Paula gets probation – but for how long?

Gotta hand it to Crusher Collins.

She probably spotted that Big Business was uncomfortable with the way Paula Rebstock ran the Commerce Commission. Rebstock made it tough for the buggers – so much so, it seems they leaned on their mates in the Government to have her put in her place.

And so she quit.

Tough goes down well with Crusher. Someone who can piss off Big Business is bound to be able to shake up a bunch of public servants.

So it was no surprise to hear Collins has welcomed Rebstock as chairperson of an expert panel to oversee improvements to the Department of Corrections’ Community Probation and Psychological Service.

“Establishment of the panel is an important step in rebuilding public confidence in the department, and in particular CPPS,” Ms Collins says.

The panel was recommended by the State Services Commissioner after some shonky stuff was identified in the Auditor General’s report into the department’s management of parole.

The panel will include Peter Hughes, Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development, who has extensive experience in leading major service delivery departments, and Andrew Bridges, Chief Inspector of Probation with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation for England and Wales, who led the inspectorate through several substantial changes which improved its performance.

The panel will also include two department staff.

“The calibre of the chairperson and other panel members gives me confidence that the department now has the support to make the improvements that are required,” Ms Collins says.

The panel will have its first meeting this month, and will report to Collins “regularly” on progress.

Alf is a bit disquieted, however, that “it will continue to operate until improvements are made that are sustainable and enduring”.

This looks like a recipe for a permanent quango.

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