As a private sector taxpayer I’m always slightly moresensitive to wastage and inefficiency in the public sector than many of mypublic sector colleagues. Thus, I thought I’d share this real-life story:
I’m currently doing some contract work for a large centralgovernment department, who outsource their ICT services and support to awell-known private enterprise services organisation.
I wanted to change the hypertext link on an Intranet webpage to point to a different page in order to improve the user feedbackmechanism for a particular service. Having jumped through all the hoops and navigated around the various,traps and barriers they call ‘Change Control’ I submitted a change request tothe service provider in the required format with all the relevant information,then waited…and waited for a response. Several requests for a status updatesolicited the response from the service provider that the change was ‘beingimpacted’ (and to remind you, we’re talking about a simple change to a pagelink). Four weeks after the originalchange request was raised and I’m still waiting for a definitive answer. Furthermore, my customer (the largegovernment department) is now worried that the service provider may be able totake future sanctions against them because a change has been requested (thefirst since the project began over 12 months ago).
I’d like to make the following observations :
- Invention and innovation are being stifled (nay, killedstone dead) by process in many gov departments.
- An elaborate ‘onesize fits all’ change control process is adding to the cost of making simple,low impact, no risk changes.
- The public sector is becoming conditioned to the high costand bureaucratic processes imposed by their suppliers (or which they have collaborated on) – to the extent that theywould prefer to maintain a status quo as opposed to making even minor serviceor efficiency improvements.
- With respect to private sector/public sector businessrelationships, the tail is now wagging the dog.
- Apathy rules – ok?!
End of rant!