As a private sector taxpayer Iâ€™m always slightly more
sensitive to wastage and inefficiency in the public sector than many of my
public sector colleagues. Thus, I thought Iâ€™d share this real-life story:
Iâ€™m currently doing some contract work for a large central
government department, who outsource their ICT services and support to a
well-known private enterprise services organisation.
I wanted to change the hypertext link on an Intranet web
page to point to a different page in order to improve the user feedback
mechanism for a particular service. Having jumped through all the hoops and navigated around the various,
traps and barriers they call â€˜Change Controlâ€™ I submitted a change request to
the service provider in the required format with all the relevant information,
then waitedâ€¦and waited for a response. Several requests for a status update
solicited the response from the service provider that the change was â€˜being
impactedâ€™ (and to remind you, weâ€™re talking about a simple change to a page
link). Four weeks after the original
change request was raised and Iâ€™m still waiting for a definitive answer. Furthermore, my customer (the large
government department) is now worried that the service provider may be able to
take future sanctions against them because a change has been requested (the
first since the project began over 12 months ago).
Iâ€™d like to make the following observations :
- Invention and innovation are being stifled (nay, killed
stone dead) by process in many gov departments.
- An elaborate â€˜one
size fits allâ€™ 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 cost
and bureaucratic processes imposed by their suppliers (or which they have collaborated on) â€“ to the extent that they
would prefer to maintain a status quo as opposed to making even minor service
or efficiency improvements.
- With respect to private sector/public sector business
relationships, the tail is now wagging the dog.
- Apathy rules – ok?!
End of rant!