Blame the Victim: The Real Cause of Centrelink Crisis

This resonates so strongly with me that I can and do believe it is more than fair comment.

My view is that those who think this is just an attack by a disgruntled ex-employee are wrong, and most probably fans of nasty LNP ideology.

Paul Shelter clearly attempted to change the culture whilst remaining in-house. However, as is almost always the case, it is virtually impossible to change the mindset of incompetents, particularly when they are at a senior level and can pass the blame from one to another – almost always, down the chain.

I witnessed this in Queensland Health where the senior executives treated themselves to a free celebration on the launch of their new payroll system which, in their wisdom, they chose to have installed by internal staff rather than the supplier – thus not having any comeback or entitlement to compensation when thing went wrong – as they did, in spades.

What followed was typical of mismanagement, cover up, and of blaming the victim, i.e the employees who, after suffering the pay debacle then had to go through a disruptive process to enable payroll staff to get things right again.

It is interesting that the same company that supplied QH’s Payroll System also supplied the ABS Census IT. I wonder whether they also supplied the convoluted, unreliable and constantly inoperative Centrelink software which this calamitous cross-matching of data with the ATO system has brought out into the open.

Leaving aside the IT, the real cause and tragedy of these IT disasters is that the IT is put before people, in line with the LNP Profit before People ideology. It is those who are weakest who take the majority of the hits, those least able to carry or meet the burden.

Significantly, when workers at the bottom of the scale make mistakes or “stuff-up”, they are reprimanded, demoted or even fired. At the top, exactly the opposite is the case. At worst, the miscreant at the top is given a handsome payout and moved sideways or somehow lands a similar or even higher position in another branch or organisation.

Ironically, if not stupidly, the facts are that whatever the government claims it has or can recoup from this exercise of attacking the small guy, it will be only a minute percentage of the $$$ they could recoup by ensuring that big-business actually meet its obligations and pay a fair rate of tax. When the 50 most profitable companies in Australia paid no tax at all in 2016 and when both businesses and politicians are claiming the costs of personal expenses against what they should contribute to the public purse, where are the ethical grounds for this assault on the average PAYG worker, or worse still, on those so disadvantaged that they have to look to the government for assistance to survive?

 

via Centrelink crisis ‘cataclysmic’ says PM’s former head of digital transformation | Australia news | The Guardian

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