Dismissing a Departmental Secretary: an Overt Exercise of Power in Public Employment

2017-06-07T05:19:58Z (GMT) by Pullin, Len Haidar, Ali
This paper explores changes in the nature of public employment at the Commonwealth level in Australia following the election of the Hawke Labour government. It argues that these changes significantly altered the senior public servant employment relationship by discarding a 130-year-old tradition of separating public employment from political control. These changes effectively give ministers the power to dismiss public servants under their control without fault or incapacity on their part. The dismissal of the Secretary, Department of Defence, Paul Barratt in 1999 is examined to exemplify the extent and nature of this power.