10 Mar 08, 04:32pm, Daniel Yardley

Fernando's points are well-made regarding the rather ill-conceived plan to
abolish JR's position a little under 4 months from now. Given the magnitude of
information that needs to be transferred from "JR's head" to something more
accessible and permanent, the provision of such a short timescale for this
process seems irresponsible in the context of ensuring the science output of
Parkes remains world-class.

His dedication to the job of OIC, and his commitment in ensuring strong morale
of the local staff (as strong as possible in the current environment) is second
to none. We can be assured that JR wants the success of Parkes to continue
after he is no longer OIC (since this day must come eventually), as much as the
whole ATNF does; hence his expertise needs to be utilised in the process of
"future-proofing" of Parkes, and this will require many hours of his time -
importantly these are not man-hours that can be spread out over several people,
they are JR-hours.

I also strongly echo George Hobbs's sentiments requesting a written assurance
that this document "FAO" is not final. We are advised in the ATNF "Response
to Issues Raised" that "The management of [these] projects involves concept
and project plans ... " - the first step in formulating these concept and
project plans should be consultation with the user community, as opposed to
what we have at the moment where it appears to be one of the last steps. It
appears that a fairly large-scale reformulation of the plan (and the document
outlining said plan) is required. Such reformulation is needed if Parkes is to
remain a world-class institution, but it is in some ways a shame if this
reformulation represents lost time for those who have put together this plan so
far; their time would not have been lost had consultation with the community of
experienced users been the first step in this process.