I’m a big fan of Dame Anne Salmond. When she opens her mouth or writes an article, she talks to me...
Rob Campbell had written an article in Newsroom headed I’m pro-public sector, but health money wasted on empty offices shows problem“:
Dame Anne wrote a reply which said:
The centralisation and corporatisation of public services since the 1980s has been a major strategic mistake, fostering top down ‘management’ with layers of bureaucracy that soak up time, effort and funding, while ensuring that decision-makers are ill-informed about what is happening on the ground. The delivery of public services should be designed by those with deep hands-on experience and expertise in the tasks at hand, not those who bring generic ‘corporate’ approaches to every task – whether healing the sick, building infrastructure, looking after the land, teaching students, carrying out research or taking care of those who need support from the wider community.
These generic ‘corporate’ approaches have failed us, as one can see from the dire state of education, health, public infrastructure, and environmental indicators. In a small country the delivery of public services should be relentlessly focused on how best to serve the needs of its citizens, rigorously evidence-based and community and whānau driven – not by the commercial interests of consultants or lobbyists, or by the electoral interests of politicians.
My response to this is “and so say all of us”
I had an interesting experience a few years ago where I had led a review of finances at CCC. We had raised many issues in our final report but the then CE had appointed an accounting practice to duplicate what we had undertaken. It was yet another example of wasteful public spending.
I met with the partner who was leading their duplication exercise and informed him of a few issues we had uncovered which demonstrated that there was some sloppy accounting occurring. He said that this would be of great value for their task and that our findings would be useful for their report. Our observations pointed a big finger at some senior staff. When the “professional” report was released, our observations were missing.
I guess the question was it more important to grease the path of future fees or to retain professional integrity? You decide.
It’s essential that there’s always a place for proper professional outside advice. It can add hugely to the consideration of an issue. However, my observation is that many supposed “independents” are more interested in future fees than they are in maintaining their professional integrity.
A whole generation knows nothing apart from neo liberal economics. Everything is now shaped by them, the public sector is defined by them, and what is the result?
Increasing social inequity – the rich get richer and vote, the poor get poorer and do not vote. When will it end?