Here’s another way the press influences politics – see posts passim… I’ve been trying since November to bring in some additional support for a project I’m currently working on. This is an entirely new, very large, public sector project. It is adding massively to the output of the department and generating a lot of additional work which needs people; experienced and highly skilled people; to do properly. If we want to get it right, first time, without causing the additional expense or delay which comes when you have to rub along with the second rate, we have to spend a bit of money. We don’t have exactly the right set of skills in-house, and the people we do have are already stretched to breaking point. The fear of the press and the dreaded FOI request (and the shame of having to own up to hiring consultants (boo, hiss)) means that we have to jump through hoops of fire to even get close to justifying having extra people on board. Even if I finally get the go-ahead today it will be 4 – 6 weeks before we can get anyone on board if we go through the proper procurement procedures (which of course we will). By then it will be getting on for six months since the need was identified. When the project finally limps into public view, will it be lack of professional support at the right time, or incompetent civil servants who couldn’t run a whelk stall who will be blamed for it not being everything it could be – first time?