27 September 2023

Public purchase power

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Intriguing commentary from a PS News story in the popular Wide World of international PS news this week with the President of Uganda making clear what the role of the nation’s public servants in his country would be in the future.

Announcing that more than 25 Government Agencies were to be scrapped, mothballed or merged – presumably along with their staff – President Yoweri Museveni justified the blood-letting decision by pointing out that there was room for only two kinds of public servant in his Uganda – the ‘policy makers’ and the ‘money makers’.

Hopefully the attempted clarification of the Presidential remarks by the head of Uganda’s Public Service smoothed the waters a little when she pointed out that the closures of so many Agencies and the President’s distraction with PS ‘money-makers’ had more to do with the need to cut the national PS wage bill than it did to set up in opposition to the private sector.

According to Uganda’s Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, the affected

Agencies were those whose mandate had expired, who had been overtaken by events, or whose roles were duplicated.

Team building

To a most interesting development in the world of suburban rejuvenation in the national capital now with the Canberra City Renewal Authority embracing the idea of a ‘Town Team’ of local residents keen to have a say in how their suburb (or more eponymously correct, their Town!) develops.

The Authority is barracking for the “Town Team’ idea as a way of engaging the residents of the city’s ageing northern suburb of Dickson, which is face-to-face with a much-needed suburban overhaul.

According to the City Renewal Authority: “The format had worked well in other cities” and should therefore work well in Canberra.

One of the consultants promoting the idea offered the very neighbourly comment: “Dicksonians have a lot of pride in their suburb … so a Town Team makes a lot of sense.”

As well it might, but for lifelong Canberrans who now find themselves re-labelled as ‘Dicksonians’, the neighbourliness may have taken a step too close.

PS-sssst! wonders what the Captain of Dickson’s Town Team thinks of the initiative.

Would she or he give it a vote for the team’s ‘DownLow’ medal?

Irrational ratio

Staying in Canberra now for a quick visit to the local health department, where we find that the ACT Government has ordered a review of hospital workplaces after complaints of overworking, low morale and a range of other afflictions claimed to be afflicting the smooth operation of the city’s hospitals’ good works.

Among the medicine to be taken to cure the hospitals of their ills, the Minister-that-be’s has pledged the review will look at judging the ratio of nurses needed against the number of patients to be nursed, as a fair and reasonable way of making hospital workplaces less unhealthy.

“Ratios are one of a number of mechanisms ….” the good Minister explained as a way of addressing the overwork issue.

But, as is true to form, the pedantic PS-sssst! was poised and pounced on the pedagogic presentation that pecked at a perfectly plain perception so that it perturbed, perplexed and puzzled any predisposed persons pursuing the principle of plurality.

In other words, is it possible for the plural ‘ratios’ to be ‘one’ of a number of mechanisms?

One thinks probably not.

Blood transfers

To Rama Gaind’s weekly giveaway now which will see three lucky readers of PS News become the proud owners of new DVD copies of the action packed thrilling movie Blood Money starring John Cusack, Ellar Coltrane and Willa Fitzgerald.

To join Rama’s winners’ circle all the inspiring winner needed to do was name the actor playing the role of the white-collar criminal, the correct answer to which was John Cusack.

And the three lucky readers to score the prizes by correctly identifying the winner and then having their entries scramble from PS News Barrel of Booty before the rest were

Tricia B from the Commonwealth Department of Social Services, Greg C from the Australian Taxation Office and Kathryn H of the Liverpool City Council in NSW.

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone one who took part. The prize DVDs will be on their way very soon.

For another chance to join the Rama army of welcome winners, simply visit this week’s giveaway here and give it your best shot.

Good luck!

Till next week…..

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