER***

Courses, conferences and events for public servants.

The Informant Diary: July 2014

Courses, conferences and events for public servants.

'We deliver pizzas, not policies'

British embrace English, while our reports seem as arcane as ever.

Comments 11

'All politics, no policy': Tony Abbott nails himself

The Abbott government' has turned it into a policy cul-de-sac.

Comments 213

Selling the budget's 'stinking carcass'

Last month's budget was only the first instalment of reforms.

Comments 28

Wasteful, pay-fixing farce

Does anyone in government know what labour productivity means?

Comments 17

A pillar of irony? Some not-so-ancient wisdom

Angus Taylor's words on budget morning were a stirring warcry.

Waiting out a phoney war

Coming up with effective policies is harder than the Coalition expected.

Comments 67

Dummy's guide to politics

The Abbott govt has a knack for 'creating its own realities'.

Echoes of Eichmann

Should a public servant implement a morally objectionable policy?

Comments 12

Reflection on realpolitik

Canada's ex-opposition leader has learned, through defeat, what is needed to win in politics.

Super hoax or stuff-up?

Our superannuation system is wasteful and misleading.

Comments 10

Public Sector Informant
Cycle Diaries


Candid Canberra
Facebook CT
Public Sector Informant