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Of Mandarins & Minions.
ATP's fund bureaucratic obfuscation in Estimates - UDB.. Confused

Via the Oz:

Quote:Defence pays PR firm $2m to dodge Senator’s questions
  • Rory Callinan
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM May 31, 2017
The Defence Department has paid more than $2 million to a public relations company that gives bureaucrats acting lessons to perform well at Senate estimates hearings.

The Victorian-based company, Media Manoeuvres, has even been featuring a testimonial purportedly from a top-level bureaucrat in the Defence’s Maritime Systems Division, spruiking the training on its website as “a must for all involved in Senate estimates process”.

The bureaucrat is not named but is described as the “chief of staff” for Defence’s Maritime Systems Division.

The division oversees navy and army maritime capability, including the amphibious ships that have been at the centre of major controversy over defective propulsion problems that have taken both vessels out of action for months.

This week in estimates, Defence bureaucrats were required to field questions about problems with the ships, HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide, which cost $1.5 billion each.

Since 2004, Media Manoeuvres has received a regular stream of the Defence contracts totalling just more than $2.1 million. The latest contract was to run from October last year to March 28 and was worth $29,647, according to the government tenders website.

The company says its senate estimates course includes theory, performance skills for answering questions, simulations and role-plays, comprehensive playback, trainer review and analysis, individual written reports and a digital download of performances.

A Defence spokesman said some Defence personnel undertook media training to support them in their engagements from time to time with media, and in their appearances at public ­forums. Training is provided through another department.

The department’s expenditure on coaching has shocked senator Derryn Hinch, who on Monday questioned Defence bureaucrats in the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade estimates hearing about consultant expenditure. “I’m gobsmacked. This is Noddy Land,’’ he said.

“Estimates is designed to show the Australian people some transparency, where their money is going and here we have the Defence Department spending more than $2 million to teach themselves how to avoid questions.”

Senator Hinch, a former journalist, said he would seek more information about the situation.

Expenditure detailed on the government tenders website shows Defence listed the contracts mostly as “media awareness training”. The spending ranged from $1.03 million in April 2012 to $10,842 in November the same year.

Two other government entities — the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority — were listed in the tenders website as having contracts with Media Manoeuvres.

The Media Manoeuvres’ website prominently features testimony advertising the estimates training.

“The balance of practical and theory was good and the feedback was valuable. This course is a must for all who are involved in the senate estimates process,’’ says the undated testimonial from the Defence staffer.

Late yesterday, following questions from The Australian to Defence and the company, the testimonial was removed from the company’s website

Media Manoeuvres is directed by former Crown Casino public relations manager Sam Elam, whose articles are promoted on the company website, including such titles as “Off the Record”, “What does it really Mean” and “Declining media requests — How to minimise the damage”.


No comment - Dodgy


MTF...P2 Cool
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Ha ha ha ha!! Hilarious isn't it? Ol Gobbledock has known about this folly since the 80's. Politicans also get trained in how to not answer a question with 'yes' or 'no', but leave the question unanswered by providing spin and waffle. They are also trained in how to not break eye contact with a person asking questions so that they don't get distracted from the line of bullshit they are delivering, and they are trained how to answer questions without using any form of body language or movement so they don't get caught out lying!! Some of this training is done by trainers who are former Cops etc. It is actually a skill in itself, and let's face it - most Politicans are supreme liers and cheats. Hell, I reckon most could even orgasm or have boiling oil poured over their genitals without so much as flinching a facial wrinkle!!

As is well known, politicans and bureaucrats are deceptive shonks. Cardboard cutouts, fakes and actors who couldn't lay straight on a morgue table.

Go get em Hinch. Expose the rot!!!
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Update: The 'human headline' continues to out obfuscating bureaucrats - Dodgy

Oz follow up Wink :

Quote:Defence pays PR firm $2m for lessons on how to perform well at Senate estimates

Senator Hinch quizzes the DFAT panel about media training. 4:15

[Image: external?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcontent6.video...z9c5xuj3mc]
Senator Hinch quizzes the DFAT panel about media training during senate estimates.
  • May 31st 2017
  • 38 minutes ago
  • /video/video.news.com.au/News/
[img=0x0]https://i1.wp.com/pixel.tcog.cp1.news.com.au/track/news/content/v2/origin:video_integrator.lnZGZlYjE6rhwdd-r_vzc3j7KIgRNryr?t_product=video&t_template=../video/player[/img]
  • Rory Callinan
  • The Australian
  • 12:43PM May 31, 2017
At least four Foreign Affairs bureaucrats have outed themselves as having received controversial taxpayer-funded training in how to handle senate estimates questions after they had to raise their hands in a hearing to confirm if they had attended the courses.

The bureaucrats’ special schooling was revealed after Senator Derryn Hinch followed up revelations in The Australian about the Defence Department having paid just over $2 million to a public relations firm that offers acting lessons for public servants fronting estimates hearings.

Senator Hinch who had expressed concerns about the Defence expenditure asked this morning for anyone in the room in the Foreign Affairs Estimates Committee hearing to confirm if they had received the training.

In a show of hands at least four bureaucrats including Foreign Affairs Secretary Frances Adamson and First Assistant Secretary Richard Sadlier confirmed receipt of the training.

Ms Adamson said in the 2016 to 2017 financial year the Department had paid a company run by former television reporter Laurie Wilson and Associates $28,740 to ensure that “our staff are familiar with estimates rules”.

The admission prompted Senator Hinch to remark: “Oh a nice little lurk”.

Earlier Senator Hinch said: “I thought estimates committee hearings were to find out with a lot of transparency, how taxpayers money was being spent and now I find out that $2 million had been spent by the Defence Department to show how you don’t have to answer questions.”

Ms Adamson said that DFAT’s training was “much tamer than that” referred to with respect to Defence.

She said her department was as “keen as we can to be helpful to the members of the committee”.

[Image: 1fd3de5a0986a90ae74baccfaa82cb3a]Senator Derryn Hinch quizzes DFAT officials about media training for their appearance at Senate estimates this morning.

Defence’s $2.1m training bill

Senator Hinch was following up revelations published in The Australian that the Defence Department had paid about $2.1 million to Victorian company Media Manoeuvres which offers special acting lessons for bureaucrats so they can perform well at Senate estimates hearings.

The company had even featured a testimonial purportedly from a top-level bureaucrat in the Defence’s Maritime Systems Division, promoting the training on its website as “a must for all involved in Senate estimates process”.

The bureaucrat was not named but is described as the “chief of staff” for Defence’s Maritime Systems Division. Following questions from The Australian yesterday the testimonial was removed from the Media Manoeuvres website.

The Maritime Systems Division oversees navy and army maritime capability, including the amphibious ships that have been at the centre of major controversy over defective propulsion problems that have taken both vessels out of action for months.

Earlier this week in estimates, Defence bureaucrats were required to field questions about problems with the ships, HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide, which cost $1.5 billion each.

Since 2004, Media Manoeuvres has received a regular stream of the Defence contracts totalling just more than $2.1 million. The latest contract was to run from October last year to March 28 and was worth $29,647, according to the government tenders website.

The company says its senate estimates course includes theory, performance skills for answering questions, simulations and role-plays, comprehensive playback, trainer review and analysis, individual written reports and a digital download of performances.

A Defence spokesman said some Defence personnel undertook media training to support them in their engagements from time to time with media, and in their appearances at public ­forums. Training is provided through another department.

Expenditure detailed on the government tenders website shows Defence listed the contracts mostly as “media awareness training”. The spending ranged from $1.03 million in April 2012 to $10,842 in November the same year.

Two other government entities — the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority — were listed in the tenders website as having contracts with Media Manoeuvres.

The Media Manoeuvres’ website had prominently featured the testimony advertising the estimates training.

“The balance of practical and theory was good and the feedback was valuable. This course is a must for all who are involved in the senate estimates process,’’ said the undated testimonial from the Defence staffer.

Efforts to contact the staffer were unsuccessful and Defence said the testimonial had been put up on the website some years earlier.

Media Manoeuvres is directed by former Crown Casino public relations manager Sam Elam, whose articles are promoted on the company website, including such titles as “Off the Record”, “What does it really Mean” and “Declining media requests — How to minimise the damage”.

A Defence spokesman late yesterday said: “As part of any training, participants, including Defence members, may be asked to give feedback to the relevant training provider,” he said.

“Defence policy is that any inference or implication that Defence itself is making an endorsement of the company must be avoided or mitigated.”

Efforts to contact Ms Elam were unsuccessful.
MTF...P2 Cool
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Arseclown Of The Week Award....
Barnaby Joyce...


"Barnaby Joyce: Linking Terrorism To Refugees Is Like Linking It To Testicles";

http://m.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/06/0..._22120650/

The footage of the interview is quite disturbing. The bloke is definitely fu#ked in the head! Too much sun? Too much time spent with his nose up Malcolm's ass? Too much time spent away from reality while living in club cuckoo land Canberra? I'm starting to worry about Barndog's comments about testicles, taking selfies at urinals, what's gonna be next?

Barnaby, for winning the 'arseclown of the week award' you receive not chocolate frogs, but 12 months of free lithium and 12 months of electric shock therapy. (Naturally all funded by the taxpayer)

'Unsafe mental health for all'
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M&M a Mandarin Vet & a deckchair reshuffle at MT HQ?

Was drawn to the following Mandarin article as the pic featured M&M's pumpkin head... Rolleyes

Quote:Special Report

[Image: campbell-mrdak.jpg]
APS leadership turnover set for another jolt — for better or for worse
by Verona Burgess
The high turnover of APS secretaries is expected to continue next year, but a ministerial reshuffle could cut short even more top mandarins' careers, writes Verona Burgess.
Reference quote:
Quote:...Further afield, Infrastructure secretary Mike Mrdak’s second term, which finished on July 1, has been extended by just six months, after eight years in the job. Mrdak, now the longest serving secretary of the 18, is an exceptional talent.

No other department secretary’s term is up this year but the turnover has been incredibly high in the last decade  — 31 have resigned, retired or been fired...

Hmm...I wonder does his time in the top DoIT job correspond to 8 years of GA industry decline??

So is M&M earmarked for Mandarin promotion or is he going to be taking the platinum handshake?

Also from that article I note the following.. Shy

Quote:...Usually the next appointment to Defence is immediate. But the associate secretary, Brendan Sargeant, remains acting in the job while all roads in Canberra point to a Cabinet reshuffle by Christmas — which could directly affect some secretarial positions.

IOS wish list: Could that reshuffle please include 6D being shuffled off the Aviation chessboard and a junior minister, preferably in the form of Sen Fawcett, put in place to oversee the shambolic farce that is aviation safety (mal-)administration in this country -   Huh


 MTF...P2 Cool

Ps While on M&M, here is the answer to QON CORP #1: 1-5 Corporate Services
PDF 85KB 07/07/2017

Quote:Senator Roberts, Malcolm asked:

Senator ROBERTS: … Mr Mrdak, what is your remuneration per year? Australians would like to know that.

Mr Mrdak: Yes, my remuneration is set by the Remuneration Tribunal. It is $620,000 per annum.

Senator ROBERTS: That is all-inclusive—all entitlements?

Mr Mrdak: I can get you the details of it—I think that is my pay remuneration. On top of that, there would be

superannuation.

Senator ROBERTS: If you could get me the total then, please.

Mr Mrdak: Certainly. It is published by the Remuneration Tribunal. It is publicly available, Senator. I am at a

certain band in the secretary's level, but my remuneration is of that order.

Answer:

Please refer to http://remtribunal.gov.au/offices/secretaries.
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BOM under fire for hole in the stats - Blush

Via the Oz:
Quote:
Quote:Bureau of Meteorology opens cold case on temperature data
[Image: e2f72fb807a62cc7b822aa43484b3ff6?width=650]
Scientist Jennifer Marohasy and amateur meteorologist Lance Pidgeon at the Goulburn airport weather station that recorded minus 10.4C on July 2. Picture: Jane Dempster
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM August 1, 2017
  • [size=undefined]GRAHAM LLOYD
    [Image: graham_lloyd.png]
    Environment Editor
    Sydney

    [img=0x0]https://i1.wp.com/pixel.tcog.cp1.news.com.au/track/component/author/472f9e6dbba205c1a1c31a21cedcaf64/?esi=true&t_product=the-australian&t_template=s3/austemp-article_common/vertical/author/widget&td_bio=false[/img]
    [/size]

The Bureau of Meteorology has ordered a full review of temperature recording equipment and procedures after the peak weather agency was caught tampering with cold winter temperature logs in at least two locations.

The bureau has admitted that a problem with recording very low temperatures is more widespread than Goulburn and the Snowy Mountains but rejected it has ­attempted to manipulate temperature records.

The bureau’s chief executive, Andrew Johnson, has called for an urgent review and the immediate replacement of recording equipment at a number of undisclosed sites. The action was outlined in a letter to federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and follows weeks of turmoil over why data showing minus 10.4C readings at Goulburn and Thredbo went missing.

Bush meteorologist Lance Pidgeon blew the whistle on the missing data after watching the minus 10.4C Goulburn recording from July 2 disappear from the bureau’s website. “The temperature dropped to minus 10.4, stayed there for some time and then it changed to minus 10 and then it disappeared,” Mr Pidgeon said.

He relayed his concerns to scientist Jennifer Marohasy, who has queried the bureau’s treatment of historical temperature data. After questions were asked, the bureau restored the original recording of minus 10.4C to its website. A bureau spokeswoman said the low recording had been checked for “quality assurance” before being posted.


The bureau said limits were set on how low temperatures could go at some stations before a manual check was needed to confirm them. “The bureau’s quality ­control system, designed to filter out spurious low or high values was set at minus 10 minimum for Goulburn which is why the record automatically adjusted,” a bureau spokeswoman said.

“The error was picked up yesterday internally and quality control processes are being reviewed for those stations where temperatures below minus 10 are possible.”

Dr Johnson told Mr Frydenberg the failure to record temperatures of minus 10.4C at Goulburn on July 2 was due to equipment being “not fit for purpose”.

A similar failure had deleted a reading of minus 10.4 at Thredbo Top on July 16 even though temperatures at that station had been recorded as low as minus 14.7 in the past. That temperature was still blank on the bureau’s website yesterday.

Dr Johnson said failure to record the very low temperatures had “been interpreted by a member of the community in such a way as to imply the bureau sought to manipulate the data record”.

“I categorically reject this ­implication,” he said.

The bureau’s handling of temperature data and the homogenisation of records to form a national average has been controversial.

It has said warmer minimum temperatures were one reason for the upward trend in average temperatures due to climate change.

In a letter to Mr Frydenberg, Dr Johnson said: “Preliminary analysis had indicated the ACORN-SAT national temperature record had not been affected by the issues experienced at ­Goulburn and Thredbo Top ­Station.” But, he added, electronic ­hardware “not only at Goulburn and Thredbo Top Station, but also a small number of other automatic weather stations in cold climate locations, are not fit for purpose”.

“I have taken steps to ensure that the hardware at this locations is replaced immediately,” he said. “To ensure that I have full ­assurance on these matters, I have actioned an internal review of our AWS network and associated data quality control processes for temperature observations.

“The review will be conducted by a member of the bureau’s senior leadership team and will ­involve independent external ­expertise where appropriate.

“I expect the review to be conducted in a matter of weeks and I will report back to you as soon as it is completed.”

Dr Marohasy said Dr Johnson’s claims of equipment failure were easily disproven by the screen shots that showed the very low temperatures before being “quality assured” out.

She said claims the omission of the very low temperatures did not affect the national temperature record were also easily disproven.

“While Goulburn station is not a listed ACORN-SAT station, it is used to homogenise Canberra and Canberra is an ACORN-SAT station,” Dr Marohasy said.

The bureau did not respond to questions about how widely the quality control system had been applied and at what upper temperature the cut-off had been set.

Dr Marohasy has evidence of the initial minus 10.4C recording at Thredbo before it was deleted for quality ­assurance.

“This either reflects an extraordinary incompetence, or a determination to prevent evidence of low temperatures,” Dr Marohasy said.

MTF...P2 Cool

Ps I can't help but be bemused by the parallels with;

(a) the fact the BOM as a government agency is seemingly untouchable with any sort of liability or responsibility on what is apparently corrupted data. This untouchability was also prevalent in the BOM being causal to the Mildura Fog landing duck-up and the PelAir cover-up, combined with the 16+ year identified safety issue of un-forecast weather events at Norfolk Island (see HERE); and

(b) the apparent missing safety data/AAI reports from Australia that was supposed to be forwarded through to ICAO ADREP which can also only lead to slewed/corrupted (aviation safety) data.
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Sandy on War & Peace - Wink   

Via one or two IOS/PAIN email chains... Rolleyes

Quote:Recently I had occasion to make an incident report to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

I rang and spoke to an officer about the procedure which is either an online form or a written report.

Having explained the nature of the incident I was advised not to make my explanation into "War and Peace" (1st. ed. 1225 pages by L. Tolstoy).

If the advice had been given in a light hearted or joking manner then maybe think nothing of it. But no, it was given in a condescending tone in order to display superiority and the classical learning of this clever person compared to an ignorant peasant pilot.

Nothing new here, typical Commonwealth public employee. Years ago we would have said 'public servant' but now the many that are employed by Commonwealth corporate bodies are not in fact public servants. Moreover they eschew the term public servant for that denotes lower status. Status in Canberra is everything, it's not for nothing that remuneration is 42% higher in Canberra (pop. near 400,000) than the average nationwide.

Commonwealth corporations, independent and largely unaccountable bodies were designed to regulate and administer with little or no cost to government or to make money and contribute to general revenue. A unique "user pays" hybrid design experiment off the back of the Thatcher privatisation reforms. Unfortunately the user pays only if there are users, and only if there is real value. Without a free and competitive market there can be no acceptable standard and therefore the model is, and with irrefutable facts in hindsight, a failure.

Unfortunately being monopolies they perpetuate themselves with make work programs, the never ending and outrageously expensive rules rewrite (now unworkable rules of  strict liability criminality) by the Civil Aviation body (CASA) being a perfect example. Monopolistic fee gouging for completely unnecessary permissions or licences along with runaway wages and uncontrolled expenses add to internally bloated budgets.

An interesting exercise would be to make an overall cost benefit analysis of the unique corporate body administration of civil aviation in Australia which began some 29 years ago. Having lived and worked in General Aviation (GA) for more than 50 years it is obvious that the costs to community in lost businesses and jobs far outweigh the sums gained by the fees that are extorted by the regulator. 

A department controlled by a responsible Minister overseeing and administering with a rational, internationally compatible rule set is needed. This would be effective and efficient with tax revenues from a healthy industry much greater than the industry destroying fees and massive ever churning paperwork burdens which are currently imposed.

The bureaucratic War on GA should cease, CASA will resist at every turn, therefore only action by Parliament can bring a new and prosperous Peace.

Sandy Reith 

To which I replied with:

Excellent post Sandy, will copy & paste to AP in due course...


In the meantime (& very much related) the following CASA letter is from a recent post I made on the airports thread - DFO accident update: A tale of obfuscation and political expediency - 

Reference 16 December 2004 correspondence from CASA to DOTARS: 


Quote:[Image: YMEN-MDP-3.jpg]

Again you can see all the familiar syntax & trademarks (pugmarks) of a government agency that is totally unaccountable and firmly of the belief that they are a law unto themselves - unbelievable! 

& Sandy responded with:

An open comment to the letter in your link.


One can't help thinking that they are too lazy, careless and bereft of a sense responsibility to provide any considered and potentially valuable opinion.

So much for "safety" or the public good, instead they will fall back onto someone else's inexpert interpretation of "the rules". If built contraventions come to light and impinge into defined operational spaces then narrow or shorten the runway, problem solved and back to planning the next trip to summery Montreal and the annual QLD seminars out of freezing Can'tberra. 

Organising those OS and interstate jollies is a serious business. Many worrisome details to be considered, coordinating flights, hotels, transfers, cocktail meet and greets and extra curricula activities on the resting days. They must have talent, or great travel consultants, probably the latter, never heard a complaint in the last 50 years.

Sandy 



& from dedicated IOS & PAIN BRB committee member Rudders:

"Safety! thru clarety...I love that .! Nothing like a good red....at

taxpayers expense.
You can say anything when yre half cut

Ha hahha ha ...'Managers will be able to see a coherent 'big picture'
With CAsA the big picture is continuing regulatory chaos.  The
industry sees that...but not the perps !

This sort of verbal crapology has Dr Discrepancy written all over it.
Equals the verbal vomitus of McComick in a Senate hearing where he
claims he'll not tolerate .."false accusations and unwarranted
demagogery against his staff."

Hence CYA 101 for those employees that engage in any criminality and
just  invoke the Code.

Typo there too,...by the end of 2003.  2033 probably if you want to
try a date on it.

Actually its like the universe...without end, so any given figure is a
fail.


& finally from Tony T:

Call John Cleese – this is “right down his ally”.


Talk about gobbledygook speak – this takes the cake.

This is a typical – “we can’t tell you anything until you go ahead and buy the land and make all the plans, present them to us and we’ll assess it then” -  (meaning we’ll tell you why you can’t do it)  never mind about the massive cost.

Sheesh

Tony

Next a blast from the UP past - Smile

Via Tailwheel:

Quote:"It cements and confirms that the Regulator is out of touch, is completely out of control, is arrogance personified and has killed all and any respect in the individuals at the helm and the organization in its totality."


Spoken by an industry new comer? Why the outrage? You think you've discovered something new? The old days of DCA weren't too flash but at least a little sanity prevailed.

From 1988 to the early 1990's, CAA under Leroy Keith was approachable but since Leroy's "departure" all rational sanity has departed. Like a sewage pond, the crap has floated to the top.

What is the problem with CASA dipping into the tax payer's bucket so it's boys (and girls?) can have an undeserved jolly to an air show?

What about the $600 million plus spend on "Regulatory Reform" to produce the worst, most incompetent, atrocious Civil Aviation Regulations in the developed World? And the task is far from finished - as one CASA legend told me "There is many more careers to retirement in that task!!!"

I'm told the Regulatory Review is now "organic", meaning that it is a continual re-write in the name of meeting new technology and requirements, in perpetuity.

Don't forget to celebrate next month - September 2017 marks the 29th Birthday of Regulatory Reform.

Tail Wheel

MTF...P2 Tongue
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