The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs will spend up to $55,000 over the next six months on a workshop run by consultants for its staff entitled “writing to and for the minister.”
A Senate Estimates hearing was told today that the workshop is designed to teach staff how to write a letter or brief for their Minister.
Senator Mitch Fifield today expressed disbelief that bureaucrats needed to be taught such basic skills as writing concisely.
“Surely written communication should be a core skill that Departments should be looking for when they employ staff.”
“With over three thousand public servants in FaHCSIA, is there no one who can pass down the knowledge of how to write a letter?”
“Many of these staff would be university-educated and on salaries of between $90,000 and $100,000,” Senator Fifield said.
“Why they would need additional training in such a key competency is beyond me.”
“I think most Australians would be very surprised to hear that their taxpayer dollars are being spent on teaching bureaucrats skills that they should already be across,” Senator Fifield said.