Public sector HR ethics

by kai on 15/08/2007

Just posting this and asking for your opinion.

Consider the following scenario:

A government organisation (called ABC) hires a new senior manager (one level below the CEO) on some sort of a temporary fixed-term contract – after the previous manager had left to another institution. Let’s call this person D.

D then immediately needs to “take action” – that’s what senior managers are supposed to do, right? D initiates a review of a large IT project (fair enough) and gets a friend in to deliver that review (called IC for independent consultant).

IC gets a shitload of money for stating the obvious and recommends the instantiation for a programme mangager (called E). When E starts working for ABC, everyone is wondering what this person is doing – because he/she states the obvious and doesn’t produce much output the IT team could use. Oh, did I mention that E is a friend of D (as well as IC was).

This is probably a scenario happening n times all over the place. What annoys me is that D, IC and E have no clue what they’re doing, have no clue of appropriately managing a large IT project and particularly that the jobs of IC and E were “created” without publishing them and without providing others (potentially much better people, and I don’t refer to myself here :-)) a chance to apply.

Still – happens everyday, but it really p*sses me off when it happens in the public sector, funded by my taxes. I have no issues with getting friends and people you know involved with your projects, work etc. – but the public sector should offer a fair and reasonable process. You’re working in a private company – fine, do what you like.

Do you guys think I’m reasonable here? Or am I asking for too much? How do your oganisations deal with bringing in friends and your old mates network?

barry.b August 15, 2007 at 12:00 am

sadly, I’ve seen this far too often.

In theory, all government appointments have to be advertised anyway and if you’re on the short list but miss out, you can ask why you were unsuccessful

but yeah, it’s pretty rampant, especially when appointments are also political ones, not just your mates.

Patrick Whittingham August 15, 2007 at 12:00 am

That is currently a unethical practice in the public sector in the USA and those people can loss their jobs.

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