Sunday, December 11, 2005

Beware - we are entering the danger period - the silly season

We are entering the danger zone - the silly season - the period when the public eye is off the ball and thoughts of leisure and time spent on a sandy beach with family and friends overcome prudent scrutiny and good governance. A time when we need to be vigilant more then ever.

I am not talking about the end of season office party as referred to by Neil Michell (Herald-Sun)

This is the time when the administration sneaks in the odd report/recommendation or memo and before you know it we have signed off on some issue that should never have seen the light of day but the administration wanted cleared up.

This is the time when catastrophic 'accidents', some by design, occur.

This is the period when the administration later claim "we sent you a memo - you had the right to respond. You are later told "The proposal was on display" in some obscure corner or hidden away amongst the Christmas cheer. (Sounds like the opening scene of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). But the sad truth it is part of the public administrators operating instructions and could very well be a line from a "Yes Minister" script.

Now is not the time to be jolly and careless, now is the time to be on extra alert.

Bad planning decisions, issues of governance control or even the removal of information that holds the administration to account.

It is a time when all decisions of the Council administration should be scrutinised carefully. The Christmas functions and the like are really designed to create a smoke screen, an opportunity to slip the mickey and before you know it, come the new year when you return from your Christmas break, you have signed up and committed to something you never knew anything about.

Beware... be seriously aware.

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