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PM's obssive micromanagement leaves government in limbo.



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Thu, 21st February 2008 PM'S OBSESSIVE MICROMANAGEMENT LEAVES GOVERNMENT IN LIMBO

Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson Shadow Special Minister of State

Senator Michael Ronaldson, Shadow Special Minister of State today questioned the Rudd Government's ability to govern as it strains under the Prime Minister's excessive micromanagement. Public documents reveal that after eleven weeks the government has failed to fill key staff roles.

"After eleven weeks it appears that the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government has been unable to find a Chief of Staff of whom the Prime Minister will approve," Senator Ronaldson said.

In estimates hearings yesterday it was revealed that the Minister for Veteran's Affairs had not filled positions in his office and as a result the Department currently has four staff seconded to the Minister's office, including the Chief of Staff and a media adviser.

The Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, Senator Sherry also revealed on Tuesday during an estimates hearing that his own Chief of Staff had only commenced on Monday and an adviser in his office was yet to start.

At estimates hearings on Tuesday Departmental officials revealed that that the Minister for Finance and Deregulation still had "a couple of vacancies."

"Are Ministers unable to fill these positions quickly because Mr Rudd is displaying his obsessive micromanagement and attempting to oversee every appointment personally?" Senator Ronaldson said.

It has also been revealed that the Prime Minister's office now has more than 12% of Government Ministerial staff compared to 9% in the Prime Minister's office under the previous Government.

"Is this further evidence of the Prime Minister Rudd's desire for central control in every operation of Government or does it demonstrate his lack of faith in his own Ministers?" Senator Ronaldson said.

"The Australian people may well ask how Labor can manage a $1 trillion dollar economy if they cannot even hire staff to fill key adviser positions in government.

"Mr Rudd's obsessive micromanagement will leave this government in limbo.

"How can Labor be doing anything about petrol prices, food prices, inflation or interest rates when Kevin Rudd has to give the tick to his Minister's every decision?

Analysis of publicly available information suggests that almost 10% of key positions in Ministerial offices remain unfilled and that Government Ministers are already sharing and seconding staff between offices with Mr Albanese sending one of his media advisers to work in Senator Carr's office.

"Is Senator Carr's borrowed media adviser a sign of his desperation to get around the Prime Minister's obsessive micromanagement of staff appointments?" Senator Ronaldson said.