Before one estimates hearing, a particular department was informed of what questions a senator would be asking so they could be prepared and provide answers.
We the public are lead to believe through the media that this is true scrutiny of government.
Senators are of the belief that they will get real answers to their questions, they are delusional.
"Bureaucratise" is a practiced art-form. Here's just one example of an answer from a public servant to repeated attempts to find out whether there would be an increase in the price of medicines for people with a health care card:
What the hell does that tell us???
Did you know that some public servants undertake expensive training to help them manage the process of (not) answering questions about what they do with taxpayers' money.
Yes, we pay for the training, why god only knows!
It's certainly an entertaining sight to watch a battalion of bureaucrats struggling to lug giant folders of information into committee rooms and yet they're often unable to answer basic questions about what they do. It seems the bigger the folder, the less information is in it.
This is how democracy works, governments come and go but the Sir Humphry's of this world live on for ever, Yes Prime Minister