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Another turd in the Canberra swamp

old man emu

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Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo referred to public service commissioner over alleged texts to Liberal powerbroker. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-25/mike-pezzullo-home-affairs-secretary-scott-briggs-text-messages/102896034


The Australian Public Service Commissioner Gordon de Brouwer will now consider the allegations and determine whether there was a breach of the APS Code of Conduct. Two elements of the Code, a provision against using an "employee's duties, status, power or authority" to gain an "advantage" and the requirement to uphold the APS's "integrity and good reputation," could be relevant to the investigation. While there is no suggestion any of the exchanges was corrupt or illegal, senior public servants are held to standards of neutrality and the revelations could make the man's position in Home Affairs untenable.


The man was appointed Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs on 20 December 2017. He was previously Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, a position to which he was appointed on 13 October 2014. In this role, he oversaw the integration of the Department with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) on 1 July 2015, including the standing-up of the Australian Border Force as the Department’s operational arm.


The Albanese government elected to retain Mr Pezzullo in his role after winning the 2022 election despite a perception he had deep ties to the previous government. Obviously the man's expertise in the job assigned to him was taken to be a more important factor. However, He has reportedly clashed with Home Affairs Secretary, Ms O'Neil, over the country's visa system, after the minister described it as "broken" earlier this year, and had to face scrutiny over allegations the department failed to prevent criminals entering Australia and an offshore asylum seeker scheme that was linked to alleged bribery.


As a private citizen, the man has a right to form opinions about persons he works with or has contact with. However, what he has done is to provide character references that could affect the appointment of people to important government positions.


I did get a chuckle from the report that he claimed to have mocked Liberal Member, Julie Bishop for doing a fashion shoot with TV personality Kerri-Anne Kennerley. It was OK for ScoMo to star in "Hairspray"

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