Friday, November 30, 2007

A government rant

I'm probably out of line here, and am probably speaking about things from a professional perspective that I should not comment on, but I'm frustrated and need to vent.

I am sick and tired of wasted time and money because of government bureaucracy.

I see this day after day in my job when I work on government contracts. I see this day after day when reading the newspaper, or listening to the news.

This morning, I woke to the news on the radio highlighting two local stories. One is the 'Wall of honour', which is to be built downtown across from city hall to honour war veterans. The other was highlighting the 'Gainey Foundation', a fund raiser in honour of Bob Gainey's wife and daughter, who have both passed away. Both involve paying respect to people who have passed on, and honouring their memory. Both are great ideas. One is a public venture, one is private. Which do you think is going smoothly?

I'm not sure how long this wall of honour thing has been going on, but it now looks like it won't even happen. The bureaucracy of the city government has slowed it down to a grinding halt, frustrating those involved, polarizing the community, to the point where the primary people behind the project are throwing their arms up in disgust and walking away.

The Gainey foundation is a huge success. Everyone who has been asked is helping out. Things are happening; it's moving forward.

What a contrast.

I appreciate that we need our government. We need order and structure in our society. We don't need waste though.

I recently sat in a meeting for a government project where there were 12-15 different people in attendance, in addition to myself, the builder, the other engineers and the architect. The project was finished, already designed. People were showing up saying "Am I in the right meeting", and "what's this one all about?" They were 12-15 professional government meeting attenders wasting my time and my tax payer dollars. I was disgusted.

I recently designed a small AC system for a government building. The total cost of the project, for our design and the contractors fees and equipment costs was triple (THREE TIMES) the cost of what the same project would be if done for a local private business. The thing that gets me is that we weren't taking advantage of the government, and inflating our fees. We knew it would take three times as long, and involve three times the headache, and three times the meetings, and three times the travel, etc.

As I write this, I've got two stacks of forms to fill out for the MOE for a couple of other projects. I am not looking forward to it. If I had my way, I'd streamline the process and make it more efficient. However, I don't, so I will jump through the hoops - knowing that if I fill in one box on one form improperly, my client may be at risk of having to shut down their plant. It seems there is no common sense used by our public servants. I suspect that it's not because they don't have any. It's because their hands are tied.

Well, there's my rant. Is there anything that can be done? Anyone got any suggestions?


Anonymous Anthony said...

Try working for the government... ;)

Now go eat your sausage.

12:18 p.m.  

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