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Wednesday, 6 July 1921

Senator JOHN D MILLEN (TASMANIA) . - I have followed Senator Thomas' remarks with considerable interest. As the proposed Board of three Commissioners will have under this Bill to deal with this clause, and also with clause 15, we are. putting on them an extremely big burden. A great deal of good could be done if we had one Commissioner, as at present, and also created several Departments under him, letting him' have an overriding influence over the whole of them. When clause 1,5 is reached, I shall propose the addition of an efficiency department, that will be controlled by efficiency engineers, and that' certain laboratories shall be created and certain records kept for the whole of the great Public Service. of the Commonwealth:. If we have one man in control, and place these arrangements under him, a great deal of good can be done. I cannot see how we are to get the efficiency for which the Government are looking with three members of the proposed Commission. It seems to me that- we shall have divided control and a great deal of difficulty. There must be a definite head. The Commonwealth Public Service is a very great part of the machinery of gOrvernment. It has grown to enormous proportions, and we must consider whether there is any possible way of introducing an efficiency system that will bring about better results, and give a greater return for probably less money, while, at the same time, creating in the Departments a feeling" of security in regard not only to tenure, but to promotion. There have been many instances of men who were extremely useful in Departments 'being compelled to "resign because they could not see .before them any tangible promotion in the near, or even in the distant, future. We must introduce some system of efficiency and record, bo that each man can be promoted according to the work that his card shows that he is fitted to do. This will create amongst the officials in -the Department's a feeling that they will receive recognition if they can show that they- are willing and worthy. I propose to elaborate the question of efficiency at length on clause 15. At present I shall content myself with supporting Senator' Thomas' , proposal to have one Commissioner at the head of the Service, instead of placing it under three heads.

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