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back to article Civil Serf blogger faces disciplinary action

A senior civil servant who detailed the inner workings of Government has reportedly been suspended pending an investigation into her conduct. The author of the popular Civil Serf blog is reported to have confessed to a Government investigating team. The disciplinary action raises questions over what employers should and are …

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Silliness

"Employers need to ensure that the ground rules of acceptable behaviour online are firmly established"

I agree with this statement, but not in this case.

The Civil Serf is either a very clever player, or a very stupid one. Calling your management idiots in public is what is known at some companies as a CLM (Career-limiting move). However, the degree to which it happened in this case would make it a cut-and-dried termination offense in my book. Surely she didn't think she'd remain anonymous for long?

Something she may not have thought about: would *you* hire someone with a mouth that big after she's fired?

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Sieg Heil, Dummkopf

"She has been suspended, according to reports." ..... I wonder if that provides her with grounds to sue for ...... well, there's bound to be a long list, surely.

Ve haf vays of making you do vatever ve vant. Civil Serf, you are a very naughty girl.

And Paris because she can be nice and naughty too.

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However

It's nice to get the inside information on how badly our country is run. Shouldn't most of this stuff be transparent anyway? Doesn't the Gov't work for us? Or is that a mith?

Accountablilty is a wonderf00l thing...

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Fast track to .. no where?

So, she was on "the Fast Track" programme within the Civil Service was she? I'm worried that she even got the far. Still, give people enough rope and they will, ultimately, hang themselves.

Herein lies the problem with all this online interaction during 'work' time; your employer should be concerned. And no, I'm not saying who I work for!!

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Go

Not sure what outcome to hope for...

If she's kept on after 'suitable discipline', she will indeed be in a limited position. if she's fired, she can attempt to capitalize on notoriety and even continue the attacks / expose' in the name of serving the people's interest. Certainly hope the discipline extends to looking into the conduct she's been complaining about.

Cheers,

Mike

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Coat

Happened this week to a french civil servant

The guy is "Sous-prefet", so it's mostly administrative conduct of a french "Departement" (like a state in the US, no idea what the equivalent is in the UK)

He got suspended because he left a very unfavourable comment on Israel politics on a blog somewhere (www.oumma.com), saying for instance that "Israel was the only known country where "snipers" did target and kill little girls just out of school" (commenting actual press coverage of incidents in Palestine). Also that "The memory of the Shoah has become a fearsome mass intimidation weapon wielded by Isreal and its allies".

When suspended, he said that he had been doing International Politics analysis for 10 years, and that the subject was out of his professional activity scope, so there shouldn't be any problem.

He was suspended nonetheless.

http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2008/03/24/sous-prefet-limoge-le-19-mars-bruno-guigue-ecrivait-depuis-2006-sur-le-site-oumma-com_1026745_3224.html#ens_id=1026594

/me choose coat, as it's all you can take when sacked.

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No problem if the statements are true

but if they are untrue statements in the blog, then I think there is every right to deal with the blogger appropriately.

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I can't blame them for investigating and perhaps sacking her

but I'm sure none of the dubious behaviour she described will be looked into... Since they will most likely be characterised as scurrilous allegations with no factual basis.

hmm, it would be interesting if she raised her concerns via "proper" channels as well as she might then be covered by whistleblower legislation.

Well the likely outcome is one career wrecked and an interesting blog shut down.

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Where does it end?

Say I work for the government. I quit, and then decide to expose the sloppiness and ineptness in my former department (assuming there was such). Now, if I sell my story to a journalist, is that now illegal? Is it illegal to expose incompetency now?

I'd like to know what shes being accused of. Is telling the truth about your employer now illegal? If what she said was false, then okay sue away. But if not, should they have the right to silence her?

I'll end on a joke I heard about the government, which I think is appropriate.

A young man was on a fast track to a good career and a good life, when he had a motorbike accident. He was badly injured, and lost his job as a result. He also lost his testicles.

Distraught, but seeking to start again, he began seeking work to tide himself over. He soon found a job with the government. After passing the interview, he enquired about the hours.

His manager told him, "We start at 9, but you can come in at 10."

Wondering what made him so special, the man asked his manager, who replied, "For the first hour all government employees just sit around and scratch our balls. No point in you coming in for that."

If only all managers were so pragmatic and honest.

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Anonymous Coward

@Laurent Z

"..."Israel was the only known country where "snipers" did target and kill little girls just out of school" (commenting actual press coverage of incidents in Palestine). Also that "The memory of the Shoah has become a fearsome mass intimidation weapon wielded by Isreal and its allies".

When suspended, he said that he had been doing International Politics analysis for 10 years..."

So, his comments on international politics weren't relevant to his job in international politics?

I would think that sucking down blatant lies about Israeli actions, (and by extension, politics) from non-credible vested interests, would suggest that he is completely incompetent in other areas, too - regardless of his being a bigoted wanker.

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Re: Jonathon

Who mentioned anything illegal? She's been caught bringing her employer into disrepute and will either be sacked or disciplined. Anyone who expects differently of any organisation needs to get a clue. Admittedly this is the government, who do a very good job of bringing themselves into disrepute without anyone's help, but even I know that you can't possibly just let people write scathing blogs about your company - imagine working with one of them. You'd be on edge on the entire time wondering if you were going to be the subject of their next post.

The joke was good though.

It has to be said that anyone who writes a blog about their job in the government and names the people they work with and the department they're in, thus making it trivial to work out who they are, needs not one but several clues. If she'd used pseudonyms (completely random ones, not clever codes that could be worked out) and only posted from home, she'd probably never be caught. It may reduce the celebrity factor if you don't name specific ministers, but if the blog was well written it wouldn't matter.

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@ David Wiernicki

""..."Israel was the only known country where "snipers" did target and kill little girls just out of school" (commenting actual press coverage of incidents in Palestine). Also that "The memory of the Shoah has become a fearsome mass intimidation weapon wielded by Isreal and its allies"...

...I would think that sucking down blatant lies about Israeli actions, (and by extension, politics) from non-credible vested interests, would suggest that he is completely incompetent in other areas, too - regardless of his being a bigoted wanker."

Except that both of the things he is reported to have said have actually happened!

Israel DOES use the victim narrative of the holocaust to justify it's actions and to try and garner support. Unarmed Palestinian children HAVE been killed by the IDF.

Do you not think that accusing someone of being a bigot just for being disparraging about Israeli policy may be seen as, well, a little bigoted?

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Why can't she be protected by the whistleblower legislation?

Sounds to me as if she was lifting the lid on fraud, corruption and incompetence. Give her a medal.

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Thumb Down

Government by soundbite

Civil Serf has exposed a great evil. Our government isn't interested in governing nearly as much as they are in managing this week's news headlines. All the operational departments are struggling to continually rebuild systems disrupted by the mishmash of incompatible weekly policies and initiatives resulting from ill-considered political reactions to previous crises. Eventually the excessive rate of change overwhelms the ability of sensible public servants to cope. Consequently records get lost, foreign prisoners who should be deported are released to reoffend and competent head teachers are resigning in droves because they are prevented from doing their jobs by incompatible and inconsistent targets.

The civil servants who get promoted are the self servers who spend their time praising their masters, blaming all the problems on the competent and evangelising the latest knee jerk initiatives. The price of emporer's clothing includes the cost of sacking those who speak what they see.

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Anonymous Coward

I feel for her

As someone who works in public sector and is also sickened by the disgusting levels of incompetence shown there I frankly think staff should be allowed to blog any problems they see.

Us public workers are funded by you, the tax payers, as such we should be completely transparent and if management aren't resolving the issues then we should certainly be free to air them in public so that the public know how their money is being wasted and can choose to elect an alternative representitive at the next elections to rectify such errors.

There is no way in hell public sector should be allowed to continue as is, where severe mistakes are ignored without so much as a disciplinary, the incompetent are regularly promoted and where tax payers money is outright wasted.

A clean up of public sector involving a correct process for resolving problems, which requires accountability to a competent upper management and the public is something that needs to be implemented ASAP. I truly believe if public sector was cleaned up, the dead weight removed and money wasting schemes outright never carried out that we could see noticeable tax cuts as less money is wasted. In the current situation where anyone that dare make the public aware of the issues is silenced ASAP we are simply throwing tax revenue into a black hole with each paycheck we receive and each product we buy.

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Silver badge

Precious little dears...

I wonder why the blog is off-line and who took it off-line? ..... "Somehow, someone did a remarkably good job of wiping it from the records... although I'm told the majority of her old posts are available via one popular RSS-reading service." ... http://civilserf.blog.co.uk/

Hmmm.... "Curiouser and curiouser", said Alice.

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Alien

Would rebellion be almost as stupid as blind obedience?

In the Garden of Lovers, employer and employee walk hand in hand. There is trust and mutual respect and each can learn and benefit from the other.

Waste not energy in spite my dear, find another lover -for there are many to choose from, are there not? And when you find the right one, you will Love IT.

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Paris Hilton

"Fast Track" is not "Senior"

The first line of the article should be changed. If she is Fast Track, then by definition she is not a Senior Civil Servant (SCS). SCS is a very specific grading designation and starts one or two bands higher than where the Fast Track ends.

I know it sounds like a better story with "senior" but it just ain't true. Sorry.

Paris because her self-publicity made her money whereas Civil Serf is likely to lose her job.

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Unhappy

Sadly its not specially new

Thirty something years ago, when I was setting out to choose my first employer, my father was absolutely adamant that I should not join the Civil Service. He worked for the Civil Service his entire working life, and privately chronicled its downhill spiral. It had been going down hill for quite a while before that outburst that "provided direction" to my career search! The only change seems to have been the ever increasing acceleration of the downhill journey, and the new (previously undiscovered) depths to which it continues to sink.

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Stop

@David Wiernicki

in your haste to defend Israel you may not have noticed...

'The guy is "Sous-prefet", so it's mostly administrative conduct of a french "Departement" (like a state in the US...'

international politics is NOT his day job. Try assimiliating what you read before lighting the flames

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Alert

Spinning so fast, they just can't stop...

"There is a civil service code of conduct which governs what civil servants can and cannot say in public".

No doubt this explicitly forbids telling the truth. Unless its to their advantage.

Great job. Shoot the messenger. Works every time.

And just remind us again, what part of "public servant" applies these days? "Fat controller" would seem a more appropriate description. In more ways than one.

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Anonymous Coward

Whistleblower protection only applies to everyone else not the UK gov.

One of the reasons I left local government was the predominance of "yes" men.

As I stated at the time, having yes men is fine if there is a good strong leader, but when they leave the result is a lot of yes men with no one to agree with, ie total chaos.

Local government is built on the same principles as the civil service.

If these people are that incompetent then we the "real" employers should be told and we should have the sense to take action at the next opportunity.

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Anonymous Coward

Tired, Bored and Fed up

Pretty much like she wanted to move on and so created a chancey game to lend

some spice to her life, You know psychology stuff!

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Alert

RE: David Wiernicki

I am neither Jewish nor anti-Semetic, but I do like to hear the facts from both sides of an argument when they continually appeal to produce an emotional outrage. What both sides are doing is reprehensible in ways we cannot even think of, propogated by generations of guilt, hate, envy and lust for power, land or money.

From the search engine on CNN:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/oct/21/schoolsworldwide.israel

Odd that both religions espouse the supression or intolerance for wrath, envy and lust... except when it comes to "infidels", huh?

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