The answer to that question, earlier this year, was KPMG and the masters of bland have duly delivered a 121 page report [PDF] featuring recommendations that have inevitably been 'welcomed' and 'supported' as providing "a roadmap for improvement that will be pursued and regularly reported on".
The Minister has announced that -
"Many of the recommendations from the Review that refer to bullying and harassment are already being dealt with by the NSWFB and will ensure the creation of a better workplace environment for all staff.Did we really need KPMG to discover what has been (and apparently still is, albeit more discreetly) happening among the fireies?
I have said before that there is absolutely no place in the NSWFB for the kind of incidents that are alleged to have taken place in the 1970's and 80's, nor for more subtle forms of bullying and harassment that appear to still be happening in some areas today. KPMG has identified problems which are of concern, and the Inquiry Panel has reported that the NSWFB is taking strong, appropriate action to address them.
The Fire Brigades, embracing a "respectful workplace", have undertaken to address workplace conduct, governance, processes and culture through initiatives that include -
* A new independent 24 hour hotline, staffed by experts in workplace conduct matters, for employees to confidentially report any workplace issues that they may not feel comfortable raising via the normal chain of command.
* Assigning specific liaison officer positions to ensure that matters can be immediately referred to the NSW Police Force and Independent Commission Against Corruption when necessary.
* Appointing the Hon Justice Lance Wright QC, former President of the Industrial Relations Commission, to investigate an incident and to ensure robust systems are in place to deal with protected disclosures.
* Improving systems and processes to more rapidly progress and track all workplace conduct complaints.
* Organisation-wide training in effective workplace communication and complaint resolution commenced in May and is being delivered to all 7000 staff.
* Strengthening the NSWFB’s Code of Conduct and other workplace conduct policies, together with appropriate education and training
* A restructure of the learning and development directorate and an increased focus on training for managers in appropriate communication styles, and dealing with workplace conflict
* Increased resources in the workplace conduct and human resource management areas.