Thursday, 12 April 2012

Irony or stupidity

Being an avid "Yes Minister!" fan I am well aware of the struggles between  the elected Government and the Public Service. One always wanting to cost-cut, the other to preserve its level of influence, activity and employment. These do not always (perhaps ever!) marry together.
But, two recent encounters make me wonder what on earth is going on.
Recently I applied for a a certificate from the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages...this costs nearly $60 (which seems to me some what steep for something I applied for online, provided all the information for, and any way is probably computer generated or at the most requires someone to spend 5 minutes typing out. But what can you do it is a Government monopoly!) The turn around on these certificates is 5 days according to the website. However there is a little note when you checkout to say "Presently we are experiencing delays of up to 15 days". I am indeed well into the second week and still waiting. Presumably this is not because of increased demand for certificates, which we might assume is fairly even, so it can only be because of shortage of staff.
So why are we cutting staff. Is it irony or stupidity?
Likewise the infamous medical heating claims. Chatting with an acquaintance inside the department that has been swamped by these applications and is having trouble processing them, the suggestion is not that the process is overly complicated but simply that there are not enough people (or anyone?) involved in processing
So, I ask again, is it irony or stupidity that we  cut staff at a time of increased demand?

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