Friday, June 12, 2009

SA Government sold taxpayer-owned city building. No public tender.

When I worked in the South Australian Public Service, I and all others had strict Guidelines and Policies to follow whilst going about our duties.

A few years ago, Premier Mike Rann introduced a Code of Conduct with a bottom line. If you screwed the system, the system would screw you. Reprimands, Dismissals, that sort of stuff.

But, I began to notice ways in which my employer, the South Australian Government, was behaving that made me wonder about one-way streets. Surely, rules imposed on one, should equally apply to all others.

The building owned by and housing the Office of the Public Trustee, where I worked in the I.T. Section, was sold to Spanish Media Mogul, Javier Moll. In addition, Javier Moll had previously bought the building next door.

According to the government record, Hansard, the sale was not subject to public tender process, and it was sold for an amount considerably less than a previous property valuation.

So, there I was, sitting on the first floor of 25 Franklin Street, beating my head against a brick wall battling workplace bullying, sexual harassment, and corruption, and my employer does something I thought was suss.

Without Spain, South Australia could be stuffed:

Warship Design SPAIN
Desal Plant SPAIN
Government Buildings SPAIN

Maybe all public servants should be issued with new uniforms complete with Cordobes style hats!!

Adelaide’s Independent Weekly ran a story last year that really says it all:


Anonymous said...

The Govt lost the chance to abolish the Public Trustee in this restructure:
But politicians play a very long game.
If they can discredit Public Trustee enough is the long game aim to privatise Public Trustee so the existing lawyers can raise their own incomes? It is something the legal profession has been trying to do for over 100 years.
Even though Public Trustee still has an under-current of bullying against selected staff, it is also true that the staff so achieve some good things that the legal profession would never tackle.

Anonymous said...

One agency the government should be looking at is the completely ineffectual Housing Trust. A more 'nobbled' agency could not exist. Where once it ran at a profit and built homes for poor working class people - all they do now is slowly sell off their properties. The word is they are losing 50 million $ a year because the management is so completely bent on winding down the housing trust until there is no capital left.

Anonymous said...

No more stupid action can I think of, than the Rann govt making PT building earthquake proof, at big expense, then get the property valued, then selling it for millions less to a developer, without an auction and without a tender. And without anything but ideology driving the decision. And the yes people managers are going with the flow, that is how they got where they are. Too bad if it is the wrong decision. No analysis of the bad side of selling an appreciating asset and then using the sale proceeds to fund refurbishment of the next place. And then paying top rate for rent in the new places. At least PT staff do not have to walk far to the Market. Try down near to South Terrace. It is the end of nowhere down there And what we are getting will be a noisy chicken coop for people. Sorry chickens, you are given more space than the minimalist desk space allowed per person. All Rann ideology.
Selling your place was mad PT. Who would do that? No longer the clout of owning it, and not receiving the income of own building. So much easier to just sell off the business later, if have no asset to back the business.
And then where will your clients you call Protected clients go? Out on the streets like the people turfed out of Glenside.
PT should plead a special case because your clients are not like you and me (or not like most of us) Your clients need more support.
PT should be exempt from paying the government a dividend until PT has accumulated enough to buy another building. The guidelines on space requirements are just Rann ideology, but not practical. Maybe the first time someone trips on files on the floor and takes departments to court for their injuries will make someone realize that not enough storage is stupid. It is all about froth, bubble and cynical responses assuring us this will all be OK. Is this kindergarten financial management that allows idiot-idiology to drive the way this state is run (down).