18 August 2011

How long is a period of 9 months in Barnet ?

Strangely Mr Mustard has discovered that 9 months last nearly a year! How can that be?

Well take a look at this delegated powers report no. 1088.

click & click to enlarge and then the back key to return

So that seems straightforward does it not ? There is a specific task to do which will take 9 months to achieve. Does it end up taking 9 months ? Mr Mustard sent in a Freedom of Information request to find out and here is the answer.

DPR 1088 approved appointment of the Contact Centre Consolidation Manager from June 2010 to March 2011. However, the post was not filled until September 2010.

The postholder has remained in post beyond 31 March to complete the nine months work originally envisaged and thereafter to complete implementation of processes initiated during that period.

This work comes to an end at the end of August 2011.

So the council was unable to fill a post at nearly £50 grand a year for 3 months. Why aren't people queueing up for jobs at this salary even if they are fixed term posts? 

Now the post has been filled it will run from September 2010 until the end of August 11. Mr Mustard has run out of fingers and thinks that far from being a 9 month appointment the post will last for 11 or 12 months. 

Mr Mustard makes that an overspend of 22 to 33%. It appears that delegated powers reports are just pieces of paper that can be ignored. If all One Barnet projects overspend at the same rate then we are in big trouble.

Now looking at the job description itself the title of Contact Centre Consolidation manager seems to be a poor description of the role as much of the job seems to be for day to day management and yet the report was contributed to by The Head of Customer Services ; what do they do all day? What happens when the role ends at the end of this month? Mr Mustard hazards a wild guess that someone else will be recruited because the council are in the throes of trying to outsource this hideously underperforming "service". The cost will be buried deep in the One Barnet budget.

So there we have it : in the One Barnet parallel universe 9 months last for a year.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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