The door is open for the first time since 1997 for my employment with the public service.
I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister in January 2012 asking about the present status of the CMO, given that there was no sign of the position on any Health Department website – and the current staff in the office of my local member of Parliament had never even heard of the CMO (which I found hard to swallow). I explained the situation, and also the intent of having the reports from Mr Rose (I won’t call him doctor because he was nothing more than a sex therapist) and Dr Strauss from my time with Australia Post removed from the file – as well as the report that cost me my job with the Defence Department. I also mentioned the prevailing financial situation brought on by the expenditure I needed for the football project, and expanded to the two edged sword between my current life routine (which doesn’t have room for a job at the moment) and needing a job to finance the project as there seems to be no other way.
The CMO situation was focused on and my letter was referred to the Minister for the Public Service and Integrity (as well as the Special Minister of State). I got a reply in mid February, and I was told in effect that the position of the CMO no longer exists. The portion of the Department that the CMO was a part of was corporatised not long after my Defence Department sacking to become Health Services Australia. And then (and this is what I didn’t know) in 2009 HSA was merged with Medibank Private, and that’s where all the HSA medical records went. It was explained to me that both Australia Post and Defence were subject to the Archives Act 1983 and either had to hold the records for seven years or 75 years depending on my employment circumstances. That doesn’t bother me because they can do what they like. I won’t be having anything to do with them again as enemies of Autistics. But I needed to know if the archives held by Medibank Private would be brought out if I applied for another position within the public service. If so, I needed to edit those archives and get rid of those records.
It took until May to finally get a reply, and it was rather open ended – passing the buck to Medibank Private on whether or not any public service department could call on my file. That meant that I had to make a phone call about the matter to their Privacy Officer. I was asked to send an email, and she then appeared to start searching for the file. And I heard nothing for three months, until she advised that she’d been on sick leave.
Finally I got the email I was waiting for on September 19, 2012. My file could not be found! So if they couldn’t when I ask, neither could any Department! Now I can assume that all Departments now keep their own records and rely on their own sourcing for medical checks and so on. As none of the Departments hold what Australia Post and Defence hold – I am now free to be employed by the public service without any restrictions from the past!
Of course I’m not out of the woods yet. There is still the issue of my present life routine and that can’t be changed overnight. My next step is to speak to the public service office in Melbourne about employment and whether or not I can get something flexible to help alter that routine AND provide the financial support the project needs at the same time. I’m not hopeful about that and I may need to write a letter to the Premier about the situation, but the public service is wide and the office looks after both State employment and Federal employment in Melbourne. It will take some time. Not only that, I would have to come clean about my employment with Australia Post and Defence, but I can inform them that their records are wrong and the reasons why.