Saturday, May 14, 2016

Office of No Fact Checking

The Fair Work Ombudsman is among the more intellectually substandard of government agencies.

An example:

A disgruntled former employee made a complaint against Mine Host (this is quite common in the hospitality industry).

The Fair Work Ombudsman's first move is always to take a couple of months to get around to looking at the complaint.

Their second move is always to place a phone call to the "employer" (the actual terminology in their literature was "wrongdoer").

However this phone call is placed not to Mine Host, not even to the Wayside Tavern, but to the public bar of a pub some 1,900 km distant.

This other pub's name is nothing like the Wayside Tavern.  There is no connection.  No mistake.  Calling the wrong premises is deliberate.

The FWO staffer spills everything to the barmaid who answers.
She laps up all the salacious details and writes everything down (all the better to gossip about later.)

Her boss happened to take the next call, and pointed out that they were calling the wrong pub.

This did not bother the FWO, who said this was "not their concern" and pressed on regardless, informing the bemused publican of all the penalties that would apply not to him, but to Mine Host, etc etc etc.

The colleague publican phoned Mine Host, to inform him that the Fair Work Ombudsman was telephoning random total strangers to blab confidential information.

Mine Host phoned to the loose-tongued one at the FWO, a Mr. Duck O'Prewse-Coe (that is how his name sounded, he spoke broken English and was culturally most unfamiliar with Australia).

Mr Ducko was unmoved when Mine Host appraised him of Commonwealth Privacy Legislation.  Mr. Duck retorted to Mine Host that all that stuff "didn't matter".

Hmmm.... we'll see about that.

Mine Host then enquired why the Ombudsman would do something so utterly stupid as to phone a total stranger more than a thousand miles away, and blab confidential information to them?

The response (note: I am not making this up) was that the person making the complaint must have "given the wrong number then", as if that absolved the public servant of any blame for blabbing confidential information to random strangers.

Mine Host casually enquired of Mr. Ducko if the Fair Work Ombudsman ever did any of their own research - for example verifying phone numbers (say via the White Pages) - y'know, just to avoid situations that may end up with them being fired from government service for breaching privacy legislation, that sort of thing?

Mr. Ducko seemed to not understand the question.

Mine Host then asked:  Why had Mr. Ducko blabbed to a low-level staff member at the other pub, instead speaking to the manager?

Mr. Ducko seemed to not understand this question either.

The matter to'd and fro'd with a few phone calls over the next couple of weeks.

Somewhere, in between phone calls, Mr. Ducko must have done a bit of research into the provisions of the Commonwealth Privacy Legislation.

For in subsequent phone calls Mr. Peruse-Coe seemed to no longer be dismissive and buoyant about Mine Host's mention of said Commonwealth Privacy Legislation, in fact he seemed most strained and unwilling to dwell on the matter.

Mr. Ducko proved to be most receptive when Mine Host pointed out a fatal flaw in the complaint.  Mr. Ducko latched onto this flaw (like a blue heeler with lockjaw) and wasted no time in declaring the case "closed".

Follow up paperwork swiftly arrived confirming the matter was dead.

So continues life in over-regulated small business Australia.

1 comment:

Pennie said...

Incredible! Thanks for telling us the story.