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Monday, 24 May 1993
Page: 1133

Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (9.56 p.m.) —I have no evident signs of discomfort.

Senator Kemp —Are you aware of the problems though?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I am aware that in my department a lot of people, quite justly, have a very high opinion of their own abilities. It is entirely reasonable because I have a very high opinion of their abilities, too. But getting people to agree objectively on who precisely should be measured at what level of ability is not easy when one has a very competent, very professional and very ambitious group of people such as I have.

  I have no doubt that a bit of mumbling and grumbling is going on here, as elsewhere, from people who think maybe the system could work better. We will, as always, be receptive to that mumbling and grumbling and next time round we will review the way in which the system is operated and see whether we cannot reduce the incidence of mumbling and grumbling. But, things being as they are, I would be highly dubious as to whether that is achievable.