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Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Believe this one

Occasionally a friend will e-mail something over from another local authority that really sums up the confused mindset in which they operate. Now this quotation is taken verbatim from a Council suggestion scheme leaflet, I’m not saying who sent it to me or which Council it is, but would other readers confirm or deny that this is the kind of thing they have to put up with. Incidentally, the italics are mine

Criteria for staff suggestion scheme

Any suggestion should;
  • Enhance the quality, speed or cost of a service provided to the public
  • Improve the way we operate internally by reducing bureaucracy or cost, saving time or energy
Suggestions will not be accepted if;
  • They fall within the scope of a persons job i.e. should not be an idea that they could reasonably be expected to put forward given their role. Only suggestions by staff about the working practices and services provided by other sections, services will be accepted.
  • Another member of staff has already put if forward for consideration
  • It is already happening, being considered or in the process of being implemented by the Council, one of its partners, agents or other associates.
  • It is unaffordable (Suggestions that require a service bid in order to implement them may be accepted. Only suggestions that we could have no hope of ever funding will be rejected as unaffordable e.g. build a cinema)
  • Made by the scheme co-ordinator
Right, now the first bit, fine, no problem; improve quality, reduce cost and bureaucracy, save time and energy yadada yadada. Good criteria.
Now here’s the big but; your suggestion won’t even be considered if it is to improve the way you do your job. Say you come up with a brilliant way to save your organisation yay much by streamlining what you do; they won’t want to know. On the other hand, if you want to ‘improve’ some other poor sods lot without knowing anything about what they have to do in their working day; well come on down.
Duplicate suggestions will be discounted, yes, fine; so long as no chair polisher nicks my idea and passes it off as their own.
Unaffordable; yes fine. No problem with that.
Made by the scheme co-ordinator; Well, that goes without saying.

Sounds to me like they don’t really want the suggestions from the front line council workers at all. Well they’re all just a bunch of thickie jobsworths anyway, aren’t they?


Blogger Dracunculus said...

Something very similar happened at a place I used to work at (in the private sector - public bodies don't have the monopoly on idiocy it would seem).

What quickly happened was that an active trading market in suggestions sprung up so you could trade your really good idea for improving the speed of the network for an idea for more efficient use of the marketing budget.

Of course the management eventually worked out that Bill in Accounts Receivable probably hadn't written all those suggestions about how to reconfigure network routers all by himself and the "not connected to your job" thing got dropped.

Thursday, January 11, 2007 8:22:00 am  
Blogger ReallyEvilCanine said...

Great googly-moogly! As I slogged through the excess verbiage used to explain that they don't want suggestions from anyone actually capable of and qualified to make one, my head went right back the the my-head-shaped-dent in front of my keyboard. It's something my customers have motivated me to make. I take it no front line wog dare send a reply pointing out the ludicrousness of such a restriction?

Thursday, January 11, 2007 2:47:00 pm  
Anonymous James said...

Maybe they expect you to make suggestions about your job to your own boss?

Friday, January 12, 2007 2:09:00 pm  
Blogger Bill Sticker said...


I said as much to my friend who retorted quite shortly that every suggestion they have ever made to their management has been pretty much ignored. Apart from one. Very much a 'top down' organisation I think.



Friday, January 12, 2007 9:58:00 pm  
Anonymous James said...

I thought I was being overly optimistic. Still, an outside perspective can help sometimes; that's how the current government ended up addicted to consultancies.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 7:38:00 pm  
Blogger okyepwhatever said...

Hahahahahaha! God bless the public sector.

Reducing bureaucracy, my pretty bottom. The irony being, of course, that they probably spent several hundred hours of staff time devising the bloody scheme instead of asking senior managers to do what they're paid for and come up with these ideas!

Sunday, February 04, 2007 3:34:00 pm  

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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