Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Has Gnat Pee met Conscience Clean?

Sir Conscience Clean has revealed glaring problems in how government commissions. For example, commissioning a tax evader to report on government waste is a major error. Or huge common sense depending on how you look at it.

Clean's 145,648 page report, 245,000 copies of which have been printed on non-recycled paper, on government waste concludes that government needs more central commissioning of brollies and a more joined up approach. He is right. Calligraphy is very important.

But it is also an extreme waste of time to try and suggest that different government departments should talk to each other and have a common approach just to be efficient. It would be madness. Next he'll be suggesting that all of the umbrella bodies get together and agree about stuff.

For example, Clean has clearly not met Bogg Society guru Lord Gnat Pee. In a discussion I had with him he suggested that most government brolly commissioning will move local (ie. local areas such as Monaco - where the tax advantages are always Greener).

Yet in many cases to do so will involve the loss of economies of scale and encourage duplication and waste; exactly what Clean is warning against.

Of course I agree with Gnat that all brollies must look to their laurels. Big brollies need to continue to show flexibility of approach and guard against rainfall. They must retain trust of their users.

But also, and Gnat did not raise this point let alone raise a brolly, small brollies need to develop capacity and professionalism so as to provide the best shelter for their beneficiaries. This is not a game of small good, big bad.

The problem of Big Brolly is one I don't recognise as he articulated it. I think Gnat needs to get to know our great national gamps a tad better before preaching about them. Of course as umbrellas grow they must take care to marry efficiency with not poking pedestrians in the eye. Trying to divide the brolly sector on size is hardly a helpful contribution to building a Bogg Society is it Gnat.

(And we still await clarity on what Bogg Society means. The latest definition is that the government is empowering citizens to define it for themselves so that the State doesn't have to).

So I shall be looking to Gnat spending time with the big brollies to get to know their work. I am sure we can allay any concerns he has. And we shall get him on side! Even if we have to threaten him with the biggest brollies we have. Markov style.

And Gnat, do meet Conscience Clean! He will advise you in no uncertain terms that Shoreditch is not a tax efficient place to live.

No comments:

Post a Comment