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Mills plans retail revolution for Parliament's shop

NOEL TOWELL Canberra products seen as the key to turning around Parliament's struggling shop.

Duncan Lewis' appointment as ASIO head casts the spotlight on Defence

Nicholas Stuart

NICHOLAS STUART 12:00am Opinion The raids on Thursday demonstrated that some of the most dangerous threats we face are not the old, simple conventional enemies of the past.

Public servant's soy milk sojourn

A Canberra public servant told her boss she needed longer breaks to find a café that served organic coffee with soy milk.

NOEL TOWELL Unauthorised absences blamed on dietary requirements.

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From business as usual to Parliament House security alert in just one night

AFP patrol.

NOEL TOWELL In just one night, the security threat level at the national Parliament went from business as usual to red alert.

Drunk, rude, speeding diplomats maintain privacy

International flags fly in Canberra at sunset.

MARKUS MANNHEIM Police were so concerned by some foreign diplomats' conduct they asked DFAT to formally counsel the relevant ambassadors.

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Public service bosses told to open up on complaints


NOEL TOWELL Public service bosses have been told they are too secretive when investigating complaints.

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Defence, Customs ready to bargain as public service union mulls strike


NOEL TOWELL Industrial action on the agenda as public service union leaders gather in Melbourne

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Public Service Commissioner Stephen Sedgwick denies freeze on hiring

Stephen Sedgwick.

NOEL TOWELL But recruitment "arrangements" are beginning to bite, says Sedgwick.

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Union fears job losses as Telstra takes over Medicare, Centrelink call centres

Telstra will

NOEL TOWELL Telstra will start taking over Centrelink and Medicare call centre services from the federal government in six weeks as the CPSU warns of job cuts.

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Public servant had psychiatric breakdown after mentor's comments

Working in the public service could result in harsh words from those around you.

NOEL TOWELL Environment Department mentoring left bureaucrat with severe depression.

ATO's crime fighters may face police investigation

Abuse of Power: The ATO is facing trouble on numerous fronts, including claims that it abused its powers while investigating one of its own.

NOEL TOWELL Allegations internal affairs unit went rogue.

DFAT puts the brakes on staff cuts

money bag

NOEL TOWELL Golden handshake dreamers might have left it too late, DFAT bosses say.

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Canberra's public hospitals are Australia's most expensive

Patient in hospital bed.

MARKUS MANNHEIM An emergency patient admitted to an ACT ward costs more than twice as much to treat as patients in some states.

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References to 'black babies' and 'Coon cheese' offensive, but not a breach of Racial Discrimination Act: judge


MICHAEL INMAN An Aboriginal public servant experienced co-workers making references to “black babies” and “Coon cheese” at a staff afternoon tea.

Defence slashes anti-terrorism jobs for graduates

We need our university graduates. They keep our economy strong, viable and able.

PRIMROSE RIORDAN Defence may be looking for fewer young eyes for its units responsible for anti-terrorism and national security than last year, with new figures revealing the department has scaled back their recruitment target.

Cut-price protection flagged for Parliament House

A Parliament House security officer keeps a watchful eye on the roof of Parliament House in Canberra.

NOEL TOWELL Half-price security touted for national politicians.

Tony Abbott's indigenous takeover in 'disarray'

All talk: Mr Abbott has emerged as an ideologue.

NOEL TOWELL Prime Minister Tony Abbott's takeover of indigenous affairs is in "disarray", public service insiders allege.

The overpowering scent of the public service


NOEL TOWELL Colleagues' perfume left me permanently impaired, says former DHS bureaucrat.

Public service union furious over Tax Office's Manila outsourcing proposal

Union alarm at move to have backroom taxation functions done offshore.

NOEL TOWELL Proposal to move backroom work to the Philippines angers the CPSU.

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How public service bosses defy Eric Abetz's hiring freeze

public service

NOEL TOWELL Departmental bosses have been systematically beating the Abbott government's public service hiring freeze from the day it was imposed.

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ATO public servants offered $10,000 to help with move


NOEL TOWELL Sweetener offered to leave regional Australia.

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Parking woes for Attorney-General's staff, who will get no help from the boss

Paid parking in the Parliamentary Triangle has been delayed.

NOEL TOWELL Attorney-General's bureaucrats on their own, as infringement penalties are made public.

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Manila calling for the ATO, Health Department to Bangalore

The ATO is considering an offer from computing behemoth Accenture.

NOEL TOWELL Transnational wants to move Australian data work to the Philippines.

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World's biggest military contractor, Lockheed Martin, moves into Civic in jobs boon for Canberra


PRIMROSE RIORDAN As Canberra is poised to lose thousands of jobs in public service cuts, defence contractors are moving in to plug the employment gap.

Former public service head Blair Comley gets new job at NSW Premier and Cabinet

New role: Blair Comley will take over as NSW's top public servant.

NOEL TOWELL Former Canberra mandarin was sacked when Tony Abbott won government.

'Market forces' create bloated hospital bureaucracies: international study

generic thumbnail, hospital, doctor, hospital, emergency, surgery

MARKUS MANNHEIM US hospitals spend a quarter of their budgets on administration, more than twice as much as some other countries.

Public servants hit with redundancy tax shocks

Nasty surprises: Experts are warning public servants to make sure of their liabilities before taking a redundancy.

NOEL TOWELL "Nasty surprises" looming at tax time for departing bureaucrats.

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Harry Evans, Australia's longest-serving Clerk of the Senate, dies at 68

Impartial: Former Clerk of the Senate, Harry Evans.

PRIMROSE RIORDAN Harry Evans, who was Clerk of the Senate for a record 21 years, has died.

Public service graduate jobs slashed, but young march in continues


PRIMROSE RIORDAN Public service cuts have hit grad intakes with some departments not hiring for graduate positions in 2015.

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The great public service redundancy rip-off

It pays: to make sure calculations have been correctly done before signing for redundancy.

NOEL TOWELL Departing bureaucrats urged to double-check their offers.

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Canberra's top secret cyber soldier jobs rush


PHILLIP THOMSON Frontline warriors must account for what they've done, where they've been in the last decade.

GG's vice-regal homes plagued by ravages of time

Contributed publicly available.  photos- Governor-General's toilet for story re; upgrades at Admiralty House.

PHILLIP THOMSON Even the vice-regal toilet has had dramas as separate $12m of work cancelled or delayed.

Diplomat Graeme Wilson mourned as a 'true gentleman'

Sports lover: Australia's high commissioner to South Africa, Graeme Wilson, has passed away.

PHILLIP THOMSON Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and South African president Jacob Zuma send condolences for Graeme Wilson.

$4 parking in the parliamentary triangle - but only for defence staffers


NOEL TOWELL Defence staffers to pay just a third of the going rate in the parliamentary triangle.

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Public service pay negotiations 'misrepresented by CPSU'

Unaffordable: Public Service Minister Eric Abetz   says the CPSU's 12 per cent pay claim will cost at least 10,000 jobs.

Eric Abetz Opinion Enterprise bargaining is progressing at an agency level across the Australian Public Service according to the Australian Government Public Sector Workplace Bargaining Policy.

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Building behemoth John Holland accused of criminal OH&S offences


NOEL TOWELL Building behemoth could face millions in fines over near miss.

Parking boss's warning to Commonwealth public servants


PHILLIP THOMSON Find out the Canberra parking boss's plans for post October 1 but you can't find out who his inspectors are.

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Public servants should be sent north: report

Australian Public Service Commissioner Stephen Sedgwick.

PHILLIP THOMSON Report tabled in Parliament recommends federal bureaucrats go tropical.

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NSW Parliament appoints Stephen Bartos as election costings watchdog

Independent monitor: Stephen Bartos will hold politicians to account as NSW's new parliamentary budget officer.

MARKUS MANNHEIM Prominent Canberra consultant Stephen Bartos will oversee the costing of NSW election promises as the state's voters prepare to head to the ballot box next year.

Telling-off from boss caused my mental breakdown, says public servant

public service

NOEL TOWELL ATO worker claimed call from his boss left him psychologically unfit for work.

Immigration public servants discover their inner superhero

Public servants Graham Hawkins, Sophie Harding, San Mirzabegian, Michael Taylor, Ami Bah and Brandt Robinson don their capes for muscular dystrophy.

Vanessa Lam This week organisations around the ACT have been given the chance to unleashing their inner caped crusader for National Superhero Week.

Public service graduate offers finally on the table

It is understood offers to most public service graduates are expected to arrive by the end of the month.

PRIMROSE RIORDAN Job offers were finally flowing through late on Tuesday to the latest batch of young public servants for the 2015 federal departmental graduate programs after they were delayed by the Public Service Minister Eric Abetz.

'Third way' for government services wins Kevin Andrews's approval

Social Services minister Kevin Andrews.

NOEL TOWELL Public servants should form their own co-operatives and bid for the right to provide government health, education, welfare and even emergency services, according to a new report that has won the backing of the Abbott government.

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Chris Moraitis joins the top table in Abbott's latest reshuffle of department heads

The new head of the Attorney-General's Department, Chris Moraitis.

MARKUS MANNHEIM A career diplomat has become the newest member of the public service's top tier.

Malcolm Turnbull begs public servants to get over fear of failure

Community broadcasters fear Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull plans to shift them to online-only services.

MARKUS MANNHEIM Senior Liberal MP says public servants lack creativity, but former top mandarin says ministers are the enemy of innovation.

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Why the ATO is losing the battle against the 'transnationals'

The Australian Tax Office says multinational companies are cashing in on their inability to make them pay their fair share of taxes.

NOEL TOWELL Google, Starbucks and Ikea are cashing in on a reduced ATO ability to make them pay.

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Eric Abetz launches attack against public service union, the CPSU

Liberal Senator for Tasmania Eric Abetz.

PHILLIP THOMSON Senator Eric Abetz has launched a scathing attack on the main union representing public servants by saying it has been deliberately misrepresenting the government's position on bargaining negotiations.

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Ethics all at sea: stopping the boats and corrupting the state

Colour cartoon by Andrew Dyson.

Asylum seekers on paper boat with marking, writing United Nations  Refugee Convention. ocean sea refugees

Richard Mulgan Opinion The state-sanctioned victimisation of asylum seekers is an evil that dare not speak its name.

The Informant Diary: September 2014

Courses, conferences and events for public servants.

Lies and trickery in the public service job market

Even a little white lie in a resume could lead to an APS code of conduct investigation, or worse.

What to do if a co-worker is sleeping with the boss

We put your workplace problems to an employment lawyer and an executive coach.

Together, we can lift this bargaining trainwreck

The government has picked a fight with its staff. But does it have a strategy to win in the long term?

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Stopping the boats and corrupting the state

The state-sanctioned victimisation of asylum seekers is an evil that dare not speak its name.

'Direct action' that could save the global economy

The G20 summit is Australia's chance to begin addressing its poor productivity performance.

A privileged agency head, his discourteous dispute

When public servants enter Parliament to give evidence, they step beyond the Public Service Act's reach.

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Loosen the reins, and we might end pointless spats

Australia needs Tony Abbott's mooted reforms of the federation to succeed.

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Remember when public servants were impartial?

Too many government officials are seemingly ignoring their legal obligation to be apolitical.

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'We deliver pizzas, not policies'

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

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

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

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Selling the budget's 'stinking carcass'

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

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Wasteful, pay-fixing farce

Does anyone in government know what labour productivity means?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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