28 episodes

Unpacking lessons for the public service, starting with the Robodebt Royal Commission. In 2019, after three years, Robodebt was found to be unlawful. The Royal Commission process found it was also immoral and wildly inaccurate. 
Ultimately the Australian Government was forced to pay $1.8bn back to more than 470,000 Australians. 
In this podcast we dive deep into public policy failures like Robodebt and the British Post Office scandal - how they start, why they're hard to stop, and the public service lessons we shouldn't forget.

The Westminster Tradition The Westminster Tradition

    • Government
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Unpacking lessons for the public service, starting with the Robodebt Royal Commission. In 2019, after three years, Robodebt was found to be unlawful. The Royal Commission process found it was also immoral and wildly inaccurate. 
Ultimately the Australian Government was forced to pay $1.8bn back to more than 470,000 Australians. 
In this podcast we dive deep into public policy failures like Robodebt and the British Post Office scandal - how they start, why they're hard to stop, and the public service lessons we shouldn't forget.

    The Essendon Footy Club supplements scandal (part 2): what’s it like to investigate Australia’s biggest sports codes?

    The Essendon Footy Club supplements scandal (part 2): what’s it like to investigate Australia’s biggest sports codes?

    In episode two of this mini-series, we pick up the story of the Essendon supplements scandal from the perspective of the investigators.In this story we hear how ASADA ends up in the middle of a media fire storm, with inadequate regulatory powers and biopharmaceutical technology racing ahead.But is it really a matter for ASADA at all? Is this an anti-doping violation, or a WHS breach? And why do Cronulla players end up suspended for six matches, while Essendon players get two years?Intro grab ...

    • 40 min
    The Royal Commission we should have? The 2013 Essendon Football Club supplements scandal

    The Royal Commission we should have? The 2013 Essendon Football Club supplements scandal

    “Lack of good governance is why good people did bad things at Essendon Football Club”. So says Lindsay Tanner, former Minister for Finance, and President of the Essendon Football Club from 2015.In this mini-series, Caroline tries to convince us there are lessons for public servants from the Essendon Football Club supplement scandal in 2013.In this episode, we talk about what happened in Essendon itself. The dangers of charismatic new leaders, new brooms through an organisation, and a failure ...

    • 34 min
    Sue Vardon AO, inaugural CE of Centrelink: On learning while in the job

    Sue Vardon AO, inaugural CE of Centrelink: On learning while in the job

    In the second of two follow ups to her interview at the end of 2023, Sue Vardon dives deep on her commitment to training Centrelink staff, including the establishment of an in-house Registered Training Organisation (RTO).Now for some appropriately bureaucratic disclaimers....Those of us in the employ of the State Government speak in a strictly personal capacity, consistent with the Public Sector Code of Ethics that permits public servants to promote an outcome in relation to an issue of publi...

    • 37 min
    Sue Vardon AO, inaugural CE of Centrelink: On lawyers

    Sue Vardon AO, inaugural CE of Centrelink: On lawyers

    In the first of two follow ups to her interview at the end of 2023, Sue Vardon returns to share her thoughts on the dangers for Senior Executives who outsource considerations of legality to the lawyers.Now for some appropriately bureaucratic disclaimers....Those of us in the employ of the State Government speak in a strictly personal capacity, consistent with the Public Sector Code of Ethics that permits public servants to promote an outcome in relation to an issue of public interest - in thi...

    • 27 min
    'Do it now, get it right later': payment (in)accuracy in Centrelink - setting the stage for Robodebt

    'Do it now, get it right later': payment (in)accuracy in Centrelink - setting the stage for Robodebt

    Centrelink is not alone in having a push and pull between the investment required to get it right up front, versus the convenience of fixing things up later.We discuss the old chestnut 'fast, cheap, good - pick two' , and the less obvious costs of running lean - whether in pandemic preparedness, strategic policy capacity, workforce burnout.Finally, Danielle proposes an end to end definition of efficiency, that captures costs we move to other parts of government, or end up paying later on.ANAO...

    • 31 min
    Mr Bates v Post Office part 4 - the roll out of Horizon

    Mr Bates v Post Office part 4 - the roll out of Horizon

    If you knew your IT system was unreliable, wouldn't you keep some manual checks to make sure it doesn't go wrong? Not if you're Post Office, and desperately looking for savings. Especially if you've just lost your biggest revenue source, in the form of the Benefits Agency and the cash in the tills it provides.In the final episode of our first (but not last!) mini-series on the Post Office scandal, we examine how the Post Office 'forgot' what it knew about Horizon's unreliability, and then rem...

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

Annie Auckland ,

Lessons on how NOT to manage a govt dept

This podcast is like a serial killer murder mystery except the murderers are senior bureaucrats of Robodebt govt dept and the victims are Australian tax payers who’ve received welfare at some point. Entertaining and lighthearted lessons on piss poor project mgmt ☠️

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