Jane Halton: worry less, the axe is falling on internal red tape

Jane Halton

Finance secretary Jane Halton says federal mandarins will soon strike against internal red tape. But she thinks public servants need to stop imagining obligations that don’t exist, too.

The Department of Finance will soon begin cutting out internal red tape that constrains federal agencies, but it also wants public servants to stop making up compliance obligations that don’t actually exist.

“One of the things I’m constantly astounded by when it comes to red tape is how people make things up,” Finance secretary Jane Halton said today, following a lunchtime lecture on federal public sector reforms at Parliament House.

“So people decide that there is a particular requirement, a compliance requirement, which appears nowhere in any chief executive instructions or any piece of legislation, and then it becomes a matter of holy writ that you have to do something this particular way.”

“So whilst we are going to do things about the rules, and the red tape in the rules, [this is] one of the messages I’m giving my colleagues. And in fact I’m talking about this in my department, because I have found a number of examples of this in my department.”

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