Thursday, July 20, 2006

Postcards From A Parallel Universe

The Cabinet Office has just published the first of its departmental "Capability Reviews". According to the Beloved Leader they "mark a watershed in the history of British public administration". Yeah. Right.

The one that's received all the publicity is that for the Home Office. And no wonder: here's the scorecard:

That sludgy yellow colour means 'useless'. Red means positively dangerous. So unless you can somehow convince yourself Reid's musical chairs is going to fix things, our advice remains the same: get tooled up asap.

So what about the other departmental Reviews?

The Department for Education and Skills- those guys who've dumbed down our schools and who run our useless £9bn pa "skills" industry- were so pleased with their grades that they've been crowing about them all day. But it was hardly A*, and might not even have scraped a pass in the old O levels. And the Department for Constitutional Affairs- despite having Lord Crony at the controls- supposedly did even better.

But for real fantasy stuff you need to check out the Department for Work and Pensions scorecard:
Difficult to square this with the disaster that is DWP. My eye was caught particularly by the assertion that they're "well placed" to "ignite passion, pace and drive". Is this the same DWP where a staff member wrote of their last "staff feedback" survey:

"...confidence in Senior Managers has plummetted from 18% to just 10%. Taking into account the reduced response rate, less than 6% of staff have confidence in Senior Managers. If you work in a team of 17 people just one person from that group will have confidence in Senior Managers."

The same DWP that's had its accounts qualified for each of the last fifteen years, and of which the National Audit Office says it "still has a long way to go...the Department is still not performing to the standards that might reasonably be expected" (see this blog, among others).

We all enjoy a laugh, but we're actually having to pay for this rubbish.

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