Where does the buck stop on the ABS Census schmozzle?

Malcolm Turnbull is involved in some fancy footwork on the issue of the ABS census stuff up. It has been a stuff up and there are plenty of people to blame, hackers, the ABS, the Chinese (payback for insults at the Olympics), the Chief Statistician, IBM.

Today he is reported as saying I too am very angry about this, I am bitterly disappointed about this,” Mr Turnbull told a fired-up Alan Jones. “This has clearly been a failure on the part of the ABS. Absolutely a failure on the part of the ABS.”

The day before he assured Australians that “their data is safe” and said the decision to shut down the website had been taken “out of an abundance of caution” by the ABS.

“That is a judgment they made, as the independent statistician – that is their call to make at that time and they made it,” he said.

He is currently blaming the ABS and computing giant IBM for the “entirely predictable denial of service attack”.   Certainly, the fault does not lie with the man at the top (who was once upon a time the Minister for Communications), nor any one of the three ministers who have been in charge since September: Kelly O’Dwyer, Alex Hawke and now Mr McCormack.

If the situation was “entirely predictable” and the political fallout was going to be entirely predictably embarrassing, why not a quick phone call from the PM’s office to the minister responsible?


 “Hey, Michael, have you got all the entirely predictable things covered for census night? You know, things like denial of service attack?”

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