Sunday, March 29, 2009

Insiders 29/3/09 - Lots on today!

I think it's Open Season on Fitzgibbon -* (linky)

Annabelle Crabbe
George Megalogenis
Andrew Bolt

Julia Gillard is explaining away Fitzgibbon's "mistake". Too bad about the lies. He is, of course, very sorry. (Gillard looks unleashed on the programme... she has better dress sense than Mrs Kev07.)
China is very important to us, it's our third biggest trading partner and it's where most of our overseas students come from... we should cultivate that relationship.

Shot at Annabelle about having a go at Fitzgibbon's dress sense.

(I don't see anyone offering advice and a nice suit to Therese Rein!)

Paul Barrett former Defence Secretary interviewed about the procedure if they're not happy with the minister.. about the pay cock-up, pointed out that all money is channelled into capital equipment at the expense of things like an efficient pay system. (That's a bit scary!)

Your shout, in a bar. Left/Right think tank? Youthful opinions about what Kevin's financial plan and his Seven Point Financial Plan presented on Power Point. (tee hee)

George says that Fitzgibbon is using the dill defence. Annabelle said maybe he was thinking about whether he declared them and so would admit to them, which Andrew is pointing out. Barrie - well, he really only misled the press, not the parliament. Had he misled the parliament he would have been gone.

Annabelle & Andrew ask: did anyone privately contact Fitzgibbon and ask what was goin on... like Kevin, who has not, it appears, spoken with Fitzgibbon and asked what was going on, and they're supposed to be mates.

Joe Hockey... pointed out all the freebie trips by people who are now ministers in Kevin's parliament, Joe was accused of being racist... on Sunrise. Arrgh.
Why can't Megalogenis see that there's a big picture here? Why can't anyone? Annabelle sees it I think.

Barrie brings up about the secret Chinese meeting (with the Minister for Propaganda, only secret in Australia). Laurie's interview with Kevin - who discusses his plans for bringing China in the IMF.

OOOh, oooh, I forgot to mention that Andrew used the word beholden about Fitzgibbon. he he he

Talking Pictures is good today, too. About Kevin's trip to the US. The first one, which I missed so didn't hear the cartoonist's name, was excellent...

Dumb question asked of Malcolm Turnbull "Do you think that the LNP having a three-letter name is a good idea?" Mal replied "I don't know, perhaps you should ask the ALP?"

* sorry, I got woken at dawn by a furry person who wanted attention, and then wanted attention for hours after, and didn't stop grizzling until 8am, and I slept in, the first thing I turn off in the house on the weekend is the alarm clock!


Skeeter said...

.... about the pay cock-up, pointed out that all money is channelled into capital equipment at the expense of things like an efficient pay system. (That's a bit scary!)
As I recall, it was more like Barrett was blaming money being channelled into capital military equipment instead of into the latest IT systems used for payroll control.
As an ex-serviceman I view that as the right priority.
This seems to me to be a lame excuse for poor departmental procedures. It looks like the tired old excuse of blaming a computer for GIGO errors. If they can't afford the latest and fastest IT, they should be trained to cope with their existing IT systems.
As Barrett said in the beginning of the interview, the department's prime task is to allow Australia's soldiers, sailors and air force persons to conduct warfare. Everything else the department does is secondary to that.

kae said...

Hi Skeeter
That's correct, the IT system.

But tell me, where does the important military stuff end and the unimportant begin?

Does it extend to non-capital military equipment, like the small stuff? That's important, too. The soldier on the ground needs to have the equipment to fight (weapons), as well as to sustain him/herself (food, medicine, medical assistance, non-battle equipment like shelter, uniforms, boots, and so on). Where else is the money being scrimped as well as the IT for organising the pay of the people charged with the protection of Australia and Australians?

Minicapt said...

Usually, the IT stuff is mandated by another government department, which has no incentive to ensure the quality of the military's system.


Skeeter said...

Kae, money must be found for all the things you have listed and much more besides.
But spending priorities must be established keeping in mind the prime task.
In my day (1950s) the first of the Ten Principles of War we had to learn was:
Selection and maintenance of the aim.
I can't remember the other nine, but I don't think bureaucrats' comfort gets a mention.

Minicapt, that's probably true and the Defence Department may be the worst lobbyists when bidding for the new stuff.
I dealt with ATO electronically for the first time in 2000 when the New Tax System (GST) arrived. Their IT system was on the point of collapse and I reverted to paper submissions because I could not afford the time and effort to do it electronically. I think they were writing all the software in house and they were having problems making it work on all platforms. Tax agents across the country threatened to go back to paper if ATO did not fix their IT.
On my last attempt to make it work, I spent three hours at my keyboard while an ATO IT "expert" on speaker phone talked me through making complex corrections to my Windows register. He was trying to get their crippled software to work on my computer. That failed, and I was left with a crippled register.
Federal government IT is much improved since those days. For example the current Centrelink systems seem to be working beautifully, and I can do very nearly everything I need to do with Centrelink on line.

kae said...

The prime task cannot be achieved without taking care of the members.

I wasn't talking about the beaureaucrats. They aren't the ones fighting.

The other thing is that the pay problem could have just been a human error cockup, and they should have fixed it as soon as they found out about it.

kae said...

Oops, sorry Skeeter. The implication from the comment was that the money was spent on 'capital', ie high outlay like aircraft, tanks, weapons, tracking weapons/systems, etc, rather than the little things needed to keep the operators of big ones going.

All the debacles about new uniforms and other equipment is a case in point. They paid for the uniforms, but they weren't any good 'cos they couldn't be ironed and were highly flamable. There have been other kit problems, too.

Minicapt said...

Principles of War discussed; you never know when someone will ask.