Managers and supervisors of broken systems cannot realistically claim to be completely blameless of performance defects
There would appear to be some curiosities attending the revelations of irregularities (administrative and financial) reported of identified officials of the M&CC Georgetown.
One curiosity is that of laying the blame comprehensively on two executives of the council, to the apparent exclusion of responsibility of that body for managing and monitoring effectively the conduct of the council’s business and the performance of its officials.
Surely, it needs no rocket science to identify that alleged misdemeanours of the identified miscreants are, partially at least, the result of systemic weaknesses, including the inefficacy of the monitoring and management systems identified in the Burrowes Commission of Enquiry Report of 2009. In this regard interested parties are now forced to ask about the work programme of the related Implementa-tion Committee, and the results of its efforts to effect practical translation of applicable financial management recommendations, amongst others.
Readers may recall that deriving from relevant recommendations of the above-mentioned Burrowes Report, the extensive advertisement for the vacant position of Town Clerk. It would appear that the recruitment process initiated by the Implementation Committee was abandoned, possibly after being bypassed by the former Minister of Local Government, who made a decision to appoint the current incumbent as Town Clerk – despite the considerable weaknesses of this functional area identified in the Burrowes Report. The result, as publicly complained of by none less than the Mayor, was that the Minister felt free to access the new appointee direct, to the exclusion of Mayor & City Council, therefore insinuating a reciprocal relationship.
Equally highlighted was the comprehensive inadequacy of the Treasury Department, and yet the clear implication in the Burrowes Report of its fundamentally flawed systems, compounded by inappropriate and incompetent performance in that one of the two critical positions now under examination seemed not to have been consistently addressed for the past two years.
It may be argued that the Implementation Committee faltered in executing the relevant recommendations of the commission’s report. This hiatus in the monitoring and evaluation of the M&CC and its operations, particularly those in the two functional areas now being investigated, may have contributed to the perpetration of the publicised transgressions, whether deliberately or by default.
For example, for several years there has been available to the M&CC and related authoritative players, formal record of the superfluous staffing of the M&CC, including the indulgence in employment of personnel past the statutory retirement age (of 60 years). Particular attention was long since drawn to the proliferation of office assistants, cleaners, and other para-health care personnel, for example.
Managements in organisations, wherever in the world, quite easily recognise that individual malfunctionaries are a reflection of broken organisational systems and procedures, and therefore the managers and supervisors of those systems cannot realistically claim to be completely blameless of performance defects.
One hopes therefore that the authorities involved would reflect on the extent or otherwise of their contributory lapses.
E B John