Friday, October 23, 2015

Promiscuously partisan bureaucracies

by Nick Charney RSS / cpsrenewalFacebook / cpsrenewalLinkedIn / Nick Charneytwitter / nickcharneygovloop / nickcharneyGoogle+ / nickcharney

The title isn't mine, it comes from a piece that ran in Australia's Canberra Times back in 2012 that explains late Peter Aucoin's final essay which warns against what he dubbed the "new political governance". Here's a snippet:
"Aucoin observed further: ''In the environment of [new political governance], moreover, ministers, sometimes explicitly, usually implicitly, expect those public servants who are seen and heard in countless public forums to support government policy; that is, to go beyond mere description and explanation. The expectation is not that they engage in the non-partisan political process, for example, at elections or political rallies. Rather, it is that they be promiscuously or serially partisan …'' 
He observes that ''impartiality remains the official doctrine … Yet, breaches are commonplace. The typical response to … instances of public servants crossing the line of impartiality in support of the government is to view the matter … as an aberration [Canada], or … simply part of the reality [Britain] … or as belonging to that grey area between what is and what is not acceptable [Australia]."

Both the article and the full paper are worth reading, especially in the context of the current transition.

I'll just leave it at that.

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Notez bien que nous travaillons commes functionnaires, ceci est entièrement notre propre initiative et ce que nous publions sur ce site ne reflète pas nécessairement le point de vue du gouvernement, de nos organisations ou de nos postes.