Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Academic support for the fat wee men

On what grounds do you decide to change and then measure a system of governance; cost? efficiency? better service provision?

In the publication, Direct Rule and the Governance of Northern Ireland, Professor Derek Birrell says:
"Devolution provides less cohesive government, not based on collective responsibility. It has brought a lack of decision making or generalised statements with no agreed underpinning ideology and decisions made on a lowest common denominator basis or by ministerial bargaining.

There is also limited evidence of efficient government. The Executive’s complex and rigid decision-making procedures and blocking mechanism has led to much slower decision-making than under direct rule and hold-ups have been frustrating for civil servants, the media and the public.

It has also led to poorer service provision than in the rest of Great Britain."
So that's efficiency and service provision dealt with, cost?
Meanwhile, it emerged today £348,000 (€377,815) was spent on a website for accessing government services.

SDLP Assembly member Patsy McGlone obtained the information following a written question.

Development of the NI Direct website began in December 2008 with the site going live, on target, on March 31, 2009, Finance Minister Sammy Wilson confirmed.

The cost of developing the site including preparatory work was included.

Mr McGlone said: "This is money that could have been better spent. It is a bit of a gold-plated website which is almost a replica of an already established direct government website in Britain.

"I wonder what the excessive costs were in preparing something that was almost a copycat website of something already in existence."
Just one small example.

No comments: