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Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Public sector efficiency.

The appearance of efficiency is far more important than the achievement of efficiency. If the choice is between the two then the former is always preferred. This is exemplified by the Royal Mail.
Royal Mail's claims that nine out of 10 letters and parcels are delivered the next day have been thrown into doubt after an investigation caught staff "systematically" trying to fix performance figures.
Postcomm, the postal regulator, found that countless workers - from postmen to area managers - were involved in a widespread operation to intercept mail sent out by an independent monitoring company.
Staff worked out how to identify "test" letters posted to monitor deliveries, and gave them priority treatment to ensure they arrived on time.
What? How was that possible?
...the Postcomm report said postal workers could identify the test mail by feeling envelopes for a microchip they contained.
Oh, fucking genius. So by making the test mail identifiable not only did they skew the results of the test but presumably lots of other mail is slowed down because of postal workers fondling everything to see if there's a bloody chip in it? Or was that incorporated into a more general fondle of mail items to see what might contain cash or valuables?


JuliaM said...

I must confess to being a little confused by this. Why the need for a microchip at all?

You write a test letter, check time and date as it goes in the postbox, and wait for it to arrive. Job done!

Was the microchip to track exactly WHERE it went while in the post office, or something?

Angry Exile said...

Yeah, I wondered the same thing. Technology solutions looking for problems again I expect.

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