Friday 13 July 2012

The Home Office – what do they do all day?

5 July 2005 – the UK wins the right to host the 2012 Olympics©®™. 12 July 2012, 2,564 days later, Olympic security contractor G4S told ministers only yesterday it could not fulfil brief:
On Monday, the Home Secretary assured the House of Commons that she was "confident" that the private company would be able to deliver out its commitments in full.

Labour accused the Home Office of presiding over a "shambles," after it emerged that 3,500 additional troops would now be needed to fill in for a shortfall in the number of security guards that G4S had been able to recruit.
We have had five Home Secretaries in the past seven years and they have a huge retinue of officials whose job it is to manage the arrangements for the Olympics including security.

Officials must have had the odd progress meeting with G4S. What else can they have done for the past 2,564 days? What did they discuss at these meetings? "Are the security arrangements all in place?" seems like one of the more obvious topics to broach. But no, if the headline above is to be believed, the Home Office only discovered the day before yesterday that there is a problem.

"The disgraceful state of public administration in the UK" – where have we seen that phrase before?


Blissfully Retired said...

The BBC comedy series Twenty Twelve is almost unbearable to watch because one just knows horribly close to the truth it probably is. We appear to have turned into a country where a third of the population gets stuff done, another third has opted out of doing anything (funded by the first third) and the final third (mainly in the public sector) are so blinded by incomprehensible jargon and ludicrously ornate job titles that they can't do anything properly. Mind you, it mighty actually be worse than that - the country could be running on the 80/20 principle - i.e. one in five are keeping the show on the road.

David Moss said...

BR, it's just staggering, isn't it. I suspect that the number of individuals creating wealth is microscopic and nothing like as high as 20%, you old optimist, you.

G4S say today that it wasn't just the Home Office – they themselves, G4S, didn't realise that they hadn't recruited enough security guards. Parody is by now impossible.

And just for good measure, G4S now say that they don't know if the staff they have recruited can speak English.

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