Sunday, July 02, 2006

How Government works

Via the Canadian Taxpayer Federation (print edition)

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Parliament said "someone may steal from it at night" so they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Parliamant said "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write instructions, and one person to write the schedule.

Then Parliament said "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a quality control Department and hired three people. One to create the quality control measures, one to write the reports, and one to measure performance.

Then Parliamant said "How are these people going to get paid?" So they created a payroll department and hired four people: a time keeper, a payroll officer, a payroll clerk, and a chequebook administrator.

Then Parliament said, "who will be accountable for all of these people?" So they created an administrative section and hired five people: an administrative officer, assistant administrative officer, secretary, an accoutant, and an auditor.

Then Parliament said, "we have this scrapyard in operation for only one year and we are already $750,000 over budget, we must cut back overall cost.:

So they laid off the night watchman.


At 11:13 AM, Blogger Steve Kanter said...

This was certainly true in the sixties, before the Glasgo/Glascow? report (I heard it referrenced in a senate CPAC meeting about the FAA). After that, administration was decentralized, and risk taking was introduced to try to create a leaner civil service.

This came to an abrupt halt when the HRDC problem reared its head, as a result of the breaucratic changes. We then moved back towards this model, but not nearly to the same extent as before.

The Taxpayers Federation does have some intersting points to make, but if they are worried about things like these, they should call themselves the Program Administration Group.

I remember them crowing about the HRDC, and now the crow about the reaction in government administration to prevent a similar problem from developing.

I would think they would complain about the new complicatedness of the tax code, and the regressive tax cuts the conservatives have put in place, along with income tax increases, but no.

The literative prose may be enjoyable, but this is not their purpose. I would say in this day and age, even before we got into government this group was pointless, and barely ever effected public policy changes.


Kanter On Politics

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Albertan Technophile said...

Sounds like the old NDP government in BC...


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