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The Forum > Article Comments > Government resilience in times of crisis > Comments

Government resilience in times of crisis : Comments

By Grant Chisnall, published 11/5/2011

Queensland's 'summer of sorrow' and other disasters from recent history show that governments all over Australia continue to bungle disaster planning.

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Some observable characteristics of emergency work:

1. There are a lot of egos involved with each believing their way is best (a certain rrual fire service has more ‘Prado driving deadwood’ upper echelons than should be supported), more time and effort is wasted coping with egos than doing the job;

2. With the consequent jockeying for position cooperation is accidental not by design, often field staff overcome the impediments, work together and achieve outcomes despite their organisations’ hierarchy;

3. When emergencies begin more snouts get in troughs milking the system through absurd work hours, expenses and other such means (the staff bill during Equine Influenza contained absurd wages payments that produced little outcome);

4. Government bureaucracies do not have true managers, they are populated by time servers who acquiesce to seniors whims – they aren’t therefore capable of management during emergencies;

Government agencies do not exist to efficiently achieve specified outcomes, they exist to provide policy advice. Their culture is antithetical to that required to efficaciously and efficiently achieve desired objectives.

What needs to be recognised is a lot of excellent work is done by people who are very professional at their work. This is done despite government involvement and is in many ways miraculous.
Posted by Cronus, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 11:53:32 AM
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