Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Public Trustee Parliamentary Hearing: In Secret!

UPDATE. Tuesday afternoon.

I was contacted this afternoon and told by a Committee Member that he and the other Members know nothing about any in-camera request, and that no such request has been acceded to. This will only occur on the day, Thursday at 9.15am.

Most certainly, the emails I received from Committee support staff over the past few weeks suggest otherwise. It does not involve rocket science to get a handle on comments such as '...I believe you will have a wasted journey if you come in...'. Anyway, to the credit of the Committee this has now been clarified. I & the media await Thursday morning with bated breath. I am aware that Public Trustee WILL make an in-camera request!

Original Post

For many years, the Office of the Public Trustee (PT) was constantly in the spotlight with disturbing stories about workplace bullying, corruption, and shocking customer service.

On 31 March 2008, the Statutory Authorities Review Committee resolved to '...inquire into, and report on, the operations of the Office of the Public Trustee...' The findings of that Inquiry were tabled in Parliament December 2009.

As the Committee was '...dissatisfied with a number of practices...', PT is required to report back in accordance with Recommendation 13. This is scheduled for Thursday 16 February inst, this coming Thursday.

The Committee advised me over the weekend, that the session is to be 'in camera'. There is to be no transparency.

The Inquiry, up to now, has been very transparent.

As Public Trustee is responsible for more than one billion dollars of clients’ money, this sudden request for secrecy is disturbing.

From a personal viewpoint, it is a kick in the guts.

I have sacrificed a lot over the past 12 years, banging on about Workplace Bullying, Sexual Harassment, and corruption.

So, here we are at the proverbial 'end of the road', with access to be denied to the media, to the public, and to yours truly.

I did ask if I could make a submission to Committee Members to argue the merits of transparency, and that Public Trustee's request to be in-camera is not appropriate.

Unfortunately, all I got was '...never known a committee to refuse...' such a request.

If I had a dollar for each time I was stonewalled over the years with a similar stance, I would be a very rich leprechaun!

Nevertheless, I have canvassed Members of Parliament and alerted the media. NEVERTHELESS, my gut feeling is that no one gives a toss!

No doubt, PT management will regale in their claims of how the culture has changed, how the bullying has been vanquished, how staff is all now happy little vegemites.

Sorry, but not according to the constant stream of information lobbing into my inbox.


Still stuck in here said...

You are spot on Rob. Those bullies I reported are still here with nothing changed. That was seven years ago when I gave my evidence to the Investigations Unit. All a waste of time.

me to still there said...

Thank you for persisting rob. I am at my wites end in here and just sick of it. still being bullied by my manager. Still trying to get out. As I said to you once we are too frightened to complain after what they did to you. I need my job. keep up the goodwork please.

The Hooded One of AGs said...

Ah you have returned. I was getting worried about you man. Even though my ear is close to the ground here in Pirie I wasn't aware of the Thursday shindig. That will be an interesting gabfest. I am sure if you are there your eyes will be in perpetual rotary movement. Catchya mate.

Old workmate said...

Hello Rob. Miss you. I bet you know exactly what will b reported to the Committee on Thursday. You have seen it all before I bet. Got a job yet? M.

adelcomp said...

OLD WORKMATE: Hi M. A job? Who the hell would hire me. The 30 yrs in I.T. gets blown away by explaining the past few years. Went to one interview and they asked me about my Blog. Never heard back. Ah well. That's life. Chuck me an email. Use adelcomp@optusnet.com.au. Must catch up. Cheers.

Auntie Judith said...

Hi Rob, never happened on my watch. Disgraceful antics by the chosen few. Check out prior relationships of the new band. Kind Regards.

lunchtime mate at pt said...

Hate working there. clients still treated like crap by the ones who have been like that for years. The new management has no idea what really goes on. Same shit that has been going on since I started in the 90s. coming back from lunch pissed. not answering their phones. You know who don't you Rob. You lucky to have got out. Good luck.

Truth said...

Mark Bodycoat was a sacrificial lamb. He was ordered across to Public Trustee after O'Loughlin was dumped. When you and the evangelist broke the porn email story on Today Tonight, he was hung out to dry. There was no way he could have cleaned up that place. They knew it. Could he have been moved across because of issues with then Minister Rankine? Now we got one of Jerome MaGuire's mates running the show. So much for the Australia wide search for a new CEO. The entire Justice Department, up at the rarified levels is one huge board game. The real truths will never be known. You have wasted enough years of your life. Give it away mate. You did achieve much but you paid too great a price.

Anonymous said...

nothing's changed. The guards may have changed but they use the same weapons.