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Secrets, spies and useful idiots

The Challenge

In part two, Four Corners speaks to key protagonists at the centre of the unfolding drama over members of the Trump team accused of being compromised by Russia.

The question for Australia is whether the practice of appointing senior politicians to ambassadorial position benefits the country.

The big question is whether or not we can regulate the appointment of ambassadorial staff?

What do you consider we need ‘more of’, and what do we need ‘less of’ to strengthen current policy, legislation and regulation?

How effective can legislation and policy be if one takes into account the current political/economic/technological culture?

 

Each Monday MindHive Number One ranked consulting problem-solver, statistician, Peter Grimbeek, leads a challenge based on Australia's Four Corners’s investigation. We take seriously the often quoted, “if you’d like to continue the conversation head to our Twitter or Facebook site”. What’s missing with that invite is that the Mindhive platform in particular offers an ability to collectively co-create potential solutions and generate ideas based on the challenges that the investigation provides. The outcome of the Mindhive challenge facilitated by Peter forms the basis of a 600-1000 idea published on Mindhive, and where appropriate submitted to the ABC and other mainstream media. Mindhive allows for impact recognition by ORCID, uniquely identifying academic and other contributors, and thus ensuring that you get credit for your work.

 

Challenge Opened: 12:03 AM, Monday 04 June 2018
Challenge Closes: 01:30 PM, Friday 29 June 2018
Time to go: Closed

 

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The context

First established as a legation directed by an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, on 19 July 1946 the diplomatic representative was promoted to embassy status and the Australian Minister, Frederic Eggleston became the first Ambassador. The job is seen as very desirable, and political appointees are regularly posted. Several distinguished Australians have served as Ambassador to the United States, including a future Governor-General of Australia (Richard Casey), a future Chief Justice of Australia (Sir Owen Dixon), a future Governor of Tasmania (James Plimsoll), two former federal leaders of the opposition (Andrew Peacock and Kim Beazley), and a former Treasurer of Australia (Joe Hockey) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ambassadors_of_Australia_to_the_United_States

While one could not fault the competence or ability of political and business appointees, one wonders whether entrusting those without specific professional skills to such positions benefits the country or whether it is more in the nature of a reward for years of service or sometimes just to remove them from Australia for a period of time.

An alternative to this pattern would be to fill the ranks of ambassadors to ALL countries from those formally trained for such work within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (i.e.,http://dfat.gov.au/careers/Pages/careers.aspx). That is, draw on a cadre of staff trained to serve the broader needs of the country regardless of the government of the day.

Challenge Opened: 12:03 AM, Monday 04 June 2018
Challenge Closes: 01:30 PM, Friday 29 June 2018
Time to go: Closed

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Hiver

Peter Grimbeek Statistics & Methods Counsellor
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Bill Wyatte Integrated Criminal Justice Governance and Program Manager
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Grant Spork Director
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Thomas Reuter Professor // board member
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Documents associated with this Challenge

File name File type Date uploaded Size (KB)
Labor questions appointment of Joe Hockey as Australia's ambassador to the US.pdf
.pdf
6/4/2018 348
Why U.S. Ambassadors Should Be Career Professionals.pdf
.pdf
6/4/2018 634
 

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