While many recipients of Australia Day Awards are good citizens and deserving, others are not.
It is scandalous that public officials are nominated for the Public Service Award each year and the process is shrouded in secrecy. Neither the nominators nor the nominees are made public before January 26th, so the general public have no opportunity to lodge objections or allegations of corrupt conduct of these senior public servants.
Some recent recipients of Public Service Medals are so undeserving as to bring the whole selection process into disrepute. In 2009, for example, a senior public servant was honoured while a current complaint was before a misconduct unit, which included accompanying documents identifying possible crimes under the following sections of the N.S.W. Crimes Act:
Crimes Act 1900 Sect. 327 (Perjury: no statute of limitations)
Sect. 330 (false statement on oath)
Sect. 335 (false statements in evidence)
Sect. 336 (false entry on a public register)
Sect. 337 (false instruments by public officer)
Sect. 317 (fabricates evidence)
Sect. 318 (using false official instrument to pervert the course of justice)
Sect. 319 (act or omission intending to pervert the course of justice)
This public servant had given false and misleading evidence in court against a whistleblower in order to ensure the person failed in their application for compensation. There was conspiracy between her and another high ranking public servant to pervert the course of justice. This conspiracy is not a figment of someone’s imagination, it is demonstrated by the documents. If the N.S.W. government had any genuine concerns about its employees committing perjury and other crimes, they’d employ an independent and honest investigator such as former Deputy Police Commissioner David Madden to look into it and interview all parties. But it seems the Labor government encourages such criminal behaviour if its inaction on many matters is any indicator. The Serious Misconduct Unit has no interest in investigating further and has written the matter off. One wonders just what they consider to be ‘serious misconduct’.
The “honoured public servant” was a regular user of HealthQuest, the notorious N.S.W. Government Medical Office, which was set up to circumvent unfair dismissal laws, put a stop to workers compensation claims and put an end to the careers of public servants who made complaints of nefarious conduct or who disagreed with managers. HealthQuest was, and possibly still is, staffed with psychiatrists and psychologists who were willing to supply a false statement in order that public servants who rocked the boat could be either banned from their workplace for years at a time, or forcibly medically retired on the grounds of bogus diagnoses.
Senior public servants in N.S.W. are all aware of the willingness of HealthQuest doctors to do what is required and make false statements about victims of this serious breach of human and civil rights. Bribes are paid to HealthQuest, which is a statutory body, disguised as ‘fees for service’. The more ‘difficult’ the public servant the higher the bribe; for example, $3,000 to keep a whistleblower out of the workplace permanently. No genuine medical examination would cost $3,000.
If the Australia Day Awards Committee were really looking into the history of nominees, the most important step would be to find out if the nominated public servant had ever made use of HealthQuest to solve an industrial problem. If the nominated public servant had ever abused their position in this way, they should be ineligible for an award. But of course, the Australia Day Awards Committee only exists to promulgate the idea that the Labor government is doing a marvellous job. They are not there to exclude the corrupt and dishonest from the awarding of the Public Service Medal.
It is very likely, on the evidence of whistleblowers from many branches of the Public Service, that most, if not all senior public servants in N.S.W. have at some time committed crimes that would be punishable with a jail term in any civilized country. These crimes against humanity are defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
* No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
* Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
* No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Such crimes by senior public servants are not isolated or sporadic events but have been part of N.S.W. government policy. The International Criminal Court speaks of crimes that constitute a serious attack on human dignity. "HealthQuesting" N.S.W. state government whistleblowers has been and continues to be part of a widespread systematic practice of torture and persecution of whistleblowers which is condoned by the N.S.W. government. A senior public servant who perpetrates such crimes is safe in the knowledge that there will be no repercussions on them, no genuine investigation into their atrocious behaviour.
In Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald, John Garnaut wrote about corruption in China:
"Last year Liu's parents lodged a complaint at the local government's petitions office. Citizens are officially encouraged to take their grievances to this unique Chinese institution. The design flaw of the petitions system is a fundamental one: the offices are typically run by the same officials that the petitioners are complaining about."
John, these kinds of offices are not unique to China. There are many in New South Wales. The Ombudsman. Serious Misconduct Units of the Public Service. The Independent Commission Against Corruption. The courts and tribunals, manned by members with union or Labor backgrounds. The Anti-Discrimination Board. John Garnaut is quick to condemn Chinese government policy while conveniently overlooking what is happening in his own backyard.
John continues: "Yu Jianrong, a scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, surveyed 632 Beijing petitioners and found only one case that had been satisfactorily resolved." Well, John, perhaps you will be interested in surveying some of the petitioners of New South Wales who have taken their concerns about the government and its departments to the ICAC, the Ombudsman, the Police Integrity Commission or the Serious Misconduct Units. We are aware of many complaints to these offices and of only one or two satisfactorily resolved cases.
There was no effective remedy for the public servant targeted by the ‘honoured public servant’ mentioned above. The court case was a set-up with a pre-arranged result. At the time, HealthQuest had an ‘appeals panel’ that consisted of a secretary sitting at a desk. There was no-one else on that panel. The secretary would rubber-stamp the forced retirement after a few weeks’ delay to make it appear that some kind of investigation was happening.
The attacks on the public servant’s honour and reputation by the ‘honoured public servant’ continue to affect that public servant and his/her children to this day, even though the public servant was permitted to return to work following a number of petitions by his/her supporters, which included Ian McDougall of Justice Action, Sue Williams, Journalist and Franca Arena, then a Member of Parliament, for which support he/she is very grateful.
Under the United Nations definition of torture, this public servant has been subjected to years of it in the form of psychological torture caused by the malicious and false statements about the person, who had only attempted to protect children who were being abused by a popular and influential local person.
This is the U.N. definition of torture:
For the purposes of this Convention,
the term “torture” means any act by which
severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental,
is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes
as obtaining from him or a third person information
or a confession, punishing him for an act
he or a third person has committed
or is suspected of having committed,
or intimidating or coercing him or a third person,
or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind,
when such pain or suffering is inflicted by
or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence
of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.
The ‘honoured public servant’ employed medical personnel as instruments of repression and punishment in order to help cover up a situation which involved a number of protected disclosures made by the victim. This compounds a deep affront to human rights with deception and fraud, such deception continuing during the course of a court hearing in 2002.
The ‘honoured public servant’ has betrayed the trust of society and breached her most basic ethical obligations as a public servant.
And so the Australia Day Public Service Honours continue to be a farce. There is no transparency in the process. Chicanery, opacity and cronyism are rife. There are labyrinthine connections between those involved in nominating the public servant for an award and the recipient. State Labor government officials and government departments have the means to threaten the public and the press when they attempt to reveal information which should be of concern.
Clearly the powerful are living beyond the law, and are even rewarded for their efforts with military-style medals which they are encouraged to wear on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.
A complaint has duly been sent to the Australia Day Awards Committee. We will take an interest in their response, if any, and if it is unsatisfactory, we will hold our own public inquiry here at Australia’s independent media centre, since there is no office in N.S.W. willing to do so - just as in China, which we have the audacity to accuse of corruption.