Paying the price of no leadership
Thursday 17th January 2013, 4:21PM GMT.
IN THIS column yesterday we argued that the financial transformation programme is more an issue of who is in charge of government and who directs it.
Neither the chief executive of the civil service nor the chief minister (regardless of who was in office at the time) has ensured that States corporate policy is on track but are not to be held accountable.
The Billet d’Etat prepared on FTP progress highlights the role of the departments in failing to reach targets but neither the chief officers nor the ministers will be deemed responsible.
Yes, some of the Health and Social Services Board paid the price. But that wasn’t for failing to keep in budget. Instead, it was for taking the wrong action to try to restrict the overspend.
And this absence of accountability or scrutiny is endemic within the States, which is why restructuring or even basic economising is entirely voluntary.
States Works loses the contract to clean public toilets and the general manager doesn’t care. More to the point, although the men employed as facilities operatives no longer have a job, they are still kept on courtesy the charity that is the taxpayer.
A fourth has gone, but only because he was already retired. So that was a real job that, say, an unemployed person could have done but States Works can be relied on to look after its own.
Similarly with Education. After 10 years, it decides to ‘outsource’ the Youth Service to the Sports Commission – except it hasn’t shed any staff. They are still employed by the taxpayer and merely seconded to the commission so the taxpayer can still fund annual pay rises, maintain comfortable terms and conditions and preserve pension rights.
This largesse with public funds is why Culture and Leisure is so reluctant to let the private sector run Beau Sejour and also explains why its minister has launched a land grab on Commerce and Employment’s visitor budget so that the C&L team can all stay in jobs if they do lose control of the leisure centre.
It is all so obviously wrong and so counter to the ethos of FTP that islanders want to know where the leadership is coming from to stop it.
CampaignsVoice For Victims
Voice for Victims is a campaign aimed at promoting the rights of those affected by child sexual abuse.