AusAID staff held in limboThere will be no speedy resolution of the fate of 1,400 Public Servants employed by the axed Agency AusAID,
Instead, staff have been told to expect a "lengthy and complex process" as their Agency is subsumed into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
There was no direction from their boss. Director-General of AusAID, Peter Baxter went on "extended leave" just hours before his Agency's axing was announced, after which Secretary of DFAT, Peter Varghese paid tribute to Mr Baxter's service, saying he was expected to serve in a senior position elsewhere in Government.
Mr Varghese issued a statement to DFAT and AusAID workers warning they were embarking on a major undertaking.
"Clearly, this will be a major undertaking, both for the two Agencies and for all our staff," Mr Varghese said in the statement.
"We are at the beginning of what will be a lengthy and complex process, which we will approach logically and strategically, in a considered and transparent way."
He said a "full-time taskforce", led by AusAID and DFAT veteran, Jennifer Rawson, would begin tackling the problems thrown up by the forced merger.
At the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government and the Arts, which is being broken up and its functions transferred to various "gaining Agencies", workers were told by Secretary, Glenys Beauchamp to carry on as normal until advised otherwise.
"Until further advice is provided, staff will continue to work from their current locations and on the current IT systems, phone numbers and mobile devices," Ms Beauchamp said in a statement.
"For most of you, business will continue as usual in the short term, albeit with new reporting lines to the gaining Departments."
National Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union, Nadine Flood said the union was worried about the upheaval in the lives of Public Servants in the abolished Departments and Agency.
"Departmental mergers can be a very complex process," Ms Flood said.
Edition 380, 24 September 2013