Sunday, June 07, 2009

Republican Government = Poor Management Skills

It has been in and out of the news for weeks and months now. The party of Reagan is slowly but solidly on a march to the right, leaving behind them moderates and independents who now have no official home.

Or one that they want to call home, anyway.

But what is slowly coming out now is that Republicans, when in power, aren’t just extravagant with taxpayer money, they are absolutely incompetent in managing it. This is a far cry from the traditional view of conservatives, who were, in a bygone era, remarkably stingy with taxpayer’s money.

The Chron today posted this AP article by Richard Lardner that reports on some of the findings of the Wartime Contracting Commission, which issued its first findings to congress this week in a 111-page document.

“In its first report to Congress, the Wartime Contracting Commission presents a bleak assessment of how tens of billions of dollars have been spent since 2001. The 111-page report, obtained by The Associated Press, documents poor management, weak oversight, and a failure to learn from past mistakes as recurring themes in wartime contracting.”

One favorite pastime of Republicans is the whole idea of “outsourcing.” Outsourcing is when you have a job that needs doing, and rather than have a government employee actually do the job, you hire a contractor to do it.

Because that saves money and is a good business practice that has worked in the private sector.

Fine and dandy, but what works in the private sector may be problematic in the public sector. Government doesn’t do this very well because there is no accountability in the public sector as there is in the private sector.

In the private sector, if you make a bad business decision you get fired or demoted. In the public sector if you make a bad business decision you get promoted, transferred to a more cushy job, or both.

But that’s not even the half of it. Business decisions were made and executed, but no one was there to write it down.

U.S. reliance on contractors has grown to ‘unprecedented proportions,’ says the bipartisan commission, established by Congress last year. More than 240,000 private sector employees are supporting military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands more work for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development."

"But the government has no central data base of who all these contractors are, what services they provide, and how much they’re paid. The Pentagon has failed to provide enough trained staff to watch over them, creating conditions for waste and corruption, the commission says.”

So this commission did a good job, as do most of them. Commissions however, while being very good at navel self-examination, don’t do such a good job at laying blame at anyone’s feet. And that is what needs doing here. Finding the culprits and getting them off the payroll.

Because if you have poor management skills in the private sector, you will soon find yourself another unemployment statistic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The posted quote on your blog from Adlai E. Stevenson lives on in its truth.