[LINK] CSIRO quizzed on $9.47m web site
cas at taz.net.au
Fri Feb 18 12:59:26 EST 2005
On Fri, Feb 18, 2005 at 12:08:35PM +1100, Deus Ex Machina wrote:
> Craig Sanders [cas at taz.net.au] wrote:
> > On Fri, Feb 18, 2005 at 08:44:20AM +1100, Deus Ex Machina wrote:
> > > you will not find corporate spending $10m on a web site because
> > > there is a chain of accountabilbity and not an open cheque book
> > > policy.
> > actually, you would. they're just as clueless as public servants.
> in a well run corporate you will not get to spend money without an
> appropriate business case justifying the expenditure.
where do you get these ideas from? they bear no relationship to reality.
there is far less accountability in the private sector than there is in
public. management does what they want, and if they screw up they find
someone beneath them to blame it on.
> > the alleged "efficiency" of the private sector is nothing but a myth.
> says a public servant.
actually, says someone who has worked in both public service and private
enterprise (both large and small), and is currently working for a private
in my experience, the *LEAST* efficient working environment was in a large,
"Big-8" accounting & "professional services"/consultancy firm - but that
tended to be hidden from analysis because everyone was expected to bill ALL of
their time to some client or other. as in the public service, efficiency
doesn't matter if someone else is paying the bill.
that 8 month experience was so bad that i vowed never to work for any
organisation like them ever again. it was so bad that i dropped out of full
time work for a few years and went to Uni instead (and vastly preferred the
hotdog stand job i had for a while over the depressing corporate job - feeding
hotdogs to drunks as they come out of the pub at 2am is infinitely more useful
a task...although it didn't pay anywhere near as well as the occasional
short-term or part-time computing jobs i got).
i'm hesitant about working for the public service again too, but not to the
point of eliminating it entirely from consideration - it would depend on the
job and on the department (and the environment - especially whether there was
a noticably high clue level amongst the other staff....my number one criteria
for a good job these days: clueful colleagues, more important than the money
and even more important than whether the work is really interesting. working
with clueful people can make it interesting).
> > > the australian government must transform itself and budget outcomes
> > > need to have measurable results that are measured and accounted for.
> > in most cases. in some cases, however, "measurable results" are not
> > possible and/or the very act of measuring conflicts with the goal of
> > service provision (remember govt exists to provide service, not to make
> > a profit or even to break even).
> its always possible to phrase outcomes in measurable means. budget outcomes
> that cant be measured are meaningless, since you cant ever tell if you
> have achieved it.
how do you measure the outcomes of, say, something like Lifeline? do you
measure success by the number of people who DON'T commit suicide every year -
by that measure, the success rate is something like 99.99999999%. or do you
measure failure by the number of people who DO commit suicide - and completely
ignore external factors and events like unemployment, inflation, interest
rates, relationship breakdowns, the relentless rise of the corporate
controlled state, and other depressing issues - which Lifeline have no control
or influence over?
perhaps you measure it by throughput - and penalise counsellors who spend too
long on any one phone call? ("i'm sorry, your time is up. please call back
tomorrow night. oh, and try not to kill yourself before then, OK?")
all you can do is analyse history and current events, project into the future,
add a fudge factor for " the unexpected", budget and plan and then hope that
your resource allocations are sufficient to meet the actual demand (rather
than just the projected demand).
> > > this measurability and accountability needs to difuse itself down
> > > to dept and projects. this would quickly eliminate shocking waste
> > > of tax payers money like this.
> > it would (and does!) result in shocking waste of tax-payers money by
> > turning everyone into accountants.
> not true, it would uncover the nonproductive pretty quickly though.
you obviously have no contact with people providing welfare or counselling
services. the amount of time wasted on accounting for their entire day (as if
they were billable hours in some legal or accounting practice) *always* comes
up in conversation.
craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au> (part time cyborg)
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