Top pay but spared any culpability
Saturday 5th January 2013, 2:30PM GMT.
WITH the ‘new’ Assembly entering its first full year of office the time is fast approaching when it will be possible to judge whether it is living up to the States of Change potential that was claimed at the general election.
To date, not only is there no sign of that but very real fears exist that members will bottle out of implementing the financial transformation programme when they meet later this month.
The Policy Council may be the most joined up it has been since its creation in 2004 but any benefits from that go largely unnoticed – if they exist.
As islanders hope that 2013 might see an easing of the global economic conditions they can be forgiven for asking what really has changed since 2008.
Despite the worst slump since the 30s, what has government done over the last five years to adjust to what even its own economist calls the new normal?
Staff costs continue to rise, the pension scheme is still unchanged, performance related pay still has not been brought in, not one department has been axed or one element of government outsourced and it is surviving only by spending its savings.
In other words, Guernsey is probably the only jurisdiction in the developed world that believes it doesn’t have to do anything to adjust to the new reality and that it has no need to trim the profligate amounts of fat that consultants identified as having been accumulated during the boom times.
What makes this more depressing is that every other organisation still in operation post crash will have changed the way it functions in direct response to what has happened. They, their leaders and their staff know those reforms can and have to be made and have got on and done it.
Yet in the States of Guernsey, which has more than 100 executives on the highest salary scales, there is no delivery on objectives that were agreed as far back as 2008 and no accountability for failure to deliver.
Unusually, then, for any organisation, instructions from the top are optional and ignoring them carries no sanction.
Taxpayers can only weep.
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