Staff cuts are stupid, Stephen Clark, Advertiser

16 April 2012

Two recent encounters make me wonder what on earth is going on with public service cost-cutting.

Recently I applied for a certificate from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This costs nearly $60, which seems somewhat steep for something I applied for online, provided all the information for, and anyway is probably computer-generated or at the most requires someone to spend five minutes typing out.

But what can you do, it is a Government monopoly! The turn-around on these certificates is five days, according to the website.

However, there is a little note when you check out stating "presently we are experiencing delays of up to 15 days".

I am indeed well into the second week and still waiting. Presumably this is not because of increased demand for certificates, which we might assume is fairly even, so it can only be because of shortage of staff.

So why are we cutting staff? Is it irony or stupidity? Likewise the infamous medical heating claims. Chatting with an acquantance inside the department that has been swamped by these applications and is having trouble processing them, the suggestion is not that the process is overly complicated but simply that there are not enough people (or anyone?) involved in processing.

So, I ask again: is it irony or stupidity that we cutting staff at a time of increased demand? Only one response. Yes Minister!


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