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Great diary.

I'd love to see another one, carrying on from things, talking more about what you think the effect of cutbacks will be and whether you think there is a better way to do things.

I don't personally believe that this kind of waste is inherent to large public-sector organisations, but it remains an ongoing and difficult problem in a number of areas.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 03:51:23 AM EST
By "inherent to", do you mean particular or restricted to?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 05:04:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or "inevitable in"?

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 05:04:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, I've heard arguments about "all of the above" and I reject them all.

I know, from empirical observation, that private organisations can be just as wasteful.

I know, from empirical observation, that public organisations do not have to be unreasonably wasteful.

But, I have to admit, that the British experience has been that these things are a major challenge for large British public sector organisations. And we need to develop further the alternative narrative of how to address this problem, as the right only proposes privatisation...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 05:45:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of my bugbears with public organisations is the huge amount that is spent on committees (and management too) - first class travel, 4 or 5 star hotels and in many cases a daily rate for attending committees or events.

I currently hold a public appointment and always request standard class train journeys and give enough time for tickets to be booked in advance to keep the costs down. I was a stakeholder representative a few years ago for another committee which seemed even more wasteful with luxuries that we can really get by without, but that comes from some kind of middle class elitism rather than poor planning.

In the back of my head, always, is - "this is public money"...

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 06:52:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I may do such a diary, but given the variety of possible outcomes I'd be bound to be wrong.

However, I'd take a variation of the claud cockburn principle of government policy; in trying to predict what will happen simply extrapolate to the worst, most craven, compromise imaginable. The areas of greatest waste, ie flagship programmes will remain largely untouched, just a few redundancies to show willing. The areas of least waste, ie minority programmes run on a shoe-string will face a wholesale axing.

However, less visible, but with more catastrophic long-term impact, will be the destruction of the few remaining support services as the BBC concentrates of core services, ie programme making. You might argue that engineering can be sold off, but as we've seen with the IT services and Resources sell-offs, the contract writers don't know the business.

So they agree the current service with no concept of technological evolution. And every upgrade comes at a price...a BIG price. Plus you have a corporate service level agreement that may make no account of other reuqirements, ie News has a different definition of urgent to the rest of the BBC and so every urgent request from News (and there are lots) becomes a financial burden on a budget that doesn't account for it.

But i have a whole other essay on that

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 06:47:20 AM EST
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The areas of least waste, ie minority programmes run on a shoe-string will face a wholesale axing.

Funny you should mention that - See Hear (the only Deaf/BSL programme on the BBC) has had a budget cut, timeslot reduction and has been moved in the schedule.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 06:56:38 AM EST
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