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

Some thoughts on Putin’s op-ed article in the NYT – John Gelmini

English: Vladimir Putin at school age

English: Vladimir Putin at school age (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vladimir Putin makes good points in his Op -Ed concerning the risks of wider war and more casualties.

However, his real concern is the retention of the Port of Tartus and continued arms sales to Syria.

For all the talk about international law, the Putin article shows that what both Russia and the West wants is control of Syria.

Russia wants it as a warm water port in the Mediterranean, something they have coveted since before the Crimean War and in several brutal wars with the British in Victorian times.

Secondly, they want it as a first line of defense against a military strike on Iran and Iran as a second line of defense against an attack on themselves(See PNAC website).

Thirdly, he sees himself as the savior of Greek Orthodox Christians and has made a promise to the head of that church to defend it and its values which is part of the rationale behind his anti gay legislation and his desire to stop the march of militant Islam in the Caucasus,the Balkans and everywhere else.

America for all the hand wringing about gas attacks and 5 million refugees, wants to topple the regime as a precursor to doing the same in other countries including Iran.

So far Putin, being more fleet of foot than the cautious Obama, is winning the argument because the vast majority of the public in America, the UK and Europe are heartily sick of wars which deliver death, destruction and more trouble rather than the purported benefits of acting or “making history” as Senator McCain puts it.

That said, we should not see Vladimir Putin as someone entirely reasonable with whom we can have tea and cake on the vicarage lawn after lunch.

Chechnya with its oil pipeline was subjugated by being reduced to rubble at the behest of Putin albeit with the squeamish acquiescence of the G8 and the EU as it was at the time.

Other uprisings in the Muslim fringe of Russia have been crushed and the Ukraine and Estonia were subjected to blackouts by the GRU‘s 2 million cyber warriors and cutoffs of gas and power when they failed to pay their bills and when Estonian Nazi sympathisers defaced a Russian war memorial.

With him and the Chinese it is all about realpolitik and the endgame rather than the niceties that precede action.

John Gelmini


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