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Census Fail: Failure of Liberal Ideology

We don’t yet know what caused the online census to crash. Either the site was attacked by hackers, or it couldn’t cope with the level of real traffic from people trying to fill in the survey. Either way, it’s a massive government failure. I’m not just talking about failure of security, planning, management and communication; though obviously it was all of these things. No, I’m talking about the beast of an elephant slobbering and wheezing in the corner of the room, which the media have done a great job of ignoring, but has crashed its way onto centre-stage regardless, in the most public and embarrassing way possible. By shitting on the floor.

The census fail is the public face of the consequence of slash-and-burn-small-government-cutting-spending-for-the-sake-of-cutting-spending-worldview which has been imposed on the public by the Abbott and Turnbull government and every Liberal government throughout history because, well that’s just how they roll. The Australian Bureau of Statistics, one of the victims of this mess, had a $68 million dollar cut in Abbott’s 2014 wrecking-ball budget. The same year, the census site was outsourced to IBM for $9.6 million dollars. I am not a tech-expert but I know enough about the internet to know that it costs money to keep sites secure, and it costs money to host a site on a server large enough to accommodate millions of users at once. If there’s not enough money, say if you’ve had a huge cut in the budget, you trim where you can. $68 million is a lot more trimming than a couple of redundancies and no biscuits in the tearoom. So when tech-experts scratch their heads and ask why on earth the census site could only cope with 1 million users an hour, when it needed to cope with 3 million during the peak evening hours, they should be drawing a straight line from the census fail straight to the small government ideology of the Abbott / Turnbull government.

The census fail has reminded us, not that we didn’t know already, that the budget is not just a spreadsheet of numbers, with cuts here, cuts there, cuts everywhere, which don’t impact on the reality of life in Australia. We’re not living in a virtual government spending world here. We live with the consequences of the Liberal cuts every day. Sure, we might consider ourselves a first world country with a high standard of living, as a country who is smart and has our shit together. But our government couldn’t even survey us without causing a huge debacle. The reason for this is because they cut-corners on the project. They treat the jobs of public servants – the servants to the people – like they don’t count. Like they’re dispensable. Multiply the census fail across every sector hurt by Liberal budget cuts, whether Federal or State governments, and you have the same problems occurring in education, health, public transport, the arts, infrastructure, social services, aged care, child protection, environmental protection, the list goes on and on. These cuts aren’t just abstract concepts. They impact on us. They impact on the quality of our lives. On the number of jobs in our economy. On our standard of living.

Just because we don’t all get to see the massive failures of government as publically as we saw the census fail last night, doesn’t mean there’s not a huge amount of pain out there. But it’s not just the pain we have to worry about. It’s the lost opportunities. An ineffectual, underfunded, badly run ideologically-skewed government is bad for all of us. Bad for our health. Bad for our education and skills. Bad for our economy. Bad for our wealth. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this article about the wealth of blue Democrat run states in America versus red Republican run states. The authors describe how red states, who ‘cut and extract’, are poorer overall than blue states, who invest in education, health, infrastructure etc. Even though blue states pay higher levels of tax to maintain this investment, low and behold, the investment pays off because the people in blue states are healthier (they live longer), they are better educated and they are wealthier.

So next time you hear Turnbull, or a journalist for that matter, explaining how sensible and wise they are for cutting government spending, to fulfil their goal of getting-government-out-of-the-way of their profit-making-mates, remember you’re the one hurt by the cuts. Your country is poorer because of Liberal cuts. You are poorer because of Liberal cuts. The census fail is a public humiliation for the Turnbull government. But it’s not just a technology fail. It’s a failure of ideology. Full stop.


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  1. auntyuta

    “An ineffectual, underfunded, badly run ideologically-skewed government is bad for all of us. Bad for our health. Bad for our education and skills. Bad for our economy. Bad for our wealth.”

    I am of the same opinion!

  2. Gangey1959

    When they sort the shit from the deeper shit from the clay and the final results are made public, I wonder what percentage of the population will have put ”No Religion” ? Will it be the expected 40-50ish% ?
    Or will that number be somewhat closer to the current statistic, therefore not requiring any rocking of any boats, and allowing the status quo to remain unchanged and unchallenged ?

  3. John

    All these different government systems that need to be secure and cope with large numbers of users that are constructed on a just in time basis at huge cost! Is it not possible to have various department backends temporarily connected to a single massive server farm to cope with traffic? The servers could be state of the art and used for Social Security or health the rest of the time. $ 9.6m for a system that is only used once seems like a waste of resources (unless you’re IBM that is).

  4. Annie B

    If I were a gambler ( used to be when MUCH younger – gave it up as a very bad joke ), I would have laid London to a brick on … that the ABS website would crash under these circumstances. Never mind hackers ( hinted at as being Chinese, allegedly based by MSM on the uproar over swimming and drug cheating – and an outspoken Aussie swimmer ~ albeit the subject was 2 years back ???? ) … and never mind what ‘denial of service’ might mean. .. . … Next week it will be the Russians who did it. !!

    This website was never in any way equipped to handle the millions of people who tried to do the right thing, and the ‘news’ sector of ABS ( which is still miraculously working ) gives all the explanations ( ???? ). But, they did not cover their tracks, and did not employ people who knew absolutely everything that could be done to the website. … in other words – didn’t really give a damn. “It’ll be ok on the night” … well, it wasn’t.

    This situation could well have come from within Australia itself ( more likely imo ) … from someone deeply disillusioned by the entire concept, with very specific tech. savvy. But no – the government starts up a ‘thought’ that it came from outside this country. … Anyone with any technical experience, would know how many ‘steps’ or ‘pings’ it takes to access a website, or to even send a normal email. Many more than any of us casual iphone, smartphone, ipad, PC, laptop users could ever envisage. … I am not super technically savvy myself, but THAT I do know.

    It is an embarrassment and almost laughable. So – they take hundreds of paid personnel off the streets, from delivering and then collecting … the Census forms. How much did that save this ridiculous gov’ment. ,,, A piddling amount considering what they now have to fork out to fix the damned thing.

    The LNP are as useful as chocolate teapots.

  5. johnlward010

    This sad mob of small minded shop keepers, would never have built the Snowy Mountains Scheme or the ANU at the same time. When the Labor party under Chifley took the long term view, Menzies chose to rant about the expense, yet was happy to open them up, the Snowy for the glory, and the ANU for the prestige, once he became PM.
    Now is the time to borrow money and turn the Burdekin River west and most of the head waters of rivers up the Great dividing range, and look to irrigate the inland; keeping money in Australia.
    Every $1million we send overseas to buy things we should build here, each $mill exports, about 40 jobs with it.

    Bob flaming Menzies stopped the CSIRO from working on computers, when we were one of the leaders in that field, and told the teams of scientists to work out how to make ‘it’ rain. During the first world war Menzies joined the Melbourne University Regiment as an Officer, because he could serve in the University Regiment and avoid going overseas. When the time came to send the Officers overseas because of the high casualty rate, he resigned his commission declaring ‘my brain is too valuable to waste on the battlefield’.

    When the first world war broke out, our Constitution forbade the armed forces to fight overseas, they were meant to defend Australia. The Parliament declared the Empire was in peril and called for Volunteers to form the Australian imperial Forces. At the end of that conflict we had Five divisions fighting as a singly force under Australian Command.

    Menzies of course, became a big noise in the failed conscription movement,but eventually conscripted my generation and the Vietnam Veterans.

    Don’t let the Liberals tell you what god like leader, Menzies was , he was a Tamperer and a small minded egotist, who only cared for himself and saw the men he sent to die, as the Scum of the Earth. With the advent Cold War and the post world war intelligence agencies of Britain, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia forming a collaboration known as ‘the five eyes’. Australia, has been told how to think ever since. So Australia had to take our share of Nazi fanatics out of the wreckage of Germany, to bring their knowledge and skills to the task of defeating Communism. The influence of this hidden body of war-criminals in our intelligence community and political class still resonates in attitudes and influence that were once foreign to our culture.

    Menzies was always devoted to Mother England in fact he ensured, that the flag ACT of 1954, the Union Jack was available as a right to any Australian resident to fly it in preference to and in a superior position ahead of the National Flag.

    That changed in 1968 when the British objected to our war ships having their navy Ensign in our (Menzies) Vietnam War. So we quickly created the White Ensign you see today.
    This cringeworthy behaviour was no more apparent than in the first months of world war two, when both Menzies and Churchill decided to send the Second Australian Imperial Force’s Eighth Division to Malaya to protect Singapore. The Sixth Division defeated the Italian Army in Libya and Menzies agreed with Churchill to send that division split in halves to Greece and Crete where they were made POW’s by overwhelming numbers of Nazis.
    Our Ninth Division fought Two famous battles that became the turning point of the war at Tobruk And El Alamein. The seventh Division fought against the French Foreign Legion in Syria and then were rushed back to Java and Timor and when they got off the ships they found their weapons and ammo was coming in the next convoy. They therefore joined the ignominy of the Eighth Division as prisoners of the Japanese.

    If Menzies had been working for Mr Hitler he would have earned an Iron Cross with Diamond Clusters.

    The Ninth finally came back to join the reserve CMF (Chocolate Soldiers who had held the Japanese) on the Kokoda track in New Guinea to then Push the Nips back. They were the One Division that formed our last fighting force left standing out of Four divisions from the second war.

    The Ninth Division survived Menzies and the only thing that saved them from defeat and Churchill’s order to sail north to Malaya and the japs, was the ALP’s PM John Curtain whom ordered the fleet to return to Australia and we looked to the American for protection and away from Churchill who was prepared to leave Australia to the Imperial Japanese Army, to be ‘regained after the war in Europe was won’.

    By 1950 we still had German Italian and Japanese prisoners in custody and Menzies let the Germans stay who wanted to, Italians went home and most applied to come back. The Japs went home and we thought they would be our enemies, deep in our hearts forever. Nazis and Japs were hated universally, for their cruelty, the people that hated them are mostly dead, a handful forgave, the baby boomers were protected from the horror of war, until the fathers succumbed to PTSD.

    Menzies surrounded himself with people who were lacking in the smarts to topple him. They are the people who could simply not accept that democracy requires the rejected party, in opposition, to respect the will of the people’s judgement and prepare for the next election while holding the government to account; but not dying in a ditch before they let any legislation pass without creating the cess-pit we have witnessed over the last sixty odd years.

    The Liberals sing the same bloody song every time they get kicked out by the people and this is why we have a ‘Saw Tooth’ economic graph to contemplate, no hope for a big Australia, because the people we elect have for seventy years have been stuck with the legacy of the Fat Blow Hard, where the players are now so boring and narrow coming, as they do from university through head office or an electorate office and turn out to be educated idiots with no ambition for or love of country, Just being there is enough.

    Malcolm is behaving as if he is the rebirth of the fat controller.

  6. paulwalter

    It has been done for ideological reasons to do with “small government”, conditioning the public to accept second best, as shown in the rigid process that WON’T accept work done “ïn house” anymore.

    Further, Guardian journo Asher Wolf pointed out that here is evidence that the bureaucrats were already planning how to circumvent the privacy provisions, but it has also been pointed out that the raison de etre for the census as currently constituted is cost cutting, but I think it is more about engineering acceptance for authoritarianism, via the name and address requirement.

    Victoria Rollison goes half way but also needed to ask why the silence (again) from the ALP on a civll liberties/ open government/ data retention/ surveillance/ privacy issue.

  7. Florence nee Fedup

    This is the third time one can do Census online, not the first. No problems in the past.

    Maybe massive cuts ABS could be part of problem.

    Has led to unemployment figures that are unreliable.

    ABS ask govt to upgrade existing IT network but were ordered to outsource to IBM.

    Another outsourcing that has failed.

    Twenty fours later, still not up again.

    About privatisation by stealth.

  8. paulwalter

    Why isn’t Shorten joining the Greens and Nick Xenophon in calling off this census until the grave issues involved in it are addressed? I admired Bill getting up and joining with the others to reject participation till the privacy issues are resolved, haw, haw, haw.

    A united opposition front could have meant much trouble for this arrogant, lazy government.

  9. Peter F

    If this is the third time online services have been available for the census, what has changed? The online service has been sold to IBM !!!!!!!

  10. Linda Woodrow

    The entire vocational education sector is experiencing the same level of crash and burn as the census. Absolute FU start to finish. As are many other sectors.

  11. Ian Sprocket Muncher Parfrey

    It wouldn’t be the first time a botch up has been engineered in order to cover up a bigger shitstorm.

    So, the Census crashes just as the Nauru Files come to light, eh?

    It ISN’T a co-incidence.

  12. aravis1

    Spot on, Annie B. The LNP is totally, dreadfully, responsible for this debacle.

  13. Terry2

    This is a paragraph from a SMH article back in February 2015 just after the appointment of the new ABS head, which appointment had been delayed by the Abbott government by over twelve months :

    “Appointed only in December (2014), Mr Kalisch has inherited an organisation running on a dual track. For the past year it has been both preparing a case for abandoning the 2016 census and preparing to conduct it.

    Fairfax Media understands that it is well behind schedule and unable to deliver the census without cutting its size or compromising its quality.

    The ABS wants to use much of the money that would have been used for the 2016 census to modernise its computing systems, some of which are up to 40 years old and need specialised knowledge to maintain.”

    There is a lot more to this fiasco and an enquiry is essential.

  14. Klaus

    Hi Victoria,

    It’s not the servers that have failed. If I were to believe the government, then it was a lot of traffic, directed specifically to the Census site. By traffic, I don’t mean just people wanting to submit their forms, I mean malicious traffic. Being in IT, I have a few comments

    1) I was astounded by the arrogance of the chief statistician as to how good, world class their systems are. We had a good lough at the office thinking, he is inviting hackers and DDoS (that is what it apparently was although I don’t believe the government ever) to hack or bring the site down.

    2) This all is so well known in IT, that it is unforgivable that such a simple attack can bring the site down. The vastly overpaid Chief Statistician and his arrogant commentary shows me, he has to go. Incompetent dimwit.

    3) Our data is not at the ABS, it is with IBM. IBM is the custodian. Before now, nobody talked about this.

    4) I am also a little bit savvy with statistics. I have yet to hear an explanation, the direction of funding depends on names and addresses. Postcode, I fully get but no more detail is needed. Thy don’t pave my road because my name is Klaus. There will be no new school in the NT because there are 5 Adams living. You get the point.

    5) The need to collect data goes hand in hand with this pathetic governments insanity to control!!!! That is the only reason.

    AND I Love YOUR Elephant “By shitting on the floor.”

  15. OlWomBat

    Victoria you are absolutely correct. The ABS contracted to IBM to provide a “census solution”. The government stripped the ABS of 200+ staff and the advice from long-term employees on the risks in implementing an internet-based solution went unheeded. IBM as the technology experts who supposedly set up these things globally did not provide a workable solution – after all they would be the ones responsible for sizing the network components and performing stress testing. The contract was awarded despite recent IBM’s failings in Queensland. Perhaps some of the wrath directed at the ABS in general should be directed at those who cut the ABS, the government, signed the contract, relevant ABS and government staff, and delivered an inadequate “solution”, IBM. We, the public, have paid for this disaster but still some will walk away with the money.

  16. Freethinker

    It is interesting that the Liberal party put the blame on the ALP government on the home insulation program failure but now the government put the blame on IBM.
    If heads have to be roll they should start from the top and also whistle blowers should be allowed to tell the facts specially if the government put the blame on them.

  17. Steve Laing -

    Poor IBM – they have clearly been set up to be the fall guy now, and listening to Turnbull on AM, he wants heads to roll. Of course he does, we now know how his vindictiveness operates (though not within the party, you’ll notice). But I bet any money that IBM have delivered exactly what was written into the contract. No more, no less.

    Usually, of course, these providers recognise that the requirements are wrong, but they bid low to get the deal (because price is the key factor in government outsourcing deals) but then try and make good by the add-on work that is needed to turn the poor original requirements into a system that will actually work as was intended (rather than as documented). My guess is that the assumptions the contract were based on were very much best case scenario, and when this was highlighted that the budget controllers made it too hard to get things resolved in a timely enough manner.

    No wonder Malcolm wants to avoid a commission into this! This isn’t a technology stuff up, its a management one, and he wants no external light shone on it. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the former Minister for Communications was involved in some capacity…

  18. Matters Not

    Had some experience with IBM – payrolls and the like. Talk about a gap between promise and performance. They were responsible for the QLD Health stuff up, the Education Department disaster as well. Technology stuff ups all round.

    One hopes that lessons were learned and penalty clauses can be invoked to cause IBM some considerable pain.

    Wouldn’t touch them with the proverbial barge pole. Feel all sorts of sympathy for the Minister. (Never thought I’d say that). IBM run a mile from responsibility.

  19. townsvilleblog

    Bill Shorten has give the best explanation I’ve heard so far and that is that you cannot take $64 million out of the dept lose talented skilled staff and expect a good result. This tory govt it seems couldn’t run a chook raffle.

  20. Anthony

    the census failure may be a public joke but it probably didn’t really hurt anyone. The one which REALLY hurt people was Centrelink, every year students are having to wait longer and longer to have Austudy and Youth Allowance approved. I have friends who didn’t get their claims approved till May when we were studying from Feb and Centrelink just says “oh well you will be back paid once it goes through”. Gee thanks, sure the landlord and electricity companies and the food shops will all be happy to give their products away and just wait for centrelink to back pay to get their money.

  21. diannaart


    LNP would forget to supply a chook.

  22. astra5

    Thank you for another sharply focussed piece. You identify so well the problems and the causes.

    Your identification of the ideological genesis of the census debacle is perspicacious. The link you provided to the analysis of the American states is most informative; its conclusion supports your hypothesis. I have bookmarked it for future reference.

    I am reminded of the story of the three little pigs: Turnbull, his advisors, the ABS, and IBM sitting in their census house of straw, knowing full well that the Big Bad Wolf is outside and an ever present threat, yet supremely confident that they can cope with the census load. But their house is blown away, leaving them exposed, angry, and looking for someone else to blame. It matters little whether the problem was simply overload of an unprepared system, or a denial-of-service attack, or some of both. It was a monumental stuff-up, no doubt multi-factorial. But we can be sure that the ideologically-driven fact of the underfunding of the ABS will be swept under the carpet, that is, if they still have a carpet.

  23. Matthew Oborne

    I took my daughter grandma into Centrelink she wanted to ask a question, not a vital one but an important question for her. I could see the annoyance on the face of the woman who was dealing with her, you could see she felt she had much more important things to do. She probably did have much more important things to do. Under funding services lead to her ultimately saying to ring up at 8.30 in the morning because if you dont ring that early you will be on the phone for a long time. The first cuts they made to public service under Abbott and renewing contracts with individuals was among them. The basic services are all in decline and our country is paying the price. under the libs who many squandered opportunities can you think of that they have done. Locking younger people out of home ownership. unstable and barely full time work, superannuation never reached the level high enough to ease pressure on the budget with pensions. Baby boomer health needs are largely unfunded, our renewables in a near death state. One party has inflicted so much social harm on this country that it beggars belief that they can be anything other than a fringe party. what is wrong with us is my question.

  24. economicreform

    Apart from causing inconvenience to many people, two mysteries remain. Firstly, the identity of the group of people responsible for initiating this computer attack. And secondly, the real motive of these people in taking this action and what it was intended to achieve.

  25. Anthony

    economicreform: I am not sure there WAS an attack, everyone country wide hitting the server at approximately the same time is basically the same as a DOS attack. However admitting that shows underpreparedness where as if its hackers then its someone else’s fault.

    It wasn’t a DOS attack which stopped people for days before being able to call their info line, it was lack of resources and this is no different

  26. totaram

    economicreform: I suspect there was no attack. It was just too many millions of people trying to log in at the same time. They had only anticipated 1 million logins simultaneously, I read somewhere. I suspected such an event would occur, and so I logged in at 8 am and completed the census without any fuss. There are some advantages to being retired.

  27. Bacchus

    Agree totaram – the supposed international ‘traffic’ was probably just cautious people using VPNs or proxies to hide their IP addresses (there had been talk on social media that ABS were interested in this data as well).

    I completed the census at around 6:30pm without a problem.

  28. Jaq

    i’M SORRY, but we’ve just HAD an election! Who in the HELL voted these entitled parasites back into power?

  29. Matters Not

    IBM is a world wide organisation. So their stuff ups can be found across the world.

    The original tab for the problem-plagued computer system developed by IBM was $242 million, but it kept growing as problems arose with cheques sent to clients.

    The province also had to give municipalities an additional $10 million to cover overtime pay for staff who were dealing with upset recipients.

    At one point last December, just a month after it went online, SAMS queued up $20 million in overpayments for people living on social assistance.

    … The government’s SAMS implementation has been an absolute mess,” said PC critic Randy Petttapiece. “It’s 19 months behind scheduled and has already racked up costs of nearly $300 million.”

  30. Annie B

    Agree with all of the commenters here, along with the author, Victoria ….. and thank you Aravis1 for your comment.

    Anthony : …. ( today 10.33 am ) ….

    your references to Centrelink, and the damage it can cause. I admit I have not had trouble when going to a Centrelink office, but in the governments ‘non-wisdom’ … they devised the site to log into, and then apparently be re-directed to Centrelink on line. Yeah right ! … if one could be so lucky. There is a perfunctory ultra light coloured link that people can click on, right at the bottom of the MyGov page to access Centrelink directly. One blink and you’d miss it. It is alleged that it will be there for ‘a short time’.

    That is a difficult site to negotiate, as firstly, once into a specific page, you cannot go back. Have to start again, and do another search from the so-called home page. I don’t recall them ever telling us that these changes would be made – which resulted in it being way more difficult than it ever was before.


    IBM has spread its tentacles all over the world – 450,000 + people employed globally, but their HQ is in Armonk, NY State, and they are a fully American owned company. No-one could tell me that the HQ there, would be bothered with something so piddling ( in their ‘exceptional’ opinion ) as a Census in Australia. Why would they want to address it at all. Let the understaffed, and possibly IT illiterate employed IBM here, deal with it. That’s the way of all corporate flesh. However, the fact that IBM does run the thing, bothers me greatly, as if the Yanks wanted for some freakish reason, to access information about Australia – its demographics, its housing, its education etc , then they could and would. Simple as that.

    Guess the guv’mint here would blame the Australian arm of IBM, for its unbelievably uninformed decisions to run it all this way.

    I wonder, if they would DARE to fine people who are genuinely unable to obtain some form of Census papers / by mail or on line, if 23rd September rolls on by, and they haven’t got all the details.

    Nothing would surprise me.

  31. Anthony

    @Annie B
    though I don’t like mygov thats not the problem I am referring to
    The problem is that apparently the government has no idea that students mostly tend to start studying at the start of the year and therefore doesn’t have the staff to actually process the claims and claims “unexpected high demand”

    This was 2015:

    And this is 2016:

    And from personal experience I know students who were still waiting in may and who had put their claims in as soon as the offers came out

  32. Annie B

    Anthony …

    I realised the main thrust of your comment – and it is beyond woeful that students and youth allowance applicants are treated in such a ‘throw away’ manner. According to one source, Newstart is set to fall to below 32% of the poverty line, the lowest on record. Remains to be seen if those figures are fact, but one of Turdbulls’ first acts of parliament was to slash at Newstart. Nice bloke isn’t he !!

    I just took the matter a little further, and off track, into the technical disadvantages of yet another Government site, that doesn’t seem to know bee from a bulls’ foot as to how to run anything.

    Something to lighten the hearts of 99% of people here. My sister, who is ( was ? ) a rabid LNP supporter, busting her gut to ‘help’ them out by chairing meetings etc. ( Victorian Libs ) … is beyond disgusted with the entire Census uproar, and has said some not so choice words about her much loved Federal LNP. She didn’t like Abbott, and believed Turnbull might well have been the ‘be all and end all’ to a better situation. Now she is up in arms about him, I am pleased to report. She is currently muttering ‘independent’.

    Well that’s only one person – now, many more to persuade they have caught the wrong tram.

  33. wam

    love it klaus the arrogance of such a claim invited a show off to prove him wrong. But could IBM, like the rabbott, be unsure of peak speed??
    I joined a small group in 2011,getting a few quid to deliver and pick up the forms in my suburb. A hard walk for an oldie but successful with only two telling me to FFOFF.
    The money went to the workers who spent it in australia with a turnover effect and unlike IBM PAID TAX.
    So much for jobs and growth???

  34. Lawrence S. Roberts

    Great way to start a new parliament with one vote in hand and a volatile senate. Little Billy just has to play his cards right.

  35. Rhonda

    Well highlighted, Victoria. Full stop.

  36. jimhaz

    When they restructure and downsize so much WISE corporate knowledge gets lost and is made much worse by the accountability confusion (personal networking suffers – the go to people who carry workplaces leave or get buried by new forms of self-protection based bureaucracy as the new people (often talkers not doers) make all sorts of mistakes.

    I note that Tony Cole headed up the ABS review. Cole was then appointed to Abbott’s National Commission of Audit.

    I note that both Tony Shepherd and Vanston have rather stupid articles in todays SMH. Vanstone is suggesting the Olympics be held only in Greece and Shepherd was rabbiting on about AAA ratings and forcing govs to retain this rating (an excuse for small gov).

    Another member Peter Boxall won an “Award in the Government Executives’ category at the 2000 Outsourcing World Summit”

    It does not surprise me the least that this is the outcome.

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