(The first in a weekly open-mic series, trailed here)
This week’s ranter: The Devil’s Kitchen is the lair of a graphic design agency MD, who blogs mainly about politics, economics, and Ã¢â‚¬â€ occasionally Ã¢â‚¬â€ science and computers, in an entirely free-flowing way. Occasionally, he even writes with a degree of informed opinion, rather than his traditional bile and guesswork.
Where does our money go?
We’re all paying more tax and yet services don’t seem to have significantly improved: so, where has all the money gone?
Here’s a little nugget from the NHS (necessarily vague, I’m afraid, to protect my source). A hefty amount was invested in creating a database of ideal projects. The person assessing the projects and compiling the database left before the job was completed. Enough data was collated and evaluated to publish without any problem.
So did it happen?
Several major restructurings later, the project appears to have been lost or forgotten. Then drive-scouring, after two major computer system crashes, threw the database up again; and it is, once more, of interest. So the manager of the department draws the Scottish Executive’s attention to it.
The Scottish Executive remember that they actually spent a rather a large amount of money on the project and are embarrassed that nothing happened. They throw it back, ordering it to be web-published (more cost).
But this is three years later. Some of the project examples, so promising in their infancy, might have subsequently failed. They might have evolved beyond all recognition. The whole database is effectively useless. Updating the contact details is the best that can be done.
By rights, the NHS community that this project was created for should be screaming blue murder. But no one is, and perhaps Ã‚Â£100,000 of our money has been pissed up the wall; wasted not by malice, but by the natural incompetence inherent in bureaucracies like the NHS.
Remember, this is not “magic money” that falls from the sky: we earned that money. And it keeps being tossed into a public sector black hole. For how much longer?