Opinion – Public Sector Catch 22: The Role of “IT” in Business Transformation – John Gelmini

Dr Alf’s discussion about interims, the interim market and the UK public sector presupposes that the Government and Civil Servants actually want transformation and that if they do they want the most competent and effective people to bring that about.

The evidence based on the amount of fraud, waste and mismanagement of the UK public sector over the last 100 years is that the Government is keen to preserve the status quo and to develop structures like NHS procurement and MOD procurement which allow scope for waste and the plundering of budgets year after year after year.

The MOD has not completed a single piece of procurement or major project on time or to budget since before the Crimean War and now with Prince 2 as the mandatory standard, allowing for 6% to 8% project tolerances it is still billions over budget with no clear explanation as to where all the money went.

The Home Office has been described as “not fit for purpose” at least 5 times by 5 different Home Secretaries, the police under report crime by up to 50% and in my county (Hertfordshire) it is 30%.

The NHS produces the worst cancer treatment outcomes in Western Europe and has seen a 189% increase in managers and a further 225% increase on top of that.

Everywhere one looks at infrastructure (roads, hospitals, schools, airports, bus stations, railway stations etc) one sees an obvious mismatch between levels of tax levied and the pitiful amount of infrastructure actually built).

Look at our education system and compare it at state level with others abroad and you see expensive trendy heads and young people left behind as unsocialized blockheads in a world in which we are still nowhere close to paying our way.

The public sector does not want interims or reform, or Dr Alf style “radical transformation”; it would prefer that he and people like him retired to warmer climates, did other things and that those interims with less experience remained on the bench, growing older and poorer by the day, until their final demise.

What the public sector wants is to be left unscathed, packed with useless people engaged in non jobs all pretending that things are just fine.

That requires more involvement by Big 4 consultancies to create the illusion of change and reform when in fact what is being created is a modern paradise for latter day “Captain Pugwashes”(He was the childrens television lazy pirate character) to waste money at scale.

John Gelmini

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