Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Lies Abbott Tells

Tony Abbott treated the Australian electorate like a collection of fools as Opposition Leader and he continues in the same fashion as Prime Minister.


The purpose of these arrangements is to help meet the Government’s commitment to a reduction of 12,000 employees through natural attrition. 
To meet this commitment and minimise redundancies, it will be necessary to control engagements very tightly. At the same time, we need to maintain viable front line services, particularly in regional locations, and preserve the skills required to meet the Government’s priorities.
Accordingly, the Government has agreed to a set of arrangements that make the redeployment of displaced employees, within agencies and across the APS, the first priority when filling vacancies....

Outline of Key Principles

4. The key elements of the interim recruitment policy are as follows, and are effective immediately:
a.   before considering any recruitment action, agencies should undertake careful and objective analysis of the role and whether it actually needs to be filled;
b.   priority is to be given first to displaced (or potentially displaced[1]) APS employees, then to other existing APS staff;
c.   agencies will only engage non-APS staff to fill critical vacancies with the agreement of the Australian Public Service Commissioner;
d.   staffing action which is underway should be suspended, except where an offer of employment has been made to a successful candidate (this action may be re-initiated after the redeployment register has been examined and where approval is sought from the APS Commissioner and where the Commissioner agrees that filling is essential);
e.    where new vacancies arise, agencies will follow these steps:
o    Step 1: the vacancy is to be filled by displaced staff from within the agency, or if none are suitable, by displaced staff from across the APS;
o    Step 2: if evidence is provided to the Commission that the agency has considered the CVs of displaced employees on the APS redeployment registers without finding a suitable candidate, and filling the vacancy is considered essential, the vacancy may be advertised internally (ie. within the APS on APSJobs[2]); and
o    Step 3: if steps 1 and 2 are unsuccessful, critical vacancies can be advertised to external candidates with the APS Commissioner’s agreement. These cases are expected to be rare and demonstrably exceptional, with the exception of positions funded through fee for service arrangements;
f.     Non-ongoing employment: consistent with the intention of these arrangements to support a significant reduction in APS employment overall, agency heads will take measures to ensure that existing non-ongoing employment arrangements cease at the end of their current term, and refrain from entering new arrangements, other than where the agency head approves a particular requirement in order to meet a critical business demand. Agency heads should also consider cancelling non-ongoing arrangements in the case of programs that have been closed or downgraded. Agency heads are to advise the APS Commissioner in writing on a monthly basis, using Form 1, providing details of when they have agreed to a new or extended non-ongoing engagement with details and reasons for the decision.
g.    agencies are to seek the APS Commissioner’s prior endorsement to conduct larger scale non-ongoing recruitment activities to meet essential business requirements; in particular, for intermittent and irregular non-ongoing employees.
5. The APS Commissioner’s Directions will be modified to allow promotions to continue to be available for existing APS employees where the vacancy was only advertised to APS employees. The new Directions will also require the APS Commissioner’s agreement before advertising is made open to the community. These measures are intended to be temporary and are intended to help achieve the Government’s objective to quickly and significantly reduce the size of the public service by natural attrition. Subject to the changed processes outlined here, the merit principle continues to apply in all other respects.
6. Agencies should ensure that positions considered as critical for filling are classified correctly against the appropriate work level standards as these will be used to assist matching against the redeployment register. Agencies should consult the SES and non-SES classification guides on the APSC’s website for further information....

Interim arrangements for APS recruitment processes

Media statement
8 November 2013

The changes included the temporary suspension of external recruitment and contract renewals except in exceptional circumstances which will be considered on a case by case basis.
Dr Clark provided an update to staff today about the changes, including the following details:
“The figure quoted in the media today of 1500 staff under uncertainty is incorrect,” Dr Clark said.
“There are approximately 300 non-casual contracted staff whose terms finish in the 2013-14 financial year. In normal circumstances, a proportion of these terms are not renewed in any given year however we recognise that this temporary suspension will result in a higher than usual number of non-renewals.
“Regarding casual staff, CSIRO recruits casual staff primarily for seasonal work or for covering absences of administrative support staff – which provides employment opportunities for people who prefer this mode of employment or who may not be able to commit to full-time employment. In this financial year, we have around 150 casual staff whose contracts are due for renewal.
“I want to remind everyone that, with approval, we can still renew contracts and recruit to positions that are critical for our work.
“We will not be compromising on our commitments to industry or other key stakeholders through these changes. This approach will allow CSIRO to continue to deliver our outstanding work with industry and the community - work that has led to some of the country’s most valuable discoveries and inventions, such as Wi-Fi and the Hendra virus vaccine.
“In order to maintain longer term capability, we will continue targeted recruitment programs for our Indigenous employment and Post-Doctoral Fellows. We have around 50 positions currently open for recruitment, which are primarily for Post-Doctoral Fellows.” [my red bolding]

Note: The COMMONWEALTH SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH ORGANISATION is a Commonwealth Government Entity. It is an entity within the portfolio of the Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane [See CSIRO Annual Report 2012-13 tabled in the Australian Parliament on 31 October 2013]. It is constituted and operating under the provisions of the Science and Industry Research Act 1949 and its primary functions under the Act are to carry out scientific research to benefit Australian industry and the community, and to contribute to the achievement of national objectives.


Prime Minister Tony Abbott in The Sydney Morning Herald 8 November 2013:

"We haven't made any cutbacks to the CSIRO. The management of the CSIRO and the employment of staff inside the CSIRO and the management of contractors for the CSIRO is a matter for the CSIRO itself,"


On 13 November 2013, the first full day of the 44th Australian Parliament, Tony Abbott stated in the House of Representatives during Questions Without Notice:

Mr ABBOTT (Warringah—Prime Minister) (14:07): I understand that the Leader of the Opposition has a job to do, but the problem with that question is that it was based on a farrago of falsehoods....
The Leader of the Opposition claims that we have cut jobs at the CSIRO. Management of the CSIRO is a matter for the management of that organisation. It is as simple as that.

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