26th March 2020 – Contributor

In a well-written article, by the CAAA novel idea – how about a Vicpol AUDIT ‘,  presents an argument of great importance to law and order, within Victoria,  now and into the future.

 In the lead to your article, you described “The Peter Principle”.  That concept was elucidated in the 1969 book ‘The Peter Principle’, by Dr Peter and Raymond Hull.

For those unfamiliar with this concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter, it observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their maximum “level of incompetence”.
Thus, an employee is promoted based on their success in previous jobs [or nepotism] until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another.

Organisations “infected” by the Peter Principle cannot heal themselves – they do not know what they do not know, and do not have the skills to adequately operate.
Worse, incompetent individual operatives in such organisations fear discovery, and resist offers of help; cover-ups are rife.
They see the organisational culture as their friend, but in reality, it is a major contributor to their incompetence.

The solution, as often applied in private enterprise, is to strongly “flush” organisational incompetence by replacing sufficient numbers of apparently incompetent Administrative [decision-making] Staff, particularly the most Senior Staff and including some prominent middle-level Managers, so as to ensure a serious and major change of organisational culture which will reach to all Operative Staff.  Neither are Operatives beyond reach of the guillotine.

How can this CAA article reach a much wider audience than that normally achieved by CAA articles…..?
It deserves a special effort to distribute it widely into the community.

I believe that most of Officialdom, [inside and outside VicPol] who are in a position to action the matters raised in the CAA article, will be affected by:

  • guilt from past commissions or omissions and/or
  • existing or potential conflict of interest and/or
  • being inhibited from a moral response by their cognitive dissonance.

Therefore, a significant groundswell of community indignation will be required to cause Officialdom to act to sincerely and thoroughly investigate,
attribute accountability, and cause corrections, to straighten out VicPol.

Beware of the probability that some of Officialdom and Hierarchy will anxiously anticipate that the appointment of a new CCP will “fix” the problems, and thus allow numerous parties to “escape unscathed”.

The very carefully considered and widely-accepted appointment of the new CCP is absolutely critical to current law and order within Victoria, and such a person obviously must set a high standard for well into the future.

But consider the challenge to locate and appoint an individual who has the required basket of abilities, and who:

  •  likes to receive a poisoned chalice?
  •  has experience of achieving “mission impossible”?
  •  demonstrates senior-level policing skills, as well as wide lower-level working experience.
  •  can prove successful high-level professional business management experience.
  •  shows corporate political nouse, and unshakeable party political neutrality.
  •  displays genuine police competence, and a strong desire to flush organisational incompetence.

The role definition, election, and appointment of the new Chief Commissioner is far too important to the community welfare to be left in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats not competent to perform the task.

John Basham