[LINK] No, PS must carry out govt Policy
Tue, 30 Jan 2001 17:00:33 +1100
The source needs to be recognised as relatively biased.
Many departments which fell over themselves in the rush to outsource
are the ones which are raised as examples of outsourcing's failures
by the report. In truth it is the often uncritical acceptance of the
policy which generated the greatest fiascos.
Finally, the REAL adverse effects of outsourcing have yet to be felt,
and were only briefly alluded to in the report. Thos departments that
did fall in behind it uncritically made a quick budgetary capital
gain by the budget priced transfers in system owenership and control
(to EDS or wherever) but these capital gains are disippated now in
the charges and fees charged by the outsourcers who largely just
lease back existing infrastructure or replace items. I'd estimate
that the capital gain on many of the contracts would have been
dissipated within two to three years, and is being rapidly overtaken
by the rather exorbitant (if one compares them to street prices for
example) outsourcing charges that the outsourcing contractors charge.
In a very short time, these outsourcing fees will make bigger and
bigger demands on existing budgets ... which will force outsourced
agencies to either get an increase to their budgets or scale back on
services and conventional operations to meet the outsourcers
contracted service payments.
And that's when the poo will hit the fan. :)
At 3:23 PM +1100 30/1/01, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
>No, PS must carry out govt Policy.
>Letters to the Editor
>Former Chief Executive, Office of Asset Sales and IT outsourcing,
>The Humphry report rightly identified the lack of "buy in" by agencies
>and management as a prime impediment to successful implementation of
>Owen Darcy ("Passing the buck", CT, January 29, pC1) seeks praise for
>those officials who resisted the policy. He is fundamentally wrong.
>Once the Government has adopted a lawful policy, officials are duty
>bound to observe and implement that policy diligently - even if it is
>"flawed". The Financial Management and Administration Act does not
>over-ride this duty, despite Humphry's views.
>Those who failed in securing that "but in" may be criticised, but the
>breach of duty on the part of those officials who failed to deliver
>their own "buy in" was surely a far worse offence.
>If officials were to be free to impede policies with which they
>disagreed, democratic government would become unworkable. It may be
>unwise for government to adopt administrative policies against a
>weight of officials' advice. But democracy requires that they should
>be free to err - and be held to account electorally.
>In this forum I offer no personal views on the merits of the policy.
>The Office of Asset Sales and IT outsourcing, while I was its chief
>executive, had no role in its formulation but was charged ex post,
>with its implementation as decided by government.
>This episode has further tarnished the fading professional standards
>of the Public Service, but in ways that the debate, in its simplistic
>enthusiasm to kick heads, has so far overlooked.
>Members [of civil service orders] rise from CMG (known sometimes in
>Whitehall as "Call Me God") to the KCMG ("Kindly Call Me God") to -
>for a select few governors and super-ambassadors - the GCMG ("God
>Calls Me God").
>-- Anthony Sampson, Anatomy of Britain (1962)
Apathy is a great cause for concern
... but who cares?