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NEVER MIND THE POLICY FEEL THE PAIN from top to bottom of government

posted 30 Sept 2017, 04:35 by Peter Webb   [ updated 17 Oct 2017, 07:51 ]

Wasteful activity  in unsuitable structures is causing logistical blunders and losing £billions to the public finances. These are out of control. Resulting debt is unsustainable.

Evidence is clear and documented in government. Responsibility for failure to drive change of 'machinery' in well known ways  lies with the Prime  Minister in Cabinet, and the Treasury. 

1 Political leaders take no professional responsibility for the generality of government performance.  The top echelons of the Civil Service go unreformed.

2 Terms of discussion should be: objectives, resources,logistics and outcomes not ‘isms’ (fascism, capitalism, socialism…….). 

 3 Policy is decided without committing to a viable plan (budget  *). This political and treasury disunity causes uncontrolled debt. The IMF hadn’t grasped that. It is why the European accounts fail their audit. In UK devolution arrangements are compounding the felony. 

4 To 'government-speak' debt (borrowing in the market' - the 'overdraft - £1.7tn) must be added other borrowings such as PFI contract liabilities and under-funded accrued past-service public pension liabilities, all by now exceeding £4tn). 

 5 With no adopted plan (budget *) there is no management cycle completing with fed back Management Information.  That is flying blind through cloud.

 6 Formal accountability is missing from all levels. Parliament can’t get action to make sure that  it, “the people and ministers know how and why public money is spent”. Even that doesn’t cover consequences and context (the balance sheet) without which the picture is incomplete. But shame-faced politicians don’t want the people to be told.

 7 All it needs is for the PM to identify what she/he doesn’t know about what is going on and instruct the Cabinet Secretary to provide the regular Management Information  to show actionable variations from plan. Management accountants have the know-how and lead in this field. The narrative and numbers Annual Report is the vehicle for telling the people.

 ·        The government-speak budget is merely an allocation of funds. The ‘private sector budget is the forecast-aided adopted plan, resources and all. It then becomes the performance yardstick. The childishly named OBR (Office of budget Responsibility) only gets to the forecast stage and before their ink is dry the politicians have changed the assumptions.