Thursday, May 28, 2015

Grant Hehir: Making a Difference

The auditors-general: unsung heroes of administrative reform

I intend to recommend to the GovernorGeneral that he appoint Mr Grant Hehir as the next AuditorGeneral for the Commonw. ealth for 10 years, commencing on 11 June 2015.

The ANAO has a rare history of achievement.

The NSW Auditor-General and the Audit Office worked very closely with Legislative Assembly Public Accounts Committee in Sydney and I assume the same will apply for the Joint Parliamentary Committee in Canberra….Reviews of NSW AGs Reports

 The ANAO has a rare history of achievement. The office is best understood in an older public officer tradition: a person holding appointment under the Crown, not subject to direction by ministers nor, indeed, anyone else, and reporting directly to Parliament. The misleading nature of the "officer of the Parliament" idea is illustrated by other provisions of the auditor-general legislation concerning, for example, the staffing of the Australian National Audit Office under the Public Service Act, not the parliamentary staff legislation. When considering Westminster governance, it is also generally unwise to talk about independence except in relation to the judiciary. In the end, pace Montesquieu, everything, to some degree, comes within the pale of Parliament.  (by J. R. Nethercote is an adjunct professor at the Australian Catholic University's Canberra campus)
The auditors-general: unsung heroes of administrative reform

John Menadue: There are many key public issues that we must address such as climate change, growing inequality, tax avoidance, budget repair, an ageing population, lifting our productivity and our treatment of asylum seekers.  But our capacity to address these and other important issues is becoming very difficult because of the power of vested interests with their lobbying power to influence governments in a quite disproportionate way.
Vested interests and the subversion of the public interest?

Jane Alpert, Growing Up Underground  ...One of the best 1960s memoirs, she goes from being a Swarthmore radical to a bomber who tries too hard to please her boyfriend, to a reconstructed peaceful feminist.  This book is notable for how it combines extreme self-awareness and extreme self-delusion, often on the same page

Tracking Federal Funds: and Other Data Sources. Merete F. Gerli, Information Research Specialist. May 13, 2015.
“Finding data on federal grants and contracts awarded to states and congressional districts, local governments, nonprofit organizations, contractors, and other eligible entities may present challenges. The official website,, at, collects data on grants, loans, insurance, assistance, and contracts, and it presents various searching and downloading options to Congress and the public. Because of continued data quality problems identified by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), researchers need to be aware that search results may be incomplete or have inaccuracies. was created under P.L. 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA), and is to be enhanced by requirements of P.L. 113-101, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act).”

Fraud has a long prehistory that can be traced back to the swindles of wily Odysseus and the Old Testament ruse in which Jacob tricks his twin brother out of his birthright, but I’ll pick up the story in the Middle Ages. Dante Alighieri, the poet laureate of fraudulence, devotes a full thirteen cantos in hisInferno to its many varieties—pandering, flattery, office-selling, fortune-telling, strife-stirring, hypocrisy, thievery, false counsel, sowing discord, lying, and betrayal, to name a few—and to the merciless but deserved punishments visited upon its perpetrators. His successor in fourteenth-century England was a brilliant but less-recognized chronicler of fraudulent practice, the poet John Gower
History of Fraud