Leaking ship of state

So a Treasury official has been leaking to the Opposition.

Surely he should know that his work and knowledge is the property of his employer. The Opposition cultivating public servants and using them to get the low-down on government policy, plans, and actions is not OK, in spite of what they might say. A public servant serves their employer – the GOVERNMENT, not the public (in spite of the title), and not the Opposition.

If he has been found to actually have passed the information on, he is most likely in breach of his employment contract as well as various bits of the law, and he should be sacked. This is what would happen in private industry.

Public servants might vote, but they must never bring their own politics into their job. Not a good move!!

5 Comments

Totally agree but I’m furious at the distraction this is causing at the end of Parliament’s sitting . . there are bigger fish to fry. He’ll get his cumuppence I hope.

Comment by Baino | June 25th, 2009 6:20 am | Permalink

That’s interesting. I have never given it much thought but the fact that they remain in place when governments change made me think that public servants WERE servants of the public. Kind of “even handed agents” like judges who are above politics or political parties. I always thought that public servants who leak information were traitors to the people and not the government (who deserve no loyalty since they would sell us all up the river for tuppance). However on reflection I have decided that you must be right. They are the employees of the government and when it changes it is like someone changing companies by having their company acquired by another company.

Comment by Jack | June 25th, 2009 7:49 am | Permalink

Actually, speaking from too much experience working for Federal and state (three separate ones) governments, it was pounded into us over and over again that we are in actual fact working for the MINISTER.

So if the Minister wanted a report, or a program changed or special consideration given to something, we did it. So, for Gaucho Gaggia or whatever the hell his name is to be a sneak for the person directly opposing the Minister should equate to instant dismissal and a fine.

But of course, that kind of stuff only happens to little people, not heads of departments on salaries way beyond the published band level…

Comment by Kath Lockett | June 25th, 2009 11:50 am | Permalink

He probably should go to jail, actually. If there is enough proof. The Opposition will probably use privilege to try and prevent anything they have from being discovered by the police in order to frustrate the process. HOWEVER, to actually get away with doing that they should table what they have in the house. Being a pollie does not bring automatic privilege with it.

Comment by Wally | June 25th, 2009 4:33 pm | Permalink

It all has more serious overtones again. In Australia, we have always had the same public servants when the Government changed except that some such as Dean Brown in SA and John Howard federally both sacked the heads of various departments when they were elected. The SA Government was successfully sued by a couple of people for wrongful dismissal and the Government [ie us] paid out huge sums to those summarily dismissed. The head of one SA Government Department [the Courts Administration Authority was dismissed by the current Treasurer for allegedly keeping unspent moneys in reserve rather than returning it all to the Treasury. She subsequently sued and was awarded damages.] Federally, those removed are generally placed on the unattached list and can sometimes be made to go away by giving them nothing useful to do. This costs us as taxpayers less money but is not a terribly efficient way of running a country. The more stubborn ones hang in until the Government changes when they generally make a successful comeback.
By contrast in the USA, the whole senior administration changes when the President changes with immense disruption to Government.
Kevin Rudd as a former senior public servant did the right thing by the public service by not removing anybody when he was elected. It would seem that Mr G. has done a great disservice to all of his fellow public servants by betraying the trust put in him and trying to bring down the Prime Minister and Treasurer simultaneously.
It is not up to him to decide who should run the country. We have system called democracy which means that we went to the enormous expense of electing the Government that we wanted and it is treasonous on the part of one man to try to disrupt the whole political process just to implement his own beliefs.
The full strength of the law must be brought to bear on Mr G and education courses given to those left so that it does not happen again.
The last thing we want here is the system they use in the USA.
Dad

Comment by Dad | June 25th, 2009 10:10 pm | Permalink

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