« Warning on The Golden Compass | Main | Extreme sports ... »

November 22, 2007

Who will be held responsible for this?

So the incompetents of the Civil Service have succeeded in "losing" 25 million peoples personal information including their bank details - on CD's they sent unrecorded through the privatised "internal" post. If ever there were a case for firing every single "manager" in this incompetent and totally dishonest organisation this has to be it! But, watch this space - not one will lose his or her job beside the man who has already resigned. Frankly this is a part of the fundamental dishonesty that lies at the very heart of government. The Civil Service is totally unfit for purpose. It is a collection of willing individuals who cling to their rules and refuse to apply common sense. They have no professional ability so "the rules" become the liferaft in every situation. No doubt "the rules" were followed in this instance when these vital Computer Discs were committed to the hands of - not the Royal Mail as you would expect, but a "private" mail provider without any safeguards.

It is a disgrace - but worse, it is a disgrace which will just keep getting worse. Whitehall has to be reformed. Not just reformed, but stripped of every incompetent masquerading as a "Manager" and then rebuilt around professionals that can be trusted to use initiative, common sense and good practice. Above all by people who are actually competent to do the functions they manage. There is no such thing as a "manager" who can take charge of any function and "manage" it unless they are themselves fully competent to do whatever it is they manage. It is time to burst the little bubble that the Institute of Management has been allowed to build - the civil service is unfit for purpose for two major reasons - one; it is managed by people who are expert politicians but utterly ignorant of the functions they manage and two; it is subject to sets of Rules set by equally incompetent idiots who then blame ministers. There is another reason it can never be fit for purpose and that is simply that it is no longer delivering any service at all - its sole function has become, under this present government, to serve as an employer for incompetents selected, not for their ability, but for their sexuality, race or gender.

It is time to kill it - preferably with, as the Americans say, "Maximum Prejudice!"

Posted by The Gray Monk at November 22, 2007 04:20 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Having earned my daily bread over the last two decades in the Protection Industry, I can't see even an iota of sentiment in this post with which I could take the slightest bit of umbrage.

Although my specialties lie in the Physical Security area (where IT security is concerned, I'm a stranger in a strange land and as such hire contractors in that part of the biz when I need that kind of expertise), when asked I've always advised clients to avoid the mistake of allowing employees at any level the capability to download data into any computers (lap tops, pocket computers, Blackberries, etc) that they might take off the premises, and to employ dependable couriers, preferably personnel on the company payroll, to transfer any kind of material containing proprietary information from one physical location to another. A bin in a mail room is not the most secure location on earth, not even close unless everyone down there a) has a top security clearance and b) isn't a staunch admirer of Burgess and McLean who happens to have a clean record.

Even then, what if the postal service misdelivers a package?

That said, the loss you describe in this post is inexcusable, especially as it is the fault of a government agency that is mandated by law to take the responsibility of possessing your personal information (ie "You have no choice in the matter, we have your "4-1-1").

We have much the same problem over here. Our federal, city and state agencies are also infected, for the most part, with the "political correctness over common sense" malady when it comes to staffing.

This is not new, either. About 30 years ago, I scored near the top on a police department exam, and during my subsequent interview, I asked the interviewer how long it would be before I could enter the academy.

"Y'ain't a black man or a Latino (he used offensive slang, though, not the words I substituted as blacks and latinos), figure at least a year."

I told the man to junk my file, as I was no longer interested. I wasn't about to take a job wherein my life might depend on some incompetent hired because of skin color rather than competence.

Posted by: Seth at November 23, 2007 09:14 PM

I agree with every word Seth - unfortunately in our Civil Service about the only thing you can lose your job for is Treason. And in my view that is what that entire organisation is - treasonous right to its roots. It is utterly unfit for purpose and needs to be culled.

Posted by: The Gray Monk at November 23, 2007 09:54 PM

Gray Monk, this is why I am a conservative by U.S. standards -- before liberals came along in the last century and began "reinterpreting" our Constitution, "limited government" was a watchword in America.

Now we're so over-burdened by government bureaucracies that the bulk of our domestic tax spending seems to go to useless people with useless plans rather than to the issues they represent, while private sector efficiency makes them look stupid.

And this has become the norm...

Posted by: Seth at November 25, 2007 12:44 AM