Sunday, January 07, 2007

Recent Bonfires 47

No more problems with incorrectly positioned bananas

In the news this week:

Lavish new MOD HQ now to cost £2.3bn- "THE Ministry of Defence’s new Whitehall headquarters will cost the taxpayer £2.3 billion to refurbish and run, according to official figures. More than three miles of walls were demolished to create an open-plan “highly innovative” office space, costing £27,302 per square metre, with marble and oak features restored to the “highest quality”. For staff, refit highlights include: luxury office chairs worth more than £1,000 for each of the 3,100 civil servants; the purchase of more than 3,500 oak doors for a total cost of £3m, or up to £1,200 each; the restoration of a “terrazzo” marble and stone floor in the renovated “pillared hall”; a restaurant, a coffee bar, three large plasma screens on each of the 10 floors, a gym and “quiet rooms” where staff can take a break. Over the next decade, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will spend the equivalent of more than £75,000 for each top official working at the ministry’s headquarters on refurbishments, repairs and services. In contrast, it has budgeted just a third of the amount — only £25,000 per person — for refurbishment and repairs to soldiers’ living quarters." (Sunday Times 7.01.07- for more on this abuse see That Bloke's pre-Xmas vid here)

£7m for training in positioning pencils and bananas- "Civil servants are being trained how to keep their desks tidy as part of a £7 million Government project. Staff at one HM Revenue and Customs complex have had strips of black tape fixed to their desks to mark where items should be placed. The pilot study at the offices at Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne, is designed to improve efficiency by clearing clutter and keep computer keyboards, telephones and stationery in their optimum positions... The union has had reports of staff in one office being asked if a banana was "active or inactive", meaning it had to be cleared from a desk unless it was going to be eaten immediately." (Daily Telegraph 5.1.07)

Another £3.8m on Whitehall taxis- "The Government spent over £3.8m on taxis last year - and the meter is still running. Research shows that taxpayers have been paying for civil servants to travel thousands of miles by cab. The Home Office racked up a bill of £806,000, enough to travel round the world in a taxi 17 times. Parliamentary answers show the Department of Health spent at least £356,000 - which would pay for over 23,000 GP consultations - and the Department for International Development spent £526,000, enough to immunise 26,000 children against disease. The Department of Transport, which says it favours the increased use of public transport, spent at least £249,297." (Independent on Sunday 7.1.07)

£1.3m on unwanted bus service- "Norwich's beleaguered Orbital Bus service is expected to be axed - less than two years after it was launched. It has failed to break even since it was introduced by Norfolk County Council and £1.3 million in Government cash which was meant to see it through its first three years has almost run out already... The mission of the Orbital Bus was to provide a publicly-owned service to whisk passengers around the city... desperate for it to succeed, the council removed the bus service which ferried its own staff between County Hall and the city centre in an effort to bolster passenger numbers.... but an average of only four people were boarding each service." (Norwich Evening News 1.1.07- htp David Blackie)

Total for week- £2,312,100,000

1 comment:

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